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Should PTSD Exclude Gun Ownership?

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#21 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:20 AM

^ Yes, it did come out wrong.

I understand what you are saying about mistreatment, but you have to realize that your first description of obedient soldiers as "Brain-dead" and "brainwashed" was horribly insulting, no matter what else you say.

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Edited by Sci-Fi Girl, 19 January 2013 - 10:20 AM.

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#22 gsmonks

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 10:57 AM

View PostSci-Fi Girl, on 19 January 2013 - 10:20 AM, said:

^ Yes, it did come out wrong.

I understand what you are saying about mistreatment, but you have to realize that your first description of obedient soldiers as "Brain-dead" and "brainwashed" was horribly insulting, no matter what else you say.

SFG

"Brainwashed" is accurate. Soldiers are immersed in propaganda. Free thinkers they ain't.

"Brain-dead" is also accurate. "Sir, yes, Sir!" and other such utterances are the purview of indoctrinated sheep.

If it wasn't for indoctinated sheep there would be no wars. The way to STOP wars, in fact, is to demand full disclosure from leaders, and to take absolute power over soldiers out of their slimy little paws.

Anyone who demanded from me that I kiss his arse and say, "Sir! Yes, Sir!" would get a bayonette through his ugly face. I have zero tolerance for arrogant slugs.

Military "leaders" are not true authority figures. They do what they do best only when the rules of civilised society are cast aside so that a few behind-the-scenes snakes can have their way. Unfortunately, this is a truth people only discover long after they've been soldiers.
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#23 Mary Rose

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

It's pointless to argue with him IMO.  He obviously will never see why what he said is an insult.

Edited by Mary Rose, 19 January 2013 - 11:06 AM.

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#24 gsmonks

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:55 AM

View PostMary Rose, on 19 January 2013 - 11:05 AM, said:

It's pointless to argue with him IMO.  He obviously will never see why what he said is an insult.

I'm very much aware it was an insult, and the insult was intended towards the military.

It's a case of tit for tat. The modern military in Canada, the US and Europe is an insult to any thinking person's intelligence. I respond in kind, but to the lack of intelligence. For that I am unrepentant.
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#25 Sci-Fi Girl

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 12:22 PM

View PostMary Rose, on 19 January 2013 - 11:05 AM, said:

It's pointless to argue with him IMO.  He obviously will never see why what he said is an insult.

Yeah, I know I can't change his mind.  I'm only posting in support of a friend.

SFG
"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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#26 Lin731

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 01:18 PM

GSmonks, when you use terms like "dupes, braindead, brainwashed" it is insulting an offensive. It's easy to be critical of those who take the risks to defend your right to insult them. The whole "yes sir, no sir" you cite as being brainwashed, most of the rest of us call being dedicated and disciplined. No military can be effective without discipline, hense the lack of "free thinkers"  in the military aka...those with philosphies they beleive but don't really have to do anything to support in a concrete way. In a time of trouble, be it war or natural disaster etc...I will take the "dupes and brainwashed" because they actually know how to DO things, useful, lifesaving things.Free thinkers have their place in the world to be sure but so do people (average people) willing to sacrifice their lives for their fellow citizens. In a crisis I'll take Joe Average soldier over Bill Gates. You can be brillant and innovative but also inept and useless when it comes to securing your own wellbing or that of others. The world needs both kinds of people. I tend to be a more creative type myself, my husband is not, he's very practical and linear thinker but we work well together. Why? I think up things that would never occur to him and he has the practical abilities to make them happen.
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#27 FarscapeOne

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 02:29 PM

View PostLin731, on 19 January 2013 - 01:18 PM, said:

