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“...When the government began closing state-run hospitals in the 1980s, people with mental illness had nowhere to turn; many ended up in jail….”

This is one time where neither side is right.  Neither side is wrong, either.  Both have behave disgracefully over the years.  Because of the inability to be able to see beyond the political end of their noses, let’s be honest and point blame where it belongs – the political cowards who can’t bother to make viable solutions a priority.

Predictably, the left is crying gun control.  The far right wants more guns.  Ann Coulter has, as usual, made a fool of herself.  No one wants to face the bitter reality that, until something is done about the way we handle mental illness, these horrible displays of evil are going to continue.  All the gun control in all the world is not going to stop a mentally deranged individual from going berserk.  You could insanely arm every adult in the country, the way the far right wants it, and even more innocent people will die.

“…A look at every mass shooting by Mother Jones came to the complete opposite conclusion as Coulter. In September, Mother Jones examined every mass shooting the the United States over the past 30 years, and found that armed bystanders don’t prevent the incident, but become victims themselves, “In 2005, as a rampage unfolded inside a shopping mall in Tacoma, Washington, a civilian named Brendan McKown confronted the assailant with a licensed handgun he was carrying. The assailant pumped several bullets into McKown and wounded six people before eventually surrendering to police after a hostage standoff. (A comatose McKown eventually recovered after weeks in the hospital.) In Tyler, Texas, that same year, a civilian named Mark Wilson fired his licensed handgun at a man on a rampage at the county courthouse. Wilson—who was a firearms instructor—was shot dead by the body-armored assailant, who wielded an AK-47. (None of these cases were included in our mass shootings data set because fewer than four victims died in each.)”…”

I always thought Victoria Jackson was just another blond bimbo without a brain.  On Friday, she proved that even blond bimbos who think they are conservative can be idiots.  She said that the 20 children murdered were just like being aborted.  Bryan Fischer has proved why The Pink Flamingo has come to detest the religious right.

NPR

Mike Huckabee says that the problem is due to the fact that God has been removed from our schools.

The Pink Flamingo thinks that Protein Wisdom is the worst, though.  You might want to read the comments.  I think it will prove why the far right is beyond control.

Protein Wisdom

No one wants to face reality.  Evil exists.  Do I think many of these young people are evil?  No, I don’t.  I think there are times when their parents turn the situation into something evil.  Then there are times when their parents are crying, begging for help, and the system just isn’t working.

“...When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”

I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.

With state-run treatment centers and hospitals shuttered, prison is now the last resort for the mentally ill—Rikers Island, the LA County Jail, and Cook County Jail in Illinois housed the nation’s largest treatment centers in 2011

 No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.”

I agree that something must be done. It’s time for a meaningful, nation-wide conversation about mental health. That’s the only way our nation can ever truly heal….”

NPR

“...I have posted the relevant Supreme Court rulings that have created the mental health mess described in this article. It’s the Supreme Court that’s at fault. The rest of the actions that followed were a direct result of the Court’s ruling. Every State followed suit, not just California. While others may have their own political reasons to endorse the Court’s ruling, the Court laid the legal ground work where only the “dangerous” mentally ill could be institutionalized or forced to take treatment. Getting the mentally incompetent to seek treatment and follow the prescribed therapy is not easy, as many of the posts show.

Wikipedia: “1978    Rennie v. Klein    CIVIL-an involuntarily committed, legally competent patient who refused medication had a right to professional medical review of the treating psychiatrist’s decision. The Court left the decision-making process to medical professionals.”…”

NPR

The solution is not just in stricter gun control laws.  It is not about not having gun control.  It is about the political world recognizing the fact that mental illness exists.  Prison reform is needed.  The real reason the country has evolved into this dangerous situation where the mentally ill can go in and murder at will is due to the fact that, back in the mid-1970s, Jimmy Carter fell for the liberal scam that mental institutions were all evil and needed to be closed.

