By Brian L. Grant MD
If a sign of mental illness is delusional thinking and being out of touch with reality, Wayne LaPierre may qualify. His ongoing rants suggesting that there exists some sort of mental health database that if consulted, would screen out murderers, is absurd.
Mr. LaPierre, please show us what you refer to. Also, please demonstrate how many — if any— of those thousands of killers who used firearms were in this non-existent database?
I hope you are not suggesting that an individual who seeks counseling or psychotherapy from a psychiatrist or psychologist, or antidepressants from their primary care doctor should be entered in a registry restricting their current firearm rights?
To do so would fly in the face of logic, privacy, and have zero impact on the problem of gun deaths. There is no linkage between seeking mental health care and dangerousness, and any such registration would only serve to deter individuals from addressing issues that might then go untreated.
Any mental health professional possessing appropriate humility knows that their record of predicting dangerousness is little better than the general public.
The public depiction of some of the recent mass killers certainly describe strange individuals, who before their act are not unlike those that one might find in large numbers in any high school class, software, Star Trek, or dare I say, Psychiatry convention. Hindsight bias, where something suddenly becomes obvious after the fact, is simple but misguided.
The proximate cause of gun deaths are guns and bullets. Killers armed with less lethality may be less dangerous toward others and themselves.
Do we collectively as a society have the political will and common sense to at least confine our arguments to reality?