GSmonks, when you use terms like "dupes, braindead, brainwashed" it is insulting an offensive. It's easy to be critical of those who take the risks to defend your right to insult them. The whole "yes sir, no sir" you cite as being brainwashed, most of the rest of us call being dedicated and disciplined. No military can be effective without discipline, hense the lack of "free thinkers"  in the military aka...those with philosphies they beleive but don't really have to do anything to support in a concrete way. In a time of trouble, be it war or natural disaster etc...I will take the "dupes and brainwashed" because they actually know how to DO things, useful, lifesaving things.Free thinkers have their place in the world to be sure but so do people (average people) willing to sacrifice their lives for their fellow citizens. In a crisis I'll take Joe Average soldier over Bill Gates. You can be brillant and innovative but also inept and useless when it comes to securing your own wellbing or that of others. The world needs both kinds of people. I tend to be a more creative type myself, my husband is not, he's very practical and linear thinker but we work well together. Why? I think up things that would never occur to him and he has the practical abilities to make them happen.

Ditto.

I would also add that soldiers are the bravest of our nation because they VOLUNTEER to put themselves in the line of fire to protect us and our rights.  No one orders them to go become a soldier.  They do it as a calling and a sense of duty they feel to the nation and their citizens.  That takes a sense of honor and courage that a great many people do not have nor are capable of understanding.

#28 Elara

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 09:38 PM

View Postgsmonks, on 19 January 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

"Brainwashed" is accurate. Soldiers are immersed in propaganda. Free thinkers they ain't.

"Brain-dead" is also accurate. "Sir, yes, Sir!" and other such utterances are the purview of indoctrinated sheep.

No, neither is accurate. In a battle situation, everyone needs to work together. To achieve this, soldiers are trained how to work together, and part of that is to say: "Yes, sir". If they don't work together, they are dead, period.
You can say all you want that you are not insulting the soldiers, but your words here say otherwise. You call them "braindead" simply because they know the importance of following command. It is their lives and the lives of those they protect, so don't insult these brave people by calling them "braindead".
"brainwashed", really? Why? In any job, you may think what you want of the manager, but you do what they say, and publicly, to maintain respect, you back them up, even if you disagree. This is what a soldier does, this doesn't mean they are "brainwashed", it means that they show respect and they keep the necessary chain of command in place.

View Postgsmonks, on 19 January 2013 - 10:57 AM, said:

Anyone who demanded from me that I kiss his arse and say, "Sir! Yes, Sir!" would get a bayonette through his ugly face. I have zero tolerance for arrogant slugs.

And, as I said above, with that attitude, you would be dead, or your fellow soldiers would die trying to protect you, or because you didn't listen, you would cause the death of innocents.
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#29 gsmonks

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:25 AM

Following orders is a steaming load of bollocks. Following orders is what gets people killed.

I could give you so many examples of this that if I wanted to, I could fill up hundreds of pages with examples.

Instead, I'll just give you one short example- The Battle Of The Bulge:

Eisenhower was in charge on the allied side. The problem with Eisenhower (besides his incompetence) was his blind hatred of Germans and his absolute disregard for the lives of the men under his command.

Though Patton should have been strung up and eviscerated for his part in the Bonus March back in the 30's, unfortunately he was still alive by the time WWII rolled around. One of his actual intelligent ideas was to cut the bulge of the German push off like a bag and trap the German armies inside. It would have saved tens of thousands of lives, on both sides.

But Eisenhower, blinded by his hatred of Germans, and being an arrogant *a$$h*le, decided to push the Germans back, on a united front.

His own soldiers were soon burnt out, but he ordered them thrown back into the fight, again and again, until most of the front-line men were dead. When the allies finally did push the Germans back to their point of origin, they were in terrible shape, having suffered horrible losses, UNNECESSARILY, and all because soldiers were acting like mindless robots instead of taking Eisenhower out and blowing his ignorant head off.

I'll give you a second example: a good many of the most successful armies have been makeshift affairs. No marching, no "Sir! Yes Sir!", no uniforms, none of that blinkered nonsense. Just good strategies, good tactics, and individuals acting and thinking on their feet. Unlike standing armies, such organisations tend to have fewer casualties, little or no respect for authority, and tend to consist of grown men, not kids. Groups like this kicked the Soviets out of Afghanistan.

