lewiston maine shooter robert card
Previous Post
Next Post

By Arash Javanbakht, Wayne State University

Every time the country is shaken by a tragic mass shooting and the loss of innocent lives, mental illness and its role in the actions of the mass shooter come under scrutiny.

Mental illness again became a central theme after the mass shooting in Maine on Oct. 25, 2023, in which records suggest that the shooter had a history of serious mental health issues. Months before the tragedy, the family of gunman Robert Card, as well as Army Reserve staffers, had contacted law enforcement expressing high levels of concern about his mental health and noting his access to guns.

Since 1999, 19 states along with the District of Columbia have passed legislation, commonly known as red flag laws, that allow law enforcement and other people in a person’s life to petition for removal of firearms when there are imminent safety concerns about a gun owner. However, reports suggest that this law is rarely used.

Maine, though, has what’s known as a yellow flag law. It requires reporting to local law enforcement that a person poses an imminent threat, but it then relies on the police to take the person into custody, order a mental health evaluation and request a court order to have that person’s guns removed. The yellow flag law was not used in Card’s case.

The relationship between mental illness and guns, and risk mitigation, is complicated. Specifically, there is no clear and uniform consensus on who should determine when to restrict access to firearms – should it be a psychiatrist, an independent forensic psychiatrist, a committee of psychiatrists or a judge? The majority of people with mental illness do not seek treatment.

In that light, it might make sense to mandate a psychiatric examination into the background check process for purchasing a gun. As severe mental illness can start at any point in life, will gun owners need periodic psychiatric assessment, akin to a vision exam for renewing a driver’s license? If so, who will pay for the visits?

I am a trauma psychiatrist who regularly deals with the outcome of gun violence, whether in victims or first responders. In my book “Afraid: Understanding the Purpose of Fear and Harnessing the Power of Anxiety,” I have examined mental health issues related to gun violence and the social consequences of mass shootings.

The complexity of defining mental illness

The term “mental illness” covers a wide range of conditions, and there are more than 200 diagnoses listed in the most recent version of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the gold standard for psychiatric diagnosis in the U.S. Mental illness includes diverse conditions like phobias, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, hair-picking disorder, gambling disorder, schizophrenia, dementia, various forms of depression and personality disorders, such as antisocial personality disorder.

Mental illnesses are also very common: Nearly 1 in 5 people experience clinical depression during their lives; 1 in 5 people experience an anxiety disorder; 1 in 100 experience schizophrenia; and nearly 8 in 100 of the general population experiences PTSD. People with higher exposure to trauma, such as veterans and first responders, have higher rates of PTSD, up to about 30%.

So when suggesting that gun access should be restricted for people with mental illness, does that mean all of these conditions? Or just some, or some in defined circumstances? For example, should all veterans with PTSD or those with social anxiety disorder have their guns removed? Neither of these conditions is known to commonly impair judgment.

Defining the specific conditions that can impair judgment or significantly increase risk of harm to self or others is an important step in this process, which needs serious involvement of mental health professionals, stakeholders, law enforcement and policymakers.

Knowing when a person could be a risk of harm

The majority of mental illnesses do not pose a risk to others. When there is a risk, in the majority of cases when someone is involuntarily admitted to a psychiatric inpatient unit, it is not because the person poses a risk to others. Rather, it is more often the case that the person is at risk of self-harm, as in the case of a depressed, suicidal patient. Sadly, people with severe mental illness are often the victims of violence and abuse.

In psychiatric disorders, concerns typically arise in acutely psychotic patients with paranoid delusions that convince them to harm others. This may happen in – but is not limited to – schizophrenia, dementia, severe psychotic depression or psychotic bipolar illness.

These conditions are rather strongly associated with increased risk of suicide, not homicide. Therefore, more realistic gun laws in regards to mental illness could also save many lives from suicide.

Substance use is a major contributor to violence in mental illness, and it needs to be included in the calculations when it comes to gun restriction. Other situations with increased risk of harm to others are personality disorders with a high level of impulsivity or lack of remorse, such as antisocial personality disorder.

But the reality is that most people with personality disorders do not seek treatment and are not known to mental health providers.

It is also worth noting that most countries have a similar prevalence of severe mental illness compared with the U.S., yet they have much lower rates of mass murder than the U.S.

The harms of using ‘mental illness’ so vaguely

Every time mental illness is linked by the media or politicians to acts of violence, the highly charged emotions of the moment can affect those with mental illness and their families, and that can perpetuate stigma.

When “mental illness” is vaguely addressed in gun debates, those with a psychiatric condition such as anxiety or phobia but without an increased risk of violence or impairment in judgment may avoid seeking treatment.

Mental illness gun laws that can have real preventive impact

In my view, to turn the focus on the role of mental illness in gun violence into meaningful actions, the following steps are needed:

– Clear, uniform criteria need to be established on when mental illness justifies restriction of access to firearms. Would this be specific mental disorders or specific mental disorders in crises? This requires defining signs of imminent threat to self or others, and also defining how and when a person is relieved of that status. A great deal of discussion and coordination will be needed between mental health, legal and law enforcement experts.

– As it was noted before, the majority of patients with mental illness do not seek care. A comprehensive preventive plan would necessitate screening everybody who applies to purchase a firearm. This step ensures meaningful screening, as well as avoiding discrimination. Other countries such as Japan, Canada, New Zealand and Austria have such requirements.

– Since potentially dangerous psychiatric conditions can begin at any age in an otherwise healthy person, regular mental health screening for gun owners would be justified, similar to eye exams for drivers.

– There should be clear mechanisms for determining lack of mental fitness for access to firearms when concerns are raised by those who know the person or by law enforcement. Red flag gun laws are a good beginning for this path.

