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Old 12-16-2012, 12:42 AM   #26
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[quote=Jonathan;709110]That is a hell of a question, isn't it? We know this kind of thing is not only an American phenomenon - for example the 2011 Norway attacks.[quote]

That was Norway's one and only mass killing spree, since we've been keeping track. Canada has had two school shootings ever where the death toll was over two. ten school shootings in total since 1902. Other than school shootings, we've had four mass shootings in the last century. France has never had a school shooting, and its last mass killing was in 2002. Aside from the Norway shooting, I can find only on other in 2012 in the first world, a shooting in Moscow. The US has had seven this year alone. The long sad list of US school shootings go back to the eighteenth century. The only country comparable (obviously I'm excluding war torn nations, areas of civil unrest, and over-exploited nations, I'm focusing on the first world) is China, which doesn't quite fit into the first world focus and I don't know enough to compare motivations. So among other first world countries, America is far in the lead. Its not totally special to America, but it mostly happens there.

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I do agree that access to health care is not the whole story - people can fall through or slip through the cracks. The best health care in the world is useless if it isn't taken advantage of, but it is extremely difficult to utilize something that isn't widely available.
But it was available to this kid, apparently, and therefore access to healthcare is pretty irrelevant at best and at worst, stigmatizing. Unhealthy and disabled people, physical or mental, are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. We need defense from able bodied and healthy people too. A close friend of mine works with kids in the foster home, and she asked for a permanent placement in a house with a kid with severe autism because she's rather have fun with her than go to a house with a bratty kid who's willing to bite to get her way.

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Exactly - even if we had the most stringent psychological screening it would have been useless in the case of this specific incident. That doesn't necessarily make it a bad idea though. We all know that there is a staggering range of things that fall under the category of "mental health", and it can range widely in terms of how people are able to function. I think we can do a better job of making sure firearms are available to people who will be responsible owners without needlessly alienating people. We already have a very loose kind of psychological screening, http://www.atf.gov/forms/download/atf-f-4473-1.pdf question 11f. Self reporting is a bit of a joke, but I don't think that taking a serious look at possibly expanding on that is a terrible idea to be discarded out of hand.
Yeah, and its still useless, because unless you're going to get Big Brother about it, which gun enthusiasts seem to really not like and defeats the purpose, kids, even mentally unstable ones! Are going to have parents who own arsenals. Its the bed you make when powerful guns are legal to buy and own.

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Exactly. One of the ways that make it "easier" for people that have that natural aversion to killing is to create distance. It could be physical distance, like artillery strikes where you push a button and the blip on a screen goes away, or psychological distance (othering!) ethnic/racial distance, religious or political.....

Of course. There's been a ton of research on how to get the desired results. There's a whole range of what people respond to. There's the deference to authority you mentioned, the group identification, individual conditioning... However to really commit atrocity is a whole other level.
Isn't that distancing and othering? You force the enlisted to do it for you, but you plan it, you allow it, you encourage it. You're pressing a button that drops a bomb without having to face the consequences. Mass **** in war time, for example, doesn't always happen, it happens when leaders typically allow it or encourage it. Milosevic is just as responsible if not more so than the soldiers who carried out his orders.


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Right. In addition to the reluctance to kill another human being, is a built in sense of guilt/shame/horror at the action. That's a big part of the "traumatic" in PTSD. That's how healthy people react to horrible things. The "My god what have I done" factor. When people are able to repeatedly commit atrocities without experiencing that, something is very wrong. Whether it is a permanent or temporary natural state that doesn't allow them to experience it, or it is somehow conditioned out of them, in either case it indicates that there is a breakdown.
I don't have the textbook with me right now, but I can look it up later for the exact amount, but during WWI or WWII they actually figured out what the threshold was before you got the thousand year stare, it was over a hundred consecutive days of combat. Violence changes you, but not everyone gets PTSD and that doesn't make them a monster or wrong. You can feel guilt but not be seriously affected in the long term, and you can have PTSD without feeling remorse at all.

A People's History Of The Vietnam War talks about that perception, though, where Vietnam vets could only get benefits for PTSD treatment if they accepted that they were sadistic and violent and got sexual pleasure from it and stopped blaming the army or the government. Soldiers can be as much victims as the people they kill, and the people who make them do it often don't lose any sleep at night.


