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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Excuses, excuses, excuses. NRA spindoctors come up with anything to show that it is dangerous to give up guns.

What was that little gem that Obama said which nearly lost him the election, "Rural voters cling to guns and Christianity"?

Can a person be honest and forthcoming with another person if person A knows before hand that person B is required to violate the trust needed to be honest and forthcoming?

I am very doubtful that psychiatric help can be attained under such circumstances.

How can an individual who is having homicidal thoughts get help with the cause of those thoughts if he/she cannot trust the caregivers?

Turning caregivers into spies for the State is immoral and unethical and cannot accomplish to goal of creating a safer society.  In my humble fucking opinion of course.

A psychiatrist's job is not to solve society's problems, it is to solve the patient's problem.  Undermining a patient's trust makes him/her less likely to seek help in the first place and more likely to be less then completely honest with the caregiver in the second place.

WTF do we want?  A society where someone can seek the help of a qualified trustworthy caregiver with their mental demons, or a society where a mentally ill person must hid their demons and remain mentally ill walking amongst us?

For myself I would rather have a law making it illegal for a medical professional to disclose any patient information to any governmental entity. 

I cannot be safer by forcing those who need help to hid from those who may be able to help them.

See the problem here is there are so many people who don't think past the feel-good solution for whatever it is that has their hair on fire at the moment.

I've run into women that want the death penalty for rape.  Feels good, doesn't it?  I have little success with pointing out to them that a capital crime encourages the criminal to kill the witnesses, and who is the one person guaranteed to be a witness to a rape?

Make it illegal to own firearms?  Or to carry them in "gun free" zones?  That just renders the law abiding defenseless from someone who--by definition--is willing to break much more serious laws.  It never seems to occur to people who want to stop mass shootings that they almost without exception occur in what are already designated gun free zones.  (The only exception I can think of is Tucson.)  THAT ought to indicate a flaw in their vaunted logic, but they are oblivious to the point.

And this is a third example, here.  You cannot turn someone into a spy for the government, and have someone who is teetering on the brink of being disapproved of strongly by the government, be willing to trust that spy.  That applies to pedophiles, the mentally unbalanced... and now it will apply to gunowners, with doctors and teachers being expected to find out who owns and does not own firearms.  (And you wonder why we are furious, given who we are being treated like.)

I've run into women that want the death penalty for rape.  Feels good, doesn't it?  I have little success with pointing out to them that a capital crime encourages the criminal to kill the witnesses, and who is the one person guaranteed to be a witness to a rape?

I've made the same kind of argument regarding pedophilia, but logic loses to irrational fear and anger, and so children will be murdered so that the pedophile's OCD won't be discovered with all the dire consequences which ensue.

Pre.... cisely.

Wow...let me get this straight...up till now, it was legal for a mentally ill person, or someone with a medical history of potential aggression to own a gun???

This can't be true.  Surely, if a person applies for a gun license anywhere in the US their criminal and mental history are checked out?!?!?!

Surely this is no reason to allow guns for the menatlly unstable...what's more dangerous, a menatlly unwell person with a gun or a mentally unwell person without a gun.

Even in the UK, where guns are effectively banned except where there is a clear purpose, we get occasional shootings.  Gun law in the US just seems really scary.

The answer is NO, it is not legal.  Does it happen anyway?  No doubt.  And it happens in the UK as well.

However, you can't be put in this list just because some guy with a psych degree says "you're nuts!"  You have to be adjudicated as such by a court.  (This is known as due process.)

In practice it is difficult to enforce this rule; nothing physically prevents a guy from selling a firearm to a neighbor.  (That is a difficulty with any law making it illegal for you to own something.  See the drug war for more corroboration.)  But if you go to a gun shop, you have to fill out a form, under penalty of perjury, swearing that you do not meet any of these conditions--and it asks about each one on the list individually.  You then have to wait while they do an "instant" computerized background check... such wait is now nine days here in Colorado because they are swamped.  It is not federal law yet, but the "instant" (ha!) check is required at gun shows in Colorado for any sales, not just those from federally licensed firearms dealers who have a table.

In Vermont, pretty much anyone can buy and carry a gun, concealed or otherwise, provided they are over the age of 16 - no licence, no background checks - see here.

It is one of the most laid back states regarding guns.

It also has a very low murder rate, comparable to what the UK claims.

Yes it also has an extremely low religious content - and was the first state to introduce same-sex marriage - before even the UK.

So what, the major problem causer is religion, not guns?  Say it ain't so!!  :D

As this article reveals, murder statistics appear sensitive to all kinds of things such as poverty, unemployment rates, police training and tactics, trauma center preparedness, urban gentrification, and so on, including gun laws. Notably, Chicago—a city that bears comparison with New York City—has draconian drug laws and a murder rate which is out of control. At least with tobacco smoking, we can refer to statistics even if we can't demonstrate the causal nexus with the certainty of a chemical reaction. Statistics just seem to increase the mystery when it comes to murder rates. They confuse and confound.


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