B9315262552Z.1_20141127105225_000+GGQ985A91.1-0

The death of gun grabber Dr. Vivek Murphy’s nomination for Surgeon General and the lack of “gun epidemic” posts on the interwebz indicates that the antis have been stymied on the guns-control-as-health-care-issue front. At least for now. We may have to revisit that assessment after federal research money for “gun violence” (unleashed by President Obama’s Executive Order) produces a fresh crop of semi-scientific anti-gun studies. Meanwhile, there’s this from Gary Whittenberger at tallahassee.com . . .

Although eliminating mental illness and gun ownership are laudable objectives, they are not likely to be accomplished over the next hundred years. In the meantime we should work together to prevent people with an active and serious mental illness from acquiring, owning and using guns.

You heard right: gun rights advocates should work with people committed to eliminating gun ownership to ensure that people with serious mental illness don’t buy, own or use guns. What could possibly go wrong? Well, let’s have a look . . .

I recommend that we do five things:

1) In a strict licensing program, elevate standards for the acquisition, ownership and use of firearms. Some persons just shouldn’t have guns!

2) Before granting a license for gun ownership, require applicants to pass a three-part psychological screening consisting of a background check, questionnaire and interview with a psychologist. Screen out persons with hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and other significant signs of serious mental illness.

3) Require all psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other mental health counselors to report to local law enforcement when they are engaged with a client who is mentally ill and who should not be trusted with a firearm. If these referrals fail a new psychological screening, then suspend, revoke or withhold their licenses to acquire, own and use a gun.

4) Require mental health workers to receive continuing education each year in the dangerous combination of mental illness and firearms. 5) Allocate more funding to research in this area.

Question: what constitutes “paranoia”? If someone believes that the NSA is monitoring their phone calls and should be stopped from doing so, that the government is liberty’s active and deadly foe, is that paranoia or patriotism? What if they amass a large collection of perfectly legal firearms while espousing that view?

Who creates the psychological evaluation questionnaire? Who decides whether someone should be “trusted” with a firearm? The people who want to eliminate gun ownership? Even Mr Whittenberger sees the potential for abuse. No really.

If this comprehensive program were to be implemented, some persons who could be trusted with a firearm will be denied a license (known as a false positive error). And some persons who should not be trusted with a firearm will be given a license anyway (known as a false negative error). Perfection is impossible to achieve. But we should do much more to reduce the probability that seriously mentally ill people will use a firearm to injure and kill other persons.

Sure, the program I describe would be costly, but not as costly as doing nothing! The program could be largely financed through fees and taxes incurred during the gun acquisition process.

Like all liberals, Whittenberger believes the ends justify the means. Some people may be denied their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bears arms, but society’s safety is more important than individual liberty. Even though it isn’t. Well, for gun owners.

If there is a road to hell, Whittenberger is blasting down it. You’ll forgive me for letting him continue on that journey without me and millions of Americans who know that the key difference between a crazy person with a gun and a dedicated statist with a gun is the number of guns at his or her disposal.

Recommended For You

52 Responses to If Guns Are a Public Health Issue So Are Spoons

  1. Sure, the program I describe would be costly, but not as costly as doing nothing! The program could be largely financed through fees and taxes incurred during the gun acquisition process.

    And the expense of this costly program would fall squarely on gun buyers, adding yet another difficulty to acquiring a firearm. What an interesting coincidence.

    Since deaths by shooting are about one tenth of deaths by auto accident in the USA, wouldn’t it be better (in terms of lives saved) to implement a program requiring all new cars to have a GPS based speed limiting system, and all existing cars to get retrofitted or destroyed? And of course to set all of our speed limits to 10MPH or lower?

    • He’s also disregarding the costs of pricing folks out of gun ownership or simply discouraging them going through the process. This will result in folks not being able to protect themselves who otherwise could have. Resulting in increased costs from the crimes which occur. Property loss, insurance costs, costs from additional crimes by perpetrators who would have been caught, injury, loss of productivity, etc. etc.

    • Or DUI background checks before the sale of every car? Or forcing everyone to wear motorcycle helmets in cars as head injuries are a major source of death in car accidents. If it saves just one… just one childs life….

    • The issue of DUI fatal crashes is horrible. To stop this we should mandates after interlocks on all cars. To drive one have to first blow into the interlock. Inebriated persons couldn’t drive. Now installation would only run $150 and have a monthly charge of $30 to $50 a month. But if only one child could be saved…

  2. I think we already know the answers to most of the questions. Or stated in plain English, make as hard as possible for anyone to comply so as to meet their real goal.