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"In Milgram's first set of experiments, 65 percent (26 of 40) of experiment participants administered the experiment's final massive 450-volt shock, though many were very uncomfortable doing so; at some point, every participant paused and questioned the experiment; some said they would refund the money they were paid for participating in the experiment. Throughout the experiment, subjects displayed varying degrees of tension and stress. Subjects were sweating, trembling, stuttering, biting their lips, groaning, digging their fingernails into their skin, and some were even having nervous laughing fits or seizures."

'Normal' people can be encouraged/pushed to do awful things, but there are definite mental and physiological consequences.
Yes, but how long lasting are the effects? Many reported after that they'd do it again. Even if they all got PTSD or some kind of mental illness as a result, the illness comes after, not before. It doesn't not enable violence, its a reaction to violence.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:20 AM   #27
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Ugh, just wrote a huge blabbering essay about this and deleted it. I just really hate guns and find it difficult to remain objective.

I think the rules about who should be allowed guns should be stricter. Not denying it to those with mental illness as a blanket catchall, but definitely to those with violent tendencies and to those who are prone to excessively irrational thought processes who are out of touch with reality for long periods of time, people with a history of certain types of drug use/alcoholism, ex-felons with histories of violent crime, etc.

I also think all gun purchases should have a very, very long waiting period and that in order to purchase one, a license must be procured through classes and competency tests on proper gun usage and safety precautions.

I don't even want to really get into the assault rifle crap because nobody needs a fucking assault rifle.

I don't know. The likelihood of a weapon being used for defending your home at any point after its purchase vs the likelihood of it being used recreationally/killing 20 babies at a school/drug, booze or rage-filled killings/gang violence/accidents where kids find your shit is pretty low.

I dunno, man. I just fucking hate guns.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:38 AM   #28
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I don't even want to really get into the assault rifle crap because nobody needs a fucking assault rifle.

I don't know. The likelihood of a weapon being used for defending your home at any point after its purchase vs the likelihood of it being used recreationally/killing 20 babies at a school/drug, booze or rage-filled killings/gang violence/accidents where kids find your shit is pretty low.

I dunno, man. I just fucking hate guns.
I hear you. I don't particularly like guns myself. I feel weird about the issue because if I should be so plain... I kind of agree with what Mao said "Political power comes from the barrel of a gun."

I think we can all see how incredibly effective this is.

Now I would say that the shame of gun control is that gun possession and ownership is established on much more conservative conditions in which I can't really find a solution to, only that I can say that I don't really agree with the conditions themselves.

I don't think disarming the populous is a good idea, especially since the west seems to be submerged and steeped in class struggle like whoah. In a sense... the working class SHOULD have a fighting chance and no, that doesn't mean middle class Americans either.

I'm not really a liberal either. I'm not convinced you can reform yourself to revolution that even means anything.

All I can say right now is that I am convinced that the wrong people have guns. When the Black Panthers started arming themselves, stricter gun control. When an anti-social rugged individualist white man arms himself, lax gun control.

I'm not a fan of violence; don't really like it. But I'm not a pacifist either. I kinda feel like pacifism translates more into protecting an establishment more than its more lofty dream of making people get along.

So I guess what I'm getting at is that I think it's unfortunate that in our culture, the issue of gun control and ownership is based either on reactionary white people owning them or no one owning them at all while not really allowing or thinking of anything to change class tensions.

Sorry if this seems overly antagonistic.
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:23 PM   #29
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One factor in many of these killings I would say is due to the sensationalized reporting through the different news media outlets.

The story on this case changed from minute to minute (just like a few other recent events)
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Old 12-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #30
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My proof....everyone knows the names of the spree killers in these events,none know the names of the victims.

A vast majority will rant on about gun control this or ban that but none will dare look at the factors that allowed such to happen.

That being said outlaw gun free zones,because such zones insure that spree killers will always have an area with unarmed targets.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #31
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It is ALMOST hilarious as to how you are ACCIDENTALLY right about the right to own guns.

It astounds me that you and I can agree about gun ownership but totally have different reasons as to why we think people should own guns.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:16 AM   #32
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Ashley, do you think an armed citizen can defend themself?
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:27 AM   #33
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the only problem with that is there is no such thing really as a mental illness , and that psychologist don't get paid unless they diagnose you with something, no one is normal in their eyes except themselves , and hey what about the psychologist that went on a shooting rampage at fort hood , ? I think that all psychologist should be looked at carefully and watched by the government which is us the people, and examined, and shouldn't be allowed to own guns
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #34
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I don't think disarming the populous is a good idea, especially since the west seems to be submerged and steeped in class struggle like whoah. In a sense... the working class SHOULD have a fighting chance and no, that doesn't mean middle class Americans either.
Maybe its just my Canadian sensibilities, but from what I understand, the right to bear arms was written in a time where there was little distinction between what arms the military had and what civilians had. You had a musket, which in retrospect was a pretty crappy thing that took forever to reload and in a lone gunman's hands would do very limited damage. So my question is, what difference does it make whether the populous is armed or not? The police or the army can outgun anyone, assault rifles be damned. From my understanding uprisings elsewhere are often armed by forces outside of the country (like Syrian rebels being armed by foreign nations) or the armies themselves are badly hurting for arms and armour, or new and poorly trained, or sympathetic to the people. I really wonder whether an armed uprising is possible in the US, unless foreign nations get involved in proxy wars or the army takes the side of the people.

