Obviously, nobody in his right mind wants to advocate that the mentally ill be encouraged to own firearms. But permit us to analogize a bit. Nobody in his right mind wants to incite a nuclear holocaust, either—but that never made unilateral disarmament a valid alternative, except in the febrile imaginations of Chris Dodd, Teddy Kennedy and elements of the wastrel left that found themselves with time on their hands after Vietnam was surrendered to the communists. Nobody in his right mind wants a family to go bankrupt and lose its home and life savings because a beloved family member contracts cancer, but that doesn’t mean Obamacare is a rationale solution to healthcare finance, as a bewildered (and lamentably bovine) nation is slowly coming to realize. In other words, the fallacy of the false alterative is an almost surefire liberal ploy by which to enact oppressive legislation and advance the socialist agenda. Indeed, as Americans become increasingly distracted by selfies, tweets, Facebook, and Snooki (whoever that is), they become even less proclived to examine issues of significance, let alone to examine them in careful detail—and that, of course, is one of the reasons WOOF is here….to do all that thinking and examining of issues for Americans who can’t find the time.
So as we were saying, although it constitutes the proverbial fool’s errand to argue against sane gun ownership, we here at WOOF have been contemplating precisely this argument since first remarking on the matter back in April of 2013 (viewable here) and we have concluded that we are the fools for the errand. And in this capacity, we need to open the discussion with a bit of history.
Early in 2013, close on the heels of the Sandy Hook atrocity, Chris Cox, the Legislative Action Director for the NRA, urged the Senate to focus on the mental health system. Because the Sandy Hook shooter seemed so patently disturbed, this tactic gave every indication of providing a sensible and far more realistic option to the usual liberal response of punishing legitimate gun owners and discovering fresh rationales for banning more varieties of firearms whose only commonality was that none of them was used at Sandy Hook.
Even so, in a free Republic where issues were stated honestly and debated openly by elected representatives while a concerned citizenry engaged in at least as much informed discussion of national affairs as of NFL playoffs or Pippi Longstocking’s porn career, one might reasonably assert that a gun purchaser’s mental health deserves consideration during the course of a firearm sale. Besides, Mr. Cox did not directly tie mental health criteria to the qualifications for gun ownership—he merely specified mental health concerns as being among those oft-neglected societal responsibilities that, if addressed properly, might go farther toward limiting gun violence than the usual anti-gun, anti-second amendment blatherings from the Left. Cox, in other words, was saying, “hey, leave us gun owners alone and go get the mental health industry!” But in so saying he reckoned without the progressive movement’s affinity for harnessing psychiatry to Leviathan.
This is a dreadful oversight. It plays directly into the hands of the conspiracy to disarm Americans that drives large and determined factions of the anti-American Left. Beneath liberalism’s theatre of outrage and studied ululations of simpatico for the victims of gun violence lies a cynical, calculated operation aimed at expunging the second amendment or so drastically reinterpreting it that it allows only functionaries of the collectivist State to possess guns. Indeed, so exhilarating do liberals find gun slayings in America (insofar as they offer further pretexts for grabbing guns) that Eric Holder is openly known to have sought more of them through his exertions in Operation Fast and Furious. So duplicitous in these efforts are the Liberal Establishment Media that, as one example of many, an armed assault committed by a psychotic anarchist on a political gathering in Tucson where Federal District Court Chief Judge, John Roll (a Republican), was killed along with a nine-year-old girl, Christina-Taylor Green, and four others, was roundly laid at the feet of Sarah Palin, apparently because Palin’s website “targeted” the house seat of Gabrielle Gifford who was severely wounded during the shooting. So if Palin targeted Gabby Gifford, who targeted the Republican Judge who was actually slain? Who targeted the child? Who targeted building no. 7? (Sorry, wrong argument) Suffice it that the bizarre idea that Palin somehow bore responsibility for the actions of a lone homicidal maniac was granted legitimacy only by an assortment of media elitists who afforded the notion that level of solemn, chin-rubbing deliberation they always seem to reserve for the laughably indefensible.
Luckily, Palin survived the incident without being indicted by Eric Holder’s Justice Department for conspiracy to commit mayhem by web design. The mammoth Liberal anti-gun push that came out of such incidents as the Batman shootings, the above-mentioned Tucson shootings, the Sandy Hook killings (yes, they really happened), and a number of less broadly publicized incidents, seemed bound to ramify in a gun-control bill that would make a mockery of the second amendment, yet somehow this initiative fizzled and no fresh legislative push has thus far materialized, causing even the hyper vigilant NRA to guardedly acknowledge a welcome respite. Our Vice President’s advice to acquire double-barreled shotguns and to discharge both barrels into the black of night if ever we as citizens should deem our safety threatened has become a viral remix, and this too seemed to quell the rage of the anti-gun cohort at least sufficiently to inspire a truce. Sighs of relief were audible on the Right.
