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Howdy, I'm currently working on an article on why mental health screenings by therapists will not prevent gun violence. whether you are for or against this I am looking for some outside input. The main argument is that those who wish to commit suicide can have help preventing those thoughts by mental health checks at gun counters and therapists offices. My main argument is that criminals will not discriminate on who they direct their violence toward and will carry out an attack if wanted, mental health issue or not. Purely checking for suicidal patients at gun counters by background checks or with docs will not help, for you can not make laws for the lawless. Any input on this issue?
 

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Suicidal people aren't the ones you see in the news going on killing sprees and mass murders, those are people with far more mental health problems. Suicidal is to kill ones self; homicidal is to kill others.
 

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Someone wants to off them self-go for it, you get no arguments out of me. Mental health; we need a starting point to start addressing this and removing guns from someone that is unstable is a place to start. Last we need to make everyone responsible for their gun(s). If you have it locked up and someone gets it no one can fault you but if it’s just in a shoe box in the closet then you are responsible
 

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My simple thoughts...The problem with mental health checks, is flawed at the core dependency. Like depending on criminals to be honest and adhere to laws, you are expecting someone with mental health problems to have clarity about their mental capacity. Example - those who rely on meds, in some stages, they are the ones who either forget to take their meds because they are really suffering, or they start feeling better (and don't think they need them any longer). These have been long standing concerns and problems with those in the jail system.

So how can you rely on a mentally unhealthy person, to know how to speak for their self (or how to answer their doctor)? It would definitely depend on the type of mental health problem. I think someone with bi polar tendencies, or split personalities, will answer you differently on different days, for example.

People who sell weapons, are like bartenders - they know nothing about you when you walk up, how are they even qualified to make a judgement in the 10 seconds you ask to see or make a purchase? I've never understood that. I've talked to many a Houston defense lawyer who's been on both sides of that debacle.

I think in short - regardless of whether they are a criminal, or have a mental health problem, if they want a weapon, they WILL get one. They might try to buy one, and can appear "normal" and will be successful. In the rare chance they are honest, they won't just stop once and say "on well", but they will try alternate means to get a weapon. We have to remember - just because they were honest with a doctor or retail Wall-World clerk, and are denied, isn't the end of their quest.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
My simple thoughts...The problem with mental health checks, is flawed at the core dependency. Like depending on criminals to be honest and adhere to laws, you are expecting someone with mental health problems to have clarity about their mental capacity. Example - those who rely on meds, in some stages, they are the ones who either forget to take their meds because they are really suffering, or they start feeling better (and don't think they need them any longer). These have been long standing concerns and problems with those in the jail system.

So how can you rely on a mentally unhealthy person, to know how to speak for their self (or how to answer their doctor)? It would definitely depend on the type of mental health problem. I think someone with bi polar tendencies, or split personalities, will answer you differently on different days, for example.

People who sell weapons, are like bartenders - they know nothing about you when you walk up, how are they even qualified to make a judgement in the 10 seconds you ask to see or make a purchase? I've never understood that. I've talked to many a Houston defense lawyer who's been on both sides of that debacle.

I think in short - regardless of whether they are a criminal, or have a mental health problem, if they want a weapon, they WILL get one. They might try to buy one, and can appear "normal" and will be successful. In the rare chance they are honest, they won't just stop once and say "on well", but they will try alternate means to get a weapon. We have to remember - just because they were honest with a doctor or retail Wall-World clerk, and are denied, isn't the end of their quest.
Agreed, however bipolar is no where near what the media or movies make it out to be. Unlike Multiple personality disorder, which personalities may change queued by something as small as a twitch, Bipolar disorder only has mood changes about 4 times A YEAR! some may seem to have other issues with the common mania that is brought on from bipolar such as a grandiose feeling of themselves, or exaggerated fantasies that seem like a reality. coupled with excessive talkatively or extreme lack of the need for sleep. None of these would I expect a gun dealer to notice in 5 minutes on chatting or a therapist to know from one setting. Even if the subject did want to harm themselves or others, the grandiose feelings may supersede those ideas at that time and return after they have been cleared.
 
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Agreed, however bipolar is no where near what the media or movies make it out to be. Unlike Multiple personality disorder, which personalities may change queued by something as small as a twitch, Bipolar disorder only has mood changes about 4 times A YEAR! some may seem to have other issues with the common mania that is brought on from bipolar such as a grandiose feeling of themselves, or exaggerated fantasies that seem like a reality. coupled with excessive talkatively or extreme lack of the need for sleep. None of these would I expect a gun dealer to notice in 5 minutes on chatting or a therapist to know from one setting. Even if the subject did want to harm themselves or others, the grandiose feelings may supersede those ideas at that time and return after they have been cleared.
Precisely.

I'll toss out this "lovely" thought too - some women, who PMS (don't let me lose you here), can be SO bad off, they can sometimes do one thing on one day, totally in sane, and then the next be perfectly normal. Those would not be caught by the mental health system...it's considered a "normal" thing believe it or not.
 

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Precisely.

I'll toss out this "lovely" thought too - some women, who PMS (don't let me lose you here), can be SO bad off, they can sometimes do one thing on one day, totally in sane, and then the next be perfectly normal. Those would not be caught by the mental health system...it's considered a "normal" thing believe it or not.
haha i will agree with that too.
 

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Precisely.

I'll toss out this "lovely" thought too - some women, who PMS (don't let me lose you here), can be SO bad off, they can sometimes do one thing on one day, totally in sane, and then the next be perfectly normal. Those would not be caught by the mental health system...it's considered a "normal" thing believe it or not.
Pfft, one day?
 

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Precisely.

I'll toss out this "lovely" thought too - some women, who PMS (don't let me lose you here), can be SO bad off, they can sometimes do one thing on one day, totally in sane, and then the next be perfectly normal. Those would not be caught by the mental health system...it's considered a "normal" thing believe it or not.
Oh, you know my ex-wife?
 

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Someone can buy a gun now while they are perfectly 'sane' and five years later they can 'snap' (after a divorce, loss of job, home foreclosure)

The 'Mental Health' background check is useless.
 

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OP: you won't be taken seriously if you say "Mental health checks won't prevent gun violence." Of course they won't. Nothing will prevent gun or any other kind of violence. The goal of any such check is to reduce gun violence by denying weapons to people with known issues as reported by a medical professional to a central database. Obviously not everyone's in favor of such a privacy intrusion, especially (and understandably) psychos. If you want to justify being against this to a critical audience you'll need more than "It won't prevent violence" because nobody thinks it will. The question is whether the trade-off of the privacy intrusion is worth the manic-depressives it might prevent from buying guns. Of course if they get denied and want to go on a spree they can always steal the guns but again that won't sell as an argument against MH checks.
 

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always a way around systems like this...homicidal folks seem to find a way...
 

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OP: you won't be taken seriously if you say "Mental health checks won't prevent gun violence." Of course they won't. Nothing will prevent gun or any other kind of violence. The goal of any such check is to reduce gun violence by denying weapons to people with known issues as reported by a medical professional to a central database. Obviously not everyone's in favor of such a privacy intrusion, especially (and understandably) psychos. If you want to justify being against this to a critical audience you'll need more than "It won't prevent violence" because nobody thinks it will. The question is whether the trade-off of the privacy intrusion is worth the manic-depressives it might prevent from buying guns. Of course if they get denied and want to go on a spree they can always steal the guns but again that won't sell as an argument against MH checks.
Well said. The word "prevent" would be a deal stopper. And as I mentioned earlier, this cycle can repeat over as many times as someone wishes.
 
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