I totally get and understand why the Black Panther Party armed themselves and if anyone gets to have guns to protect themselves, its the oppressed. But it doesn't solve a whole lot of problems; in Florida, where Zimmerman apparently had the right to stalk and shoot Trayvon Martin, a woman was convicted for simply firing shots into the air as a warning against her abusive husband, and was sentenced to twenty years...and of course she wasn't white. It might have saved her from her husband, but it didn't save her from a racist justice system.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:12 PM   #35
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Exactly. A trans woman that defends herself within the confines of the law isn't going to have the same right to defend herself regardless. As you already said, AshleyO, the system is against some people no matter what they do. What I want to know is if you think that bucking authority, and thereby sealing their fate, is really a defense.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:55 PM   #36
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That's me taking the long view.

In the most apocalyptic sense, a handgun, while ineffective against a tank may be effective against a soldier who may have hesitations in the event of say... another revolutionary war.

And while I'm aware that the law is clearly set against the oppressed; I AM wondering if reform and hashing it out with your oppressors is really going to do anything at all.

I will agree on one thing or if we are going to entertain the idea of reform, then the only one that I can think of that would be fair is of course a full disarmament of the population on the promise and delivery of addressing and fixing policy to relieve class tensions. Yes... I am using class as an umbrella term here for all those that are oppressed under the regime that we have now.

Now I mean... if you want to entertain the part of me that imagines what armed revolt would look like in the USA... in the event of a revolution; it'd probably be easier to do so with asymmetric warfare. The population doesn't REALLY need guns in order to mount an effective revolt if they really wanted to... I'm just thinking that having guns may be at least minimally effective.

I take into consideration what Saya said and what it looks like she's saying is that the oppressed do absolutely nothing in defending themselves.

I guess when I look at it from Saya's perspective, those that are oppressed are either already AT WAR or they might get lucky and get a little mercy. Unfortunately, I'm not even sure how to fix it. They've tried reform and yes... naked overt 1920s styled racism isn't necessarily popular, but we haven't even come close to actually getting rid of it because it just went invisible. That certainly isn't a solution. I find it disheartening that the oppressed should technically BE THE ONLY ONES with a monopoly on violent force. But I'm sure I'm asking for something unrealistic in saying that.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:59 PM   #37
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Exactly. A trans woman that defends herself within the confines of the law isn't going to have the same right to defend herself regardless. As you already said, AshleyO, the system is against some people no matter what they do. What I want to know is if you think that bucking authority, and thereby sealing their fate, is really a defense.
I do want to come back to this for a second. Because my last post was really long winded and I tried replying to both you and Saya at the same time.

There's only one thing that I can think of that makes self defense viable for the oppressed and that is either an army that defends the oppressed where the oppressed are necessarily the members of that army (but at that point, our country would be hot for revolution anyway) and the oppressed allies.

But being that that's the most unlikely thing to happen, the fast and easy solution is of course full disarmament across the board of the population with more outreach about the plight of America's minorities.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:16 PM   #38
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That's me taking the long view.

In the most apocalyptic sense, a handgun, while ineffective against a tank may be effective against a soldier who may have hesitations in the event of say... another revolutionary war.
Considering the nature of war crimes elsewhere, I'm a little pessimistic. Its very speculative because we have no idea what kind of discourse would surround a revolution that hasn't happened yet and the nation isn't even primed for yet.

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And while I'm aware that the law is clearly set against the oppressed; I AM wondering if reform and hashing it out with your oppressors is really going to do anything at all.

I take into consideration what Saya said and what it looks like she's saying is that the oppressed do absolutely nothing in defending themselves.
They preserve their lives, but that's an immediate defense against the threat of death, which often begins a long, tragic process of the justice system figuring out whether they have any right to be alive. The justice system will still seek out to destroy their lives in other ways. What a lynch mob fails to do, a jury can rectify.

