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Should PTSD Exclude Gun Ownership?

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#1 Lin731

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 02:09 PM

I was watching Washington Journal this morning and they were discussing gun control issues surrounding the Presidents proposals. A gentleman from Ark. called in on the Rupublican line and said he was a hunter,  a vet with PTSD, that he owned guns, had anger issues and had on ocassion contemplated suicide. he went on to say that he probably shouldn't own guns at all given those issues and that he was contemplating turning them in. You could hear the strain in his voice as talked about all this, about being afraid his outbursts of temper could do harm to his family or to himself.

So I'm asking, should gun ownership be out of the question for PTSD suffers? I ask because the suicide rate among our troops is very high right now and many will be coming home soon to the same broken, understaffed, underfunded mental health services we have suffered with forever and it makes me wonder. IF they weren't allowed to purchase weapons if they were diagnosed with PTSD, would that detour them from seeking help? Should mental status be cut and dried for certain mental issues?
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#2 Nonny

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 05:02 PM

With my family history of veteran suicide, PTSD, and a personal distaste for firearms, I do not own guns, but I would hesitate to make PTSD a hard and fast rule to bar gun ownership to another veteran.  I hope my brother veteran does turn his guns in and find at least some measure of the peace he seeks.
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#3 Nikcara

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 06:00 PM

While I think that something like PSTD should be taken into consideration when trying to determine if someone should legally be allowed guns, I don't think it should be a sole determining factor.  It would depend on a number of issues including severity, likelihood of violent outbursts, and suicide risk.  I also think that if we implement something like this that there should be a way off the list eventually if the symptoms disappear sufficiently - sometimes people with PTSD do get better.

I think instead of saying "we shouldn't let people with X diagnosis own guns" we should have some sort of comprehensive mental health system and try to de-stigmatize mental health issues.  People who do have problems should be able to be seen regularly by professionals and have their illnesses managed the same way a patient with diabetes or any other chronic syndrome would have their health managed.  That way people who are acutely ill could have access to weapons revoked and possibly decrease the risk of them hurting themselves/someone else, but once a disorder is managed and the person is no longer a risk they could have access reinstated.  Some people would never be safe to have weapons - there are some people that PTSD (or depression, schizophrenia, or whatever) just has too strong a hold over.  They should still be getting help, which is where our country often flounders.
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#4 Nonny

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:13 PM

View PostNikcara, on 17 January 2013 - 06:00 PM, said:

I think instead of saying "we shouldn't let people with X diagnosis own guns" we should have some sort of comprehensive mental health system and try to de-stigmatize mental health issues.  People who do have problems should be able to be seen regularly by professionals and have their illnesses managed the same way a patient with diabetes or any other chronic syndrome would have their health managed.

I can hope.
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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#5 Lin731

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

I totally agree on the need to destigmatize mental illness as well as the need for MUCH better mental health services for the entire population but for Vets in particular but we aren't anywhere near there yet. So with the sub-par system we currently have in place, what can be done to ensure people's rights (not cookie cutter things too much) without endangering the general public? I ask because the gentleman on the phone was near tears when talking about his anger and PTSD and freely admitted he shouldn't have weapons...and yet he still had them, still hadn't turned them in. My concern is we DON'T have a system in place that comes anywhere close to being able to "case by case" people trying to get a firearms license and we have so many vets coming home with mental issues that may get no treatment, inadequate treatment etc...So what can we do?
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#6 Nonny

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 07:40 PM

Before we can do anything, we need to deal with this:

http://www.dailykos....inst-it-in-2008
GOP BSers who say fixing mental health system will cut gun violence voted against it in 2008


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Many elected Republicans don't want any new restrictions on guns. They say preventing gun violence would be better achieved by fixing the mental health system. Which would be a respectable if arguable stance if they really meant it. But, like the National Rifle Association saying existing gun-control laws should be enforced rather than passing new ones, there's a little disconnect. The NRA has fought budgeting and administrative rules that would allow for robust enforcement. Many Republicans saying fix the mental health system voted against doing just that five years ago:
Josh Israel writes:


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Accessing mental health services in the United States is harder than accessing a gun. In 2008, Congress took a step toward addressing that issue by passing the long-delayed Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act, which required most health insurance plans to start treating mental health services in the same way they treat all other medical care. The bill included exemptions for small businesses and those who opted not to cover mental health coverage at all, but House Republicans still overwhelmingly opposed the effort, 145 to 47.
Now, several of those opponents are criticizing President Obama, who co-sponsored the Wellstone Act, for not doing enough to address mental health in his gun violence proposals—even though several of the executive orders in the package do just that.

Why would I even try to be surprised anymore?   :sarcasm:
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"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

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Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#7 Rhea

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 08:32 PM

I would say it depends on the severity of the PTSD, but that would be hard to determine, so I'll say no, they shouldn't own guns.
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#8 gsmonks

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 09:44 PM

Yes.
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#9 BklnScott

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 10:26 PM

Aren't there a ton of active duty service members diagnosed with PTSD?

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#10 Lin731

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 08:53 AM

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Aren't there a ton of active duty service members diagnosed with PTSD?

There are Scott, how many of them have actually been diagnosed, is a number I don't have but I'm sure there are many more who haven't sought help and in some cases don't realise they need help.

I'm quite certain the extremely high level of suicides in the military is directly a result of PTSD (diagnosed and not diagnosed). I'd also wager the servicemen going on trial for murdering villagers in Afghanistan would also fall under the heading of mental disorders (PTSD or some other mental issue). I think PTSD sufferers are more of a danger to themselves than others more often than not but at the end of the day, should people who are inclined to suicidal tendencies be able to get a gun license whether they are a danger to themselves or others?
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#11 SparkyCola

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

^ Personally I think the answer to that question should be, No. If someone really really wants to kill themselves then of course they will, one way or another. But that is not an excuse to assist them. Jmho - If I had a friend or relative who was suicidal I'd be very angry with someone putting a gun in their hand. And from the point of view of the people giving out the guns, it's unforgivably irresponsible.

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#12 gsmonks

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:17 AM

My opinion of military suicide rates in the US is that they're due to disillusionment caused by waking up one day and realising they've been played for suckers, allowing themselves to be conned into doing evil on behalf of the bigwig US warmongers.

Brain-dead barkings such as "Sir! Yes, Sir!" and "I'm an American and I did my bit!" eventually and inevitably give way to introspection as these brainwashed teenagers grow up and try to make sense of their ruined lives and the horrible, senseless things they've done. Those that don't have the equipment for introspection and sorting things out tend to wig out and go postal, as their broken emotional wherewithall seeks expression in the only language they know- extreme violence.

Bang, bang.
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#13 Nonny

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 12:03 PM

Dammit I just accidently gave a karma to the most undeserved post I ever accidently gave one to, and I did it moments after I accidently gave one to someone I didn't mean to give it to, but on a second reading, don't mind that I did.  But it really gripes me that because I wasn't paying attention when I tried to multiquote, I look like a big dumb jerk for karmaing somebody who just insulted me on a deeply deeply personal level.  I'm going to cut and paste this and try to add the multiquotes.

Would somebody please give me an undeserved karma to square things with the universe?   :p

View PostRhea, on 17 January 2013 - 08:32 PM, said:

I would say it depends on the severity of the PTSD, but that would be hard to determine, so I'll say no, they shouldn't own guns.

That would exclude hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of veterans who, in spite of our diagnoses, are not a danger to ourselves or others.  And the backlash would be huge.

View PostBklnScott, on 17 January 2013 - 10:26 PM, said:

Aren't there a ton of active duty service members diagnosed with PTSD?

Tons of active duty, tons of reserve, and tons and tons and tons of veterans.

View PostLin731, on 18 January 2013 - 08:53 AM, said:

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Aren't there a ton of active duty service members diagnosed with PTSD?