  3. “…not likely to be accomplished over the next hundred years. In the meantime…”
    They work on MUCH longer time tables than we do.
    Long March, indeed….

  4. We also need to license pens, pencils, paper, computers and all other ways to disseminate information. Before you can spread you opinion you’ll need a mental health check too.

    • Indeed, while Whittenberger says there are just some people that shouldn’t have guns, there are also some people that shouldn’t open their mouths (or have access to a keyboard in this case). The only trouble with this position is this, what do you do when you find out that the people that you have given the power to decide who can’t speak (or own guns, etc.) prohibit you and others you feel shouldn’t be prohibited?

  5. “….and taxes incurred during the gun acquisition process…”
    – like the Pittman–Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937? Sure, make US pay for everything…

  6. “Screen out persons with hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and other significant signs of serious mental illness.”

    If we screened out delusional people, no Democrat could ever pass the test.

  7. It’s just part of the same push we’ve been hearing from The Left® all along.

    A favorite tactic of The Left® throughout history is to label political dissidents and malcontents as Mentally Ill© and in need of Treatment®. Stalin’s Gulags were filled not with prisoners, but with “patients”.

    And look at what the loons who are pushing these ideas represent, and consider what, after a generation or two, they would classify you as:

    Straight white male? Mentally Ill©
    Don’t find black women attractive? Mentally Ill©
    Believe you should be able to defend your life and the lives of your loved ones with deadly force, should the need arise? Mentally Ill©
    Believe that maybe, just maybe, our government has grown far beyond the bounds established for it by the Constitution? Mentally Ill©
    Don’t want you child’s school indoctrinating them with pro-homosexual propaganda? Mentally Ill©
    Believe that any person should be able to ingest whatever substances they wish, so long as they cause no harm to others? Mentally Ill©

    The list could go on forever.

    Giving The Left® a foot in the door on allowing Constitutionally-protected rights to be handed out (or denied) based on merit is the worst thing we could let happen.

    • “Giving The Left® a foot in the door on allowing Constitutionally-protected rights to be handed out (or denied) based on merit is the worst thing we could let happen.”

      Maybe, but based on who you know in the administration has to be pretty close. Feinstein still has a CA CC license when no one else can get one, and she advocates against their existence. And, of course, she is both crazy and stupid, obviously a dangerous combination, her license should be revoked and her firearms confiscated.

      • Feinstein does NOT have a CA CCW, it expired years ago and was not renewed (they are only good for a couple of years). As of the last released statistics 2012), there are only four CCWs issued on CSF County, 2 by the sheriff, 2 by the Police Chief. Two were for reserve officers who do not live in the city, and two were civilian employees of the two departments. Moreover, a CA CCW does NOT allow carry in D.C., and even if she had a D.C. CCW, it would not allow here to carry in any federal building–which is why she has armed guards.

  8. First, Whittenberger jumps to the top of my list of delusional, paranoid individuals that should feel the sting of his own recommendations (i.e. losing some of his most cherished rights/freedoms).

    Next, Doctors and the medical community at large are definitely a far greater public health issue than guns. That is to say, far more people die because of medical errors than are killed (justifiably or not) with guns. Standard medical practices that don’t allow for other methods cause public health problems. The high cost of medical services prevent many people from seeking needed medical treatment. Methinks that they graspeth at the splinter in my eye whilest ignoring the giant redwood in their own.

  9. “Sure, the program I describe would be costly, but not as costly as doing nothing!”
    (Citation needed)

    “The program could be largely financed through fees and taxes incurred during the gun acquisition process.”
    – Ah, now I get it… it only counts as a ‘cost’ if he has to pay it. Otherwise it’s no problem!

  10. Typical anti-rights, anti-freedom statist.

    But we should do much more to reduce the probability that seriously mentally ill people will use a firearm to injure and kill other persons.

    We should be governed by statistics and probabilities, not rights, freedoms, or as individuals. Society is the problem, not criminals. Everything must be judged on a large scale societal, probable, and statistical frontier. We need more blanket laws, more regulation, more tax, more government oversight, and more statistics after we have implemented such.

    • Actually, we SHOULD be governed by statistics. Legislation designed to fix problems should be based on hard facts and quantifiable data, not emotion. If we were governed by statistics, for example, gun control wouldn’t exist in any form (not even background checks), the war on drugs would be nonexistent, and the left would be nonexistent.

      • Collectivist thinking.

        Individuals are not statistics, and things like averages are too broad stroke to be meaningful in a diverse nation.

