On Gun Control and Mental Health, Who Decides Who's Crazy?
The latest bipartisan "gun control" legislative proposal reeks of "Do-Somethingism." Again, given the rampant disasters wrought from the numerous foolish policies enacted due to our bout with COVID-19, we should've learned our lesson. Give Democrats — and their like-minded enablers — a "crisis," and you're almost certainly guaranteed a catastrophic Big Government "solution."
Inevitably, such "solutions" do almost nothing to solve the problems they were meant to solve, and instead burden tens of millions of Americans with a host of new problems that are often much worse than the original. Again, see COVID. If signed into law — and Biden has said he will sign it — almost certainly, the new "gun control" legislation proposed by ten Democrats and ten Republicans will prove about as useful as most of the anti-COVID-19 measures enacted throughout the U.S. the past two-plus years.
And like the near-useless anti-COVID-19 policies, this new "gun control" legislation will do virtually nothing to solve the problem intended — mass shootings — and instead will create a myriad of new problems for innocent Americans.
In the statement released describing what's in the legislation (see previous link), much of the focus of the bill is on "mental health." Additionally, the legislation seems to incentivize U.S. states to enact "red flag" laws. Under the heading entitled "Intervention Orders," the description of the legislation reads:
Provides resources to states and tribes to create and administer laws that help ensure deadly weapons are kept out of the hands of individuals whom a court has determined to be a significant danger to themselves or others, consistent with state and federal due process and constitutional protections.
A red flag law is a "gun control" law that permits police or individuals to petition a state court to order the removal of firearms "from a person who they believe may present a danger to others or themselves." Nineteen states — almost all blue states — and the District of Columbia have some form of a red flag law.
As Tucker Carlson recently went into great detail to point out, there are huge problems with red flag laws:
First, red flag laws won't end mass shootings. But red flag laws will end due process[.] ... Under red flag laws the government doesn't have to prove you did anything wrong in order to strip you of your most basic rights. All that's required to punish you is a complaint, possibly even an anonymous complaint, in which somebody says "you seem dangerous." Now, that complaint doesn't come from a grand jury; it can come from anyone, including someone who hates you or someone who simply doesn't like your politics[.] ... On the basis of that unproven complaint, you lose your freedom and your ability to defend yourself and your family.
In other words, who gets to decide who's "dangerous"? Just a couple of years ago, Democrat congressman Eric Swalwell thought Ben Shapiro was a good example of why America needs red flag laws. Just as Americans should be cautious when it comes to enacting red flag laws, Americans should also be hesitant to embrace any legislation, school policy, and the like when it comes to "mental health" and "gun control." Because who gets to decide who's crazy?
According to a recent (2019) study published in Psychiatry Research, "psychiatric diagnoses are scientifically worthless as tools to identify discrete mental health disorders." This conclusion aligns well with what practicing psychotherapist Gary Greenburg has long said. Upon the release of the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (the DSM-5) in early 2013, The Atlantic asked Dr. Greenburg, "Can you define mental illness?" His reply: "No. Nobody can."
Dr. Greenburg says that not one of the disorders in the DSM is real. He claims that the DSM is nothing more than an exercise in rhetoric — an attempt to legitimize the practice of psychiatry. In a culture that is increasingly more hesitant to use the word "evil," Dr. Greenburg concludes that having the American Psychiatric Association (who owns and publishes the DSM) classify certain behaviors as "disorders" is a way to remove the moral aspect of certain behaviors.
We've seen this often with mass shootings. Inevitably, whenever one of these rare but horrific acts of evil takes place, words and phrases like "mentally disturbed," "mentally ill," "crazy," "nut-job," and "psycho" are frequently tossed around. This is even done by well-meaning, and sometimes even biblically minded, conservatives.
I believe that this is because sickness is much easier to deal with than evil. Sickness can be treated — or we can at least pretend, or look as if, we're treating it — often with expensive drugs and therapy (or masks and lockdowns!). When it comes to those who are financially vested in such things, sickness is good for business. However, dealing with evil requires that we define what is evil, and dealing with evil means that we sometimes must engage in matters in the spiritual realm.
Additionally, as we pervert what is sickness along with what is good and evil, what was once good and right can be something that needs to be cured or punished. So if you merely vote the "wrong" way, or attend the "wrong" protest, or say the "wrong" things, or refuse to support what someone else has determined is the "right" thing, you could find yourself on the wrong side of a court ruling when it comes to your guns.
We've seen this play out countless times when it comes cancel culture. Just this week, the NFL's Washington Commanders (Redskins!) lightened the wallet of assistant coach Jack Del Rio to the tune of $100,000 simply because he didn't toe the preferred (Democrat) line when it comes to the actions at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 and the numerous (criminal) riots in the wake of George Floyd's death.
In other words, the NFL has decided what is "right" when it comes to January 6, 2021 and the George Floyd riots. And if you don't stick to the (Democrat) narrative on these matters, you will be punished.
When it comes to courts taking our guns, many will say, "But we have the Second Amendment!" True — however, we're a few Supreme Court justices away from having that amendment "interpreted" beyond recognition. Given the numerous vagaries when it comes to mental illness, and given the importance of gun ownership to a free nation, America simply can't afford to have the courts tell us who's "crazy" enough to have his guns taken away.
Trevor Grant Thomas: At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the The Miracle and Magnificence of America.
Image via Pixabay.