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Can Doctors Determine Who Should Be Allowed to Carry a Concealed Gun?

The criteria are about as well defined as the doctor's task in assessing the prisoner's readiness for execution.

by
Theodore Dalrymple

Bio

April 27, 2013 - 7:00 am
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The authors draw attention to the fact that since 2005 more than 150 people in Michigan with licenses to carry concealed weapons have committed suicide and in a five-year period in North Carolina 2,400 permit holders were convicted of crimes, including 900 drunk driving offenses and more than 200 felonies. This is supposed to demonstrate that doctors have no particular skill in assessing the competence of their patients to carry concealed weapons, which may well be the case (I rather suspect that it is), but these raw figures prove nothing very much. As is all too often the way, they provide numerators which shock but no denominators which soothe or reassure. Nor is there any standard of comparison: it might be, for example (though I rather doubt it), that people with licenses in Michigan are less likely to commit suicide than an equivalent number of people of similar demographic characteristics without licenses. The connection between gun licenses and suicide might not be a causative one; and even if it were, it would still need to be shown that the type of people who have a concealed gun license and commit suicide are more likely to commit crimes with guns than they would otherwise be. For it is specifically gun crime that licensing is supposed to control, not suicide, drunken driving, or all felonies as such.

The authors fear that doctors who make assessments will be held legally responsible for the acts of those whom they have assessed. I suspect that they are right. I don’t want to sound paranoid, but the fact is that when things go wrong it is best (by which I mean most lucrative for lawyers) to blame the doctor. And no, I don’t want to carry a concealed weapon myself.

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Theodore Dalrymple, a physician, is a contributing editor of City Journal and the Dietrich Weismann Fellow at the Manhattan Institute. His new book is Second Opinion: A Doctor's Notes from the Inner City.

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Top Rated Comments   
I know a number of homicide detectives in a large but not unusualy violent city. Many of them have worked 100s of homicides over 15 or 20 years and to a person they say that true victims make up 10 % or less of all these homicides.

What do they define as not being true victims? Those people who are actively in violent gangs and those who deal or associate with the illegal drug trade.

So in our large city the chance of being killed is 0.00013333333 percent. If you are not in one of the above high risk groups then it is an order of magnitude less.