The bottom line is that determining who may or may not have access to firearms based on mental illness, as outlined, is indeed very challenging and requires more serious work. And the common denominator in all these tragedies still is the access to assault rifles.

The Conversation

Arash Javanbakht, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Wayne State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Editor’s Note: If you or someone you know is dealing with depression or feeling in crisis, reaching out to a mental health or counseling helpline can be a free, easy and great first step to help you get your thoughts and mental health back on track. The people over at HelpGuide.org have created a resource called What to Expect When Calling a Helpline. The article explains:

  • Helpline options and how to choose
  • What to expect when you reach out to a helpline
  • Common concerns that keep people from calling
  • When to seek other mental health resources.

About HelpGuide.org: HelpGuide.org is an independent nonprofit that runs one of the world’s leading mental health websites. Each month, millions of people from around the world turn to them for information they can trust and use to improve their mental health and make healthy changes.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. I got lost, and lost interest, a couple paragraphs in. He’s saying that anyone who owns a gun should be mentally evaluated periodically? He compares the idea to getting an eye exam when you renew your license? Hogwash. Next, we have to re-qualify to exercise our freedom of speech? Pay a poll tax and pass a literacy test each election?

    Rights don’t work like that.

    • “A comprehensive preventive plan would necessitate screening everybody who applies to purchase a firearm. This step ensures meaningful screening, as well as avoiding discrimination.”

      Bullshit. Who’s doing the ‘screening’? The same folks who hate us?

      “Rights don’t work like that.”

      Damn straight… 🙁

      • About the only part of his analysis I can agree with is that comprehensive screening and line drawing would indeed be “hard work” if done responsibly.

        But you are talking about bureaucrats and politicians, who will never take the path that requires hard work when there is an easier route. It’s so much easier to just say, “any mental condition (including ones we just make up) = no guns for you!”

        And so they will.

        If someone if sufficiently a danger to himself or others that they need to be deprived of their weapons, then get him or her civilly committed for mental health treatment. There should not be a lower standard for a deprivation of the RKBA than for being locked up against your will.

      • Exactly. It’s a VERY slippery slope. Taking someone’s constitutional rights through judgment is NOT going to work. There are a lot of people who hate guns. They could and would imo, have no problem reporting gun enthusiasts to the “authorities.” Then in the end, he sort of admits to outlawing “assault rifles.” This is one of those things that must be very closely examined understanding that The People’s Rights are Top Priority in this situation.

    • He should have been forced to go through a screening before posting that. His right to speak isn’t absolute and his post is causing many people to groan uncomfortably at his ignorance.

      I will volunteer to be his speech screener. He can submit all of his proposed writings to my P.O. box. I will promise that his posts will be processed within a calendar year and I super promise that I won’t deny them for no good reason. That should be sufficient to respect his rights.

      • agree, in fact all these shrinks should be forced to periodically be examined and re-certified, because they have among the highest degree of suicides among all categories of occupations. Hence the issue of mental stability.

    • He went around the bush so many times that the readers dropped out before the real impact of his thesis. THAT becomes evident with the very last sentence. The “assault rifle” made me do it.

  2. The most worrisome problem with this screening process is that whoever controls the process could possibly deny access to firearms to anyone they disagree with or just don’t like. Conservative thought might become a mental illness…

    • “Conservative thought might become a mental illness…”
      To the left conservative thought already is a mental illness.
      However, the left’s attitude is like the pot calling the kettle black!

      • With the gun always being the center of attention it detracts from the fact deranged individuals also criminally misuse bricks, bats, knives, gasoline, fists, feet, vehicles, etc.

        Gun Control zealots who haul their sick agenda around on the coattails of defenseless murder victims need to cease trying to increase the size of the defenseless victim pool. Being unarmed against a murderer whether their hands or empty or holding a toothbrush or holding a knife makes no difference when you and yours are cornered. Such perps are extremely dangerous and can wreak havoc when you are without the proper means of defense.

        • You miss the point. How could one effectively use: “bricks, bats, knives, gasoline, fists, feet, vehicles, etc” for the necessary objective of securing a free state? These artifacts are simply ineffective for that purpose. So, there is no objection to these objects. Criminals and crazies are free to use them at will.

          The real objective is to eliminate “arms”. Once that objective is achieved there is no security for a “free state”. Goal accomplished! Simple. Obvious.

        • “How could one effectively use: “bricks, bats, knives, gasoline, fists, feet, vehicles, etc” for the necessary objective of securing a free state?“

          Well, this right wing extremist had a plan to use a hammer to take out the second in line to the United States presidency.

          Paul Pelosi‘s attacker on trial, apparently conservatives were just lying about claims of ‘same sex’ relationship.

          How surprising…


        • Well, the obvious answer is the democrats. Wasn’t it the democrats who investigated the election fraud in democrat districts and found no wrongdoing? Clearly it is their duty to oversee the newly established “Gun Thought Task Force” to ensure denials are only issued to conservatives.

        • And the Republicans are as complicit, in reply to VNVet69, with all due respect… think Uniparty…

    • Illinois does this with an arbitrary, selectively enforced FOID system. Heard enough horror stories to know I don’t want any part of something like that.

      Most “mental health” disqualifications are a permanent disqualification as well as per GCA. The idea that you’ll go into someone’s house and take their guns for having a mental illness makes it way more likely they will not seek treatment and if they do they won’t be honest with the provider about their actual state for concern of their rights being trampled.

    • I find progressive thought to be a mental illness.
      If you think you can change your natural born sex by using some other pronoun, you just might be mentally ill.

      • If speech is so powerful that a pronoun can change sex, then why did my bank refuse to accept $10 bills as $100!

        • Sorry, but I had a good laugh over that. And hey, why not Therefore, my $100 dollar bill identifies as a $1,000 note, too, and therefore, should be acceptable as a payment for a bill. You can also throw in that the bank is racist and sexist for not accepting your $10 dollar bill as a $100.

