Guns, drugs and threats

I was reading at Foxnews today and there is an essay by doug schoen arguing that the issue of gun control has favored the Democrats in several recent elections and in particular in the governor’s race in Virginia and that in that race, knowing that the NRA supported Gillespie made voters less likely to vote for him by a 2 to 1 margin of those who had a view on the NRA. Moreover, about 19% of voters considered gun control issues the most important issue for their vote.

I believe that there should be more control in one area and less control in others. The area of more control should be who is buying or owning guns. There are lots of dangerous people who fall through the cracks of the background check system and who would be and should be excluded by slightly more restrictive criteria.

After the shooting in Orlando, a lot of people said that no law would have prevented Mateen from purchasing his weapons. In fact, he was known to have made threats and he simply was never prosecuted for the threats he made. Why do you sell rifles to a man who has been making threats against people and simply has not been prosecuted for it, or, even if prosecuted for it or convicted for it, making threats is a misdemeanor and the guy gets the rifle? How dumb can society be when it comes to “making threats” and selling guns?

In the case of the Las Vegas shooting, the shooter had no criminal history, but he was on a mood-altering drug with what the doctors consider to have “common” psychiatric side-effects.

A few years ago, an airplane pilot flew a plane into a mountain in Europe. The guy committed suicide in a way that took 100 people with him on the way down. It used to be in Europe that you could not fly commercial airplanes if you were on any mood-altering drugs, but they decided to liberalize the criteria . . . and this pilot was on 4 or 5 different mood-altering drugs at the time of his murder-suicide. If the guy had had wife or family and killed his wife or family, we would have called it a murder-suicide, but, because he was using an airplane, we call it a plane crash rather than what it was, which was murder-suicide using the controls of a plane.

In the years that European nations had the rule that pilots could not fly while on mood-altering drugs, they did not any pilots fly his commercial jet into a mountain. When they made the rules more liberal to accommodate the guys who have mood disorders so that they could be commercial airplane pilots, they did. Is it a coincidence?

Mood altering drugs have side effects. These side effects are not easily predicted in any given person, nor is the effectiveness of any given mood-altering drug certain. A study done to document the presence and severity of the side effects of a single mood altering drug taken in isolation does not account for multiple-drug use or the combination of such “mood altering drugs” and alcohol.

Some people with “anxiety” have it so bad that it interferes with their ability to safely drive. How in the world do you sell such a person a handgun? Some people with “anxiety” have unpredictable “panic attacks.” These people have generally not been involuntarily “institutionalized.” How can you sell a person with unpredictable panic attacks a gun or make him the pilot of a plane with 100 passengers?

What kind of medical study would get past a ethics board in which you take persons 1) who have currently have diagnosed and untreated mood or personality disorders or, their current mood disorders are not being successfully treated by a current prescription, even if the mood disorder is as basic as anxiety or depression, and then 2) give them several different mood altering drugs and alcohol several times a week and then compare them with others not drinking and not taking multiple mood altering drugs?

No one in their right mind would take a dozen people who are mentally ill and then give them multiple drugs and alcohol to find out the side effects of taking multiple drugs and alcohol while also mentally ill. But this is what some doctors do with people, when they are treating them, and some of these people also own guns! No valium or xanax prescription comes with a guarantee the guy won’t drink alcohol.

That is what happens in the real world when people who have medical licenses prescribe mood altering drugs, but the testing of the drugs is, generally speaking, done on healthy volunteers and it is done one drug at a time.

There are people who plainly say, “I have depression or bipolar or anxiety so bad that I could not function in life without drug xyz.” Does his handgun come with a guarantee that his mood-altering drug will always work properly? Does the handgun guarantee that he will always take his mood-altering medication or that he will not develop a tolerance for it requiring him to take a higher dose in order to function? Does his handgun guarantee that he will take it and not drink or not take 2 or 3 mood-altering drugs? Some of these mood-altering drugs are known to have a tendency to produce drug tolerance, so that, in order to get the same effect, the doctor has to increase the dose. Some of the drugs have side effects which are magnified when you include taking alcohol or a 2nd or a 3rd mood altering drug.

Ok, so you have a guy with a gun and anxiety. The doctor gives him medication for the anxiety but in 3 to 6 months, the drug is not working as well as at first. Do he and the doctor quit the drug and try a different anti-anxiety drug? Do they double the dose? What do you do with this guy’s gun while his doctor is experimenting with different anxiety drugs or trying to find the right dose? What about hallucinations and delusions which are “common” side-effects of some of these drugs?

One society lets a guy on 4 mood-altering drugs to fly commercial airplanes and another society lets guys who have been fired or removed from jobs for making threats buy rifles.

If you ask the public, even those who are conservative gun owning or gun-shooting friends or my Mormon self-defending family members, if person with mood disorders requiring drugs should be buying guns, it is 50-50 that they will say no and say yes. Include more Democrats and liberals in the survey and I don’t know what they would say . . .


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