Instead of fixing the horrible conditions that still existed in many state run institutions, they were closed.  Those who were a danger to themselves and society had little recourse.  The homeless problem was born.  Those who needed to be institutionalized ended up being incarcerated – and still are.

Ronald Reagan made it worse as his administration began cutting budgets.  Instead of putting money back into the system, to make needed modernization improvements, the system was gutted.  Over the years, the GOP has worsened the situation by cutting even more from these budgets.

More gun control won’t solve this problem.  More money put into and recreating a system where those who are in need, receive the help they need.  You can’t solve this with libertarian posturing.  It can’t be solved by hand wringing that guns need to be banned.  It is only solved by society – by the American voter – deciding it is far cheaper to recreate a system of humane and kind mental institutions where those who are a danger to themselves and the rest us, get the help they  need.

In other words, it ain’t gonna happen.  More innocent lives will be lost because the libertarian end of the GOP thinks that you can throw a self-help book at these people and they will be fine.  The Dems think that draconian gun laws will do the trick. They won’t.  A sick person who is determined to kill and destroy will find a way.

 

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  • unknown jane

    !!!! Great post!!!

    And ultimately a very sad one — much as I don’t care for the idea of this sort of thing happening again, I do not want to see the mentally ill (or the incorrectly labelled mentally handicapped or autistic) treated like animals (or worse); that is a travesty to humanity…and I’m afraid it is something others, who will not blame their perfect selves, will do. A most unChristian and inhumane thing, moreso than it is already.

  • unknown jane

    …and I’m still questioning whether the son was the truly “crazy” one in the family!
    Sounds like his parents did indeed very much let him down.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    Got that right.

    SJR

  • unknown jane

    Have you checked out what “McCain” and “Ace” are posting? aka. want to raise your blood pressure?

    I’m not saying the man didn’t have a condition that made the ability to judge reality and right/wrong difficult to almost impossible (I think it could be argued that he very much did), but from what I know of autistic and autistic spectrum people, this guy was put in about the worst situation possible for him to keep his mental health. And his mom and dad seemed to care more about their pretty how-town lives and selves than they did their own son (or the lives of others)..yet, because they lived in pretty how-town, nobody stopped to wonder if what they were doing was right (or sane) and nobody will now…oh no, lock the nutsos up! Because we beautiful, special people can’t possibly be responsible for any of this, oh no…
    And of course that goes for the left with their “ban all guns!”…no kiddies, how about laying off the “I’m ok, you’re ok” and realizing that some people are definitely not ok and in need of some help? And guns are not what kills people; people kill people (and they’ll use something other than guns or just use a gun illegally if they are really set on it)…which then leads me to the death rate of poor (Black and Hispanic/Latino primarily) people in Chicago as the result of illegal guns (or non-gun weapons of death) — how many? Why do they never get any media? There’s more of them usually than in a mass shooting, do their deaths not mean as much? (yeah, I’m taking the Joker argument here, because it’s true…we have these problems because we’re jerks I think).

  • jose maria

    Let me ask a question. Is it really any worse killing 26 people on a rampage than it is to kill someone 26 days in a row? If the death toll in New Orleans was added up for 26 days, it would probably be more than just 26 people dead. While Connecticut mourned there was another violent, bloody weekend in New Orleans. Sunday night two people died in a triple shooting. Someone shot and killed a cab driver, said to be a very good man. Five people were killed on Sunday alone. Early this morning gunfire took the life of an 18 year old boy and another was injured during a robbery. Killings like this usually occur during robberies to obtain drugs. In the meantime, during an annual gun show this weekend in New Orleans, the sale of guns was greater than ever, particularly the AR-15 assault rifle like Adam Lanza used. People say they feel the need to protect themselves. Some people feel that there should be stricter sentences for gun crimes and that prosecutors and judges are failing the city. Others think there should be stricter gun control. I don’t know what the solution should be, but right now the criminals out gun everybody.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    We all know we can’t upset the gun lobby by suggesting that there be some sort of moderation when it comes to guns. I’m beginning to think that the gun sales problem is the far right still having a temper tantrum about Obama being elected.