  3. He wasn’t doing too bad till he finished with: “And the common denominator in all these tragedies still is the access to assault rifles.”

  4. That last sentence about “the common denominator in all these case is access to assault rifles” makes it pretty obvious the author buys into the “gun control is good” beliefs, even if it infringes on our rights. I get it that Javanbakht is coming at this from angle of a mental health care practitioner, which I’m glad see this being put out there and creates more discussion – but not at the expense where you cheapen the discussion and “opt out” to say let’s just take away access to firearms. I agree and see how complicated this is to determine a person at risk. But in the case of the Maine shooter, you literally have someone who was mentally ill STATING that he was going to shoot up the National Guard base. And, apparently, this warning went unheeded, as we have seen countless times with these shooters with a criminal or violent history and/or mental illness and “somehow” this information never gets into the NICS as well as law enforcement just let them go on their merry way “hoping” nothing bad happens. Like when I worked in secure environments, if you saw people do or say things that we not right, you had a duty top report it. But it was also encumbent on the security authority to act appropriately to the degree of perceived threat. Why do I see time and time again alot of these folks were reported by family members, friends, co-workers, etc., complaints were filed at law enforcement agencies, and the authority either didn’t act on it or dismissed it? I would say, as I have acted in the past, if a friend or loved one is acting in such a way that you feel they could harm themselves and/or someone else – convince them and HELP them to get help for themselves. I know it’s hard, but I’ve been there and done that. At least I know and can say I did something. Hopefully you can say the same.

    • “this information never gets into the NICS”

      Not at all! It will eventually get into NICS. Better late than never. You can’t expect that the data flow into NICS will be instant. Government workers need their coffee breaks. They need to get home to their families. There is no urgency whatsoever to get the data from the point of observation (patient registration at a mental health custodial facility) to the NICS database at the speed of light. Any month now the data will flow in. That’s good enough for government work.

    • Knew where he was going the moment “gun violence” was uttered.

      It’s human violence, you deceptive POS, as if you don’t know that. For the future, warranted scrutiny will be applied to anything Arashhole has to say.

  5. The doctor is wrong twice in the last sentence. “And the common denominator in all these tragedies still is the access to assault rifles.” 1st MSR’s aren’t the common denominator in mass shootings. It’s handguns. 2nd In no mass shooting in the US has an assault rifle been used.

    • There is one OTHER factor that IS universally present in ALL these “mass shootings”.
      they ALL take place in areas where everyone BU the shooter is DISARMED. It has also been well established that when a dirtbag sets out to plan and carry off such a crime, the perp always does some recon to determine WHICH places have gin bans, and which might have armed citizens. They unoversally go for the “Certified Defenseless Victim Zones. I could walk diwn the list, but he’d prolly just blow it off s a “coincidence”.
      That ONE FACTOR is far more universal to mass killing events than the use of MSR’s.

  6. Fudds gonna Fudd.

    Never ever trust any shrink. They are all wackadoodles themselves. I’d sooner talk to a cop without a lawyer than say anything to one of these head-shrinking quacks.

    • Had to speak with a shrink once. Post traumatic experience, it was “strongly suggested” that everyone see a shrink. I walk in, sit down, he starts by asking how I got along with my father. Like, WTF does my father have to do with this experience that he’s supposed to “help” all of us with? We didn’t get any further than that. Told him that I didn’t see how he could possibly help me, grabbed my hat and coat, and walked out. Employer never brought the subject up again.

      • hahaha my buddy peapodpedrito had kids acting up, school counselor needed to see dad. “take a couple of these everyday and come see me in a few weeks.”
        “why don’t you take these and come back and see yourself in a few weeks…”
        with harsher language and more expletives.
        love that kid.

    • I worked in a mental institution for awhile, one of our requirements as an aid was to inform the patients of the side effects of the drugs they were taking. After being informed some refused to take their meds, so they went into solitary confinement until they decided to voluntarily take them or we strapped them down and injected it.
      Things may have changed since 1990?

    • Not all psychiatrists are “wackadoodles” but, in my experience as a doc, it seems that some (many?) go into psychiatry in an effort to figure themselves out. This also applies to psychiatric nurses.

  7. Articles like this are why I always caution people who say “If they’re too dangerous to own a firearm, why are they roaming the street freely? Something something Reagan and the defunding of the insane asylums.”

    The left is entirely invested in mental health care, you see it all over the place now, mainly because they project their own mental illnesses onto others out of personal insecurity, but also because healthcare is a huge talking point for them.

    Do not think for a second this can’t be weaponized by even the slightest strategically placed cultural push. The Soviets did, called it the medicalization of deviance. “You do not think and believe like us? You must be insane, here, enjoy your state-mandated stay at the mental health hospital.” The patient’s file would then be marked accordingly by the KGB to bar them from whatever in society after their release.

    I recall prudent ones here during the initial push for Obamacare saying they would eventually find a way to make lying to your healthcare professional on questionnaires a felony once all doctors became agents of the state. Sure, it’s hogwash, until the right cultural conditions are set for it to be quietly passed and sprung upon gun owners as deviously intended.

    The best way to “do something” about this issue is to do nothing at all, carry, and accept the reality that crazies exist; because the political ramifications of the wrong legislators having their way with mental health and gun ownership are so much worse than a bumpstock ban.

    • “The left is entirely invested in mental health care . . . ”
      Well yes, except if the mental health care actually works. Then, they are against it.
      The left supports the War on Drugs, so it supports the prohibition of the drugs on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances list. These include MDMA and psilocybin, two of the three most promising drugs for PTSD/CPTSD. They also support the DEA’s and FDA’s persecution of ketamine on Schedule III, the third of the three most promising drugs.

