America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64

P A R T I N G

S H O T
by

J G. C, ..

Doctors, Mental Illness
And Guns

A

   and a Life member of the , I
often find myself in a position of trying to educate
the public and legislators on the links between guns, violence
and mental illness. Having read Vik Khanna's refreshing
piece (December , "Why Public Health Needs A New
Gun Doctrine," Parting Shot, p. ) in America's st Freedom,
I felt inspired to write about my experience.
Let me start with the big picture: During my residency training, I was taught that
the ability to abstract is a good measure of intelligence. For example, an abstract
answer (one that would be considered more intelligent) to the question, "What
do apples and oranges have in common?" is that they are both fruit. Answers that
would be concrete (not abstract) are that they are both round, or they both have
seeds. I can't help but notice how gun control proponents tend toward the concrete
when they take to the media after a highly publicized shooting. They rarely focus
on the individual and his motives, but always focus on the weapon if it is a gun.
(When the weapon is a car, poison, blade or even a pressure cooker, the weapon
seems irrelevant.)
When I have spoken on the topic of the dangerous mentally ill, I have found a
long trail of publicly reported information that indicates that each of these mentally
ill killers had a clear history of severe mental illness that had come to the attention
of family, schoolmates, teachers or coworkers. In retrospect, it is clear that there was
a theoretical opportunity to evaluate and treat these people, but that opportunity
was missed. Often reported is the fact that only a very small percentage of mentally
ill people commit acts of violence and, in fact, the mentally ill are more likely to be
victims of violence than the general population.
The next logical topics for this discussion would be, how do we identify that small
percentage of the mentally ill who are dangerous? And what should be done to safely
evaluate and treat the potentially dangerous person? Instead of discussing untreated
life-threatening mental illness, the discussion (and the legislation) too often turns,
instead, to gun confiscation. A report in America's st Freedom (December ,
"California Lowers The Bar," p. ) highlighted that type of reaction. California now
says that people who are neither arrested nor committed to a psychiatric hospital
can have their firearms confiscated, turning due process on its head. Does it take a
genius to imagine that a person too dangerous to have access to a firearm is probably
too dangerous to remain unevaluated and untreated? It's as if the guns need to be
removed and admitted to a psychiatric hospital for treatment, since they are seen as
the source of danger.

Janis G. Chester, M.D., is a
board-certified psychiatrist
and past president of her
state psychiatric society.
She has held numerous
committee appointments
on legislative committees
in medical and psychiatric
organizations at the state
and national level, and has
served as a member of the
board of her state chapter
of the National Alliance on
Mental Illness.

I have also noticed a trend toward
what is called "population health" (I call
it "herd medicine") and away from the
traditional practice of individualized
medicine, where the patient and the
doctor share a sacred trust. In the
digitalization of medicine, there is
a focus on using the physician as a
well-paid data entry clerk, with a lack
of emphasis on privacy. This includes
privacy concerning gun ownership.
Gun control advocates use terms like
"epidemic" with respect to shootings,
and want the Centers for Disease
Control to weigh in with research and
treatment for this apparently contagious
"illness." Physicians are expected to
routinely ask patients whether they
have firearms at home, ask how those
firearms are stored, and then enter the
information into the vaunted electronic
health record. Voilà! You have a de facto
gun registration database. I am relieved
to know that this practice was stopped
in its tracks in Florida.
The tonic for these frustrations
has been the good people I have met
while defending our freedom and
defending the practice of traditional
Hippocratic medicine. It is refreshing
and reinvigorating to get to know
people from all walks of life who
understand and cherish our Second
Amendment, Constitution, freedom and
personal responsibility.

America's 1st Freedom (ISSN -) Volume , No. 3, is published monthly by the National Rifle Association of America,  Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA
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

America's

1

st

Freedom

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March 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - March 2015

Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - CT2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover2
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 1
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Contents
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 4
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 5
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 6
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 7
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 8
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 9
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 10
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 11
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 12
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 13
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 14
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 15
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 16
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 17
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 18
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 19
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 20
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 21
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 22
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 23
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 24
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 25
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 26
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 27
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 28
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 29
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 30
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 31
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 32
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 33
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 34
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 35
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 36
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 37
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 38
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 39
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 40
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 41
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 42
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 43
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 44
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 45
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 46
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 47
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 48
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 49
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 50
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 51
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America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 53
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 54
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 55
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 56
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 57
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59b
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59c
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59d
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59e
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 58f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 59f
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 60
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 61
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 62
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 63
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 64
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 65
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - 66
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover3
America's First Freedom - March 2015 - Cover4
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