Stuck with the “disease” theory for gun violence

President Barack Obama is having what he calls a mental health conference at the White House on Monday, June 3, 2013. This conference is part of Obama’s answer to, and plans for, gun control. Theoretical gun control as real gun control has been shelved in favor of loony control. That’s right, people don’t commit acts of violence because they’re law breakers, no, they commit acts of violence because they’re “sick”.

In Barack Obama’s book, and the National Rifle Association has supplied plenty of assistance in this endeavor, gun violence = “mental illness”, and not making the more obvious inference, people + guns = violence. I think in so doing we’re seriously avoiding the issue of facing the social malaise from which gun violence erupts.

To err, according to an old maxim, is human. I’d go even further and say that not only is to err human, but to have troubles and to find problems is human also. Creativity and the pursuit of solutions is one result of these problems. What isn’t human is mechanical. Given the current definition of “mental illness”, in other words, mental and emotional stability.

Framing the “dialogue” on “mental health”, Obama’s answer to gun violence, there is this list of 23 executive actions his administrations has come up with to combat gun violence. Problem. These 23 actions are primarily about beefing up the mental health system. Again, the unstated equation, unsubstantiated by statistics, is that “mental illness” = gun violence.

I would like to point out, because somehow the point is continually getting lost, that gun violence is a crime. People who kill innocent people break the law in so doing. People do not kill people because they are “sick”. There is not a single “mental disorder” listed in the DSM for which gun violence is mentioned as a symptom.

People labeled with “mental illnesses” are no more responsible for the gun violence in this country than were Jews responsible for the social and economic troubles faced by Germany during the third Reich.  Next question. Why are people in mental health treatment, as a group, being persecuted for the actions of a few lone individuals?

11 Responses

  1. I think that you and I will meet one day Frank.

    Come to Melbourne you big lug,

    In Melbourne tonight I met and spoke with people at a church who are so serious yet so friendly. I then went and purchased more beer and went to a bar that has fifty year old men and women as customers. These people are gorgeous.

    Two women kissed me. One women said that about two years ago she got tooken and was at the Alfred hospital as a nut bag.

    There was nothing about this woman (the one that I was speaking to just a couple of hours ago) that could warrant any kind of need for scrutiny. She said that to this day she cannot believe that there can be such a thing that a person could believe that such shit could exist in a rational universe.

    • Although I’ve got no plans for visiting Australia at present, it could always happen, and I’d love to meet you, Rod. My sister and her friend did your continent a few years back while I was stuck in the states. I’ve had dealings with a number of people from your continent, in fact, to such an extent that such a journey could be said to be long overdue. We shall see. I’ve got to twist a few arms to go places, but it’s definitely not out of the question. I’ve just got to spend a little more time twisting the right arms.

  2. OK. Maybe it could be said that the lady might have set fire to her house.

    Get real. These are cleches. One in a million stuff. IF…. IF,,,, it’s not gonna be… it’s going to be outside the realm of any kind of discussion that Freud might have had at a coffee shop.

    And yeah… guess what. All this stuff that famous historical philosophers have said is shit.

    Stand fast Frank and keep your house tidy. Put your dishes away and wipe dust off your sills and keyboard and stuff. If you don’t I might come to see you and deliver a spank.

  3. I’m not shitcanning your blog.

    I am well aware that thousands (tens, hundreds) of people were brutalized and buried.

    I don’t know how we can deal with that. People are now pretending that they are so horrified with the supposed sudden revelation of kiddy fiddling by Catholic priests.

    But that’s garbage. Everyone has always known that. It’s nothing. If I was a stupid mick (that would be the worst part) and my son or daughter said that the priest had fucked them I’d just say that he was a silly old man and we’ll stay away. You wouldn’t make a big deal of it because it would damage your kid. (You might kill the priest but you’d do it quietly)

    Swing low.

  4. Ok about guns. In Australia we don’t pack ’em. Sometimes I think that I would like to carry a non concealed handgun on my hip. And have a shotgun displayed in my car. People would know not to fuck with me.

    But even without a weapon I have such a frightening visage that people know not to fuck with me anyway. You haven’t seen my face. It’s terrifying. So the problem for me is that the pigs are envious and have cuffs and sticks and guns.

  5. Love it. Gun violence = mental illness.

    Might as well say gun violence = chemical imbalance.

    • Really, I mean there is this recent rash of gun violence in this country and, therefore, Obama is putting more money into mental health. That’s what this conference in DC just yesterday was all about. Me, I just don’t think it of necessity follows. One could ask for proof, but this is about politics, not science. Anyone who turns an automatic weapon on a crowd of people could be characterized as troubled. (Okay, for just one minute, extending over years and years, let’s try to pretend that people are troubled because they have “illnesses”, and not because they have troubles.) Is it trouble or disease that we are giving a new definition?

  6. Presumably the same thing goes for bombs.

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