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Gun control advocates dislike the term gun control. It’s too … honest. So Mayor Bloomberg’s anti-ballistic bully boys tried to rebrand their desire for civilian disarmament, renaming it “gun safety.” While MSNBC embraced the term like Chris Christie hugging Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, the rest of the media, not so much. Gun safety sounded too much like, well, gun safety. So now we have “gun reform.” Which is equally silly. What is a reformed gun? A gun that WAS bad that’s now seen the light? A shape-shifting gun like the robot in the Terminator series? We need to reform our gun laws! No, not the ones we like. Which is, uh, all of them. In fact, we just need to add new ones, really. See the problem? So, Kenneth Cole . . .

The shoe designer (OK bags and other stuff, too) isn’t stupid. He knows that liberal political activism keeps him fresh in an industry where today’s hot shoes are tomorrow’s objects of scorn and derision. Being a liberal crusader freshens, elevates and protects Cole’s rep amongst the industry’s gatekeepers, which helps sales. #thehamptonslifestyleaintcheap. So he’s used a billboard and Twitter to proclaim his PC.

The image above ignited a Twitter war. I say image rather than billboard because the above screen shot comes from Cole’s Twitter feed, it’s clearly been photoshopped and there is no photo of the ad that supposedly “looms over Manhattan’s busy West Side Highway.” Anyway, as reports, “The American Psychiatric Association slammed the fashion designer on Thursday for a billboard that read: “Over 40M Americans suffer from mental illness. Some can access care…All can access guns.”

Cole “is correct. There are over 40 million people that suffer from mental illness,” Dr. Renee Binder, the association’s president, told NBC News about the organization’s campaign.

But, she continued, there isn’t a direct link between those who commit violent acts with firearms and have a mental illness.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has found that only 3 percent to 5 percent of violent acts are linked to individuals with serious mental illnesses. Even more alarming, Binder said, people with severe mental illnesses are more likely to be the victim of a violent crime . . .

Cole tweeted last week in response to some of the reaction from mental health advocates that the ad is “not meant to further stigmatize those suffering from mental illness … .”

Well how about that? The APA is standing up for gun owners! Kinda. Sorta. Without saying the word “gun” or “gun rights” or anything remotely firearms-related.

What’s not being said is even more interesting. The sign advocates for the elimination of all mentally ill Americans’ “access” to guns. Not “easy access.” Access. Cole’s failure to use the Bloomberg-approved term strips away the antis’ assertion that all they want to do is stop “dangerous” people from having guns. They, like Cole, want all people not to have any access to guns. Starting with the mentally ill.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 10.34.26 AM

The antis’ would scream bloody murder at my analysis. They have to. If you think swapping “gun safety” of “gun control” is a tough sell, try convincing Americans to surrender their natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. #itaintgonnahappen. So they do what they can, while we bloggers do what we can to expose their duplicity, in our pajamas and bare feet. Of course.

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  1. Use voting records. (D) is the flag of mental illness.

    The Obama Media Group has yet to pin any violence on their opposition. Last perp: black, male, gay, prostitute, member of the OMG. Victims: None of the above.

    • Religion as well. If an adult who honestly believes in an invisible friend with magical powers isn’t mentally ill, then I don’t know who is.

        • And it’ll have just as much of an effect as throwing a penny and wishing for insight into the winning lottery tickets. I hope someday you get the help you need and overcome your fear of the unknown and stop having delusions that magic exists.

        • @Publius — I hope some day that you actually take your own advice, for once, and get the help you need in overcoming your irrational bigotry. Bigotry itself, ironically enough, being rooted in fear and the delusions it spawns.

      • This, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of bigotry. Antisemitism, to be precise, and usually a feature of the gun control movement at that. Usually.

        • Right, because only Jews believe in an imaginary friend. Christians, Catholics, Muslims, etc don’t exist, right?

        • @Publius — You made a demonstrably false blanket generalization about all faithful people — Jews, Christians (which includes Catholics), Muslims, etc. included. Sorry, but you don’t get to weasel your way out of this. You’re a filthy bigot and that’s all there is to it.

        • “This, ladies and gentlemen, is a prime example of bigotry. Antisemitism, to be precise, and usually a feature of the gun control movement at that. Usually.”

          Excedrine, please point out the antisemitism to me, please?

          Does being an atheist in general make someone an antisemite?

        • @Geoff PR — Uh, he did matter-of-factly just say that everybody who’s religious — everybody, mind you, because he didn’t bother making any distinction whatsoever — is mentally ill. That’s bigotry, no matter how you slice it. Since it’s against the faithful, it’s antisemitism.

