The Fallacy of Mental Illness and Red Flag Gun Laws
Once again American’s are dealing with the aftermath of another shooting where the shooter, David Katz, was under the influence of powerful anti-psychotic drugs. It has become the common tale across the country as all mass shooters are discovered to have been prescribed these drugs. In this case, Katz has been dealing with issues concerning his mental health since the early 1990’s, and despite being prescribed a variety of psychiatric medications, was able to legally purchase the weapons he used in the shooting. Federal law already dictates that if an individual had been adjudicated mentally deficient they are to be barred from gun ownership. Taking a psychiatric medication doesn’t mean one is adjudicated by a court of law to be a mental defect, which explains why he was able to purchase the gun. On the other hand, if you’re a veteran or a senior citizen and need a little help managing your finances, get ready to hand them over because you will be declared incompetent to handle your own affairs.
The issue of mental health is something that America needs to pay closer attention to, particularly the relationship between psychiatric care and gun rights. More and more we hear arguments about the need to deny an individual their constitutionally protected right of due process if they are known to suffer from some kind of mental illness, or have been deemed to be a “danger to themselves or others.” The Trump administration has gone on record and encouraged states to pass what are becoming known as “red flag” gun laws which enable authorities to seize guns from such people before they can commit a crime. This may have gone unnoticed by the larger Trump fan base as he had backed off several other gun control proposals which infuriated the left. This, of course, could be a dialectical process which gives Trump the appearance of being a gun rights supporter but needing to make a tough decision to do something about mass shootings and dangerous people obtaining firearms.
Sorting it out, the president’s “gun plan” consists of assisting the states in providing training for school staff in the defensive use of firearms, $50 million a year in federal grants under his proposed STOP School Violence Act, pushing for a NICS “fix” that has gotten bogged down in Congress, approving the banning of so-called bump stocks that the Department of Justice had already announced, improvements to the FBI “tip line” following the apparent failure of that service to warn of the possible threat from the Florida shooter, and a commission to come up with additional suggestions over the next 12 months. In addition, the president lent support for “red flag” laws by the states. (Adelmann, The New American)
Following Trump’s lead, states have been passing these laws, which infringe upon due process rights at an alarming rate. Ironically, the state of Florida recently passed such laws and since that time they not only dealt with the shooting in Jacksonville, they had shootings at two separate high school events as well. Luckily at one of these events, a man legally carrying was able to stop the shooting.
The larger point is that despite the misguided efforts to stop violent crime, red flag laws do nothing to stop murder and only work to disarm people inclined to follow the law.
Conservatives are too quick to jump on board the mental health bandwagon in an attempt to put the blame of mass shootings somewhere. The left blames all gun owners and indicates a willingness to disarm everyone of everything in order to solve the problem. The right, in a defensive reaction to this, is quick to go along with the mental health narrative without a real examination of what the real agenda may be. That real agenda is the use of mental health/mental illness as a tool for the eradication of the second amendment. Every time a shooting occurs, pro-gun websites are quick to publish articles highlighting the shooters mental health problems without realizing how they are serving the dialectical process. By pointing out the shooters mental health, or the fact that they have legally purchased firearms despite being barred from doing so, they are strengthening the left’s argument for gun control. In other words, the left wants us all to believe that the current laws in place don’t work, and there is a need for an honest open debate about gun reform. The left wants you to argue that the current gun laws are not effective, it serves their purpose.
When it comes to mental illness the question arises as to why the psychotropic medications that are so readily available and prescribed at an alarming rate, all come with the warnings of possible suicidal/homicidal behavior attached to them. This is where it gets disturbing. In 1967 the worlds prominent psychiatrists met in Puerto Rico to discuss the future of their profession. Their ultimate objective was the subjugation of the human mind and enslaving it to the pharmaceutical industry, for profits of course. They set out to make a plan which would ultimately mandate the use of powerful psychiatric drugs for so-called mental diseases which no one could prove existed. To this day, mental health is considered by many to be a pseudoscience as opposed to an actual medical profession. In any event, one of the psychiatrists present, Dr. Wayne O Evans is quoted as saying the following:
Given the fact that one out of six Americans is currently taking some kind of psychotropic drug you have to wonder if there is something to this. Think about it a moment. One out of every six has been diagnosed and prescribed a psychiatric medication. This could be used as the basis to push for further gun restrictions in the future, and if it is successful millions of Americans will lose their rights. Or grow up without them seeing as though many of these people are drugged in elementary school for fictitious diseases such as ADHD.
