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Old 04-21-2007, 01:50 PM   #241
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Originally posted by Dreadsox


yet, from watching the news last night I was under the impression that he should not have been allowed to buy the gun once the court had made its ruling on him two years ago. Somehow, he was able to.
My understanding was the ruling was he was only a harm to himself, and for some reason that isn't grounds against purchasing a gun.
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:01 PM   #242
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^ From what I've read, and from talking to some colleagues and relatives who are mental health professionals and/or lawyers, my impression is that that aspect of the case is still pretty contested. There are a lot of issues involved. One is that Virginia law interprets the background check provision of "not mentally defective/hasn't been committed to a mental institution" differently than federal law does: they interpret "defective" to mean clinically diagnosed as incompetent, whereas the federal definition essentially treats the two stipulations as synonymous; and VA uses the narrower (but traditional) interpretation of "committed" as involuntarily confined to a mental health institution for longer than 72 hours, whereas the federal definition includes involuntary temporary "detentions" like Cho's. On top of that there's debate at both ends as to A) whose diagnosis takes priority? that of the state-appointed expert whose preliminary evaluation found "probable cause" to believe Cho a danger to himself (hence justifying the detention), or that of the psychologist who evaluated Cho at the off-campus facility as a result and found him not an imminent danger to himself or others and thus not in need of hospitalization?, and B) whether or not the fact that Cho voluntarily complied with the detention process affects the definition of it as "involuntary". A third problem is that states have different laws as to what does and doesn't go onto the public record where mental health treatment is concerned, so that some states literally don't report any of that to the federal NICS database (which the feds have no system in place for enforcing compliance with), while others, like VA, report only what fits their own definitions of relevant data. Most likely this situation will occasion some re-evaluation of all that, but there are an awful lot of confusingly intersecting legal restrictions and local procedural variations to be worked out here. It's not without good reason that governments, businesses and institutions are cautious about how expansive the powers to compel treatment and, especially, to impose restrictions on rights to work, study, etc. for people with current or prior mental health problems (potentially a HUGE category, depending on how liberally you define it) ought to be, though.

Kind of unrelated, but predictably now we're starting to see various credentialed talking heads delivering their own "diagnoses" of Cho in the media, none of which much agree with what either the state or private professionals who evaluated him in 2005 saw. Whether that reflects a deterioration in his condition, a failure in diagnosis, or a problem with insufficient time having been spent evaluating him back then (the mental health professionals I spoke to all grumbled about how if insurance and public subsidization of mental health care were better, maybe they'd have taken the time to do a longer on-site evaluation and perhaps had an opportunity to see any psychotic tendencies, which tend to be episodic, surface), is anyone's guess.
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Old 04-21-2007, 07:37 PM   #243
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Isn't Reagan the one who yanked much of the federal funding for mental health services?
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Old 04-21-2007, 10:09 PM   #244
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^ Sort of, although there's a longer history behind it than that. Beginning in the 1960s the trend was to shift mental health services away from large state institutions to smaller, local "community mental health centers" which it was felt would be more responsive to the needs of patients and their families, as well as more cost-effective. But the level of organization behind that effort left much to be desired, and the 70s financial crises only worsened the problem. Under Carter, the Mental Health Systems Act was passed to increase funding for the community centers, but yes, Reagan rescinded that Act in 1981 and from then on the general trend has been towards privatization. Which as with all other healthcare, leaves much up to the insurance companies...
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Originally posted by yolland
Kind of unrelated, but predictably now we're starting to see various credentialed talking heads delivering their own "diagnoses" of Cho in the media, none of which much agree with what either the state or private professionals who evaluated him in 2005 saw. Whether that reflects a deterioration in his condition, a failure in diagnosis, or a problem with insufficient time having been spent evaluating him back then (the mental health professionals I spoke to all grumbled about how if insurance and public subsidization of mental health care were better, maybe they'd have taken the time to do a longer on-site evaluation and perhaps had an opportunity to see any psychotic tendencies, which tend to be episodic, surface), is anyone's guess.
Read this in the New York Times today, which astounded me:
Quote:
In his junior year, Mr. Cho told his then-roommates that he had a girlfriend. Her name was Jelly. She was a supermodel who lived in outer space and traveled by spaceship, and she existed only in the dimension of his imagination. When Andy Koch, one of his roommates, returned to their suite one day, Mr. Cho shooed him away. He told him Jelly was there. He said she called him Spanky. SpankyJelly became his instant-message screen name.

