Making gun violence about mental health is a crazy idea

reed with youthWe have to take action and address the mental health issue that is plaguing our society.–Rep. Tom Reed, Feb. 15, 2018

Jonathan M. Metzl is a professor of sociology and psychiatry, and director of the Center for Medicine, Health, and Society, at Vanderbilt University. With Ken MacLeish he is author of “Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms.”


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30 Responses to Making gun violence about mental health is a crazy idea

  1. Rynstone says:

    Is the problem the schools?, the culture, social media, Hollywood violence in movies and video games, lack of two parents in the household, substance abuse problems and the problems they create in the family, lack of religious upbringing or faith?!?!?
    We do appear to have a sick culture.

    Why does the media or the special interest groups not care about the many deaths that happen every week in Chicago? Very strict gun control and many murders caused by drugs, gangs etc,

    So many things to consider and firearms is at the very bottom of the list. No firearms in my extended family have been used for school shootings or for murder. Self-defense yes, murder no.

    My firearms are always safely stored at home when I return.

    A lesson on what is an “Assault” rifle


  2. whungerford says:

    On the question of “what is an assault rifle,” as the Florida students said, it doesn’t matter–we don’t care, just ban all rapid fire weapons whatever you want to call them.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me! We do care what the definition of an “Assault weapon” is. You can’t ban something if you don’t know what it is.
    I realize that these students experienced an extremely traumatic experience. Experiencing what they did does not impart any superior knowledge, it does not make their opinions any more valid than any one elses.

    Mental health IS the cause for mass shootings. No way 2nd amendment haters can shift the blame to inanimate machines although they will try their crooked best to do so.


  4. whungerford says:

    “You can’t ban something if you don’t know what it is.” Nonsense; we might, for example, ban all semi-automatic firearms.

    “Experiencing what they did does not impart any superior knowledge …” Wrong again, experience may well impart superior knowledge.

    Mental health IS the cause for mass shootings. Wrong a third time–that mental health is not the cause was the point of the expert opinion cited.

    Capitalization does not make a false argument valid.


  5. Rynstone says:

    WE ARE NOT GOING TO BAN ALL SEMI-AUTOMATIC FIREARMS. That is just crazy and won’t stop mass shootings. The 2nd Amendment will stand strong over that type of a ban.


  6. Steve Beikirch says:

    Rynstone, the article you cite was written by someone who doesn’t know jack about the AR-15 or much of anything else. I would be happy to debate you on the history of the AR-15, its design and operation.

    An assault weapon like an AR15 and all its variants were originally developed from military full-auto weapons like the M16. They are all designed for quick disassembly and field servicing. Parts can be easily replaced in a matter of minutes. In fact, right know a person can go on the Internet and purchase a complete parts kit that would allow that person to assemble a functioning un-serialized AR style rifle in their own home. No special tools or gunsmith required. No background check required. No filling out a Firearms Transaction Form required. No questions asked about felony convictions or domestic violence asked. Not only should the possession and sale of assault weapons be banned, these parts kits should also be banned.


  7. Rynstone says:

    On the PBS News hour program Wednesday evening I listened with interest to a news story that there are now more people killed by Heroin in the US than by Automobile accidents or Gun Shootings.
    Listening to some late 60s and early 70s folk music while watching the fire die down and the snow tapper off before turning in for the night I had an epiphany. To Solve the Heroin Epidemic, overdoses problem, deaths and violence associated with it we should ask our Congress and States Legislatures to;
    1) Pass Laws making the use of heroin illegal
    2) Pass Laws making the possession of heroin illegal
    3) Pass Laws making the selling and distribution of heroin illegal
    4) Pass laws making any deaths or violence associated with heroin illegal
    5) Pass Laws making the manufacture and transportation of heroin illegal
    6) Pass Laws making it illegal to resuscitate anyone who has had a heroin overdose
    7) Pass Laws making it illegal to have anyone to be in the possession of NARCAN

    This will reduce heroin overdoses and reduce firearms deaths and violence associated with drug use.
    Like I said….. an Epiphany……….

    Of course one could make teh argument that overdose volunteers do not kill other people.

    Perhaps the government could hand out overdose dosages of heroin to all the heroin users until they finally dry up the demand. This would be less expensive than the “War on Drugs”.


  8. Rynstone says:

    One small error in your statement that all parts can be purchased on-line to assemble an AR15 rifle. All parts except the lower receiver can be ordered on-line..

    A stripped lower is consider an “Other” by the BATFE. As an “Other”, it is legally considered a pistol since it lacks a configuration. Thus you must be 21 years of age to purchase any stripped lower and it is subject to whatever regulations your state imposes for the purchase of handguns.

    If your state has cash-and-carry for handguns, no wait outside of waiting for the background check to clear.

    If your state has a waiting period then the waiting period applies.
    Either way the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS check must be done for a purchaser of a functioning lower receiver on an AR15 style rifle.

    So you can legally purchase online all of the parts to assemble an AR15 style rifle except the lower receiver.

    You can however machine your own lower receiver with the right information and metal machining equipment.


