Attention, Please

Your appointment was yesterday...

Malignant Neglect

The dangers of selective application of civil liberties.

I have written before about shooting incidents, mass shootings, guns and the perverse policies and politicking involved. One of the things I have focused on is that there are clear patterns in the shootings. The factors that pertain to the obvious signals sent by shooters in every single case involve the failure of social and governmental systems to identify and communicate and prevent these problems. This situation is obvious, profound, serious and disturbing. However at this point I want to make some observations about yet another pattern that has emerged in the shootings over the past few years.

All of the shooters had serious problems with mental health, antisocial behavior, ideological agendas, what have you. All of them had come to the attention of different authorities: police, mental health, school, military authorities,. There is not a single case in recent memory in which the shooters were outstanding, upstanding Eagle Scouts who suddenly snapped, went berserk and killed a bunch of people. No, not a one.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

The pattern I wish to address at this time is one of conscious malignant neglect on the part of the Obama administration and the left. Certainly the usual suspects issue their chorus of redundant cries to have more gun control. We know that this is a goal of the left, to disarm the populace and to make them unable to stand up for themselves. We know that it is not guns that cause these problems. It is not guns that make these individuals psychotic or paranoiac or psychopathic. There are other reasons for that. But, we see no effort to enforce all of the laws on the books in a coherent uniform fashion. We see no effort to begin to establish a rational method to observe and contain malcontents and truly dangerous people in our society.

I will agree that there are appropriate areas to discuss with respect to the acquisition of unlimited ammunition via the internet; the availability of various forms of military armament and various paraphernalia related to those weapons. I will argue that there is plenty of room to discuss communication and mandatory tracking of certain individuals with dangerous predilections, significant histories, and worrisome prognoses. And, in no way do I advocate a communist/fascist system whereby people are denounced and deprived of rights without due process.

Several times a week I am involved in the assessment of dangerous felons, and participate in a decision-making process with respect to their "return to the community." These violent offenders are represented by teams of lawyers from the ACLU doggedly defending their civil rights – rights to the least restrictive environment; to avoid drug testing; to smoke where and when they want.

When I inquire of these lawyers about their thoughts on the Constitution and Bill of Rights they profess their intense advocacy for civil liberties and free speech and just about everything until… I ask them about the Second Amendment. This receives silence, frowns, stony looks and grimaces, as if they had been sucking rotten lemons. When I point out that they don't seem to be supporting the entire Bill of Rights they get haughty, threatened, and angry. Not that I really give a hoot. However I do need to give a hoot because these are some of the people who want to erase the Second Amendment.

We have an administration that initiated Fast and Furious, the abomination that gave thousands of weapons to drugrunners for the specific purpose of having innocent people killed so that they could try to make a case for gun control. This is the way they think. The end justifies the means. So, while the president sends his condolences to aurora, Colorado, or Fort Hood, or the Sikh community, he and his attorney general and his administration and his Democratic congressional buddies clamor for gun control yet say not one word about addressing the systemic problems we have with crazy people and felons.

I happen to be an expert. I happen to deal with hard-case felons, drug dealers, killers, rapists and perverts on a daily basis. Indeed they have the right to a fair trial. Yet, none of their victims got a fair shake when they were raped, stabbed, shot or murdered. But that is of little concern to the civil libertarians, who are concerned about the civil rights of these animals and who blame our society and our firearms for everything. I have a duty to warn about imminent danger to another. I have a duty to warn about any inference of child abuse or neglect or molestation. I have a duty to warn in innumerable circumstances. I have a duty to warn and to commit someone who is imminently dangerous to him- or herself. I'm an expert. But I'm told that I have no ability to predict any future behavior.

Well, gee whiz! How about the shooter at Virginia Tech? How about the mad major at Fort Hood? How about the paranoiac in Aurora, Colorado? How about the crazed racist who just killed people at a Sikh religious ceremon? How about, how about, how about, how about? Please fill in the name of any event you want within your memory. How about Columbine? How about the wackos who killed and maimed the family in Mount Vernon, New Hampshire, a few years ago. (I happen to know that there was foreknowledge about those perpetrators.)