Even Breitbart joined the chorus, publishing AWR Hawkins to the effect that, “After failing to pass any gun control at the federal level during 2013, the White House has signaled its intention to lay off guns for a time and focus on mental health.” A remarkable number of conservative and libertarian opinionists echoed Hawkins’s sentiment. Slate’s John Dickerson bemoaned the failure of the Senate’s anti-gun salient, lamenting that, “Democrats—who are so quick to blame Republicans for our broken gun laws—could not stand united.” The president famously staged a hissy fit in the rose garden and the news cycle faded, leaving everyone to conclude that indeed, it was more in keeping with the zeitgeist to consider better mental health treatment for the masses.
Even Mark Follman at the subversive Mother Jones wrote that an examination of the mass shooters recorded between 1982 and 2012 showed that, “acute paranoia, delusions, and depression were rampant among them.” Follman also made the point that 38 of those shooters showed some indications of lesser varieties of mental illness prior to their respective rampages.
Meanwhile, back at the NRA, chief executive Wayne LaPierre took to the microphones and recommended the establishment of a national registry of the mentally ill as a better means by which to curb gun violence. LaPierre voiced his quite reasonable concern that mentally ill Americans constitute a more grievous threat to the commonweal than .223 rifles, and suggested that they might be roaming the streets in something like profusion. “How,” he asked, “can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”
Wow! If one were of a sanguine disposition, one might go so far as to suppose that LaPierre had effectuated a kind of miraculous breakthrough here—a kind of Begin-and-Sadat handclasp across a desert of supposedly unbreachable divisions resulting in a wondrous détente between anti-gun crusaders and the nation’s millions of ardent shooters. Many anti-gun advocates including the subversive Mayors Against Illegal Guns clown act, advocated measures reminiscent of LaPierre’s proposal. The Washington Post applauded LaPierre’s statement, and many tenacious anti-gun senators embraced mental health legislation as “a way forward.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, who has pushed for tougher gun laws since last year’s elementary school massacre in Newtown, declared that, “Mental health is really the key to unlocking this issue. I’ve become more and more convinced that we should establish the mental health issue as our common ground.”
And if these sudden cries of kumbaya from both factions weren’t recommendation enough, senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who we need hardly mention was a driving proponent of the failed Senate gun grab, is now obdurately, not to say poutily, resisting efforts to initiate action on any mental health provisions, declaring them a sop to the pro-gun lobby. Reid apparently views the mental health issue as a diversionary tactic likely to hinder future Democrat efforts to debauch the Bill of Rights. Game theory may be useful here: Is Reid opposed to the advancement of mental health legislation for the reasons he claims, or is he feigning opposition, certain that his outspokenness will motivate Republicans to push all the harder for a mental health bill, which is what he really wants in the first place?
Answer: Without getting into the interstices of the Nash Equilibrium, suffice it that Reid is often more immediately motivated by petulance than any sort of refined tactical intent—he is also an experienced hand at shifting his stated position on a dime without so much as a mumble in explication or even acknowledgement of the shift—and his motives are therefore recognizably craven rather than exchange oriented. But the impact of a successful bluff is identical to the impact of a confidently played royal flush—the opposition loses. In reverse psychology, the opposition advances in a manner unwittingly supportive of the opponent’s ends. In this instance, where the proponents of mental health legislation occupied both sides of the aisle (the Left assuming a ploy on Reid’s part, the Right reacting to Reid’s presumed opposition) the advocates of mental-health activism advanced on all fronts! Thus, whether Reid is best adjudged a tactician or a nincompoop, the-mental-heath issue was strengthened by his blatherings. And that’s bad. That’s very bad.