...During Thanksgiving break, Mr. Koch recalled, Mr. Cho called him to report that he was vacationing in North Carolina with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president; Mr. Cho said he had grown up with him in Moscow.
Now these weren't the same roommates he had this year, but scheez...if my roommate was saying stuff like that, and appeared to actually believe it, I'd be on the phone to campus counseling services right away. Perhaps they thought it was a joke?
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:04 AM   #245
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I'm not surprised the roommates didn't do anything.

Honestly, times have changed. I know TONS of people who don't know their roommates at all. They are renting only the basement of a house or only a room and don't care for others. In today's day and age, you mind your own business. I have 2 roommates, and we were randomly matched through grad school services since all of us were out of the area. One of them is wonderful (with minor kinks of course, as all of us have our quirks), and the other one never talks to us. She's always in her room, watching movies or studying. She has no friends, or if she does, she doesn't bring them here. I've seen her have visitors once since September. She is very polite, always says hi, bye, today she asked me how my exams were going. But she didn't tell us when she was going home at Christmas or when she was getting back. One day you just saw suitcases in the hall, the next she was gone. She's not weird or unfriendly, she just keeps to herself. It would never occur to me that she's odd or that her behaviour should concern me.

I just had a girls night with 2 friends. One of them lives in the basement of a house with 2 girls living on the main floor. She doesn't know their last names or what they're studying. Their only conversation has been "your mail got dropped off up here" and "is your wireless down as well?"

Cho sounded totally weird and that's the difference. But the fact he was quiet with this year's suitmates and didn't talk to them - to me, that's really not that far outside the norm.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:40 AM   #246
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^ Ditto that. My freshman year we got to know our suitemates really well and they became our best friends. My sophomore year, we were still best friends with our old suitemates and didn't have anything in common with the new ones. I couldn't tell you how old they were or what they were studying and I only remember their last names because I have a thing for remembering everyone's name. The most social interaction between us was when I lent them a rug at the beginning of the year and they returned it at the end. We shared a single bathroom and our "cells" were connected, but we all kept to ourselves.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:50 AM   #247
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Well yeah, but if one of them was telling you they were on vacation with the President of Russia who they'd grown up with, or that they had a lover from outer space? You'd just shrug that off?
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:58 AM   #248
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I would accept this. Especially the mental health check. We should probably run the same test before allowing people into the voting booth.





....just kidding ....sort of...
Let me add that I'd like to see extensive training for all those who want to own and use firearms. I think this may be one of the reasons gun violence is lower in Switzerland.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:58 AM   #249
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Well yeah, but if one of them was telling you they were on vacation with the President of Russia who they'd grown up with, or that they had a lover from outer space? You'd just shrug that off?
Well, here in Northern California that is the normal way of thinking. Have you ever heard of "Burning Man?" Same sort of thinking.
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Old 04-22-2007, 01:01 AM   #250
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Entirely different things Dread, entirely different; anybody with more than two functioning brain cells understands that the second somebody is able to own a gun they are potential killers, and that potential is too much of a risk so one way or another it has to be neutralised.
Of course you realize no one on this thread supporting additional gun control laws or even an outright ban has said anything like what you're implying above. I would certainly hope that ISN'T what Dread was implying either. . .

So I ask again, what exactly is the analogy between Minority Report and the discussion at hand? (Without resorting to hyperbole, please. . .)
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Old 04-22-2007, 03:30 AM   #251
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What I don't get the most -is that these upstanding normal citizens of america - BELIEVE they have the right to own a gun. The fact they feel safer with one - what sor tof fucked up psyche is that? 'Yeah yeah bring it - you mess with me- bam your brains are over the pavement'
what part of the THOUSANDS of gun related deaths does not resonate to you the fact that people don't respect the power of a gun, that they are willing to kill someone over the most redundant of issues, that they think its their god damn right to own a gun and do with it what they please.

like someone said earlier, does shooting someone dead of pilfering $20 make it right? No one deserves to die for ANY crime, therefore no one had the right to choose if they shoot someone for stealing your DVD, or if they killed your child. It just doesn't go both ways - and its frightening to see people not understand that.

I propose extremely strict gun laws - no criminal record, no mental illness, must have a doctors report on if you you are taking medication, depression medication, if you are prone to stress etc, you must not own more then one and write specificlly what its for - protecting yourself is not an answer, you must go on a training course, and every 6 months must turn up to be reevaluated on your state of mind etc. Gun's will cost $5000 or more, to get a licence takes 6 months and costs over $1000 - and then we'll see how many people will swing into a gun shop to buy a gun.