I can think of no circumstance in my lifetime wherein the perpetrator of such atrocities was not known to be troubled, weird, bizarre, problematic, scary, overall a disaster waiting to happen. Nothing was ever done because nothing could or would be communicated between teachers, counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, law-enforcement agencies. Nothing.

Background checks to obtain firearms are swift, thorough, and work very well, based upon the data in the system. But, if the database doesn't know about previous psychiatric commitments, juvenile arrests, prosecutions and incarcerations, drug abuse and addiction, psychopathological behavior (you know, injuring animals, setting fires, all of that disgusting and perverse stuff), it's not on your background record.

Daily I make judgments about whether or not to commit or release from commitment individuals with a variety of mental, neuropsychiatric, and chemical dependency problems. Some of them have huge files. Many have multiple arrests and incarcerations. Yet others have determined that I have absolutely no capacity to predict.

No, not as would Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar, but based upon my training and experience I can provide expert testimony in civil and criminal courts. Others have determined that I do not have the capacity to predict anybody's behavior, even though it may be a 20-year-old male with a history of multiple juvenile arrests, violent behavior, substance abuse; a misfit often ostracized or ridiculed because of his poor social skills or inappropriate behavior; with a history of being bullied or having been a bully himself, who is fascinated by violent films, violent characters; noncompliance with medication and psychotherapy; with a family that is in denial about the significance of the individual's history and behavior; and counselors and teachers and cops who just want to think that things will get better or go away if they ignore it. That's an unfortunate reality.

What we see here over the past few years is an obvious and malicious pattern of malignant neglect. Not benign neglect. Malignant neglect. Omnipotent blowhards like Mayor Bloomberg rant about guns. Various left-wing organizations complain and cry out about gun control. And again and again it has nothing to do with gun control. It has to do with self-control, a concept that is foreign to many of our immature and dysfunctional citizens and something that is absent in many of our sick and twisted shooters. It works well for Obama to say very little so that his friends on the left and the Bloombergs of the world carry on about guns, but no one really addresses the problems of communication and intervention. Those obnoxious effete ACLU lawyers who are so obsessed with certain parts of the Bill of Rights as they pertain to violent, deranged, psychopathic and vicious criminals, as well as those with severe and frequently untreatable mental illness (paranoia/delusional disorders and various perversions are not treatable) focus not on the perpetrators nor the multiple dysfunctions in the system but aim at guns. Simultaneously, the zombie media that now openly functions as party apparatchiks for the left in this country and the devoted Obama booster club say absolutely nothing about these things. References to any other aspect of the situation are perfunctory.

On a rather routine basis I irritate if not infuriate liberals when I assert my belief in the entire Bill of Rights. They find this offensive, ignorant and immature. To them the Second Amendment is an atavistic aberration that must be eliminated. I beg to differ.

Perfection is an ideal, not a reality. We can pursue it, as we pursue happiness, but rarely achieve it and maintain it for long. Idealism and idealists are admirable. Ideology and ideologues are not. Generally they are rigid, frightened, angry people, who want it their way or no way. Think about that.

Whether it is Fast and Furious or the unfortunate mass violence that occurs from time to time, there are some in the Obama administration, and among it supporters, who are pleased about it. Some of it they foster actively and some of it they foster passively. As it is true with many on the left, including communists and socialists, the end always justifies the means, so it matters not how many people die to promulgate their ideology and goal.

In a parallel manner this pertains to the failure to support our troops adequately in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is critical that the discussion be refocused on the systemic problems of privacy, communication, and prevention rather then another argument about guns and ammunition. Removal of guns and ammunition does nothing to remove these psychopaths and psychotics from our midst, those who will eventually find a way to fulfill their perverse and delusional needs.

Do not depend upon the mainstream media to assist. Talk about it, write about it, blog about it, and push it with your sane and rational representatives.

Jory F. Goodman, M.D., is a practicing psychiatrist in Beverly Hills, with more than thirty years of clinical experience.

more...

Subscribe to Attention, Please

Current Issue

Dreams of Glory

Daydreaming: How the best ideas emerge from the ether.