There are Scott, how many of them have actually been diagnosed, is a number I don't have but I'm sure there are many more who haven't sought help and in some cases don't realise they need help.

I'm quite certain the extremely high level of suicides in the military is directly a result of PTSD (diagnosed and not diagnosed). I'd also wager the servicemen going on trial for murdering villagers in Afghanistan would also fall under the heading of mental disorders (PTSD or some other mental issue). I think PTSD sufferers are more of a danger to themselves than others more often than not but at the end of the day, should people who are inclined to suicidal tendencies be able to get a gun license whether they are a danger to themselves or others?

I found your post to be thoughtful, and on second reading, must admit that it's my suicidal thoughts that keep me gunfree, so, yeah, your question is a good one.  I seldom go over the line to urges, I but have chosen not to take the chance, but then, I know that, no matter what, I have made a commitment to myself (and, though I haven't burdened them with this, my family) to not end my own life.

View Postgsmonks, on 18 January 2013 - 10:17 AM, said:

My opinion of military suicide rates in the US is that they're due to disillusionment caused by waking up one day and realising they've been played for suckers, allowing themselves to be conned into doing evil on behalf of the bigwig US warmongers.

Brain-dead barkings such as "Sir! Yes, Sir!" and "I'm an American and I did my bit!" eventually and inevitably give way to introspection as these brainwashed teenagers grow up and try to make sense of their ruined lives and the horrible, senseless things they've done. Those that don't have the equipment for introspection and sorting things out tend to wig out and go postal, as their broken emotional wherewithall seeks expression in the only language they know- extreme violence.

Bang, bang.

Guidelines prohibit.
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The once and future Nonny

"Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank, give a man a bank and he can rob the world." Can anyone tell me who I am quoting?  I found this with no attribution.

Fatal miscarriages are forever.

Stupid is stupid, this I believe. And ignorance is the worst kind of stupid, since ignorance is a choice.  Suzanne Brockmann

All things must be examined, debated, investigated without exception and without regard for anyone's feelings. Diderot

#14 gsmonks

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

Nonny, Vietnam's soldiers were dupes. Iraq's soldiers were dupes. Afghanistan's soldiers were dupes. In each case they were sent there under false pretenses. Successions of US leaders draped themselves in the flag and used the US military as a prop, then discarded them the instant they were no longer useful

That's why the military recruits kids. It's the same reason restaurants hire kids instead of adults. They can pay kids minimum wage, treat them like garbage, withhold benefits, do pretty much whatever they want to them.

By the time those kids grow up, they're usually out of the military, and impotent in terms of taking the military to task or holding them to account.

BTW- I gave you a Karma point to even things out a bit.

Edited by gsmonks, 18 January 2013 - 01:22 PM.

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#15 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

:hugs: :hugs: ((((((((((((Nonny))))))))))))  :hugs: :hugs:

SFG
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#16 BklnScott

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 03:02 PM

Karma points for everyone!!

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#17 Lin731

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

Nonny, I'm glad you understood my intentions behind my thoughts. My brother served as did my dad back in Korea and honestly I worry more for the vets welfare than the general populations. Until the day my dad passed away he still had nightmares about Korea and for his entire life he struggled with depression, anger and alcoholism and on several occassions things could have gone badly very fast. He owned weapons and honestly he probably shouldn't have.  That gentleman's call and my own family experience (which until now I didn't realise was part of the equation) led me to start this thread. Just know I have nothing but respect and concern in asking these questions.

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Nonny, Vietnam's soldiers were dupes. Iraq's soldiers were dupes. Afghanistan's soldiers were dupes. In each case they were sent there under false pretenses. Successions of US leaders draped themselves in the flag and used the US military as a prop, then discarded them the instant they were no longer useful

While I can agree that the government owes our soldiers far better than they've recieved I don't agree with the assesment that they are dupes. Nam was a draft situation, Afghanistan was IMO a justifiable war. Iraq I didn't support but soldiers don't get to decide where they will fight and where they won't. Our government has let them down on many occassions but the desire to serve and protect your country is an honorable calling, shame those making the decisions often aren't as honorable as those doing the fighting and dying.
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#18 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 05:09 PM

Well said Lin.  