          Now, did I say that atheists are bigots in general? Did I even remotely imply it? The answer that you’re looking for to both questions is “no.” My comment was directed at him, and him alone.

          Did you even read that asshole’s comment? Or mine, for that matter? I sincerely doubt it.

      • TTAG is a site of people who enjoy being informed about firearm related issues. There is no reason to bring religion here. Please move on or come for the education and updates related to firearms. Thank-you.

      • Where’s your proof that it doesn’t exist?

        Fact is that both your point at the point of the poster you originally responded to are both association fallacies, but if you really want to play that game, atheists (Hitler, Stalin, Mao) are responsible for more deaths than any other belief.

      • @publius…..and you have your faith system of the oh-so-scientific idea that….
        (1) That something started from nothing
        (2) The world has been here forever

        Both are quite the laughers.

        • The correct answer can only be “who cares?” No one has yet explained where the invisible friend came from. Came from nothing? Always existed? Food for thought, as you brought it up.

        • @ Larry…..Really?…the answer on if there is a God or not, if you live for eternity or not, and if there is an ultimate justice is a big whoop “who cares”? That’s really deep thinking right there.

      • As someone who was voted “most intellectual” by his high-school class and then went on to earn multiple graduate degrees and teach engineering at a well-known university, I’m always both amused and disappointed by atheists who believe themselves to be mentally/intellectually superior to those of us (myself included) who do believe in God.

        Intelligent, well-informed people can “agree to disagree” on many issues, including religion — insulting people who don’t share your beliefs is almost always the sign of someone who’s trying to inflate his own intellectual self-esteem by calling everyone else “stupid”.

        • Tim, you’re so “educated”, you missed the egregious irony of your own post… experience is that people who try to qualify how intelligent they are before making a statement shows the exact same….trying to inflate your intellectual self esteem. Really too funny.

      • I thought this was TTAG, not TTAR.

        Every time you turn around, the comments on this site show how easy it is to divide the POTG. Gun owners are from every walk of life. Can you not accept people the way they are without trying to tear them down?

    • I bought a Kenneth Cole product once. It was a piece of crap and quickly fell apart. Maybe the designer was mentally ill (as defined by Mr. Cole) and incapable caring about his fellow men.

  2. Over 40MM Americans have bunions, corns and hammer toes. Some have accessed Kenneth Cole’s. All should access Dr. Scholl’s.

  3. Kenneth Cole is an object of my scorn and derision. So are all the other designer name brands. Fashion. Good grief.

    • I get all my dress clothes custom tailored anyway. Better fit, better selection, and not mass made in china or pakistan by small children for slave wages.

  4. They’re a business.Posting controversial BS puts the business name all over the internet in ways no ad agency could accomplish alone. There’d never be a paid Kenneth Cole ad on TTAG, but post a controversial anti gun message and the site will post the brand up for free.

  5. NO ST-WE need to know our enemy. Not that I’d ever buy his overpriced crap(maybe from a garage sale). Just saw the po-leece chief of Milwaukee(city) blame lax gun laws for a huge spike in crime & murder.(On FOX). Contrast with Milwaukee county(elected )sheriff Clarke who blames CRIMINALS and encourages honest folks to carry guns-oh yeah the chief is white and Clarke(as we all know) is black…

  6. 40 million Americans suffer from mental illness? Where is the proof of this ? What tests, what objective measures have been used to to determine that 12-13% of the U.S. Population is suffering from mental illness? That should be the conversation.

    • “Over 40 million suffer” that number is inflated by including those who enjoy their mental illness (invisible friends, Etc.)

    • Over 40million is most likely accurate. There’s a huge problem of mental illness in the country, and world. Pretty much everybody has some form of depression, anxiety, ADD, or something else.

      The 40million number shouldn’t be disputed. What should be disputed is whether it means something. 40million people and pretty much none of them every attempt to kill somebody. That’s what should be being pointed out is the reality of why we should be unconcerned. In fact, the vast majority of schizophrenics will never harm anybody, so trying to pick out whose dangerous and whose not by stigmatizing mental illness in gun legislation just leads to more people not getting treated, and that’s what could lead to problems whereas leaving the depressed and otherwise mentally ill to have access to guns but feeling free to get treatment has the best success.

      • I’d like to know where the number comes from. Ethics mostly, and federal law (HIPPA) place high priority on patients privacy. If patients don’t trust healthcare providers to maintain privacy, they’ll lie or avoid the healthcare system altogether. Policies vary widely and absurdly by facility. Generally reporting a bullet wound is OK, but I need to document patients permission to report a stabbing? Seriously!