  9. Rynstone says:

    Steve, I am sure you are no fan of Ted Cruz.
    Perhaps you have not seen this MSNBC interview


  10. Steve Beikirch says:

    Rynstone: Do you know what a 80 percent completed lower receiver is? A person can purchase one online for as little as $70. No background check, no FFL and shipped directly to your door. Spend another $70 for a drilling jig and with a little time in the garage with no special tools or skill needed you will have a functioning un-serialized lower receiver. Take the other parts including the barrel. upper receiver you purchased, put them all together and you have a functioning un-serialized AR15 type assault weapon.

    What did you say my error was?

    Please explain your Ted Cruz interview comment.


  11. whungerford says:

    Regulations that permit 80% gun parts to be sold are evidently intended to be ineffective. If it isn’t practical to prevent people from assembling illegal weapons, we might better make illegal sales and possession of illegal weapons a serious crime.


  12. Steve Beikirch says:

    whungerford, ban the sale of 80 percent lower receivers and one problem is solved. I think the easy thing should be attempted first. At the Almond town hall I talked to Tom Reed about this issue. He seemed completely unaware that they existed. He also seemed genuinely interested in my opinion. Time will tell if he was just blowing smoke.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rynstone says:

    Steve, I will give you 80 bucks & shipping if you purchase on-line a lower receiver and machine it into a working lower receiver. No need to order the rest of the parts to assemble an the AR15 rifle. Just purchase the lower receiver and make it functional. We will both learn from this experiment.


  14. Rynstone says:

    From David Harsanyi
    David is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of the forthcoming “First Freedom: A Ride through America’s Enduring History With the Gun, From the Revolution to Today.”

    “The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by writer Adam Weinstein in which he argues that Second Amendment advocates “use jargon to bully gun-control supporters.” “While debating the merits of various gun control proposals,” he contends, “Second Amendment enthusiasts often diminish, or outright dismiss their views if they use imprecise firearms terminology.”

    How dare Second Amendment advocates expect that those passionately arguing to limit their constitutional rights have some rudimentary knowledge of the devices they want to ban? To point out the constant glaring technical and policy “faux pas” of gun controllers is to engage in “gunsplaining,” a bad-faith argument akin to intimidation.

    “If you don’t know what the ‘AR’ in AR-15 stands for, you don’t get to talk,” explains the sarcastic subhead on the piece. If you don’t know what the “AR” in AR-15 stands for, you still get to talk. But if you want to ban or confiscate AR-15s and you haven’t taken the time to learn what the “AR” stands for, then gun owners have every right to call you out.

    Weinstein—and he’s far from alone—bemoans the unfairness of gun controllers “being forced to sweat the finest taxonomic distinctions between our nation’s unlimited variety of lethal weapons.” This statement is illustrative of the emotionalism and hyperbole of the debate (the notion that there’s an “unlimited variety” of firearms is absurd). But at the same time, it’s an exaggeration of Second Amendment advocates’ expectations.

    As with any contemporary disputes over public policy, there will always be those who attempt to dismiss opponents who possess less expertise. It’s certainly not unique to this debate. And, no, a person should not be excluded from a conversation simply for referring to a “bullet” rather than a “cartridge,” or a “clip” rather than a “magazine.”

    Then again, much of gun control policy is driven by the mechanics of a firearm. So, while not knowing what a “barrel shroud” is should not prevent anyone from pondering gun policy, failing to understand the distinction between a semi-automatic and automatic weapon tells us you’re dishonest, unserious, or unprepared for the debate.

    Take, for instance, Michael Bloomberg.

    In a debate imbued with emotion, gun control advocates rely on this ignorance. When then-President Barack Obama told a crowd that a mass shooter used a “fully automatic weapon,” he wasn’t concerned with the finest taxonomic distinctions of a gun; he was depending on the yawning obliviousness of a cheering crowd. When CNN featured an alleged gun expert explaining that the AR-15 he was about to fire was “full semi-automatic,” he was making the functionality of the firearm sounded scarier to those who are ignorant about guns.

    “Jargon” is words and expressions that are difficult for a layman to understand or use. Rather than using jargon, Second Amendment advocates are usually mocking those who use jargon-sounding words in an effort to fearmonger viewers and constituents. When you claim that the streets are rife with “high-capacity, rapid-fire magazines” or “jumbo clips,” you’re trying to fool your audience with a veneer of expertise. When you claim that we need to ban “gas-assisted receiver firearms,” you’re trying to make a semi-automatic weapon sound like a machine gun for a reason.

    It’s not always the mechanics either. When MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough misrepresents the Heller decision, he’s preying on policy ignorance that has little to do with gun culture. When MSNBC analyst Steve Schmidt goes on television and passionately tells an audience that it’s more difficult to buy cough medicine than an “AK-47—or 50 of them,” he’s either lying or has absolutely no grasp of how gun policy works. Either way, he shouldn’t be talking to grown-ups about firearms.

    All these people use a moralistic fallacy, which is often predicated on the ignorance Weinstein rationalizes—not that it stops him from embracing the appeal to authority he condemns elsewhere.