As I said before, military authority is not real authority. Military authority is undemocratic b.s. that serves behind-the-scenes snakes and gets people needlessly killed.

Read about WWI and how it got under way before you start talking to me about military discipline. Military discipline CAUSED this:

http://www.spartacus...k/FWWdeaths.htm

All because a stupid generation of people, mostly young men, caught "war fever" and thought going to war was going to be a lark.

Around 108,000,000 young men thought that way. 108,000,000 people can't possibly be wrong, right? 108,000,000 all believing in military discipline and going off to war and following orders and chirping "Sir! Yes, Sir!" in their best, "Boy, am I a good lad!" voices.

We can't ask them if they were right or wrong, because every single last one of that 108,000,000 are pushing up poppies.

Funny thing about NOT following orders and respecting authority, though. There were several mutinies during WWI, most notably the French and Americans, and some Germans towards the end. Most of THOSE soldiers came back alive.

Odd thing, that.

Edited by gsmonks, 20 January 2013 - 07:26 AM.

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#30 JMJ49

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:25 AM

I think to simplify the issue of PTSD and gun ownership does an injustice to hundreds of thousands of veterans and having government agencies report those who seek help might turn out to me counter productive.

I will tell my story: when I got back from Vietnam I was an angry and disillusioned 19 year old. I spent 10 months in the hospital recovering from wounds. I was retired out of the USMC at the age of 20. I immediately purchased guns, couldn't imagine myself without protection. Not knowing it at the time I was suffering from severe PTSD. I was treated for insomnia, high blood pressure, anger issues, etc. i met a girl at college who would become my wife. She suggested that I get rid of my guns, actually it was "the guns go or I go". I did. I went on to get 2 college degrees and teach school. Issues with sleep, panic attacks, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts etc plagued me throughout my life. I did well as a teacher but was unable to establish personal relationships with other adults. I was in and out of treatment for depression and anxiety and "adjustment disorder". It wasn't until 15 years ago that I was referred to the VA and was diagnosed with severe PTSD. I started treatment: groups therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, recreational therapy and many others i vaguely remember. My lack of sleep was still a major problem, and it is uncertain whether that was caused by the PTSD or the traumatic Brain injury. Emergency room visits became more frequent for episodes of extreme high blood pressure. Sometime they were designated "panic attacks" they always happened at night, usually when I finally fell asleep. I was urged to retire early from my teaching job. Within weeks I enrolled in a VOLUNTARY 90 day PTSD program (2005). It helped tremendously. I was sent before a Comp and Pension Board (I was already receiving 80% disability for physical injuries) I was awarded 100% PTSD. I have continued to see the psychiatrist occasionally and take meds to help sleep. I have never been violent, never arrested for anything and have been a very productive member of society. I moved to Florida 7 years ago and went back to shooting, hunting and collecting military rifles. I own an AR 15 among other weapons, I have a concealed carry weapon and permit. I no longer have any thoughts of hurting myself or others. I am a model citizen in every way.

it would be outrageous for the government to mine medical data and determine that my PTSD is cause for confiscation of my guns and rifles. It would be an incredible abuse of power and prove that all the predictions of the right were correct.

I would suggest a number of ways to cut down gun deaths. Serious classes for gun owners emphasizing skills in care, handling, securing  weapons as well as lawful use and responsibility. I would also suggest recurrent training and updating.

I would suggest that there be severe penalties for those who allow their weapons to get into the hands of others that use them in crime.

People need to secure their weapons.

People who accidentally discharge their weapon should suffer severe repercussions, there is not excuse for unsafe handling of a firearm. Likewise for people who allow guns to get into the hands of children.

People who are shown to pose a danger to others should not be allowed to own guns, this may include some people with PTSD or depression , but certainly not all.

When I was given my rating from the VA they specifically said I was able to handle my own money. So competency has not been an issue for me.