Then this will all go to banning guns completely.
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Old 04-22-2007, 04:26 AM   #252
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No one deserves to die for ANY crime, therefore no one had the right to choose if they shoot someone for stealing your DVD, or if they killed your child. It just doesn't go both ways - and its frightening to see people not understand that.
It's far more frightening that it seems you don't seem to consider self-protection valid in any case, if a rapist is stabbed and killed by a victim is the victim at fault?
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Old 04-22-2007, 07:39 AM   #253
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Originally posted by dazzlingamy
What I don't get the most -is that these upstanding normal citizens of america - BELIEVE they have the right to own a gun. The fact they feel safer with one - what sor tof fucked up psyche is that? 'Yeah yeah bring it - you mess with me- bam your brains are over the pavement'
what part of the THOUSANDS of gun related deaths does not resonate to you the fact that people don't respect the power of a gun, that they are willing to kill someone over the most redundant of issues, that they think its their god damn right to own a gun and do with it what they please.

like someone said earlier, does shooting someone dead of pilfering $20 make it right? No one deserves to die for ANY crime, therefore no one had the right to choose if they shoot someone for stealing your DVD, or if they killed your child. It just doesn't go both ways - and its frightening to see people not understand that.


I have a friend who shot a man in self defense. My friend was asleep with his wife and infant son in his locked house when he heard someone breaking in. His wife called 911; he got a gun and went into the hallway. He told the intruder he had a gun and to leave. The intruder (with a not legally owned gun) shot him (shattered his leg -- he spent months in the hospital); he fired back once hitting the intruder in the abdomen. The intruder then went back outside where he met the arriving police, fired on them, and was shot and killed.

Now for the chilling part. The intruder left a suicide note. This note detailed his plan to break into houses, rape, torture and kill the inhabitants, and when he was finally surrounded by police to fire on them so he would commit suicide by cop. My friend's house was the first stop of the night, apparently picked at random.

So tell me Amy -- if that was your friend, would you really tell him he should have let that man rape, torture and kill him and his family? I couldn't. I know what happened in this case isn't statistically likely -- but it did happen, and the only reason it had a reasonably happy outcome is that my friend had a legal gun and used it.

I'm not a fan of guns, don't currently own any (I have owned a shotgun and a rifle) and don't plan to get any in the future. I would certainly prefer it if guns were very rare in this country. But they aren't, and I like my friend and his son (I don't know his now ex-wife) and know that without my friend having that gun and being willing to use it they almost certainly would have died horrific deaths and I would have never known them. So I don't know...guns, even legally owned ones, make me nervous, and some...hell many...of the people who legally own guns make me nervous. But knowing that only people willing to obtain them illegally have them makes me even more nervous.

The US is a violent nation, and other than mandating heavy duty pot smoking by all (I'm kidding, btw, but it probably would mellow us out a bit...), I don't see a way of changing that any time soon.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:23 AM   #254
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Originally posted by yolland

Kind of unrelated, but predictably now we're starting to see various credentialed talking heads delivering their own "diagnoses" of Cho in the media, none of which much agree with what either the state or private professionals who evaluated him in 2005 saw. Whether that reflects a deterioration in his condition, a failure in diagnosis, or a problem with insufficient time having been spent evaluating him back then (the mental health professionals I spoke to all grumbled about how if insurance and public subsidization of mental health care were better, maybe they'd have taken the time to do a longer on-site evaluation and perhaps had an opportunity to see any psychotic tendencies, which tend to be episodic, surface), is anyone's guess.
Kinda easy to diagnose him as a dangerous nutjob now though. Not much risk either. I think it's disingenuous to essentially say "they should have known" as many of the talking heads seem to be doing.
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:59 AM   #255
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I guess I chose my words wrong - i didn't mean to insinuate that you shouldn't fight back, or to use deadly force in self defence, I just believe that using a gun to protect yourself is waaaaay over the top and leads to uneccessary deaths, accidents or people getting a little bit pissed of with what they've been dealt with in the world and making everyone else pay.

Indra - i am sorry for what happened to your friends, that would have been a horrendous experience, and i of course wouldn't expect him to just let his family be tortued, and understand why he shot him.

I still though, completely support a buy back scheme to buy back all the guns, melt them down, and leave the guns in the hands of the people who require them - there are always going to be illegal ones out there, but i think Australia shows that you don't need a gun to protect yourself, and once the guns are taken away not every criminal with a gun goes around shooting defenceless citizens.
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