There are tragic incidents of people killed with firearms. Is it a epidemic? No. If you want an epidemic look to traffic fatalities or for an even larger problem look to medical malpractice. Firearm deaths pale in comparison.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An armed intruder invades my home. One of us is very likely to soon “be defined as a public health concern”. It won’t be me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a doc and a gun owner, I see this trend for "doctor-may-I" as just another back door gun control. It seems so logical. Who could oppose making sure gun owners aren't crazy, right? Well, devil in the details. Myself and most docs are gun owners or gun neutral, but those that aren't are rabidly anti-gun. (see American Academy Pediatrics) These docs would view as their medical, moral, self-rightous duty to declare as many people as possible unfit for gun ownership. Then those that would be inclined to sign off on a gun owner-- how long would it take before, when one gun owner did something stupid, lawyers and gun control groups would sue the doc for malpractice? No upside for ever saying yes and so the general default would be to decline. Then the progressives would sit back and smile saying its not their fault that those crazy gun nuts have been proven crazy.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (54)
All Comments   (54)
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I have read some of the Koran, and read a lot of books and scholarly articles on Islam, some by ex-Moslems. As a belief system, it CODIFIES mental illness. Delusions of grandeur,"Allah is on OUR side, Islam WILL fill the earth",schizophrenia:"it's OK to say or live a lie to advance Islam","Jews descend from dogs, pigs and monkeys",sociopathy, "Destroy the unbelievers wherever you find them". No doubt there are other things,but if you could medicate Moslems with truth serum and ask them simple questions about their feelings toward and what they want to do to non-Moslems, you could probably put them ALL in an asylum for the dangerously insane. They even teach their LITTLE CHILDREN a murderous hatred for Israeli Jews.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Dr. Sigmund Freud, the "father of modern psychiatry" himself wrote that in mental hospitals of the time, as many patients walked out of there sane WITHOUT any treatment as were cured by the treatment they got. Also, I read where when mental patients were asked to behave as if they were normal, most of them did well at it. Makes me wonder why we even HAVE psychiatrists. As for handing them the ability to screen people for their "ability" to handle gun ownership, where in the Constitution does it say THAT?? No, it's just one MORE sneaky way to deny gun ownership to people. If someone is so mentally ill that having a gun would endanger them or others, they should be in an institution ,where NOBODY has a gun.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
No.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The psychiatric profession destroyed its credibility when it quit recognizing homosexuality as a mental health problem.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I agree. Anyone who saw how they behaved when Prop 8 won the election and when any state voted to NOT allow gay marriage would see that apparently homosexuality is a symptom of a whole RAFT of mental problems in a person. Also, it has been "cured" in men by testosterone supplements.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
ah, but who is liable? My doctor says I am crazy so they come get my guns, will I sue? Subsequently were I a victim of a crime for which I had no defense since my doctor took away my gun, is the doctor responsible for damages? Conversely, I am nuts and i shoot up someplace, is the doctor liable for not reporting me? Were I a doctor i would stay far, far away from this legal quagmire.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Diagnosing mental illness is haphazard at best and criminal at worst. There are no blood tests, DNA screenings or CAT scans that can definitively diagnose a mental illness. Instead, the "witch" doctors in psychiatric "medicine" rely on a list of "symptoms" that, grouped together constitute a diagnosis of various mental illnesses. This list is changed and updated frequently and new illnesses are invented. The downside is that once a person is diagnosed with a mental "illness" they are given a life sentence - mental illness is incurable and only treatable. And treat them they certainly do. Big pharma makes billions of dollars per year dispensing anti-depressant medications, that in many cases have a cause and effect relationship with violent and/or suicidal thoughts and actions in certain individuals. It doesn't take a genius to see a direct relationship between mass killers and anti-depressants. Do we really want Doctors, especially psychiatrists, to have the power to control gun ownership? I think not. In some cases, medicine is the problem, not the solution.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Interesting to me how so many so called "anti depressant" medications actually can WORSEN thoughts of suicide in younger people. Why, if that is a "possible side effect", is it even legal to SELL the stuff??!!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Actually, some mental illnesses are cured. There are many people with serious depression problems who are successfully treated and cured. Even the most serious problems, such as schizophrenia, have about a 30% spontaneous cure rate.

There is certainly a correlation between various psychiatric drugs and mass murder, but the causality is not at all clear. Remember that people who are severely mentally ill are more likely to be prescribed such medications because they are mentally ill; that people who are seeing and hearing things that aren't there commit mass murder at high rates is not surprising. Nor is that evidence that the drugs cause the mass murders, anymore than the correlation of guns and murder indicates that the guns cause murder.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Sinz54 infers schizophrenics should not be allowed to have guns because they have "lost--partially or totally--a grip on reality."
Yet, it's our federal government that doesn't have a grip on reality with their lack of concern for the economic consequences of spending over $1 Trillion a year more than they take in taxes each year forever, or with their efforts to nationalize health care and other parts of the economy based upon a sand castle in the sky approach that schizophrenics and Ponzi would applaud.
I agree that guns should be kept out of the hands of those who are seriously mentally ill but the irony is it's our federal government leadership who fits that description and they have all the guns and bullets. Speaking of bullets, that Janet Napolitano, our dear DHS Director, feels the need to purchase billions of bullets, I wonder if that makes her more of a paranoiac vice a schizophrenic? As for us American citizens, half of us are already paranoid in that we don't want to live in Obama's sand castle in the sky. But just because we're paranoid does not mean that they are not out to get us.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"SHOULD doctors determine?"

No. Easy.

"CAN doctors determine?"

Yes, eventually; if the current political climate pervades. Doesn't make it right.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Doctors? Maybe not. Mental health practitioners? That's another story.