Most Americans fell for Barack Obama’s healthcare scam because they believed him when he told them they could keep their doctors. Insurance plans are important, yes, and if the public had been told (by somebody besides us and the rest of conservative America) that they were about to be herded into intolerably expensive substitute plans that would cover less and supply pathetically little, they would have bridled to be sure. But it is only as Americans discover that their doctors will in most cases be replaced by whatever third stringers accept the government’s coin in exchange for their dubious services that we will see Americans rendered truly aghast at the lunarscape of socialist medicine. From the days of Lew Ayres’ and Lionel Barrymore’s Doctor Kildare movies through the soap operatic tenure of Young Dr. Malone, through Ben Casey, the Bold Ones, and yes, even House (who was redeemable for his genius, after all) the escutcheon of American medicine has remained ublotted in the public eye. Now, the public prepares itself to confront a new medicine—a cut rate, unsympathetic statist affair replete with waiting lines, surgical permissions, bossy bureaucrats, governmental snooping (is there a gun in your home?) and, yes, of course, death panels. Why was this so hard to anticipate for so many? Because medicine in America is (was) widely seen as a pure, unsullied realm of competency and noble commitment—so why not make it free to boot? Most of us just aren’t deep thinkers, sad to say.
Switch now to the American view of mental health workers—psychologists, counselors, psychotherapists, psychiatrists—people who study long and hard to get where they are, driven by a profound determination to be of help to their fellow human beings—to bring succor to the anguished and address the roots of turmoil in the contemporary psyche. What is more widely and openly espoused in our culture than therapy? What is more heartily indulged than medications aimed at uplifting our fallen spirits? And who more trusted than the assessors, hourly confidants and prescribers who seek only our emotional betterment? In the mental health field too, a glimmer of purity arrests base suspicions, but when you think about it, why would the Obamans leave this vital quadrant of the health field out of their schemes? What a waste it would be to let the massive mental health industry function freely, when it could be so much more useful if incorporated as a component of the totalitarian state! In short, the Left would have to be nuts not to grab up the mental health field while it has the chance. And the sorry truth is, it won’t require much grabbing!
Long ago in the Reagan ‘80s the World Psychiatric Association condemned the Soviet Union for its invention of “sluggish schizophrenia”–sometimes called “creeping schizophrenia,” a diagnosis invented by Commie Master Psychiatrist Andrei Snezhnevsky and reserved for anybody whose loyalty to the Soviet system seemed to be foundering. In other words, its symptomology made opposition to the State a severe mental illness requiring all sorts of chemical and electro-convulsive interventions! “Patients” in soviet mental hospitals were zapped and injected until their resistance to the state faded along with their mental competencies and their will. This is the sort of totalitarian nightmare we once shook our heads at in disbelief in the Free West. “It could never happen here,” we told ourselves, but These perversions of psychiatry, once thought of as peculiar to the Communist east, are ripe now for inclusion in an America that has undergone what our Beloved Helmsman called a “fundamental transformation.” Don’t doubt for a moment that American psychologists, psychiatrists and therapists will become willing, even enthusiastic functionaries of the new American order. To a frightening degree, this has happened already.
The field of psychology is utterly dominated by liberals. WOOF does not know of a single credible source that disputes this point. In a brilliant, hard hitting, and generally ignored article in American Psychologist, University of Virginia Professor Richard E. Redding demonstrated conclusively that liberalism maintains an iron grip on research and practice in the field, which distorts findings and skews policy to the extreme left. More recently, survey research has demonstrated that many social psychologists would unhesitatingly discriminate based on politics. Almost 40% of those interviewed readily acknowledged that, given equally qualified conservative and liberal job applicants, liberal candidates should be hired over conservative candidates as a matter of routine.
Dr. Nicholas Cummings, once president of the American Psychological Association, says the organization that he formerly helmed is now completely governed by”ultra-liberals” who are militantly devoted to advancing the leftist agenda. In psychology, please recall, the liberal agenda includes the “pathologizing” of such manifest evils as “homophobia,” Eurocentric resistance to “multiculturalism,.” the infamous neurosis of failed “nigrescence” (when blacks fail to achieve proper “black racial identity” values—perhaps becoming conservatives), not to mention resistance to the advancement of feminist social goals, and, yes, to be sure, gun ownership!
Because you’re stupid!
At least when the liberal media are confronted with their sociopolitical biases, they have the decency to deny them. Not so the liberal psychological establishment. A widely cited and quoted article explains this lack of philosophical balance rather handily. The article, published in the Social Psychology Quarterly, is the work of one Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Kanazawa represents himself as “libertarian,” and insists that his findings are therefore not to be regarded as biased. He asserts, with almost no evidence whatsoever, that Liberals are smarter than Conservatives and even includes an explanation of why. The explanation is that liberals favor helping non-genetically related individuals—a concept foreign to the hunter gatherer mentality (allegedly found in Conservatives) and are therefore more intellectually evolved. Stop laughing–we are not making this up! It is worth noting here (without any hint of endorsement, allow us to emphasize) that when Arthur Jensen presented extensive research in 1969 suggesting that Blacks possess lower mean IQs than Whites, he was practically hounded from his professorship at University of California Berkeley.
