Sunday, January 16, 2011


Nearly every newspaper, TV newscast and Internet site has asked why someone with the strange behavioral history of Jared Lee Loughner was not removed from society or given appropriate psychiatric treatment before he committed the terrible shootings in Arizona.

A journalist would be able to discover the answer to that question rather easily and quickly.

Unfortunately, instead of journalists, we have the likes of Paul Krugman and Katie Couric commenting and "reporting" the news.

The fact is, it is not easy to remove mentally ill or social deviants from society.

And who is it who has made it difficult to do so?

Liberal/progressives, that's who.

Under their "leadership," the law in the country as a whole requires that the mentally ill person needs to first cooperate with law enforcement, the courts, and the hospitals before any record of his illness ever becomes documented.

The ACLU was instrumental in making certain that such laws are in existence.

It was their lawsuit in California that forced then Governor Ronald Reagan to sign the 1966 Lanterman Petris Short Act, on behalf of patients who were being involuntarily hospitalized.

Lanterman Petris has been duplicated in at least 44 other states.

No one seemed to recognize the potential unintended consequences of that act. They just seemed to think it was the answer to the antiquated state of mental institutions in California and other states.

Recent history is replete with examples of the law gone awry.

Even in a state with "stringent" laws about the treatment of such people, it is difficult to do anything about them until after they commit some horrific act.

According to the Arlington, VA based non-profit Treatment Advocacy Center:

Arizona rules apply to someone who needs treatment but is unable to seek it voluntarily.

Arizona mental health laws outline what steps must be followed and what standards must be met before someone can be ordered into treatment in the hospital or in the community.

Arizona is one of 44 states that allow court-ordered treatment in the community, often called “assisted outpatient treatment” or “outpatient commitment.”

Arizona is also among half of the states whose treatment standard is based on a person’s “need for treatment” and not just on the person’s likelihood of being dangerous to self or others.

Mr. Loughner was not deemed to be even close to that point yet.

So while Arizona had only submitted 4,465 mental illness cases for gun disqualification to the federal government in almost three years, Mr. Loughner was never documented as being mentally ill by authorities yet anyway, despite suspicions from college classmates and officials.

In the wake of the Arizona shootings, isn't it time to revisit what we do with societal deviants?


Xavier Onassis said...

I think the 2nd Amendment needs to be revisited. We've added and removed amendments before, time to do it again.

There are currently 90 firearms for every man woman and child in this country. That's more than any other country in the world except Yemen. I think that is more than sufficient. Time to shut off the tap.

Clearly, guns and ammo are WAY too easy to get.

I think you should have to prove that you have an actual, legitimate need to own a gun. Hunting doesn't count. You can buy meat at the store. DENIED!

You should have to prove that you have gone through firearm training and been screened to ensure you are stable enough, intelligent enough and mature enough to own something that can kill people.

Finally, I think a clerk should be allowed to refuse to sell someone a gun just on the grounds of "your eyes look kinda funny and I'm gettin' a wierd vide from you. DENIED!"

We removed Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons."

It's time to remove the part of the Constitution that allows paranoid schizophrenics and redneck, macho, bullies with self esteem issues to buy guns.

Susannah said...

Very interesting, Joe.

It was the Community Mental Health Act of 1969 (?) that de-institutionalized the severely-persistently mentally ill. The law was designed to release that population back into their communities (the least restrictive environment), to be cared for in --then new-- Community Mental Health Centers. And it was good idea on its face.

See, I'm a Licensed Prof. Counselor, & spent several years practicing in CMHC's. The trouble came when - across the years - less & less treatment was being done, & more & more paper pushed. Also, the nature of that population is to be treatment averse, so getting a lot of these folks to comply w/ meds., etc. is the largest hurdle... It's a very complex issue, & certainly not as simple as "removing" someone who is acting strangely (otherwise, I'd advocate for 'removing' Katie Couric in a heartbeat!).

All in all -- very complex issue, & all the finger pointing in the media is just a flaccid attempt to politicize. It's really pathetic, & serves only to obscure the problems that society (& the SPMI population) faces.

If the SPMI's are not being served adequately, & their needs/society's needs are being compromised under the current CMHC system -- which is now pointedly clear -- you're right it's time to "re-think" how we as a society are handling this problem...

tha malcontent said...

teh, teh Joe, don't you know that it's not nice to tell the truth about progressives!
People just don't like it when I tell the truth, they call me all kinds of dirty names...

Fredd said...

Joe, both you and Susannah have captured the truth about allowing crazy nuts to run amok in our population, whereas in days gone by, nuts were locked up in the looney bin.

Yes, calling people crazy and nuts is not a popular way of putting things these days (political correctness and all), but it used to be accurate.

Now we as a society can no longer judge whether someone is nuts without first getting his or her permission. That in itself is nuts.

It is much like arresting criminals such as rapists, murderers, kidnappers, arsonists and other miscreants without first gaining their permission to arrest them. Of course they are 'arrest adverse,' much like Susannah has noted that nutty people are treatment adverse.

A nut doesn't know that they are nuts.

The ACLU found one 'sane' guy years ago who got locked up in the nuthouse by mistake, and decided to take up the cause to deny locking ANYBODY up, regardless of how crazy they were unless an act of Congress certified their looniness.

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

The liberals answer is to shut down talk radio and FOX.
Then we can all come together as a country providing we all agree with BHO,hold hands and sing kumbya because they are the party of tolerance and we should all walk in lock step with their views instead of disagreeing and being hateful.
This way when they decide they to target people like Sarah Palin we should all sign on and go along with it because after all she is nothing but a dumb, uneducated quitter.
And if you don't believe me just visit any liberal blog. They'll set us straight on intelligence.

Susannah said...

Hi Joe, Just posted a terrific bit w/ Charles Krauthammer. He addresses exactly the question you raise here (& more). Though you might be interested.