It has long been understood that in traditional medicine, a scientific process of detecting symptoms that can be attributed to biological anomalies, which cause illness, is employed. In psychiatry, there is no scientific process of detecting biological anomalies because no biological test or blood work exists to prove their existence. It is all guesswork based on subjective opinions of people who study, for the lack of a better term, human behavior. Dr. Russell Barkley of The University of Massachusetts Medical Center has all but admitted that no scientific test exists to diagnose the presence of a mental disorder. This also includes the nearly three hundred fictitious disorders used to label an individual mentally ill due to some emotional trauma we all experience from time to time, found in the DSM V.
In the book, The Myth of Mental Illness by Dr. Thomas Szasz M.D. the idea of psychiatry being a profession that is dishonest with its subjects is discussed. Szaz states the following concerning psychiatry:
No science can be better than its linguistic apparatus allows it to be. And the language of psychiatry (and psychoanalysis) is fundamentally unfaithful to its own subjects: in it, imitating medicine comes before telling the truth. (Szasz, T. S. (1974) The Myth of Mental Illness)
What Szasz is saying here can be, theoretically at least, attributed back to the 1967 meeting in Puerto Rico. The profession itself set about the work of controlling the human mind, not healing real diseases. As a result, an entire profession has been built based on the fundamental premise of wanting to appear scientific but having no scientific validity in the method in which it diagnoses diseases they desperately want to prescribe medications for. As mentioned earlier, one in six Americans are now taking these medications. The common argument today is that mental illness or depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. How is this chemical imbalance detected without any lab tests? Unfortunately, the truth is slowly revealing itself and evidence is suggesting that the use of the prescribed psychotropic drugs is actually the leading cause in rising rates of mental illness. In other words, the side affects of the drugs, which warn of suicidal or homicidal behavior, are what’s causing the chemical imbalances in the brain, not a mental illness. This is even the case with people suffering from known diseases such as schizophrenia, which is recognized around the world as a disease as opposed to many of the disorders in the DSM, incidentally.
“Prior to treatment, patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression, and other psychiatric disorders do not suffer from any known “chemical imbalance.” However, once a person is put on a psychiatric medication, which, in one manner or another, throws a wrench into the usual mechanics of a neuronal pathway, his or her brain begins to function … abnormally.”
The use of psychotropic drugs, according to Mercola.com, can actually interfere with your brains neurotransmitters which prevent your brain from performing its normal biological functions. In turn, this produces the same type of symptoms which mimic the so called mental health conditions people are prescribed drugs for in the first place. Often this can result in a patient being prescribed several psychotropic medications at once, which is often the case with mass shooters.
“After several weeks on psychoactive drugs, the brain’s compensatory efforts begin to fail, and side effects emerge that reflect the mechanism of action of the drugs. For example, the SSRIs may cause episodes of mania, because of the excess of serotonin. Antipsychotics cause side effects that resemble Parkinson’s disease, because of the depletion of dopamine (which is also depleted in Parkinson’s disease). As side effects emerge, they are often treated by other drugs, and many patients end up on a cocktail of psychoactive drugs prescribed for a cocktail of diagnoses. The episodes of mania caused by antidepressants may lead to a new diagnosis of “bipolar disorder” and treatment with a “mood stabilizer,” such as Depokote (an anticonvulsant) plus one of the newer antipsychotic drugs. And so on.
Given the information presented in this article, passing red flag laws and denying someone due process based solely on the preconceived notion of mental health is no solution to the problem of mass shootings. Examining the psychiatric profession on the other hand may be a start. Unfortunately we have reached a point in this nation where being a conservative, or a Christian is becoming viewed as a mental health issue. In the article Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition, it is argued that conservatives suffer from a form of mental illness because of their alleged rigidity to change and a willingness to tolerate inequality in order to perpetuate their own power structure. We seem to hear a lot about conservatives fear of change and the so-called institutional power of the “white supremacist” system we all cling to. Is this going to be enough to get an individual red flagged and deemed a danger to society? Time will tell, as red flag laws continue to gain momentum in states across the nation they are surely going to be abused. If this momentum isn’t stopped, innocent people will be stripped of their rights without any real proof they were ever going to commit a crime. While in the meantime, people intent on committing murder will continue to do so.
Article posted with permission from David Risselada