INTRODUCTION:

Welcome to BobKat's Lair ®

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A lair is a home; A castle; A burrow; A haven; a place where one should feel safe. To ensure our safety especially in one's lair, we have laws. And some laws cause more harm than good!

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Time for the awakening...

That is what my goal is here... to present topics which highlight the plight of people. Why, 2000 years after Caesar Augustus, are we still a people being hurt? With all our advancements in technology, medicine, communications, why are we a people still being hurt? Human nature hasn't changed much, but that doesn't mean it isn't time now for that to happen, and it is undoubtedly happening - hard to see however. This blog is part of that change and a witness to it.

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April 12, 2014

MENTAL ILLNESS IN AMERICA, GUN CONTROL AND THE MARIJUANA MYTHOS...

According to the National Institute of Health - NIH, over one quarter of the American population has a mental illness of some kind. LINK: NIH -MENTAL ILLNESS IN AMERICA.

Often, mental health issues are linked with substance abuse issues. Although one might expect that illegal drugs would be most closely tracked and publicized, the truth is strange as the NIH and other foundations actually compares mental illness rates to alcohol, tobacco, and illegal or legit drug use.

The KIM FOUNDATION is another useful website that looks at the actual statistics for mental health and categorizes the conditions.

My feeling is the number of Americans with a mental health illness is double the number suggested. Too many people go through life ignoring the obvious. Too many families are dysfunctional. There is very little out there educationally with regards to being a family, being parents, being the child.

I'm opposed to government intervention into the life of a family, however, going blindly into being a family seems somewhat antiquated to me. Where are the family colleges? Perhaps I should start one.

We do have laws... we have a child protective services division in most states... the trouble is, too many mistakes happen. The criteria for intervention is either outdated or insufficient. We take children away from parents when it's discovered one or both parents use, or did use marijuana. When one or both parents are arrested for marijuana. Contrast that to use of alcohol or tobacco, child abuse or child neglect.... often hard to prove or make a case for.

Having a beer is like smoking a bowl of pot. It's a question and the answer is difficult to ascertain. Why? Because they are different substances. A truck is different than a car, a trip to China is different than a trip to the Grand Canyon in AZ. We live in a world of diversity. Also a dying world.

In the near 60 years I've been alive on the planet in the United States I have witnessed a surreal idyllic world growing up as a child to a world that is endangered by consequences of what humankind has created in the past 200 years. Global warming, destruction of natural habitat, disregard for nature. As a child the world had none of these destructive concerns...  we only worried over the "Cold War" with the Soviet Union.

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It's the year 2014... 

Marijuana is still a Schedule One drug at a federal level, however two states along with Portland ME have legalized recreational use of cannabis, and 21 other states allow medical use for cannabis.

You can't however own a gun, if, you're a marijuana user, whether state legal or not. You can own a gun no-matter how much alcohol you consume, and tobacco use is not an issue. 

Although many people in a state where marijuana is legal possess a gun, technically, the federal ATF controls the right to ownership, and since marijuana is a Schedule One drug, it's illegal to possess a gun. 

There are also those on the Right who feel anyone with a mental health condition should be denied access or right to possessing a firearm. As I previously pointed out, that's at least a quarter of society, if not more. I say if not more as I personally know about individuals with mental health issues completely off the grid that own guns. They stay off the grid to secure their 2nd amendment rights. 

They may suffer from any of several mental illnesses as previously discussed. To say outright they shouldn't possess a firearm is ludicrous. How often is it that the non-substance abuse, non-drug anything individual is the one to create chaos? 

It's convenient to be able to say those 24% + person's cannot possess a gun. But of those 24% who seeks therapy and assistance in coping with life? The majority I'd say as that is probably where the statistics come from  and not the actual percentage, which as I suggested is more like 50 - 60% of the population. If so, two scenarios... prevent a marijuana user from possessing a gun, a useless proposal, but there goes 25% of the population, and then those with a mental health disorder, I say 50%... requires mental health evaluations to own a gun. 

But is that realistic? No, it's not.

Marijuana use does not contribute to gun violence and as such should be removed from restrictions. Alcohol use does lend to gun violence and should therefore be considered. 

Of those people I know who claim they are free from mental health issues, I can only say good luck. I can also say among those who seek mental health treatment the evidence of gun violence will decrease. Those who refuse treatment are most prone to commit gun violence, something generally ignored in society.

It seems rather twisted that those we respect that show no evidence of a mental health issue more often than the reverse become a threat to society. But it is true. 

As long as we convince ourselves as a society that only "mentally sick" people need to seek help, we will be bound by a syndrome that essentially says if you don't admit it it's not true. 

To clarify:

Marijuana is not a prerequisite to violent behavior.

20 - 26% of the population are considered to be suffering a mental health illness.

The federal government wants to keep guns from those with mental health issues. 

The number is likely higher, more like 60%. 

There's a difference between those who seek treatment and those who don't.

Prohibiting gun ownership among those with a mental illness, something as simple as general depression, anxiety, ptsd or users of marijuana is not practical, let alone Constitutional. It is not practical as it doesn't take into account the whole story. Those who seek help and those who don't.

Your average serial killer or violent offender is not likely to have sought therapy! There are exceptions... but the majority don't seek assistance. The majority don't use marijuana.

The majority of violent offenders don't seek therapy and don't use marijuana.

Still it's fun to believe the majority of violent persons are in prison, under psychiatric observation, or use marijuana daily.   It simplifies who we should avoid. It simplifies drug testing in the work-place where marijuana is the drug most often in flagged.

But it does nothing to make America safer.  To do that we need to revisit science. But to revisit science means changing the way we do things, and what we have been led to believe is true.



2 comments:

  1. I don't think cannabis even belongs in the equation as cannabis makes you mellow and calm.
    You have to have violent tendencies in you to begin with in order to become violent. Drugs like alcohol, crack cocaine, meth, etc. only worsen the problem. Why the public at large doesn't get that I don't know.

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  2. Gun should not be sold to person who is not mentally fit because it is dangerous for him and for other person. I prefer that person buying a gun should have mental checkup.

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