  7. 40 million? I think that number maybe a tad high, but I don’t know what they consider mental illness. That would mean at Christmas when my family all gets together (20 to 30 people) at 2 or 3 of them are mentally ill. Personally I think some of them may be crazy, but not mentally ill.

    • It’s not high. That’s a conservative estimate. Pretty much everybody you know has some form of mental illness (and I’m not saying that as a joke.) But it’s a good point out that despite the fear of people with mental illness having firearms, even the vast majority of schizophrenics will never harm anybody, so what does disarming mentally ill people do other than create victims out of them? Like the APA spokesperson said, mentally ill are more likely to be victims of assault and there not more likely to attack others.

      • No, it’s overdiagnosisto inflate numbers for a bigger share of the research money pie. Feel depressed because you are stuck in a crappy job? Take this pill and join the numbers. Can’t sleep because you worry too much about bills? Take this pill. Let your kids sleep with a tv on so they develop ADHD? Give them this pill and watch their grades go up…. As a whole, our medical society would rather treat with meds than go the harder route of identifying and managing the underlying condition that caused the problem… Because that takes time the insurance companies won’t pay for.

      • Roy, can you provide some objective measures to back your opinion on the number of people who are mentally ill? Understand there are no lab tests to confirm or deny mental illness, so I’m interested what criteria you are using to form your opinion?

  8. The affordable care act is packed full of gun control after it all kicks in and the
    ‘ word magicians ‘ do their thing . Listen , the progressives will plant and have planted their seeds and the weeds are growing all over the constitution . If we don’t elect a weed killer like Cruz our days are numbered , and if we elect a progressive nationalist , like Trump , you can use one hand to count them .

    • Healthcare is being forced into EMR (Electronic Medical Records). Billing is done using alpha numeric codes, many include a code for guns. Soon the NSA will know which days we floss our teeth.

      • As a shrink once pointed out, all psych diagnoses eventually come down to somebodies opinion. The DSM manual adds great consistency, before someone takes me to task for not mentioning it.

  9. Problems is all these Dork’s have money and can buy political ads and suffer no retribution, boycott his products. and if a bad product is found inform the world, laws suits would work how about falsification of data prove he’s a liar, then sue every time he opens his mouth, i know no money, maybe tar ad feather and ride a rail LOL

  10. And then there’s the 10s of millions of Americans who wont seek help for their depression and other mental illness because they don’t want to risk being lumped in with the dangerous crowd by getting their gun rights taken away. It used to be we could say that in and of itself was crazy talk, but now that the federal government has access to health records via Obamacare/Expanded Medicaid/etc, and now that we’ve seen them attempt to use non-dangerous criteria through records from VA and Social Security benefits, it’s not a conspiracy anymore that if you try to seek help you might get your guns taken away.

    • We should have plenty of help there, such a finding (about guns) should carry over to, for example, my children getting control of my investments, since I’m so far gone, and spending me into the poorhouse just dealing with Ferrari! There will be LOTS of antis who don’t want that to happen, suspect we will be safe.

  11. What does a cow pasture have in common with Kenneth Cole shoes?

    Walk around in either and you’ll have crap on your feet.

  12. Robert,
    At times I wonder if you’d complain if gold bars were left at your home: too bright, too heavy, clashes with decor.

    NYC HQed Kenneth Cole just handed us a wonderful gift. And now we should return the favor. Send complaints to NAMI or the local chapter in your area. NAMI has been very vocal about anything they perceive as pejorative.

    Let NAMI condemn Cole and launch boycotts of stores that carry Cole’s apparel. Meanwhile, we can enjoy shooting sports.

  13. 40 million is a gross underestimation of the number of wackos among us. The number is actually over 65 million — which coincidentally is the number of votes that Obama received in the last election. Okay, that 65 million number also included people who were not insane but were merely incredibly stupid, but then again, only 58% of people actually voted.

  14. Since I wear Allen Edmonds, this probably won’t affect my buying habits, but after reading this I won’t buy KC anything, not even a wristwatch mispriced for $2.

      • I have exactly 1/10th that many.
        Kind of wish I’d gotten the (Thomas) Jefferson in all three colors when they went out of production, but I only had the $50 off offer on two of my AMEX cards this summer.

  15. The billboard is real. I drove right past it the other day heading down the West Side Highway. It’s just south of the 125 Street exit.