It would be a serious injustice to deny me ownership of firearms and to many thousands like me. We served and protected, we paid with our blood and we have never been a threat to society except in the eyes of brainless spouters of anti gun venom. It would be a much greter threat to society if those in need of help did not seek it for fear that their rights would be restricted.

#31 Nonny

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 11:52 AM

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#32 gsmonks

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

View PostJMJ49, on 20 January 2013 - 11:25 AM, said:

I think to simplify the issue of PTSD and gun ownership does an injustice to hundreds of thousands of veterans and having government agencies report those who seek help might turn out to me counter productive.

I will tell my story: when I got back from Vietnam I was an angry and disillusioned 19 year old. I spent 10 months in the hospital recovering from wounds. I was retired out of the USMC at the age of 20. I immediately purchased guns, couldn't imagine myself without protection. Not knowing it at the time I was suffering from severe PTSD. I was treated for insomnia, high blood pressure, anger issues, etc. i met a girl at college who would become my wife. She suggested that I get rid of my guns, actually it was "the guns go or I go". I did. I went on to get 2 college degrees and teach school. Issues with sleep, panic attacks, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts etc plagued me throughout my life. I did well as a teacher but was unable to establish personal relationships with other adults. I was in and out of treatment for depression and anxiety and "adjustment disorder". It wasn't until 15 years ago that I was referred to the VA and was diagnosed with severe PTSD. I started treatment: groups therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, recreational therapy and many others i vaguely remember. My lack of sleep was still a major problem, and it is uncertain whether that was caused by the PTSD or the traumatic Brain injury. Emergency room visits became more frequent for episodes of extreme high blood pressure. Sometime they were designated "panic attacks" they always happened at night, usually when I finally fell asleep. I was urged to retire early from my teaching job. Within weeks I enrolled in a VOLUNTARY 90 day PTSD program (2005). It helped tremendously. I was sent before a Comp and Pension Board (I was already receiving 80% disability for physical injuries) I was awarded 100% PTSD. I have continued to see the psychiatrist occasionally and take meds to help sleep. I have never been violent, never arrested for anything and have been a very productive member of society. I moved to Florida 7 years ago and went back to shooting, hunting and collecting military rifles. I own an AR 15 among other weapons, I have a concealed carry weapon and permit. I no longer have any thoughts of hurting myself or others. I am a model citizen in every way.

it would be outrageous for the government to mine medical data and determine that my PTSD is cause for confiscation of my guns and rifles. It would be an incredible abuse of power and prove that all the predictions of the right were correct.

I would suggest a number of ways to cut down gun deaths. Serious classes for gun owners emphasizing skills in care, handling, securing  weapons as well as lawful use and responsibility. I would also suggest recurrent training and updating.

I would suggest that there be severe penalties for those who allow their weapons to get into the hands of others that use them in crime.

People need to secure their weapons.

People who accidentally discharge their weapon should suffer severe repercussions, there is not excuse for unsafe handling of a firearm. Likewise for people who allow guns to get into the hands of children.

People who are shown to pose a danger to others should not be allowed to own guns, this may include some people with PTSD or depression , but certainly not all.

When I was given my rating from the VA they specifically said I was able to handle my own money. So competency has not been an issue for me.

It would be a serious injustice to deny me ownership of firearms and to many thousands like me. We served and protected, we paid with our blood and we have never been a threat to society except in the eyes of brainless spouters of anti gun venom. It would be a much greter threat to society if those in need of help did not seek it for fear that their rights would be restricted.

Excellent post- thanks so much for sharing!

The thing of it is, this is a highly complex subject that gets deep into people's lives and experiences, and can't be sorted by surface issues and appearances.

It's not as simple a thing as people in the military not being properly cared for. It's bigger than that- a LOT bigger.