That said, there will always be groups of the oppressed who simply cannot physically defend themselves in a significant way, such as children, the ill and the physically disabled. There will always be a significant portion of the population who cannot handle a gun, regardless of its legality, and often they're the ones who are abused the most.

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I guess when I look at it from Saya's perspective, those that are oppressed are either already AT WAR or they might get lucky and get a little mercy. Unfortunately, I'm not even sure how to fix it. They've tried reform and yes... naked overt 1920s styled racism isn't necessarily popular, but we haven't even come close to actually getting rid of it because it just went invisible. That certainly isn't a solution. I find it disheartening that the oppressed should technically BE THE ONLY ONES with a monopoly on violent force. But I'm sure I'm asking for something unrealistic in saying that.
The revolution vs reform debate is full of grey areas. A lot of anarchist seemed to call for a vote boycott or vote for a third party the past election because Obama to them wasn't much different from Romney, to which a lot of people replied that Obama can mean the difference between life and death for a lot of people that said anarchists have the privilege to ignore.

I think its safe to say that a lot of us can't trust liberals, but that doesn't mean we can always afford to never negotiate with them for the sake of principal. When my reproductive rights or rights as a queer are threatened, of course I felt motivated enough to vote for the party I felt would get enough sway at least to prevent the loss of what freedom I have, and I fully understand when other people need reform *NOW* rather than a revolution that may never come because their life may very well depend on it. Arguing for some reform doesn't mean you can't advocate revolution, it just may be key to self preservation and survival.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #39
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I like the way you broke that down.

And for all my revolution talk, I'm totally aware that the west doesn't really have the material conditions that are ripe for revolution to begin with; so I can totally empathize with reform now. And of course when I really think about it; small handguns wont mount such a resistance against the US military in which I can only imagine that the means of combat that the oppressed would have would essentially be what we're seeing everywhere else with asymetic methods.
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Old 12-17-2012, 07:12 PM   #40
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I can't do more than skim read at the moment, so I apologise if this has already been brought up..

I'm sure (or I hope that it happened, anyways..) that someone has mentioned that a person with mental illness is more likely to be the victim of violence than the perpetrator. And that a tiny tiny percentage of violent crime is committed by people with mental illness or disorders. And that if psychological screening before gun ownership was instituted that there would still be shootings like this - mainly because most of the time in spree killings, especially those where they perpetrators are children and teens, the perpetrators didn't own the guns that they used...

An aspect of this discussion that often gets missed is this:

Not everything that someone who has a mental illness does is BECAUSE they have a mental illness.

Not everything fucked up that someone who has a mental illness does is BECAUSE they have a mental illness.

It's like someone having an arthritic knee.. they might be limping because of the arthritis pain - but they might be limping because they pulled a hamstring playing cricket on the weekend.

I'm not going to check back with threads very often, so if you want to say something directly to me or call me back here to respond to something you've said, the best bet would be to message me.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:14 PM   #41
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This is true. Even if a given person is very inclined to have violent/aggressive tendencies, it doesn't mean that a violent action is a necessarily going to follow.

This is clearly a really charged subject.

As more details come out, it's becoming more clear that the guy was damaged. I mean, aside from the whole shooting up a school part. Now it's become known the guy was freaking out his mother after she caught him burning himself with a lighter.

Self-injury is a definite sign that something was wrong. Obviously not everyone who hurts themselves is going to shoot up a school, but those actions speak to emotional problems / mental health issues that merit intervention. It's worth asking, if someone had stepped in could this have been averted? Maybe, maybe not. It's clear this is a person who should have had help, and despite the social class he was in, he didn't get it.

That mother was aware of her kid's problems, and was either unaware of how to help him or unwilling to do so. I don't know how much medical intervention would affect the larger statistics, but it's looking more and more like it might have made a difference in this one.
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Old 12-18-2012, 07:48 AM   #42
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I don't think it would help the stigma. My sister is a bartender and was telling me her regulars were trying to argue that autistic people should all be registered and forced into getting some kind of help. Its not helping stigma if its turning into scapegoating and witch hunts.
^This. I can't even with that. What's going around Facebook and the media is why I'm not generally out about my psychiatric history + PTSD or my autism.

People are glossing over the gun issues by concern trolling about healthcare (through the false, emotive and intellectually lazy linking of psychiatric disability to violent acts) and in the process perpetuating harmful myths and stigma in the community.