      If ketamine were universally used to treat suicidal ideation, we could slash much of the suicides in America. Both those by gunshot and those by other means. This drug is 60% effective in alleviating suicidal ideation. But the left doesn’t want it used for mental illness. They want to keep SI untreated. Keeps the gunshot death statistics high.

      And we People of the Gun are just fine with that. We don’t want to cut the suicides by gunshot because we don’t see how the suicide statistics help promote the case for gun control.

      • “The left supports the War on Drugs“

        Yeah, right.

        Maybe on your planet, but I can tell you it has always been the left-wing liberals who have advocated for legalization of drugs, marijuana being a prime example.

        So-called ‘law and order’ Republicans have opposed legalization of marijuana tooth and nail for decades, to assert otherwise is ridiculous.

        Just ask Nancy Reagan.

        • I don’t disagree with you. The Left has been more open to drugs than the Right. Nevertheless, you have to ask yourself: “Would Nixon have been able to mount the War on Drugs without sufficient help from the Left”? and could the WoD have been perpetuated as long as it has if the Left were not mostly on-board? Is the WoD exclusively the product of a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy?

          And I certainly do not suggest that Republicans have been in the mainstream in opposing the WoD. We are all caught-up in the propaganda produced by the DEA, Nancy Regan, the rest of the do-gooders who learned nothing from Alcohol Prohibition.

          So, here we are today. The list of prohibitive substances on Schedule I of the Controlled Substances act is about 200 items long. Pot is legal in half the states and still Federally prohibited. MDMA has been prohibited for 36 years and will probably get FDA Approval in 2024.

          Is it that FDA Approval turns a Prohibitive substance into a Medicine overnight? Is that the way it works? MDMA was patented in 1912. It was evil until the FDA says it is medicine?

          The WoD has cost vastly more death and suffering than if We the People were left to our own devices, or at least, to be treated by physicians of our own choice.

    • Here is a novel idea” tha goes well with your suffesttion:
      How’s about ENDING all Certified Defenseless Victi Zones? EVERY ONE of the places where a mass shooting event has taken place has been a mandated no guns zone, and the perps all KNOW this and carefully PLAN for it.

    • “The best way to “do something” about this issue is to do nothing at all, carry, and accept the reality that crazies exist“

      A rather simple and succinct statement of why the Republican party is the party of losers.

      “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good folks do nothing”

      Just look at how the Republicans have dithered for weeks in the United States House of Representatives, now they’re physically fighting one another rather than governing. America.

      • Accepting reality is choosing to continue living life as usual without making every single societal issue one the government, and only the government, needs to fix. Your socialist utopia is an impossible dream.

  8. “Determining Which People With Mental Health Conditions Should Be Disarmed is No Easy Task”

    it would be easier if the mental health community would, ya know, actually do something when they identify instead of the left wing liberal dominated mental health community throwing pills at them, validating their ‘i feelz’, and letting them roam free among their prey.

    96% of mass shooters (which includes school shooters) were know to be violent mentally ill by their doctors…and not a one of them did anything about it except throwing pills at them, validating their ‘i feelz’, and letting them roam free among their prey. for example, the trans Nashville shooter and the recent Maine shooter.

    and 100% of mass shooters are violently mentally ill and signaled their intentions to others or were known to law enforcement prior their act of violence, and no one did anything.

    but what do law abiding gun owners get instead.

    for cripes sake, enforce the laws already on the books, do something about the over 25,000,000 known violently mentally ill that roam among society daily, and after a bit it will not be so hard “Determining Which People With Mental Health Conditions Should Be Disarmed “…ya know, instead of taking it out on honest law abiding gun owners who have done nothing wrong and using us for scape goats because you can’t actually do your job and prefer to sit around writing papers saying how hard it is.

    • “do something about the over 25,000,000 known violently mentally ill that roam among society daily“

      And there it is, the conservatives’ call for mass incarceration.

      • “And there it is, the conservatives’ call for mass incarceration.”

        There is nothing “conservatives’ call for mass incarceration” about it and I said no such thing, quit lying and learn what context means.

    • There is something that We the People need to decide and instruct our legislators about.

      The power to deprive a particular individual of his liberty is one which we delegate to the state. Better that an impartial judge, or jury, decides one’s wife is crazy and needs to be committed than for her husband to do so unilaterally.

      For this to happen by action of the state, the state must provide asylums for the insane. And, since the 1950s, the state has rolled back its provision for asylums. There are vastly more individuals who need asylums (for our general protection) than there are beds.

      We voters are all responsible for this decision. We are governed by the consent of the governed. If it is to be reversed (which will not happen), we must collectively decide that we will be taxed to pay for the asylums. Beds will be available. And the reforms needed to the judicial process and the care of the patients will be made. But this will not happen.

      Because it will not happen the insane, criminally and passively, will circulate among us. And we will make the best of it. Hobbs’ Leviathan is not there to protect us.

  9. It’s really very easy. The real problem is “they” want a perfect solution. And there is no such thing. And there never will be a way to ID, every single dangerous person.

    We use to lock up the ones who threatened people. Not anymore.
    We use to lock up the ones who killed cats and dogs. Tortured them. But they don’t get locked up anymore.
    We use to lock up the ones who heard voices telling them to harm others.
    Not anymore.

    The obvious ones they refuse to force into treatment.

    • How very true, Chris. How many of these mass shooters would be in mental institutions today, if they had not been shut down yesterday (many years ago)? And why bother to enforce treatment, when it is a good excuse to get rid of the Second Amendment?