Earlier in this thread, for example, when I inadvertantly trod on some people's feelings and was accused of "not getting it", I do know where they're coming from, but the problem is that they're focused on the surface issues and not the greater systemic social problems. For my part, I don't give a rat's arse about the surface stuff, because it doesn't mean anything when it comes right down to it.

But getting right down to it, getting to the core of what really matters, getting at what's broken here, is a HUGE freaking problem.

To elaborate:

When I refer to things that are wrong with our respective militaries and with how veterans are commonly (mis)treated, I'm addressing a few markers that are indicators of a deep and serious social failing.

Our schools lie at the core of what's wrong with modern society. Their greatest failing is that they don't teach anyone squat about their own lives and the world they live in, at least not in any meaningful way.

For example, for the simplest, most practical of reasons, every kid living in a city should be able to look at a city map and have a good knowledge of everything in it. Here's the heavy industry, here's where this and that are made, here are the sewer lines and how they operate, here are the bus lines and the cab companies, and these are the people they move about. Here are the office towers, and this is a breakdown of what the people in them do. Here's where the rich people live, here's where the poor people live, here are the soup kitchens and the CEO's offices, the people that enforce the laws and the people that break them. Here are the art galleries, the restaurants, the libraries and the electronics stores. This is where you live, these are the jobs that are available, this is the place you must learn to fit in as an adult.

Beyond that, again, for reasons of simple practicality, kids should be taught how to organise and act during a disaster, how to help people at an accident scene, how to buy groceries, how to budget themselves. They should be taught how to scrutinise business and political ads and campaigns for lies and deception, for truthfulness and disinformation.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Yes, this much is old news, that a lot of what kids learn in school isn't practical, BUT- the problem goes deeper than that. MUCH deeper.

There are failings in the workings of our society that cover our oldest institutions. A few examples are: judges should go to judge school and should NOT be appointed or elected; doctors should NOT be able to keep their doings out of the public eye; the way our militaries work is dysfunctional and has need the good ol' boys network turfed out for a very long time (this is also true of many police forces); or prison system needs getting rid of- not only is it extremely dysfunctional, but the ideas and principles it's build upon are a steaming load of bollocks; the permits and bylaws system is crooked, through and through, and needs reform . . .

In short, our whole entire modern society is mired in a Mediaeval gutter, and as a people we've allowed ourselves to be lulled into a state of complacent inaction. There is no reason, in this day and age, for Feudal-style corporations and organisations to exist. There is no reason, in this day and age, why Democracy should exist only on the surface, but not also apply to our institutions, from schools, colleges and universties, to police forces and the military, from the utilities we pay our bills to what are supposed to be social services.

A good many areas of modern society are a steaming load of bollocks because they've been politicised. Politicians should have no right to meddle with things that are none of their goddamned business, but because many of these things are deemed "hot button" issues, politicians love to stick their filthy nebs into them in order to gain browny points. Some of these areas are: the penal system, abortion, the death penalty, stem cell research, the military, budget scrutiny and reform, crime and punishment, social health, criminalisation and addictions, and the hits just keep on coming.

There should have been mechanisms put in place a good long while ago to kick the living crap out of red tape. Taking a good, long, hard look at such situations is revealing, to say the least, in terms of who put it there and why. Care for soldiers is only one part of a larger picture. This is a systemic problem that also includes emergency responders, civilians affected by industry, individuals going up against corporations and various levels of government . . . by now you can see a pattern emerging.

And so it goes.
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#33 gsmonks

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:31 PM

Further, things that end up getting politicised get derailed over and over and over again by politicians, to the point that it's impossible to bring reform and/or meaningful progress.

Getting back to schools: the greatest failing of our school system is that it doesn't teach social functionality and awareness, nor how to function in a meaningful manner or get along in life. Schools should teach about the military, the post office, about telecommunications and politics, about everything that goes into a society, and it should do so impartially and without any hint of indoctrination. In short- schools should be turning out self-sufficient human beings.