  16. I’m guessing if you gave all 40 million of these people their own state, their crime rate would still be lower than most dem controlled cities. There was a time when liberals were very sensitive about this issue, hell I remember when you weren’t supposed to watch horror movies because they constantly portrayed the mentally ill as homicidal maniacs with superhuman strength, etc. Now they have no trouble insinuating they are all ticking time bombs wanting to shoot up people. It’s as if they were never really concerned with their well being, and were only ever exploiting them to make their point, but what do I know?

  17. THIS is an excellent example of how we ought to be thinking carefully about how we deal with mental health in the gun debate.

    There are a few diagnosis that correlate strongly with mental illness. We have a mental-illness criteria for making individuals prohibited-persons. How narrow/broad should it be?
    – As narrow as possible to serve its explicit purpose of promoting public safety?
    – As broad as possible to serve its implicit purpose of disabling as many peaceful citizens of their 2A rights?

    It’s not good PR for PotG to stand on absolutist ground and urge 2A rights for the bat-shit crazies who are not in asylums. Yes, they ought to be in asylums, but that isn’t going happen in the foreseeable future.

    It’s not good PR for the Antis to stigmatize the vast majority of mental patients whose medical condition could prevent them from employment opportunities or acceptance in society. We ought to heighten awareness of the risk of personal medical information leaking into the public domain.

  18. Really, batshit crazy or not, you should have to be convicted in a court of law of a violent crime, before losing your firearm rights. Prior restraint just does not cut it from any perspective other than tyranny. Which means, the laws we have now are all which is needed and then some. If we were to modify them, I’d suggest that a violent criminal’s rights are restored after he has paid his debt to society, including parole, unless he has also been adjudicated batshit crazy, in which case they are gone.

  19. I have done a bit of reading on this mental health issue, doesn’t make me right or wrong, but here’s what I’ve learned. There was a peer reviewed study done in a medical journal on mental health and propensity toward violence. Sorry I don’t have link. Look it up like I did.

    Anyhow, the interesting findings were that across the board, people with mental health issues are no more likely to commit violent acts than the general population, AND if you exclude that minority of people with paticularly violence-prone psychological diagnoses, like paranoid schizophrenia‎, people with mental health issues are LESS LIKELY to commit violent acts.

    There is this pesistent predjudice that people with mental health issues are whack-jobs, but it’s generally not true. Most people with mental health issues are depressed, have anxiety, are OCD, have relationship issues, communication issues, etc. They are less likely to commit violence. Even people with anger management issues don’t necessarily escalate into violence. Sometimes they just get angry, that’s their release, and it’s over. Linking mental health and guns is just another way the gun-grabbers are “doing what it takes” to grab guns.

    On a different topic, I am noticing a disturbing trend on TTAG toward religious criticism and bigotry. I don’t thing the administrators should allow it. I think they should delete those posts. Here is my reasoning:
    1. It has nothing to do with guns and gun rights.
    2.There is no reason to assume that being in any religious denomination, or for that matter, being an atheist makes any individual less a supporter of gun rights.
    3. It is couunter-productive to promote devisiveness in the gun community over something that is irrelevant.

    • On the mental health topic, I agree. We PotG need to get our act together. None of the following tactics is wise:
      – ignoring the mental health prohibited-person criteria
      – blaming the mentally ill for gun violence and targeting patients who use SSRI pharmas;
      – declaring un-Constitutional any mental-health criteria for making one a prohibited-person (if they can’t be trusted with a gun then put them in an asylum.)

      The mental health criteria is not going to go away by ignoring it. Blaming the mentally-ill only works against us; we endorse the Anti’s position that we have to disable everyone on whatever pretext; mental illness serves the purpose. Claiming the bat-shit crazy should be put in asylums isn’t going to happen; allowing them legal access to guns makes us look crazy.

      We ought to be making common cause with advocates for the mentally ill. People shouldn’t be stigmatized for medical conditions including mental illness. Putting names in databases ostensibly for the purpose of gun-control is unnecessary and counter-productive. The mental-illness criteria ought to be carefully drawn consistent with the empirical evidence that a given diagnosis is associated with a heightened propensity for violence.

  20. 110,000,000 Americans suffer from obesity.
    Some can access care….all can access food.
    – BDub

    Seriously, whats the point? That is to say, besides ignoring the fact that less than 2% of the mentally ill are a danger to themselves or others. Further granularity is required. This presumption that the mentally ill should not have access to firearms is is caustic, and will come back to haunt and pro-gun people that subscribe to it.

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