  10. Attorney claims pending lawsuits can’t keep Metro from releasing Covenant writings (the “manifesto”)

    • They’ve already won. That shooting is now stale enough that the average normie has forgotten all details and won’t care when the “manifesto” gets officially released. To most people, the anti-white and other crazytown stuff in there is now entirely separate from the shooting. They’ll just consider it a meaningless fringe obsession of the “right-wingers.”

  11. “…there is no clear and uniform consensus on who should determine when to restrict access to firearms…”

    This is the crux of the situation, however, why stop with firearms? Anyone crazy, or perhaps, motivated enough to commit murder, either of a known victim or at random, is likely cognizant enough to figure out some other means to accomplish said goal if his/her/its firearms are taken away. Why not use a 4000 lb SUV, or a gallon of gasoline, or some bleach and ammonia cleaners, or a knife, axe, or a thousand other things? If one is somehow judged a hazard to him/her/itself, what good can possibly come from leaving said crazy on the street without firearms?

    It boils down to the fact that in the US, people (still) have rights, whereas inanimate objects do not. It’s so much easier to blame the gun, and remove it than actually “fix” the individual.

  12. “Supporting Donald Trump is an actionable mental illness.”

    “Believing the 2024 election results were illegitimate is an actionable mental illness.”

    “Withdrawing children from public school is an actionable mental illness.”

    Sure you really wanna go down this road?

    • Mental illness is not a binary all/nothing solution. There is no great way to determine who needs to be committed. But that doesn’t mean that NObody should ever be committed any more than it means that EVERYbody should be committed.

      Start by providing adequate mental health care. That is sadly neglected. It’s not that we don’t have clues as to what works vs. what doesn’t. Such clues exist. The Authoritarian-Government-Medical-Establishment Complex is slow and resistant to recognizing these clues, neglecting to pour the R&D into validating their efficacy and permitting their use. This public-health objective is within the power of states to pursue. (It is NOT a Federal power.)

      As merely one example, MDMA was prohibited 36 years ago on the whim of one TX Senator and a DEA head. This drug has just cleared FDA-Authorized clinical trials for PTSD with flying colors. It will take another year for the FDA to finally Approve its use under a REMS protocol, making it prohibitively expensive ($14,000) for the unwashed masses to access.

      This drug would help, along with competent psychotherapy. It took just two authoritarian government officials to keep it off the worldwide market for 1/3 of a century.

      We, the voters, consent to this government.

  13. Mental illness seems like a red herring and at the rate the DSM is getting wokified the only mental illness left will be being a gun owner.

    Almost all of these people are guilty of criminal threatening before they act.
    Why isn’t that enough?

  14. Well to start off the ones who have violent statements about killing people should be at the top of the list there, eh? Think the doctors should Immediately flag them for further investigation. and INVESTIGATE to Determine if THEY ARE a Threat, if not then guess what? Let em go. if the Determination is they are not.

    • “Well to start off the ones who have violent statements about killing people should be at the top of the list there, eh?“

      So you do admit that there should be restrictions on the first amendment freedom of speech. I think we’re making progress here!

  15. Which amendment is it that guarantees your right to drive a car? I always forget and am too lazy to look it up. Maybe the author is reading the comments and can educate me.

    • “Which amendment is it that guarantees your right to drive a car?”

      There isn’t one, and I would be surprised if any conservative would want to drive on our society-supported highways.

    • I think this is a misconstruction of the Constitution. There was a consensus at the time the Constitution and BoR were ratified that liberties were innumerable while the powers of government ought best be enumerated.

      There is no right to walk or ride a horse in the Constitution. Nevertheless, it is clear from SCOTUS rulings that there is a right to freedom of movement. The government can not prohibit walking or riding a horse. Nor riding in a horse-drawn carriage. (Consider the Amesh.) It follows that there is no power of government to forbid the use of horseless carriages.

      This is not to say that the states lack the police power to regulate walking, riding, driving on the right side of the road. Nor to regulate the movement of traffic by means of arbitrary semaphores.

      Where a liberty, such as speech, press, assembly, religion, arms, quartering troops, search and seizure are protected by an enumerated declaration of right, the power of government is properly tightly constrained. A constraint government officials resist. A parchment barrier is only as strong as the will of the People to insist that it be respected.

      Nevertheless, there are other liberties not so enumerated that We the People must guard jealously. It is poor strategy to deny their existence.

  16. It is easy, if you agree with me 95% of time, you should have access to firearms. If you agree less than 95% if the time, you are ill and should not have access to firearms. If you agree 100% of the time you shouldn’t have firearms either, anyon who agrees 100 % of the time is incapable of thier thought .

    Is this the system you want Doc? I would fully support using my personal opinions as the benchmark. We can see how you perform first.

  17. This guy is like the kid just got a big shiney new hammer. EVERYTHING he sees is a nail and is eagerly waiting for his “care and attention” with that hammer.

    he said: “no guns” until you get a psych clearance.
    Uhm, no. Not just “no” but HELL NO NEVER”.

    Maybe in his zeal to provide a “cure” and become an hero he forgot to READ all the details about this guy. He had been involuntarily committed to a mental facility for a period of more than three days (two full weeks) Per federal law this automatically renders him PROHIBITED PERSON. So all the coloured flaggy law things are not needed as there was already federally mandated grounds to deny this guy access to arms.

    Perhaps he should turn his attention to the gummit uffishuls who FAILED to do their jobs. We got BATF clowns showing up at oh dark thirty to inspect a silly little gadget they bought online, but they won’t nip round to proven dangerous people like this murderer to make sure he has no access to firearms. Priority shift, or whutt?

    Can anyone else here run down the list of “mass shooting events” where the perps who did the killing were completely unknown to all Law Enforcement agencies as “problem”people? And can anyone else here remember one such event where the place of the killing was NOT labelled “gun free zone”? And the closer: how many of such killers had or should have been officially labelled “prohibited persons” with respect to possession of firearms?

    fix THESE issues and leave us alone with our God-given right to arms.
    but they won’t because the real goal is not to have done with such events, but to have done with all we who assert our right to arms.

