Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gun Control for Pinheads...from Pinheads

The latest series of overtly-political, high-profile, public appearances by ex-congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her sheepish hubby Mark Kelly, throw new light on the inherent dangers involved when politicians try and hurry up to pass any new legislation to avoid a larger issue.

We should all step back and gain some perspective right now on what is being said, starting with how darkly sinister it all sounds, from a historical perspective, in the very least.

Grouping the 'mentally ill' in with felons, in current language being tossed madly about, is just one of the main problems with their faulty, hasty, public reasoning. Honestly, it's starting to sound like an ad campaign for Nazi-era eugenics.

Felons are far more likely to try and get around any of the current waiting periods to get guns anyway--they've NOT been declared insane, and so should be the target of any new, tougher laws involved in the background check process.

There's a strong argument that anybody 'insane' enough to be considered too dangerous to own a gun, should already be in a mental institutions, where they'd hopefully be separated from guns in the first place.

Which type of 'crazy' will render you unable to protect yourself as provided for in the 2nd Amendment? 

Psycho? Schizo? What about 'clinically depressed'? This makes any psychiatrist's diagnosis so very much more weighty and potentially dangerous than ever before. What happens if a shrink decides some clinically depressed soul is too 'dangerous to themselves' to own a weapon, then that person gets their head blown off, and their family murdered (and worse), the next time some 'normal' person (who may have fooled the avg. psychiatrist) kicks down their front door in a home invasion to fund their drug habit?

Too many questions are raised by the Gifford/Kelly 'team's multiplicity of recent public appearances, replete with every kind of gun-crime victim, to be normal, much less base any new law on.

Many of the gun-crime victims are also deceased, making using their stories at least questionable, not to mention that half of them would probably be against any laws resulting from use of their images to curry favor and momentum towards any new bill.

Politicians rushing to guarantee re-election are making this push by creating a rally based on some of the faultiest reasoning ever laid out in public, much of it overwhelmingly biased, bigoted, and prejudiced.

Gifford and her annoying husband Mark Kelly are openly acting as foils for the NRA and major gun lobbies, hitting the media with so many public appearances that it's likely devastating for her health, and stands only as a future platform for his political ambitions.

The language he has clearly been using in his many, many late-night talk show and other public appearances indicates they are preparing to void the rights of millions of Americans who will now face harsh federal prison sentences for trying to go out and buy a gun.

I'm not saying we should prep all psychos for the X-revolution, here.

I'm saying that there are millions of people affected by mental illness who deserve their right to own and carry a gun for self-protection, hunting, and sport protected, as any other striation of society.

As for felons...'No'. They have sincerely voided their right to own a gun long after knowing the consequences of the actions that made them convicted felons.  However, I do want to add that there are probably more 'genuine' different classes of felons than even recognized in all the lexicon of psychiatric diagnoses; so, far from being 'another topic' for 'another day', let me address that here, too (while I'm neither mentally ill nor a felon).

It's pretty easy, generally--felons convicted of violent gun crimes should certainly not be allowed permits, and many classes of felon activity normally classed differently should be grouped according to their affiliation or similarity to gun crimes, for the purpose of preventing violent criminals from accessing a gun that will enable them to either commit a crime themselves, or facilitate one.

For example, any gang-related crimes should just quickly get you a ticket into the penal system, and permanently bar you from legally owning a handgun, with the strictest consequences, should you try.  And by this, I do mean walking into the hunting section of your local Walmart and trying to buy one. In fact, if a convict is tricky enough to do this, with all the current hub-bub, he's almost definitely going to commit a violent crime if he gets a gun, so actually, an immediate background check should be available to all stores carrying guns, so he can get picked up by police in the parking lot before he tries another store. 

Now let's revisit the poor sap who got so depressed on Valentine's Day in 1978 that he tried to pull the trigger on a gun in his mouth, yet by divine intervention it jammed.

Now, definitely any psychiatrist he visited would have practiced some sort of psychotropic compassion on him, likely for years.  The resulting treatment might just be prescribed until his natural death, especially if his doctor did his job 'right'. This guy's 'treatment' is also obviously not in my scope--it's his doctor's, with an eye toward the 'poor sap's' lasting well-being, socialization, etc.

I'm not questioning anyone's psychiatric diagnosis here either, but for the sake of this argument, it would be an oversight (in the classic sense of the word) to overlook the simple fact that treating them for mental illness should not deem them unfit to protect themselves. Many people are diagnosed with severe chronic depression as young adults, and live for decades after having to begin taking anti-depressants. In fact, we are a nation heading down the road of having millions of citizens doing so, for 50 years apiece or more.

Would this early diagnosis deprive them of the right to 'bear arms'?

Again, I'm certainly not leaping into any debate on the overall validity of their psychiatric diagnosis, especially since it may have actually saved their lives, enabling them to be happy, care-free, yet responsible, productive people for their remaining years on the earth.

I am questioning whether many of them would be able to enjoy the same freedoms as other, undiagnosed, Americans, including the rights guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

Many people diagnosed with mental illness are misdiagnosed anyway (just ask their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th psychiatrists--rimshot!).  I'm not even going to tread into that mess--almost every aspect of a person's individual psychiatric diagnosis carries so much weight that there may not even be a group of psychiatrists or psychologists who could hope to quality any statements regarding their patients' obligatory right to own a firearm.  There may be some doctors who delve into the area themselves--some who may have their own diagnoses, and who also happen to be as gun-proud (and protective) as any NRA President could ever hope to be.

Many underlying issues make this whole subject difficult to even 'hit on the head': the type of diagnosis, the length of its effectiveness, the severity, and multiple issues right down to the appropriateness of the individuals physician's stance on gun control, would have to be addressed, making this whole issue one big proverbial hot mess, as the tabloids say.

This is my blog, so I'll just put it out there: we should not 'throw' the issue of the mentally ill owning guns in with the issue of felons owning guns. Instead of laying the ceremoniously scapegoating hand on the 'mentally ill', we should just focus on the problem, which is not necessarily the mentally ill, or felons in general.  Many people living under both these classifications are in places already that keep them away from guns.  The NRA is right when they say it's not necessarily guns, either.  It's a problematically difficult, complicated mess of problems; a whole complex mess of issues that need to be understood by every single one of us in the United States before we let a decision of any kind be made, make the decision, or even ignore it and blindly hope it goes away.

Current trends in increasing, often random, gun violence shows it is not going away, but here are some of my stronger points in naming scapegoating the mentally ill as an issue and a contingency in considering any changes in the current gun laws as we have them now:

Throwing the Baby into the Bathwater

The baby, here, should be considered a euphemism--until babies begin wreaking havoc in shopping malls for anything less than severe cuteness and temporal gas-related crabbiness (even then, they're still cute!)

The baby, here, is the 'mentally ill'.  'Throwing them into the bathwater' is doing what I just did in that last sentence--calling a group living, breathing human beings a potentially denigrating, socially-restrictive, vague,  chronically misunderstood, and often politically charged term that has made its way into common language as a benign way to classify misunderstood and often inexplicable behavior, placing them all literally, or euphemistically, in the same basket, for lack of an even worse term.

Most often this is done by everyone except the type of persons whose profession coined the term in the first place. It used to be called 'pop psychology' (see also 'armchair quarterback', 'back-seat driver', and, for those with a religious bent, 'hypocrite').

If your doctor speaks to your blob, you may want a 2nd opinion.
Throwing those who've experienced living under the grouping 'mentally ill' may not be very appropriate, as we can all guess by the terribly overt means undertaken by psychotropic medicine companies to 'clear up' any 'misapprehensions' in their often cartoony, subtly surreal ads.
Throwing them in with felons by naming them as part of any new law that would imprison them for trying to buy a gun for protection, might not be exactly what the doctor ordered, and I think we need to start hearing about this in Congress before we even continue allowing such political gerrymandering to continue on such a serious issue.

A felon would be far more likely to abuse any background check system than anyone previously diagnosed with anything less than a psychotic diagnosis who had already committed a violent crime.

Eugenics--the Faster, Easier, Cheaper Way...

Than thinking of a real solution, anyway.  It's worked for far too many civilizations to dismiss it, throw it into the scrap-heap, right?  I'm thinking of the wonderfully modern, autocratically utopian society built by the Nazis, mostly, but also entertained by by Soviet Russia under some 'Stalin' guy, and well..there's just a whole big list of guys mostly who enjoyed powerful political careers and what we now call 'dictatorships' by splitting their own countries based on their inhabitants' mental characteristics.

What's a dictatorship without a dictator? Worthless, that's all!

All these guys learned that nobody would listen to them (the crazies!) unless they were deemed 'unfit' to own a weapon. As a matter of fact, they all began their terroristic regimes by calling people crazy, then yes, taking away their means to protect themselves.

The potential brings whole new (and markedly darker) meaning to Neil Young's line 'We got a kindler, gentler, machine gun hand', in "Keep on Rockin' in the Free World'.

So, there's that. Get out the craniometer...Dr. Drew says your head's far too small to contain a normal brain.

Too bad Dr. Oz is already taking point that your head's too big, and likely needs some sort of brain-drain to get out all the psycho thoughts.  I'm sure they'll all just learn to get along, just like they did about apple juice.

Ass-tronaut Politics

Sadly, but fixing the space station potty may not make you the world's greatest sitting authority on any political issue, even if your wife miraculously survived the craziest public political shooting rampage in history.

God Bless 'em Both, they really try...

BUT 'Gabby Giffords' and her annoying, sheepish, suddenly-overqualified hubby Mark Kelly are not suddenly and magically capable of making any real rational, lastingly-effective, or (especially) fair comments that will make me accept them as anything more than a very interesting, and possibly even inspirational, couple...or whatever they are, since they are about as culpable a couple as Kermit and Piggy, and far less like-minded (and I am talking about her politics before the shooting incident, so you can lose the indignant attitude you just copped!)

I can't help but wonder that the bullets that tragically injured Gabrielle Gifford, rendered her incapable of expressing a coherent, capable, and objective view on this subject, on two different levels--both physically, and politically (and, in watching several of her public speeches prior to the shooting, I agree with her otherwise, politically, on at least a dozen different specific issues).

Personally, a White Supremacist could make an insanely, openly, convincing argument that Giffords herself didn't even settle in to politics until she picked her theology to be Judaism from one of her parents.  I wouldn't doubt many a good, honest, Jew has made similar comments around the Canasta table (or whatever table they prefer).  No matter who says it, and how they were 'received' in making their little 'observation', it makes a personally convincing argument (however privately) that her politics could be as goache as her principles, if she ever allowed them to be curried like she did her own religion.  In fact, she only began identifying herself as Jewish in 2001, the very same year she won her first office in Arizona.[wiki link]

I'll bet her parent was so proud.

The Doofy Timeline:
from "I'll have what SHE'S having...okay?"
... "I had her instead...seeya!"
in 'no-time'
Kelly is, at once, the best example of a supportive (yet far-too accepting) husband, and the worst example of a tag-along, droning, squib; regardless, his public comments indicate he has no business offering insights on the Constitution (or relationships).  He's pretty doofy-acting, which is pretty disconcerting considering how 'Doofy' himself turned out.

Back to the space-plumber thing, though...Kelly is doing better than Joe the Plumber has since becoming political.

Plus, Kelly really did fix the toilet in the universal Space Station, so maybe he's good at preventing a lot of crap from flying around, which could come in handy with any number of things, including political mud-slinging, when-the-shit-hits-the-fan, actual monkey-doo fights, or--who knows--maybe even a real fight?

All I know, is that when I see actual, non-CGI footage of a monkey bringing a gun to a poo fight, I'll start listening to what Mark Kelly has to say about anything, much less gun control, especially while he's okay with being 'Mr. Gabby Giffords'.

Together, Giffords and Kelly are merely a topically-current lobbying team with highly questionable authority and objectivity, if you're considering changing the document that states clearly the founding principles that have worked to make the United States the best country in the world...heck, anybody who wants to change the Constitution will have eons of weighty judgement-based criteria to weigh in on before I'd consider letting them change the Constitution.
Thank you for helping me go #2, Pretty Lady!