Jensen also, by the way,asserted that conceptual, or synthesizing abilities manifest at significantly greater frequencies in Asians than in Whites, (which may explain why WOOF just can’t understand Kanazawa) but nobody cared—Jensen was marginalized in the profession by accusations of crypto-fascism and generally dismissed as a racist nut. Apparently, Conservatives are not to be similarly defended nor Kanazawa’s findings similarly denounced despite the fact that his work is almost hilariously inexact by comparison to Jensen’s. But in Kanazawa’s view, the liberal orthodoxy finds a rationale for spurning philosophical diversity. “Liberals do control the media,” Kanazawa explains, “or the [sic] show business, or the [sic] academia, among other institutions, because, apart from a few areas in life (such as business) where countervailing circumstances may prevail, liberals control all institutions. They control the institutions because liberals are on average more intelligent than conservatives and thus they are more likely to attain the highest status in any area of…modern life.” See? Liberals control everything, because you’re stupid! And, thus, science marches on!
How the American Psychiatric Association cured homosexuality…
You could probably have lived out the remainder of your life happily ignorant of the existence of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistical Manual if you hadn’t decided to read this article! The vaunted “DSM” is the official compendium of all mental-health diagnoses, as well as categories of mental retardation, eating and sleeping disorders, learning, motor skill, communication and attention disorders, plus a bunch of related stuff. In the United States the DSM serves as the universal authority for psychiatric diagnosis. As they say in clinical settings, if it’s not in the DSM you can’t have it, because if it’s not in the DSM, insurance won’t cover it.
The highly political nature of the DSM has long been a matter of concern even to liberal clinicians. The most notorious instance of liberalism overriding anything resembling the scientific method involved homosexuality. Now pay attention, because this is going to go by fast: The original DSM issued in 1952 called homosexuality a form of sociopathy and categorized it as a personality disturbance, but when the DSM II came out in 1968 homosexuals were listed as suffering from a sexual deviancy. Then came Gay Lib and hordes of placard waving Gay activists storming meetings of the DSM editorial board, and by 1973 homosexuality was no longer a mental disorder of any kind, according to the DSM; but this outraged therapists who were treating conflicted, unhappy Gay clients so that by 1980, with the emergence of the DSM III, a new category of ego-dystonic homosexuality was created (meaning Gays who were suffering psychologically because they were Gay). The Gay community, however, would not stand for the idea that anybody could be bothered by being Gay and once again rallied against the alleged homophobes at the DSM, which homophobes reconvened and decided that ego-dystonic homosexuality didn’t really exist either. The diagnosis is nowhere to be found in the text revision of the DSM III published in 1986. Ever since, psychiatrists and psychologists dealing with unhappy Gays have been sneaking them in under “Sexual Disorder Not Otherwise Specified” while the new DSM V is concerned not at all with Gays, (who are apparently all okay nowadays), but exhibits a heightened interest in treating the distress that accompanies gender dysphoria resulting from our culture, which, you may be shocked to discover, stigmatizes people who do not conform to gender norms. Got all that? Obviously, all of these changes were sociopolitical rather than clinical in origin—WOOF mentions them only because they typify the highly politicized nature of the mental health establishment in America, and its diagnostic “bible.”
The new DSM V has already borne much criticism from concerned practitioners for lowering the diagnostic threshold of all disorders, which will obviously expand the number of people who meet the criteria for diagnostic labeling while increasing the likelihood of false-positive diagnoses. This should concern America’s gun owners, especially taken in correlation with the DSM’s proven tendency to accommodate leftist philosophies without reference to empirical evidence supportive of such positional adjustments. Of equal concern, surely, is the new DSM’s examination of “sociocultural variation” – the definition of which is so loosely constructed as to virtually invite the capricious labeling of any perceived sociopolitical deviance as a mental disorder. These elements alone should give pause to thoughtful advocates of an armed citizenry. Do we really want the American Psychiatric Association organizing a committee to review the sociopolitical deviancy of wanting to own an AR-15, or a fifty-caliber Desert Eagle?