The language itself is an excellent parallel, as strange as that sounds. Our vocabularies are made up of outdated notions and ideas, and it's extremely difficult, even for highly educated people, to slough off the detritus and deal only with new and relevant ideas. Few people are aware of it, but it take decades, centuries, even, to get rid of outdated ideas and junk information.

People still blather on about carrots being good for eyesight, for example. Doctors, being people, are just as bad as everyone else for regurgitating this clunker. Thing is, it's not true- was never true for that matter. The carrot thing was a bit of WWII propaganda aimed at the Germans.

The point being that if people are blind towards the language itself, then small wonder they're blind towards the workings of modern society and its many, many failings.
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#34 Cait

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

View Postgsmonks, on 20 January 2013 - 07:25 AM, said:

Following orders is a steaming load of bollocks. Following orders is what gets people killed.
  
And you are misleading in your statements.  People die in war, you cannot ever prove to anyone's satisfaction that following an order is the cause of these deaths?  You can't prove it because war is all about death.  It has nothing to do with order being followed or refused.  In fact, once in a battle, following an order can save your life.  But, over all, that's not the point anyway.  The point of war is to kill an enemy before he kills you.  War is about death.  There is no causal relationship between death and following orders.  And much as you would like it to be so, there is no evidence that refusing to fight, refusing to follow an order did NOT result in deaths.

See you talk as if all things are equal.  As if there would not be any aggressors without soldiers to follow orders, but that isn't true.  Historically it isn't true.  Historically, you will always find true believers that choose to do battle--orders or no.  It's the nature of being a human being to be aggressive   Some are more aggressive than others.  This is the cause of war, and war is the cause of death.  Following orders has nothing to do with it, and to suggest it does is naive and misleading.

And once an aggressor advances, defense of home and family is not an indoctrinated  POV--it is instinctive.  The military does indoctrinate, but the indoctrination takes the form of the best way to defeat an aggressor that threatens home and family.  

Regardless of how many men and civilians die in a military campaign, can you state with certainty [and examples] that a military unit, indoctrinated to follow orders, is the worst solution for maintaining security?

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#35 JMJ49

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 02:35 PM

To Tree Psychiatrist:
Your comments are insightful and I think, spot on. I taught school for 30 years after leaving the Corps and find them to be a disgrace in so many ways. There are of course good teachers, even great ones, and I am sure there are good schools. As a whole our schools are a failure. The big question is are our schools a failure because of society or is our society failing because of our schools? Probably a lot more complex than this.

As to other comments about war: some are true, some are bs. Every warrior experiences war in different ways. Another complex issue. I have stormed enemy positions, I have defended friendly positions, I have had chronic diarrhea, and been covered with insect bites, leeches, and crabs. i have drank water from bomb craters filled with oil and napalm residue. I have chewed on grass when water wasn't available, I have humped hills with 50-80 pounds of gear on by back praying a sniper would put a bullet in my head and put me out of my misery. I have survived ambushes and bobby traps. I have watched my fellow marines get blown to pieces and carried living and dead bodies back to base camp. When I was hit multiple times on a hill near the DMZ on June 18, 1968. I lay there crying, seeing my life pass in front of me, when the corpsman came I pleaded over and over again that I "wanted to go home". War is a horrible thing, beyond description. When my son was sent to Iraq I lived in 10 months of anguish and terror.

Following orders is also a complex issue: under good leadership it can save you, under bad leadership it can kill you. Marines and soldiers sometimes decide what orders to follow and which to ignore.

Keep in mine when you join a fighting force such as the USMC, you need to except that death is a real possibility. For me as an 18 year old trying to escape a two bedroom apartment with 8 kids in the Bronx, it seemed like it was a good choice at the time.

#36 Elara

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

JMJ49, very glad you got help. Not all of the Vietnam vets did, or even sought out help, my ex included.


gsmonks,
Not following orders resulted in my uncle's death in The Battle of the Bulge. He gave his life to save the life of one of his men. So, I won't discuss that, but it does say why the chain of command is important.
As JMJ49 said, not following orders can save you, following orders can kill you, it depends on the command over you, it's not as simple as you seem to think.