    • “He had been involuntarily committed to a mental facility for a period of more than three days (two full weeks)“

      Just which perpetrator are you speaking of?

    • It is – technologically – a fairly simple matter for the police to encounter a person possessing a gun and verify within minutes that he IS/is NOT on the NICS list. This happens – sort of – now, it just doesn’t use all the NICS databases.

      If this system were used, we could do dispense with background checks at the moment of transfer.

      Only problem is that prosecutors would be overwhelmed with having to decide which cases to prosecute and which to decline.

      Never mind, the prosecutors have already solved this problem. If the suspect is only guilty of felon-in-possession they prosecute. If he is guilty of another crime they offer to plea-bargain that other crime down in exchange for not prosecuting felon-in-possession. So, generally, the former gets prosecuted though he may be little or no threat to anyone while the latter gets a better deal because he had the gun charge to bargain with.

  18. I think any human that goes through the effort to kill someone and then does not eat them is mentally ill.
    You’ve gotta be crazy to spend money on bullets, gunms,maybe steal it, more work, the plans, the gas to drive there, (gas ain’t cheap), the time scouting, establishing patterns and routines, food plots, then just shutem and let them lay, that’s nutz.
    At least the Department of Wildlife Fish&Game should give them a citation for wanton waste.
    It’s all a crazy mess, even if you do want to keep your dead guy and the cops find out they show up with the meat wagon and haul him off for themselves. Then some guy in a place called a mortuary fills him full of preservatives and hides him under a rock that even a grizzley bear cant move.
    To top it off, if they dont bury them for later, and only Lord knows when later will be, they try to cook your dead guy and fck that all up too, burnt beyond crispy.
    Yep humans are nuts. Shouldn’t have gunms.

  19. Illinois does this with an arbitrary, selectively enforced FOID system. Heard enough horror stories to know I don’t want any part of something like that.

    Most “mental health” disqualifications are a permanent disqualification as well as per GCA. The idea that you’ll go into someone’s house and take their guns for having a mental illness makes it way more likely they will not seek treatment and if they do they won’t be honest with the provider about their actual state for concern of their rights being trampled.

    Also, this sounds like a way to increase market share for doctors in the psych realm. If you have to qualify for a right, that means there’ll be a lot more of those doctors out there won’t there? Sounds like a good racket.

  20. This guy should be asked how many of these people were on psychotropic drugs and were the doctors monitoring those patients who went out shooting places up were negligent or not. Or perhaps pharma is negligent too?

    After the covid thing I’d be REAL curious to see what they really know about the side effects of their drugs. They advertise increased risk of suicide as a side effect for many, why wouldn’t increased risk of homicide be a thing too? It’s an opposing side of the same coin in situations like this.

    I’ll get to the psych eval after paying my poll taxes and getting my literacy test done.

  21. Prior restraint is the essence of tyranny. No one doubts that a tyranny can make the trains run on time.

    Does anyone doubt that civilian disarmament puts the fox in charge of the henhouse? Or that the fox answers to the wolf?

  22. Worst Judge Interpretation Ever? 2A Does NOT Cover Obtaining Firearms?!? (note: Like…for example, you have a 1st Amendment right to free speech but the 1st Amendment doesn’t cover obtaining pen and paper or a computer to exercise that free speech. The judge doesn’t think ancillary rights, which basically are the right to obtain something in order to exercise or necessary to exercise a Constitutional right, are a thing. The judge says, yes, there is a 2A right to keep and bear arms, but you don’t have the right to obtain those arms – ya know, going against the very real ancillary rights concept codified in over 200 years of legal and constitutional precedent in every court and state constitution in the land and SCOTUS decisions and the very exact written word of the founders and against the rights of every American citizen and the very clearly outlined intent of every person that signed the Constitution, those things that existed before we became a country, that which exists naturally, for ‘ancillary rights’. Its like saying “yes, you have a right to life but don’t have the right to obtain food and water or medical care to keep you alive”. Seriously, Constitutional rights including that ancillary is basic law 101, yet this judge just ignores it and makes up this crazy decision.)

    • and now we see where some serious mental illness lies, this judges decision as an example, it lies in the left wing liberal concepts of ‘ya don’t have any rights, you have only what we want you to have and grant. We get to decide and get what we want.” – this is at the very core, this left wing liberal concept mental illness, of the violent mentally ill killers, this concept of ‘We get to decide and get what we want.” with the killers “I get to decide, I get what I want, you don’t have any right to life and only what I grant in my decision’.

      there ya go Arash Javanbakht, did your job for you, one of the roots of the violent mental illness identified now do something about it. Wasn’t hard at all.

  23. “These conditions are rather strongly associated with increased risk of suicide, not homicide. ”

    So your going to split hairs here and say a suicide is not a homicide?

    A suicide is a form of homicide, its just not a murder homicide as in another separate physical person killing the victim. There are a wide variety of analogues to homicide that can be applied to the suicidal person. They are usually either the ‘mercy killing’ self (e.g. choosing pills/drugs) or the ‘executioner killing’ self (e.g. choosing a more violent end…for example, a gun, hanging, jumping off a tall building, electrocution, and in some cases poison, etc…) – as opposed to the inner self that wants to hang onto life that is overpowered by the other ‘mercy killing’ or ‘executioner killing’ self. Its two different ‘self’ at play, with the ‘executioner killing’ self over powering and driving to kill the other other self that wants to hang onto life, suicide is a homicide focused mental illness.