Read DSM-V. In context - i.e., the evolution from DSM-I through IV - it testifies to a clear effort aimed at pathologizing any and all human behavior, as needed.

Store away "too much" food and other provisions as disaster prep? You suffer from "Hoarding Disorder" and need to be medicated (and no gun license for you, 'natch).

Ever express anger, resentment or distrust of our benevolent rulers in D.C.? You suffer from "Paranoid Personality Disorder", and need to be medicated (and no gun license for you, 'natch).

Spend "too much" time engaged in multiplayer online games? You suffer from "Internet Gaming Disorder", and need to be medicated (and no gun license for you, 'natch).

Depressed, anxious or wondering what's the point of it all after two years of contiguous unemployment and your future being destroyed thanks to our benevolent rulers in D.C.? You suffer from "Adjustment Disorder", and need to be medicated (and no gun license for you, 'natch).

The list goes predictably on. Think I'm exaggerating? Read DSM-V.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You hit the nail on the head.

Basically, psychiatrists want to "treat" everything they can codify into a list of symptoms - whether the person is mentally ill or not.

Bear in mind that this is the same profession that once advocated lobotomies - procedures that were performed up until at least 1967.

It is also a profession that has a long historical association with eugenics and electroshock therapy.

Only thing now is, instead of scrambling up brain matter with an ice pick through the eye socket they now prescribe SSRI class medications.

Does ANY sane person want someone from THAT profession deciding whether they are mentally competent to possess firearms?!?

Heck, even Allen Frances (google him, he had a LOT to do with this publication by the APA) criticizes the latest DSMV 5.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
SSRI antidepressants are potentially a hazard when prescribed for people with severe depression, because it sometimes gives them enough energy to plan and carry out a suicide. The mass murder cases, however, generally involve not people with serious depression alone, but people suffering from schizophrenia -- a far more serious mental illness that causes people to see and hear things that aren't there, with disastrous results.

There are a lot of mental disorders that the psychiatric profession recognizes, but most of them are mood disorders, not the psychoses that lead to mass murder.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Islamic mass murderers, however, don't seem to be schizophrenic in the classic sense. Almost all of them screamed "Allihu Akbar!!" or some variant as they attacked (with the exception of the Boston bombing),and they ALWAYS attack NON Moslems, at least here in the West. That makes me think that they know EXACTLY what they are doing, and the reality THEY see is that they are surrounded by infidels who deserve to be killed in the most vile way possible. This is blatantly obvious to the most casual observer, but our mentally ill government officials and drive by media are themselves schizophrenic, seeing everything through a very distorted, extreme Leftist lens. This worldview includes the notion that there is no God AND that everyone actually knows this,that anyone who expresses faith in a God is somehow really ignorant or backward. Therefore, anyone claiming to be acting on behalf of God (or Allah, the false one) CANNOT be acting on actual FAITH. So, since they CANNOT attribute mass murders to a tremendous faith in a bloodthirsty, hating, false God, they scramble for other explanations, and keep chanting,to soothe themselves, "Islam is a religion of peace". But then Leftism and Communism HAVE to repeat and repeat lies, the actual TRUTH would DESTROY their belief system, hence the ongoing drive to silence (by intimidation if possible,by killing if necessary) truth tellers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
DUI drivers alone have killed more people on America's highways than all U.S. gun violence (including acts of war), yet democrats aren't remotely interested in curbing the daily carnage of drug or alcohol caused auto collisions. DUIs represent about 40% of the daily death toll on our highways and are so common that the MSM barely gives it a mention unless the collision is especially gruesome.

Lawmakers are lackluster in the DUI arena because many of them drink or do drugs and they know there's a good chance they'll get busted at some time in the future. Since lawmakers consider themselves to be "nice people", they don't wish to be severely punished if they're caught. My guess is that they figure killing a person with an automobile is somehow moral and acceptable. Last I checked, people killed in auto collisions are every bit as dead as those who die from gunshot wounds.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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