    SJR

  • jose maria

    I really don’t understand why people need all those assault weapons. When the 2nd Amendment was framed the founding fathers said individuals had the right to arm themselves, but they didn’t say they had the right to own a cannon.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    They’re for hunting Bambi.

    SJR

  • unknown jane

    I’m actually one of those “gun nuts” — what can I say? I was raised in a household of hunters and military people who liked shooting, I like shooting, my husband likes shooting…and we’re good at too!
    A gun really is merely a tool; it’s no more responsible for killing than a hammer is for nailing a board or a spoon is for scooping up ice cream (and on the flip side, the conceal carry people and I have had big arguments about the very simple truth that a gun isn’t responsible for your safety either: it’s a tool, it doesn’t save anymore than it kills…the person does that).
    That said, while my dream is to own a Ma Deuce (and I don’t know, take it out of the 4th and shoot something with it — like a log — just because…kewl!) for my own personal arsenal my husband and I don’t need that many guns or huge amounts of ammo, nor do we even go to a shooting range to practice — we have firearms for hunting, because we hunt a lot of the meat we eat, that they would also stop a home invader is a plus…do we think that running around like Deputy Dawg/John Wayne is going to work? bwahahahahhaha! If they’re lucky they won’t get anyone else killed but themselves 9 times out of 10.

    But, most of the weapons that are responsible for the homicides in Chicago and EStL are from illegal firearms anyway — and the criminals are always going to have access to them; in fact, their firepower is usually topping the cops (which is one of the sad reasons for our police force to be getting paramilitary stuff).

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    An old boyfriend gave me a shotgun to go after a stalker I had. Finally, one night, I’d had enough, called the cops, then went outside and shot into the ground. It was cold. You could hear it go off like a canon. I heard him climb the metal fence across the road about the same times the sheriff’s patrol arrived. They took after him. Couldn’t catch him. Thought it was hilarious that I finally went after the jerk. So did the entire neighborhood after I woke them up around 2AM firing the gun.

    Mexico has some of the strictest gun control laws around. Only the criminals have guns. That’s far too extreme. I think most people need at least a shotgun. I don’t even not mind hand-guns, if people know how to use them.

    It’s the extreme on both sides that lose all perspective.

    I want a tank, or a howitzer.

    SJR

  • unknown jane

    Sorry, had to pull out laundry…anyway, there’s a pretty sizeable market out there of stuff that a person can get if they want it: you just have to have connections and money (and not care about following the law). It isn’t just gangsters either — wealthy folks who just have to have it can get whatever they want too, and they do. I don’t see a new gun restrictions stopping that — if anything, it’ll just drive that market higher and bigger.

    And people like me and my family will be the ones who pay the price: my husband’s hunting shotgun is a semi-auto…a really fired up liberal lawmaker, with a fired up base behind them and a cause celebre (plus a wilful disdain of the facts concerning firearms) could put my husband’s shotgun on “the list”…and then that cuts into my family’s deer hunting ability, which does provide 1) about 80 – 200 lbs. of meat per year for us — a significant savings; 2)deerskin products — the slippers are awesome by the way; 3) the bones are great dog treats and garden fertilizer. So we’re getting a lot off of just the deer we pull in. Factor in the turkey, pheasant, squirrel, rabbit, and quail and all the stuff they provide, and it’s not insignificant (and as you can see we don’t trophy hunt, nor do we overhunt — we want the wildlife near, thriving, and abundant!).

    It’s the irresponsible, babies in grown up bodies that are ruining it for everybody else, and I’m pretty sure it will be the grown ups that have to pay the wages of their sins…same as it always is. And yes, they are on both sides of the aisle, and yes there really is no difference between what happened at Sandy Hook and the everyday shooting fatalities…about the only thing that’s going to change that though is a change in how we, as individuals, confront reality…and we are doing a very poor job of that.


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