      • Governed by statistics is too close to treating people as statistics, which is what the antis do — they don’t care about individuals actually facing danger, they just want lower numbers.

  11. “If there is a road to hell, Whittenberger is blasting down it. You’ll forgive me for letting him continue on that journey without me and millions of Americans who know that the key difference between a crazy person with a gun and a dedicated statist with a gun is the number of guns at his or her disposal.”
    .
    If there is a road to hell, Whittenberger is blasting down it. You’ll forgive me for letting him continue on that journey without me and millions of Americans who know that the key difference between a crazy person with a gun and a dedicated statist with a gun is the number of guns at his or her disposal AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT WILL BE NECESSARALY KILLED TO FURTHER HIS OR HER AGENDA!
    .
    There. Fixed it for ‘ya!
    .

  12. Guy is awesome! Unbelievable! Once again, these self-styled geniuses think the rest of the world is so stupid we cannot see past their slyness.

    Another fine definition of “paranoia” would be holding the conviction that any law-abiding citizen “allowed” to have a firearm, even for a moment, is going to shoot you. Best discovered by the tendency to advocate stupid and unconstitutional laws to prevent law-abiding citizens from being able to obtain a gun. Once outed, these fruitcakes should be disregarded in any meaningful decision making process, beginning with the right to vote, gone forever the first time you advocate civilian disarmament. Along with your right to speak freely and your right to own firearms. Because I, in my hugely sly intelligence, have denoted you a paranoid. No other investigation is necessary, because I say so.

  13. How many psychiatrists/psychologists can agree on a diagnosis of any one individual? Hell, actually every one them would call you crazy just to avoid the risk of misdiagnosing someone. Besides, even IF someone is deemed too dangerous to possess a firearm, aren’t they too dangerous to possess a car, gasoline, knives, bricks, ad infinitum- maybe that person needs to be confined somewhere?

  14. Remember to control the narrative people. Whenever someone halls out this psychological evaluation/screening tripe, ask them point blank, “Since you don’t believe that ‘crazy’ people have rights, it is okay for someone like yourself to rape a ‘crazy’ woman, correct?”

    That question right there makes the folly of their position painfully obvious.

  15. I didn’t have to read the article to know where Whittenberger stands. All I had to do was look at his self-satisfied mug and supercilious smile and I knew that here was a culus of the lowest order.

    Frankly, old Half-Whit looks like he drugged Bill Cosby.

    • All that’s missing from that grin is a bow tie. Wait – that’s that other nut in Tallahassee who wants to seize all the guns – Ensley, I believe.

  16. I really like the phrase, “perfectly legal firearm”. I am assuming that only stolen firearms are “illegal”, being stolen would make them so. Absent that requirement, an “illegal” firearm really does not exist.

  17. Only people with no experience or understanding of mental health treatment and evaluation ever suggest basing any legal licensing /permitting schemes on mental health evaluation. You would be hard pressed to find anything less fair, legally defensible, ethical, or more abusable and exploitable, than such an endeavor.

    Mental health is a spectrum, composed of an immensely wide band of gray, with tiny slivers of white and black on either end. And the black and white portions are only there as reference points.

    • ” You would be hard pressed to find anything less fair, legally defensible, ethical, or more abusable and exploitable, than such an endeavor.”

      That is exactly why gun grabbers want such a scheme!

  18. “I recommend that we do five things:

    1) In a strict licensing program”

    The license to own a gun applies to all Americans. It’s called the Second Amendment…

    “…the Right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

    I just love how Statists start from the rhetorical position that rights don’t exist until granted by The State. I further love how they assume none of us know any better either.

    Something about “endowed by their Creator” springs to mind. As does inalienable, as well as a few other fundamental concepts apparently beyond Whittenberger’s meager comprehension.

  19. It’s all hogwash. All gun deaths are in the 30K range every year. That’s all gun deaths. Suicide, cops killing bad guys….well good guys also, accidental gun deaths, gangs vs gang…everything.
    Tobacco kills 400k or so each year. So until they address tobacco deaths and tobaccos related costs to our society, the antis can kiss my ass. Tobacco isn’t a constitutional right and tobacco doesn’t stop tyrannical uprisings.

    • Not to mention that, according to the CDC, 85% of murders in this country are gang related. Scumbags murdering scumbags.

  20. 2) Before granting a for gun ownership, require applicants to pass a three-part psychological screening consisting of a background check, questionnaire and interview with a psychologist. Screen out persons with hallucinations, delusions, paranoia and other significant signs of serious mental illness.

