Saturday, February 5, 2011

Updated: Monster on My Head: Part I... Gun Control, Mental Illness, Discrimination and the 2nd Amendment

Monster on My Head
Photo by NS

A lot of issues are on my mind tonight --- but I'm going to address them one by one:

Monster on My Head:  Part I of a Series

I am going to start by addressing NY City Mayor Bloomberg's [correction made] recommendations regarding gun control ["Bloomberg’s gun control suggestion for Obama  The Empire";]; because although I think some of what he has to say is valid and important --- I also believe that stricter laws and the application of same should be applied only to those with a history of committing crimes of violence. 

To include those diagnosed with mental illness would be to include a very large segment of the population - the majority of whom are probably in no way a threat to themselves or others.  To include those diagnosed with mental illness - a group of people [inclusive of many of our military veterans and the victims of violent crimes...] that are already unjustly stigmatized and ignored (in regard to thier social, economic and health care needs) would (in my opinion) be discriminatory and (potentially) in violation of the "2nd Amendment" of the "U.S. Constitution" ["The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation"; Fall River Press; 2002; p. 63] 

Why do I believe this?

"The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America..."
[National Institute of Mental Health]

"Mental Disorders in America..."

"Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.1 When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18 and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people.2 Even though mental disorders are widespread in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion — about 6 percent, or 1 in 17 — who suffer from a serious mental illness.1 In addition, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada.3 Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for 2 or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity.1..."

"1. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27"

"2. U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics. Table 2: Annual Estimates of the Population by Selected Age Groups and Sex for the United States: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2004 (NC-EST2004-02) Source: Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau Release Date: June 9, 2005. " [Added]

"3. The World Health Organization. The global burden of disease: 2004 update, Table A2: Burden of disease in DALYs by cause, sex and income group in WHO regions, estimates for 2004. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO, 2008. ] [Added]

Primary Source:  "NIMH · The Numbers Count Mental Disorders in America";

In addition, when it comes to the possibility of denying the rights of gun ownership to "drug addicts" - where, exactly, would one draw "that" line?  Street drugs / illegal drugs (and addiction to same) are one issue.  The increasing abuse of prescribed drugs (ditto) is another issue.  Alcohol (very potent and addictive for some) is also a drug.  The marijuana and nicotine debates (in some form or another) are ongoing.  And, what about the number of folks on anti-depressants, etc. [feel free to look up these stats yourself...]:   Would they [remember, norms and laws are constantly evolving...] potentially be considered "addicts" too?

Bottom line:  If we were to deny gun ownership to those "labeled" mentally ill [How many folks have suffered at least one bout of severe depression?] and drug addicts [In my opinion the main pushers are not on the streets...] - how many folks - with the "right to bear arms" - would be left? 


Also disturbing, but for different reasons [How many times must I (in one way or another...) ask: 

Whatever happened to the "1st Amendment" to the "U.S. Constitution"?????  ["The Constitution of the United States with the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation"; Fall River Press; 2002; p. 63]

As apparently...

NY City Governor Andrew Cuomo [whom I happen to like, on most topics, a great deal...]  "supports the CC [Christian Coalition] survey question on right to bear arms" --- which does not tell me what my neighbors think about the issue --- what non-lobbyists ["We the People" - as individuals...] think about the issue --- etc.

"Andrew Cuomo on Gun Control":

From a link provided in the above document:

[1] "The Christian Coalition voter guide [is] one of the most powerful tools Christians have ever had to impact our society during elections. This simple tool has helped educate tens of millions of citizens across this nation as to where candidates for public office stand on key faith and family issues...

[2]   "The CC survey summarizes candidate stances on the following topic: "Further restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms..." ["Public Notes on 10-CC-q1": ]


All of that said [and I am not necessarily opposed to the Christian Coalitions stance on gun control (I'm not even clear on what that stance is...)]; I simply do not want them speaking for me or (overtly or covertly) "buying" political influence. 

The NRA is a non-sectarian group (as far as I know) that already holds clout (and is more representative of the population as a whole) in that area.


I will leave you with the following video:

["State of MiND:  Mental Health "; as submitted to You Tube by MinDTV;]

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