    100% of mass shooters are driven by their mental illness to kill/harm. They are not driven to it because there is a gun. Their impulse to kill/harm, like in the suicidal person, overpowers their inner self that doesn’t want to to kill/harm and even if they did not have a gun that driving impulse to kill/harm would eventually have them resort to use something else (e.g. swinging an ax around in a crowded school hallway during class change, or in a movie theater, or going room to room in a school or in an office building, even one victim at a time over time by use of hands, etc…)

    • correction for: “Its two different ‘self’ at play, with the ‘executioner killing’ self over powering and driving to kill the other other self that wants to hang onto life, suicide is a homicide focused mental illness.”

      should have been…

      Its two different ‘self’ at play, with the ‘executioner killing’ self or ‘mercy killing’ self over powering and driving to kill the other self that wants to hang onto life, suicide is a homicide focused mental illness.

  24. “Can you define what a woman is?”

    “No. I am not a biologist.”

    “True or false: There are two biological sexes.”

    “False. There are 110 sexes.”

    “You are mentally ill.”

  25. The mental illness argument is trap. Don’t fall for it.

    The left is using this to get us to agree to restrict rights for a “lesser” group of people. If we agree to this, the left will eventually define anyone that votes for Trump as mentally ill.

    The constitution doesn’t have a carve out in its protections for illness of any sort.

    There is no way to define mental illness in a way that doesn’t turn the country into a police state.

    • I agree, Zero. Anymore, those who believe in the Constitution and Bill of Rights will be deemed as “mentally ill”. The “right is wrong/wrong is right” script has been flipped to such an extreme, those who are sane and do not believe the lies will be deemed the crazy ones (needing locked up and disarmed) for not wanting to turn our brains into mush (or a ball of twisted up, tangled yarn) like everyone else has.

    • Agreed.

      Nevertheless, we must admit that upon conviction of a capital crime the state can legitimately deprive a person of his right to life. On conviction of a lesser crime, to loss of liberty, including the right to arms.

      But any loss of liberty – the right to move freely or the right to speech or arms – must not be imposed without due process and without lawful reason. Enumerated rights limit the power of legislators to choose reasons at whim.

    • Agreed, something more objective is called for. Let me preface this by saying, I am speaking from 1st hand experience on multiple levels with what I am about to recommend. If we really want to reduce suicides by gun and mass shootings, anyone taking a drug that “may cause suicidal thoughts” should be denied the right to purchase a firearm until 6 months after stopping the drug. It is an undeniable fact that in most of these incidents, the shooter had sought or been forced to seek mental health care and have been given these drugs. They also, in almost all cases, purchased the weapon after starting the drug. I realize these drugs help many people and I regret that those people might have to decide whether to find another way to deal with their issues or forfeit the right to purchase a firearm but, unfortunately, the facts seem to dictate a hard look at such a policy.

      My 1st person experience was that when trying to quit smoking, I was given an anti-depressant that was supposed to assist me in quitting. Not only did it cause me to smoke more, but it also made me depressed and having suicidal thoughts after only about a month. I have never been depressed and never had suicidal thoughts prior to taking the drug but I was actually contemplating suicide and how I would do it. Oddly, I have guns and never considered using one which is why I believe people who already have them should be allowed to keep them. I have had multiple other person experiences that I won’t detail except to say that after starting these drugs my mother committed suicide (not with a gun although guns were present).

      To sum it up, either recall the drugs or prevent those who are taking them from purchasing a firearm by either creating a new DB or adding them to NICS.

  26. “In that light, it might make sense to mandate a psychiatric examination into the background check process for purchasing a gun. As severe mental illness can start at any point in life, will gun owners need periodic psychiatric assessment, akin to a vision exam for renewing a driver’s license? If so, who will pay for the visits?”

    Just to start with, most states don’t do a ‘vision exam’ for renewing a driver’s license any more. But if you want to get technical, no state ever did a ‘vision exam’ for either getting or renewing a driver’s license but rather, basically, just checked that you could see (by reading the lines) either with or without your glasses (if you wore glasses) – it was not an ‘exam’ but rather just a check.

    OK, now the rest…

    “it might make sense to mandate a psychiatric examination into the background check process for purchasing a gun.”

    No it doesn’t. might or other wise. You even said it your self in the rest of your missive with its ‘its so hard for us.” lame excuse even as the mental health community with known violent mentally ill people simply threw pills at them, validated their ‘I feelz’, and simply let them roam freely among society.

    “As severe mental illness can start at any point in life, will gun owners need periodic psychiatric assessment”

    Its true that “severe mental illness can start at any point in life”, but at what point and when does it end? “severe mental illness” can be transitory, it can be temporary as in the ‘heat of the moment’, it can be longer term. It can be there in one period of a persons life but then go away never to return. Its not something that can be detected easily, its not like there is a ‘mental-health-o-meter’ they can hook people up to, so the mental health community relies on self-declaration or actual acts. So if during one of these “periodic psychiatric assessment” things if the person does not self-declare in some way or has not yet committed an actual indicating act the “periodic psychiatric assessment” is no better than a ‘polygraph exam’ which is very easy to beat by simply believing your lies are the truth and people with severe mental illness that can become violent have an odd quirk and that is they believe their lies are the truth. Then there are those with “severe mental illness” that are violent and do self-declare their desire for violence to their mental health professionals (e.g. Nashville Trans shooter, Maine shooter) yet despite knowing this these ‘mental health professionals’ simply released them back into society after throwing some pills at them and validating their ‘i feelz’ juts like the did for 96% of mass shooters in the last 30 years.