Gsmonks, while in many ways soldiers and vets have been treated badly by government, to blame the soldiers for that is just wrong, literally adding insult to injury.  And whatever gripes you may have with the government, or it's decisions about wars etc., insulting soldiers because of that is not only misplaced blame, but just adds more harm to a bad situation.

SFG

Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 18 January 2013 - 05:10 PM.

"A song is like a picture of a bird in flight; the bird was moving before the picture was taken, and no doubt continued after."   - Pete Seeger

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#19 offworlder

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

erm, I dont see the blaming the troops; the dupes comment was about the leaders taking advantage of the troops; so I dont see the insult; I dont want to say 'badly' in the whole leaders and gov treating the troops, just some ignorance or negligence, plus some economics too; I never saw figures but just what is th e cost of lifetime medical and mental health for all whole or partly disabled vets? it may be that the leaders think or realize that if the cost is not done efficiently then it is not afforded or affordable? has any country adequately provisioned lifetime medical and mental for partly and whole disabled troops of all ranks for multi generations? I bet the USA gives more for that than does any country, cept maybe the possibility of UK; but really, how many of returning wounded vets in 1919 got more medical than maybe two years for surgery and pharma? how many of the so many thousands in UK , CAN, and USA got lifetime medical and mental? and if Soviets gave that, how many truely got adequate, or quality level of it, or just rudementary and gradually lowering til they just faded away and leaders could forget them? how many in USA, wounded returned vets of all ranks and ages, got lifetime medical and mental from 1945 on through decades? it is a trouble issue, and though a famous general or colonel probably got the quality treatment for so many years, did the 20 year old who lives for the next sixty years get the same? but no I dont see anyone blaming the troops, and calling them dupes is not a blame, it means they were victims.
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#20 gsmonks

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:41 AM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 18 January 2013 - 05:09 PM, said:

Well said Lin.  

Gsmonks, while in many ways soldiers and vets have been treated badly by government, to blame the soldiers for that is just wrong, literally adding insult to injury.  And whatever gripes you may have with the government, or it's decisions about wars etc., insulting soldiers because of that is not only misplaced blame, but just adds more harm to a bad situation.

SFG

H'm . . . must've come out wrong.

I wasn't blaming the soldiers, SFG. I was saying that they're USED and used badly, and the WAY they get used is that they're young. They're kids, still at the age when they would otherwise be living at home, and as such they're ripe for being used by authority figures.

We have a HUGE problem here in Canada, the US as well, and Britiain as far as I know, where soldiers are given crappy pensions and are not properly taken care of.

And it's been going on for generations. North Vancouver, when I was a kid, had a number of Neighbourhood Houses, which were barracks-like buildings housing WWI vets. The way WWI vets were treated, in Canada, the US and in Europe, was downright criminal. In fact, three incompetent, disgusting worms who crapped on WWI vets in an absolutely criminal manner were Patton, MacArthur and Eisenhower in 1932 during the Bonus March.

The three of them, Patton, Eisenhower and MacArthur, should have been strung up for their part in it.

For his part, Eisenhower was an incompetent, evil-minded dolt whose treatment of his own soldiers during the Battle of the Bulge was a war crime. Soldiers who were burnt out and not fit for duty were thrown back into the battle until they were killed. They were given huge doses of sodium pentathol and were given a hatchet-job session of brainwashing, and sent, doped up, messed up and disoriented, back into the meat-grinder, most often to be killed.

This is kids we're talking about. This is what was done to people's kids.

It seems that the moment we pin a label on people, they become expendable numbers. The moment a person goes from being Joe Green to "a soldier", their value as a person, as a living being, has been extinguished. This is something in itself that goes to the heart of the matter, that has to change.
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