    For example, Weinstein takes Fox News personality Tomi Lahren to task for failing to mention that the family of Eugene Stoner, the AR-15’s designer and champion, claimed in 2016 that Stoner would be “‘horrified and sickened’ to see his military rifle pattern become so common in civilian households and school shootings.” You’ll notice the conflation.

    Of course Stoner would be horrified that his gun was used in school shootings. But Weinstein fails to note that there’s no evidence on the record of Stoner having been “horrified and sickened” by the notion of civilians owning his gun. Since he had been selling prototype AR-15s to civilians a decade before his military model was adopted by the United States, we have no reason to believe he would be.

    Perhaps that kind of discussion spurns conversation in favor of condescension. But at least it’s a debate that revolves around the veracity of facts, which is a lot more than I can say for the rest of the “gunsplaining” grievance.”


  15. Rynstone says:

    Here’s what’s inside the Florida gun bill.

    The Florida gun bill is just Gov. Rick Scott signature away from becoming law.

    Senate Bill 7026, the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act,” includes a provision that would allow some teachers to be armed- voluntary. See Catch 22 note below:

    – Raise age to purchase firearms to 21 from 18

    – Require a three-day waiting period for firearm purchases

    – Ban the sale or possession of bump fire stocks

    – Gives law enforcement authority to seize guns and ammunition from those deemed mentally unfit or otherwise a threat

    – Provide additional funding for armed school resource officers and mental health services

    – Enact the Coach Aaron Feis Guardian Program, to allow some teachers to be armed if both the local school district and local sheriff’s department agree. Coach Aaron Feis shielded students from bullets with his own body and died in the February 14 massacre.

    The Catch 22:

    – Teachers who “exclusively perform classroom duties as classroom teachers” must have military or law enforcement experience or teach a Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program

    – Qualified carriers are required to get 144 hours of training.


  16. Steve Beikirch says:

    Rynstone: I wouldn’t learn anything from your little experiment. I’m a gunsmith by trade. If you want to learn how to easily complete a lower receiver, check out Youtube. Secondly, 80 percent lower receivers can’t be shipped to New York State. That should tell you something.


  17. whungerford says:

    Attempting to return to the subject of this article, I offer this clip from Dr. Metzl’s Politico article which I hope New NY 23rd readers did read:

    In the broader sense, asking us to diagnose mass shooters in isolation feels impossible without addressing the larger contexts that surround the rise in mass shootings in the United States, like the dramatic increase in civilian owned assault rifles and other weapons of mass casualty. Many current analyses link this expansion to trends in mass shootings. As the New York Times recently put it, “the only variable that can explain the high rate of mass shootings in America is its astronomical number of guns.”


  18. Steve Beikirch says:

    whungerford, I read the article when you first posted it. In this layman’s opinion it was spot-on. Is it just me? Why does the Republican caucus in the Congress seem to only care about mental health when guns are involved?

    I apologize for going off topic with Rynstone. I just could not allow his misinformation to go unchallenged.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Rynstone says:

    Comrade Whungerford,

    I thought you might find this short video interesting


  20. Rynstone says:

    Gun nut and firearm guru, rock legend and non-drinker and illegal drug user Ted Nuggent making my point that shotguns can be more deadly than AR15 style rifles.
    A very good short video


  21. Rynstone says:

    Another great video of a gun nut making my case for me.

    Why this guy likes his AR15


  22. Rynstone says:

    Are all Gun Control advocates all racists ?


  23. Rynstone says:

    Another good video that addresses inner city crime….you know where drugs are illegal as they are in the rest of the country. (maybe drugs should be more illegal in the rural states and counties so they are not so easy to take into the cities)


  24. Rynstone says:

    Hidden Camera Gun Show Loophole exposed. Finally caught on camera, Unbelievable purchasing of firearms from gun dealers at gun shows with no NICS background check


  25. Rynstone says:

    Ted TALKS guest speaker gives an outstanding presentation on the 2nd Amendment and “gun control”.
    This may be the best presentation for the 2nd Amendment and firearm ownership I have seen.


  26. whungerford says:

    Gary, do you imagine anyone is reading your spam? How much spam do you suppose is required to refute one person’s expert opinion?


  27. Rynstone says:

    There are a few conservative minded and Constitutional minded people in Hollywood who understand the true intent and purpose of the 2nd Amendment .


  28. Rynstone says:

    Comrade Whungerford,

    I don’t think any of the progressive Liberals read my postings. That is why I like to include video. These postings are not SPAM.
    I imagine that to an old Bolsevik they would like to consider anything to do with Liberty and Freedom and less government control as SPAM.
    I am hoping to educate those who are interested in learning other points of view that are usually more Constitutional.

    Remember that during the past 120 years it has been governments killing their own citizens that has been the biggest causes of murder and mass murder.


  29. whungerford says:

    Comrade Gary, I think many, including progressive liberals, are interested in your opinions, especially when they are reasonable. I don’t think anyone is interested in the third party articles you post in profusion.


  30. Pingback: Movies about guns | New NY 23rd

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