I don't disagree with everything you say, I just find calling soldiers "braindead" and "brainwashed" to be insulting of many good, brave people. If you have issue with the military, then insult that, but you can't call the soldiers "braindead" and "brainwashed" and tell us you aren't insulting them, because you are.

Lin,
In my opinion, I don't think PTSD should automatically say a person can't own a gun. As with any emotional/mental condition, it is something that should be checked, but honestly? Far too many mental conditions crop up at any point, for any reason, and far too many people that witness it, either say nothing, or are ignored.
If we are going to put mental health restrictions on gun ownership, then in my opinion, it should be a yearly exam for everyone.

I know some people talk about gun owners that are properly trained in gun ownership, which is definitely a good thing, but even those people can have a mental issue that can pop up at any time. The difference between them and someone that doesn't have all that training is, they are going to be deadlier with the gun.

Edited by Elara, 20 January 2013 - 03:13 PM.

El
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#37 Mark

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 07:18 PM

Mark: I'm not so much worried about the vets, who've been trained in the use and safe handling of firearms. Those people have tons of experience with firearms. What is much more alarming to me are the tens-of-thousands of people who have no experience at all with firearms, except to have purchased one or more for whatever reason.
I also would caution anybody here from lumping an entire minority (like the vets with PTSD, or people with mental health issues) into an entire "You cannot own a gun" group. Each individual should receive consideration for gun ownership based on their individual track records.

Edited by Mark, 21 January 2013 - 02:06 AM.

Mark
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#38 JMJ49

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Posted 20 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

Mark, I agree. I am an advocate for serious training and recurrent training in all aspects of firearms, including, but not limited to: gun safety, gun storage, gun cleaning, gun firing under various conditions, gun responsibility, and knowledge of laws, rights and responsibilities. I am also in favor of severe penalties for people who violate the laws regarding guns. I spent many days teaching my wife and daughter in law what I knew about shooting and practiced shooting hundreds of rounds at the range, I taught them how to clear a jam and how to clean and store their weapon. I then hired a certified instructor to cover anything I may have missed and to reenforce what I taught them. Before they got there carry permit they fired over a thousand rounds of ammo and spent a good 20 hours of classroom training. this beats the hell out of a 5 hour course and firing 6 rounds at the range, which are the current Florida requirements.

My wife and daughter in law are both teachers, my wife at the local college and my daughter in law at an elementary school. They are not allowed to carry on campus, I would argue these are exactly the people you want to carry on campus.

#39 Rhea

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:24 AM

View PostJMJ49, on 20 January 2013 - 11:25 AM, said:

I think to simplify the issue of PTSD and gun ownership does an injustice to hundreds of thousands of veterans and having government agencies report those who seek help might turn out to me counter productive.

I will tell my story: when I got back from Vietnam I was an angry and disillusioned 19 year old. I spent 10 months in the hospital recovering from wounds. I was retired out of the USMC at the age of 20. I immediately purchased guns, couldn't imagine myself without protection. Not knowing it at the time I was suffering from severe PTSD. I was treated for insomnia, high blood pressure, anger issues, etc. i met a girl at college who would become my wife. She suggested that I get rid of my guns, actually it was "the guns go or I go". I did. I went on to get 2 college degrees and teach school. Issues with sleep, panic attacks, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts etc plagued me throughout my life. I did well as a teacher but was unable to establish personal relationships with other adults. I was in and out of treatment for depression and anxiety and "adjustment disorder". It wasn't until 15 years ago that I was referred to the VA and was diagnosed with severe PTSD. I started treatment: groups therapy, individual therapy, art therapy, recreational therapy and many others i vaguely remember. My lack of sleep was still a major problem, and it is uncertain whether that was caused by the PTSD or the traumatic Brain injury. Emergency room visits became more frequent for episodes of extreme high blood pressure. Sometime they were designated "panic attacks" they always happened at night, usually when I finally fell asleep. I was urged to retire early from my teaching job. Within weeks I enrolled in a VOLUNTARY 90 day PTSD program (2005). It helped tremendously. I was sent before a Comp and Pension Board (I was already receiving 80% disability for physical injuries) I was awarded 100% PTSD. I have continued to see the psychiatrist occasionally and take meds to help sleep. I have never been violent, never arrested for anything and have been a very productive member of society. I moved to Florida 7 years ago and went back to shooting, hunting and collecting military rifles. I own an AR 15 among other weapons, I have a concealed carry weapon and permit. I no longer have any thoughts of hurting myself or others. I am a model citizen in every way.