    So my suggestion to you, before you start pontificating on the ills of society is to stop concentrating on removing constitutional rights for the law abiding by using made up excuses and contrived ‘controls’ over those rights for the purpose of the left wing control and ‘permissions’ and money and power. My suggestion to you is to get the mental health community in line and have them open their eyes because its all around them everywhere, we see it out here every day in crime and criminally violent acts by others but the mental health community ‘excuses’ it away like you are trying to do because heaven forbid they actually do something to solve the problem instead of sitting around writing missives about it. Its easier politically for the left wing to make law abiding people the scrape goat to bear the burden of these infringements on rights, in the name of looking-good for votes and money and power, than it is to actually solve the problem of crime and the violent mentally ill which their policies to get votes of ‘justice reforms’ actually put these people back on the streets too – but in the end you still have the human element and violent crime and mental illness is human based and not ‘tool or implement’ based like you are trying to make it about guns. So overall, even though you are a PHD it still applies in concept, “Physician, heal thyself” which means, in this context, take care of your own malady of stupid first before you try to pontificate to society.

    • “gun owners need periodic psychiatric assessment”

      Clearly, there is such an excess of psychiatrists and psychologists not needed to attend to the mentally ill who are available to perform an annual assessment on 100 million gun owners.

  27. Who determines the mental state of the those selected to evaluate the mental state of the gun owner?… And in turn, who will be responsible for evaluating THEM?… Should we use government “approved” guidelines? Or actual clinical definitions? Do we trust either Republicans OR Democrats to establish guidelines? Can we trust a NON-partisan entity to provide guidance? Does such an entity actually exist? Isn’t it pretty much a fact that anyone who acts with malice AND forethought to take the life of another (or group of) human being(s), no matter what their weapon of choice might be, is most certainly suffering from mental problems?

  28. Robert Card did not have a history of serious mental illness, he had a recent spat of “mental illness” from earlier this year as I can find nothing pointing to anything other than incidents from this year.

    People also need to understand that there are directed energy and acoustic weapons that can beam voices into ones head. It has been referred to as “The Voice of God” or “The Voice of Allah”.


    Obviously not condoning indiscriminately murdering people nor actually confronting real mental illness, I just read past the headlines and try to validate actual claims made.

    • “I just read past the headlines and try to validate actual claims made“

      What, you are skeptical about the Italian space satellites changing the vote?

      What about the lasers at L7 orbit, I bet you have questions about that as well.

  29. It’s much easier than this. If you’re incompetent in Life, you get incarcerated. Free Men have a right to Arms!

  30. It is the Republicans that have blocked Universal Health Care for decades and when people cannot afford mental health care they many times only get much worse.

    It is the Republicans that have blocked drug treatment programs for decades, Pres. Reagan even closed the State Run Mental Institutions when Governor of California to save money and threw the mentally ill out onto the streets. When the Great Satan Reagan became President he gutted Jimmy Carter’s Federal money to help the mentally ill.

    When addicts get free care and free drugs do you think the dope peddlers are going to stay in business very long. European Socialist programs have helped addicts for years.

  31. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

  32. I graduated with a degree in psychology but steered to law enforcement. Better to help the public. Putting your freedoms in the hands of folks that think puberty blockers and gender reassignment for children is not my idea of good science or public policy. Just saying. Reform the mental health system and treatment parameters first.

  33. Almost every state has some type of ‘involuntary committal’ process that goes through a court with input from some psychiatric, Social Services, medical or law enforcement officials. A judge makes the committal decision and signs an order to involuntarily commit that person to a mental health facility. Red Flag laws only address denying access to firearms. As with any law, it is just words on paper. Unless the person is physically removed from society, they can always obtain a firearm for evil purposes. The rest of society still needs the means to be able to protect themselves and others from any threat, not just the mentally distressed. When being shot at by someone, it doesn’t really matter if the attacker is mentally ill, a common criminal or a terrorist — you need to be able to defend yourself from them. Laws don’t prevent crime, never have, never will. Give people the means to defend themselves as they see fit. The recent Hamas attacks in Israel show what happens when people are defenseless.

    • Excellent point on the multi-faceted nature of the threat.

      Something further to consider. What is the growth potential of each of these three: mentally ill persons; criminals; and, terrorists?

      I will argue that the violently mentally ill are a small fraction of the population and this fraction is not growing rapidly. It is unlikely to explode overnight. If-and-as it grows, there will be plenty of time to address the issue and how to limit our exposure.

      Criminals are a much larger pool. Today, they are the greater threat compared to the mentally ill. Shall we do nothing to mitigate the damages caused by criminals while concentrating on the violently mentally ill?

      Terrorists are a wild-card. So far, we have not had much damage caused by them in the US. Not compared to the other two categories. Nevertheless, we see the damage they cause in other countries. And our borders are porous. By public policy. The number of terrorist incidents could multiply by 10-fold, 100-fold or 1000-fold overnight. There is nothing in America to stop them; apart from a well-armed general public.

      If we are going to think about preparing for a contingent threat, which is more daunting? The criminally insane? Or terrorists?

  34. This is a deep rabbit hole… I believe some people shouldn’t have pets, shouldn’t have kids and shouldn’t have guns… The problem is, how do you diagnose any of those? Its all subjective…

  35. Mental issues may not always be the issue. We often do not consider people with anger issues or deep hatred issues as mentally disturbed- not clinically. But anyone and everyone has ‘issues’ mentally somehow- just most are socially acceptable. People are allowed to go ballistic ( figuratively speaking) if someone mentions Trump or comments negatively about Covid shots, masks or lockdowns. They are allowed to go crazy and tear the other side apart. They can call the other side deranged- and it is accepted. People with deep hatred, such as Hamas, I would consider mentally disturbed but that would not register on our clinical chart. There is no sure way to determine who might be a threat some day. The human mind is so complex. This is indeed a complicated issue to try to deal with. BUT I do not want someone who is biased against my views to determine if I am a threat or not. Whose judgement counts? Who sees things in an unbiased way? Everyone is biased one way or the other. Not an easy issue.

Comments are closed.