    Let’s see … You have to apply for license for gun ownership … yep! Liberal BS.
    But I’m sure this guys “supports 2A but …”

  21. We have imperfection now!

    How is this guy’s sure to be abused ‘imperfect’ subjective process going to change things other than to further abridge our Second Amendment Constitutional protections on the whim of mental health workers and ‘the state’?

    Take a hike!

  22. This is a 66 year old Ph.D. whose grand plan boils down to “New rule!” Seriously?

    As anybody who as a kid ever shared and fought over a bathroom, bedroom, bicycle, television, couch, pet, game console, pool table, tree house, or any other household resource, with a sibling knows, “New rule!” is the infamous interjection announcing but the latest inevitable, lamentable pseudo-solution.

    The “New rule!” is always offered up with hope, resoluteness, and self-amazement diminished not one bit for being only the latest in a long line of previous ineffectual new rules.

    Ahhhh…….but this time, THIS time, it’ll be different, don’t you know? This will be the “New rule!” to rule them all. Good grief.

    For a guy who, by his own admission, has spent thousands of hours over the last half century+ since the age of 12 thinking “incessantly” about the topics of “the universe, life, death, human nature, and morality”, he sure doesn’t have much to show for it, does he? It’s as though his first thought, last thought, and all thoughts in between, were the same thought he had as a 12 year old: New rule!

  23. It is remarkable that Whitless spent his entire career working in a prison, an institution whose unfree inmates are directly ruled by men with guns….and has from that experience concluded that the prison forms a good model for the future society in which we should want to live.

    I have to suspect he’s at loose ends in retirement, and wishes he could be paid to evaluate every citizen gun-owner’s psychological fitness…for a fee. Nice try, Gary.

    It depresses me to observe that so many people recite the headlines of a few aberrant multiple homicides, in a population of 320,000,000 people, and see a major problem….and that these same candidates for the short bus see that hundreds of thousands of violent crimes (reported and not) are committed each year, but think we non-criminals do not need firearms for our own (and family) protection. Message to Psychology graduate schools: “You know that statistics course you require your students to take? It isn’t working.”

  24. Maybe we should implement these 5 rules before allowing citizens to exercise suffrage as found in the 15th, 19th, 24th, and 29th amendments. Oh snap.

  25. The projection is just so blatant with these people it’s pathetic. There is no need to ask “who makes the decision,” it is plain by the writer’s tone (namely the carelessness with which they bandy about potential new laws/regulations as a solution) that he believes he (or someone same-minded) will make the determination. Which is why his list of solutions reads like dictatorial decrees –they are.

  26. So insidious, the notion that mental health professionals should be required to report mentally unhealthy people. I go back and forth on that. On the one hand, maybe the antis really ARE so stupid that they don’t see how that will discourage people from seeking help. On the other, I find it hard not to think that they advocate that precisely BECAUSE it may lead to more mass killings, thus allowing them to wave the bloody shirt. We all know how certain they are that their ends justify the means, even if the means is horrifying violence.

  27. What gun-controllers are trying to do is to turn gun-ownership into deviant behavior. The sociology of this is interesting. Just calling something or someone “deviant” doesn’t mean they are. It takes social power to make that label stick and, in this gun controllers, are failing miserably. In fact, what’s happening is the opposite: it is gun controllers who are being labeled as deviant by millions of Americans. Failing in their efforts, gun-controllers now are trying to make gun-ownership a public health issue by attempting to “medicalize” the putative “deviance” of gun-ownership. This puts the cart before the horse. You can’t medicalize something that isn’t deviant. You might as well attempt to medicalize automobile driving or television watching. This has actually been tried in the past and it failed for the same reason. People simply refused to believe that driving or tv watching was deviant behavior. Likewise, and to the lasting frustration of gun-controllers, Americans simply refuse to believe that owning a gun is deviant behavior.

  28. having worked in the field of mental health and criminal justice I find that 90% of therapists and shrinks are just as maladjusted as their clients.

  29. Aside from everything mentioned, did anyone else notice the temple pieces on the guy’s glasses, how fat his head appears to be, and how deeply those temple pieces are digging into the side of his fat head? Let’s make fun of that. It has little value, but hey. It might be the reason the guy is so crossed-up in his thinking.

    I look at that photo and as a person who wears glasses for the purpose of being able to see, I cringe. Gives me a headache just looking at it.

  30. Like all liberals, Whittenberger believes the ends justify the means.

    Under every liberal there’s a fascist yearning to breathe free.

  31. To be fair, he’s not entirely wrong- there ARE people that really shouldn’t have guns. What the criteria should be and how we determine if someone meets it, that’s up for debate.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *