Mental health experts say a new tougher New York state gun control law might interfere with treatment of potentially dangerous people and even discourage them from seeking help.

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient's gun permit and seizing any guns. (source)

New laws tend to have unintended consequences worse than the conditions or situations they are intended to remedy. The hysteria over the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre has such strange bedfellows as the NRA and some of the most liberal Democrats calling for psychological or psychiatric evaluations of potential gun owners. 

Question: Does the state have enough of an interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician making the state an invisible presence in the conference room?

Question: Might more mayhem be prevented by letting clinicians do their job rather than imposing requirements on them.?

Question: Might imposing a reporting requirement on clinicians expose them to homicidal danger once the client realizes that his counselor has breached the shell of confidentiality holding between them?

Question: Given the ambiguities holding between what clients talk about and what they might actually do might a reporting requirement expose clinicians to needless criminal and civil sanctions if their best guess turns out to be wrong and a client they thought safe did something horrendous? The point is, it's a lot easier to judge how dangerous a patient was in retrospect and hold a clinician responsible.

Tags: control, gun, psychiatry, psycology

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This is a reply to my top post(?).

I do not need a gun that shoots more then one bullet to kill a deer or a robber!

Now there, you are wrong, at least about the robber.  Sometimes you miss.  Sometimes you hit him but not in an area that stops the attack.  Sometimes you hit him somewhere fatal... but it's not going to kill him until long after he's done assaulting you.

And oftentimes there's more than one robber, so even if your first shot puts a bad guy down instantly, you are still screwed.

What he said.

Wow

I do not need a gun that shoots more then one bullet to kill a deer or a robber!

You must be one hell of a shot.

Of course, maybe if you can't get the deer on the first shot, the deer won the exchange.

But...but...but what if the deer has an evil AR 15 with a 30 round mag. :)

I'd be just as worried about a deer with a slingshot.  It would call into question everything we think we know about deer.

Who is calling for psychological evaluations in order to own a gun?  That's news to me.  It seems a bit overboard, but now a days the private sector makes potential employees undergo a personality test to apply to half of the minimum wage jobs out there. 

In Kentucky it is already required that psychologists to notify the authorities and call for hospitalization if a client is a danger to themselves of others.  We don't have problems with criminal/civil sanctions if a violent client doesn't get flagged by the system before they commit a crime... at least, I've never heard one case of that occurring.  It would be quite a scandal, I would think.  I would say that the state does have enough "interest to require a breach of the privacy normally holding between a patient and his clinician" because citizens lives are on the line.  This system we have now has potentially saved the life of one of my dearest family members and has probably done the same for countless others.  I am grateful my family member is still alive!  And yes, there is an awareness of the presence of "the state" in the "conference room."  That may keep some people from disclosing, but for those who have developed a trusting theraputic relationship, it is understood that the therapist will be acting in the client's best interests (preventing them from becoming a murderer or killing themselves) with the goal of eliminating the client's problematic tendencies/thoughts. 

Unseen, do you really care about the treatment of the mentally ill, because it's not been something you seemed particullarly passionate about in the past (correct me if I'm wrong, maybe I missed that post).  Are you more worried someone is going to take away your gun?

Kairan, what I care about is the arguments people use. Clarifying them. The dialectic of discussion hopefully clarifies our thoughts and leads us to better conclusions. I'm a devil's advocate in almost every discussion confronting people with contrary views.

 I'm a devil's advocate in almost every discussion confronting people with contrary views.

You start some of the best discussions on TA. You have a talent for that and I enjoy following and participating in them. But once engaged your approach to "confronting people with contrary views" often brings to mind the man behind the desk in this sketch. 

Monty Python was very formative in my life.

Didn't realize the devil's advocate was a member of the NRA.

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