it would be outrageous for the government to mine medical data and determine that my PTSD is cause for confiscation of my guns and rifles. It would be an incredible abuse of power and prove that all the predictions of the right were correct.

I would suggest a number of ways to cut down gun deaths. Serious classes for gun owners emphasizing skills in care, handling, securing  weapons as well as lawful use and responsibility. I would also suggest recurrent training and updating.

I would suggest that there be severe penalties for those who allow their weapons to get into the hands of others that use them in crime.

People need to secure their weapons.

People who accidentally discharge their weapon should suffer severe repercussions, there is not excuse for unsafe handling of a firearm. Likewise for people who allow guns to get into the hands of children.

People who are shown to pose a danger to others should not be allowed to own guns, this may include some people with PTSD or depression , but certainly not all.

When I was given my rating from the VA they specifically said I was able to handle my own money. So competency has not been an issue for me.

It would be a serious injustice to deny me ownership of firearms and to many thousands like me. We served and protected, we paid with our blood and we have never been a threat to society except in the eyes of brainless spouters of anti gun venom. It would be a much greter threat to society if those in need of help did not seek it for fear that their rights would be restricted.

I'm sure that you must have known more than one vet who ate his gun. I know I did.

I don't think I'd want to hand someone with severe PTSD a gun - not because I think they'd go crazy and shoot others. We both know better than that. Those incidents were almost nil after the VietNam war, TV to the contrary. But I wouldn't want someone with truly serious PTSD to have a gun. Yes, they might still commit suicide, but it might be just that little bit harder to do it if there were no gun conveniently lying around.

I lost too many friends in the VietNam war to want to lose a single other friend that way. It may or may not be easier for the kids who served in the Gulf War and the Iraq war, simply because they haven't been spit on or reviled for serving their country. I doubt it's any easier, any more than it was for the WWI and WWII vets, except that they had a concrete enemy to fight against, and lines drawn between good and evil that made sense to the country. Viet Nam was the exception (Korea just sort of disappeared).

Otherwise, I agree with you about what should happen with regard to gun owners.

Edited by Rhea, 21 January 2013 - 12:27 AM.

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#40 JMJ49

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

Rhea,
I personally know no one who has killed themselves with a gun. Among Vietnam Nam veterans, within 5 years of combat the suicide rate was 1.7 that of the rest of the population. After the 5 years period it drops to less than the rest of the population. I understand your point but my personal experience with Vietnam Nam veterans is they chose other ways to kill themselves. These include severe alcoholism, drug use, failure to wear seatbelts, failure to control their high blood pressure and diabetes. Many others die of cancers associated with agent orange. I read that only 1/3 of combat veterans from the VN war are left. That's scary.

By the way, probably 90 % of those who claim to be combat vets or Vietnam vets are phonies. Many states are complicit in this duplicity by issuing Vietnam Vet License plates to anyone with a dd214 that shows they were in any branch of the armed services during the war. They could have been on embassy duty in Rome or peeling potatoes in Germany and they call themselves VN vets. I'd say that this makes by blood boil, but someone would then suggest my guns be taken away. So I will simply says that this displeases me considerably.



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