I've only skimmed this thread, but you seem to have covered most of everything else I was going to say.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:09 AM   #43
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^This. I can't even with that. What's going around Facebook and the media is why I'm not generally out about my psychiatric history + PTSD or my autism.

People are glossing over the gun issues by concern trolling about healthcare (through the false, emotive and intellectually lazy linking of psychiatric disability to violent acts) and in the process perpetuating harmful myths and stigma in the community.

I've only skimmed this thread, but you seem to have covered most of everything else I was going to say.
'In a situation where there exists mutually exclusive positions A and B, a concern troll is someone who supports A but professes to support B around genuine supporters of B. However, they express their "concerns" about aspects of position B in order to sow doubt and uncertainty amongst genuine supporters of B.'

How exactly are people "concern trolling" on this one?

The shooter in this recent Connecticut tragedy was a troubled person, apparently struggling for years with social and emotional problems. Your take is that all of that is just a coincidence, and had nothing to do with the loss of life last week?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:47 AM   #44
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Fuck off Jonathon. People are making a big show of concern for those poor volatile mentally ill who as a group need to be contained by treatment, so they don't snap and kill people.

You don't find that a gross generalisation or stigmatizing?

People with autism/psychiatric disability are far more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators; and need better access and quality of treatment not because of being dangerous, but because of being vulnerable.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:08 PM   #45
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I like how he said that to your face without thinking twice about it. Classy.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:00 PM   #46
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Shut up, Jon.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #47
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This is true. Even if a given person is very inclined to have violent/aggressive tendencies, it doesn't mean that a violent action is a necessarily going to follow.

This is clearly a really charged subject.

As more details come out, it's becoming more clear that the guy was damaged. I mean, aside from the whole shooting up a school part. Now it's become known the guy was freaking out his mother after she caught him burning himself with a lighter.

Self-injury is a definite sign that something was wrong. Obviously not everyone who hurts themselves is going to shoot up a school, but those actions speak to emotional problems / mental health issues that merit intervention. It's worth asking, if someone had stepped in could this have been averted? Maybe, maybe not. It's clear this is a person who should have had help, and despite the social class he was in, he didn't get it.

That mother was aware of her kid's problems, and was either unaware of how to help him or unwilling to do so. I don't know how much medical intervention would affect the larger statistics, but it's looking more and more like it might have made a difference in this one.
I know that I said that I was going to stay away, but I also knew that this sort of shit was going to happen.

There is so much wrong with the things you've said here that I don't have time to address your points before I leave for work.

I am curious, though - what happens if a person who "self-injures" doesn't want intervention? What do you propose then? What other signs and symptoms do you propose warrant intervention?
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:31 PM   #48
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Considering that there even was better access to healthcare.

Let's assume there was absolutely free mental healthcare available across the board.

If someone is keen to self injury, would it not necessarily mean that they would probably not consider the access to the healthcare in the first place? (some would) I wouldn't really know.

I think maybe it would be better if you told us since I think I remembering you mentioning that you do this. There's a lot riding on your scenario. The conflicts between administering aid to those who need it and then of course ones' own agency in handling their own bodies.

*shrugs* Even though Jon is an asshole, I'm not sure loading up a situation like that is a good idea for him to even address.

Jon... I'm not so sure you should try to respond to what Absynth is talking about.
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:25 PM   #49
Jonathan
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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I'm saying there is something wrong with a person who is able to murder his mother, steal her weapons, and then proceed murder a bunch of kids and elementary school teachers, and you think this makes me an asshole. That's fucking outstanding.

Like, oh well, sometimes people just up and murder a bunch of kids. It's just one of those things you know, and not connected at all to untreated psychological trauma or issues. People just naturally go on murder-suicide sprees every once in a while, nothing we can do about it. Is that what we're supposed to take away here?
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Old 12-18-2012, 03:39 PM   #50
Jonathan
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: northeast us
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AshleyO View Post
If someone is keen to self injury, would it not necessarily mean that they would probably not consider the access to the healthcare in the first place? (some would) I wouldn't really know.
So addiction. There's a physical and mental health issue. No moral judgment for this scenario, I'm not calling them bad people just people that need help.

Some people realize they have a problem, and seek out options on their own initiative. Other people aren't aware that they have a problem, or are not prepared to admit they have it, and sometimes intervention from friends or family members can help them decide to get what they need. On their own, they might not consider accessing some type of assistance to deal with the condition. Just because an individual doesn't avail themselves of options doesn't mean having treatment options available is useless, right?

If someone is in pain, I don't think it is morally defensible to ignore them.
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