Long ago the psychiatrist Thomas Szasz undertook to demonstrate that psychiatry labels behaviors as mental illness when said behaviors threaten societal norms, thus most diagnoses of mental illness, Szasz contends, amount to politically and culturally motivated forms of repression. Remember also that the liberal academics and clinicians at the helm of the APA, American Counseling Association, and other major mental health organizations have not the slightest interest in what Americans qua Americans consider cultural or societal norms—they are entirely intent on advancing their own norms—the norms of the ultra-leftist faculty-lounge, born of arrogance and insularity. As if in complicity with Obama’s march toward totalitarianism, the DSM 5 crafts a cunningly slippery slope by introducing the concept of Behavioral Addictions—an amorphous concept that, with a little imagineering, can serve to make a mental disorder out of anything anybody does excessively—and, of course, “excessively” is defined by the attending professional. Simultaneously, as mentioned, the new DSM lowers the threshold at which diagnostic judgments may be imposed.
Consider the wisdom of Dr. Allen Frances, M.D., former chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and current professor emeritus at Duke, who said of gun control: “We must go much further. No civilian—mentally ill or not—ever needs or deserves access to a military-style assault weapon that is capable of killing dozens of people in a few short minutes. The pleasure that some gun enthusiasts seem to take in owning and firing these weapons is not an inalienable constitutional right deserving second amendment protection.” Did that get your attention? Yes, we know, your twelve-year old’s pump action .22 is “capable of killing dozens of people in a few short minutes” but seriously, do you think Dr. Frances gives a rat’s patoot? His goal is the eventual elimination of all legitimately owned firearms in civilian hands. He’d just like to start with your AR-15 because it looks scariest. And Dr. Frances speaks for the majority in his profession.
There is already an instrument by which DSM-V-based denials of firearms purchases can be imposed. Part of the federal government’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System is the Brady Check. This “safeguard” against possession of firearms by the mentally ill amounts to a repository of centralized data allowing “experts” to sift through the records of individual American gun purchasers with the intent of identifying and disqualifying any who transpire to suffer from a mental illness. Naturally, the final decision following an NICS/Brady Check would be made by a team of government psychiatrists.
All of this amounts to an obvious Catch-22 in the works for Americans naive enough to suppose that government can be depended on to bring psychiatry to bear upon the problem of mentally unstable individuals coming into the possession of firearms. A federal government determined to nullify the second amendment without facing a constitutional showdown need only subvert the psychiatric and psychological professions and impose gun control in the guise of a per-saltum leap forward in national mental hygiene. And the Obama Administration needn’t lift a finger to subvert America’s mental health professionals—they are already Leftist, Democrat, and anti gun.
It remains only to construct the following diagnostic paradox: All American citizens are guaranteed the right to own guns under the second amendment—unless they are found to be mentally unstable. But since only mentally unstable Americans would ever want to own firearms, all who wish to own firearms must be refused the right to own firearms on the grounds of mental health! Wasn’t that simple?
From Nazi Germany to Soviet Russia to Obama’s America, wherever totalitarianism has sought to establish itself, psychiatry has become its willing handmaiden. The great majority of America’s mental health practitioners are dedicated janissaries of the Left who have shown time and time again that they will willingly substitute their elitist ideology for the scientific process whenever it serves the cause of socialism. We must persuade our well-intentioned representatives, the leadership of the National Rifle Association, and our neighbors, to resist the siren song of psychiatric oversight in the matter of gun procurement and ownership. The establishment is playing good men and women for suckers, luring them into a seemingly wholesome concordance with the Left in pursuit of increased mental-health oversight as a means to a safer armed society. The actual purpose of this seemingly salubrious endeavor is the dissolution of our right to bear arms. It must be resisted by every American determined to preserve our Constitution, and by every mental health professional courageous enough to resist the tide of collectivism sweeping through his profession and his nation.
Any review of the Framers’ quotes relating to the establishment of the second amendment would quickly persuade a contemporary liberal– Dr. Allen Frances, for instance—that our government was designed by a benighted cluster of slathering psychotics, so enthralled do they seem by the prospect of national gun ownership! And while it may be true that none of the first ten amendments was intended to be held most vital by Americans, it is unarguably true that none of them can be secured so assuredly as by the second! It may be quite true, also, that Madison and his compatriots never foresaw the development of a Bushmaster or a semi-automatic shotgun, but by the same token they never foresaw the NSA, drones, the IRS, legislation by presidential directive, or mandatory health care. Patrick Henry may best have emphasized the primacy of the 2nd amendment when he cautioned Americans to “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.”