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Westlake Legal Group > mental illness

NYPD ordered to deal with mentally ill better by… using different words

Westlake Legal Group de-Blasio-rats NYPD ordered to deal with mentally ill better by… using different words The Blog NYPD New York City mental illness mayor language Bill de Blasio

Everyone seems to agree that we have a mental health crisis on our hands these days and it’s a problem that’s particularly exacerbated in our larger cities. As if the police don’t have enough on their plates as it is, when they show up at the scene of a disturbance and find themselves confronting a mentally ill person things can quickly spiral out of control. In the Big Apple, Mayor Bill de Blasio has had enough of this issue and he’s going to do something about it. From now on, the cops will be ordered to stop referring to the mentally ill as “EDPs” (“emotionally disturbed persons”). In the future, all such incidents will be referred to as “mental health calls.” That should fix everything, right? (NY Post)

NYPD cops will have to stop referring to dangerously unhinged people as “EDPs” — short for “emotionally disturbed persons” — as part of a $37 million program to deal with serious mental-health emergencies, according to a new report on Monday.

The long-established lingo will be abandoned in favor of “mental health calls,” sources told The City website, which described the change in terminology as one of the “key elements” of a plan by Mayor Bill de Blasio to reform how cops deal with mentally ill people.

“One in five New Yorkers suffers from a mental health condition. It’s our job to reach those people before crisis strikes,” de Blasio said in a statement announcing the new spending.

On top of the change in language, NYPD officers responding to reports of a “mental health call” will be joined by a mental-health worker from the newly formed Behavioral Health Unit.”

The cops are already up in arms over this plan and for good reason. First of all, what difference is it going to make in terms of the actual suspect/patient if the police describe them differently over the dispatch radio? It’s not as if they’re showing up on the scene and yelling “EDP!” at them. Nor does the new terminology make the situation any less dangerous either for the suspect or the responding officers.

One cop was quoted as saying, “What the f–k difference does it make what we call them? It’s the same thing. Enough with the Kumbaya. How about taking care of the main problem, which is a lack of mental-health care?”

That part of the new plan is literally just a matter of semantics, so perhaps it won’t cause too many problems. But the idea of dispatching a mental-health worker to an active crime scene is really worrying (and angering) the NYPD. You can probably guess why.

The need for better care for the mentally ill is obvious and if the city plans to do something constructive about that we should applaud them. But nobody is calling 911 because they see someone who looks depressed or is talking to their imaginary friend. By the time the dispatcher gets the call, there’s already a crisis in progress and the person in question is probably in the midst of attacking someone or threatening to do so.

That’s the type of scene that the mayor proposes sending a mental-health expert with no law enforcement training into. The cops already have a violent lunatic on their hands, but now they also have to make sure that the Behavioral Health Unit worker doesn’t get themselves shot or stabbed in the process. As one officer put it, “God forbid you’re a cop and you allow one of these civilians to get hurt.” Another said, “some innocent person is going to die real soon with this program.”

I don’t know what all of these proposals are going to cost the taxpayers of Gotham, but couldn’t that money be put to better use in developing new mental health care facilities and paying for doctors to treat people before we reach the point where they’re swinging a samurai sword in Times Square? It’s another bang-up job by City Hall in the Big Apple. Hizzoner is once again finding unique ways to throw money at a problem without addressing the underlying issue.

The post NYPD ordered to deal with mentally ill better by… using different words appeared first on Hot Air.

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LA Times: Mental illness, substance abuse far more common among homeless than claimed

Westlake Legal Group skid-row-drug-addict LA Times: Mental illness, substance abuse far more common among homeless than claimed The Blog Seattle mental illness los angeles homeless drug abuse

If you’ve followed the issue of homelessness up and down the west coast, from Seattle to Los Angeles, one of the most fundamental disagreements between ordinary people and activists is over the issues of drug abuse and mental illness. Typically, activists arguing for more housing for the homeless are quick to trot out statistics that show only about a third of people on the street suffer from these problems. Meanwhile, shopkeepers and business people who encounter the homeless frequently suggest the percentage with such problems is higher.

When the agency responsible for the point-in-time homeless count in LA County released its findings earlier this year, they seemed to fit with the claims made by activists. Here’s a slide from the presentation given to elected officials:

Westlake Legal Group 29-percent LA Times: Mental illness, substance abuse far more common among homeless than claimed The Blog Seattle mental illness los angeles homeless drug abuse

Obviously if more than two-thirds of the populations you are trying to help do not have substance abuse or mental problems then it’s reasonable to argue that the key issue is a lack of affordable housing. But what if those numbers were reversed? What if two-thirds of respondents had problems that contributed to their inability to maintain a home?

An analysis of the underlying data performed by the LA Times came up with dramatically different results. In fact the results are nearly the opposite of what was presented to officials:

The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which conducts the annual count, narrowly interpreted the data to produce much lower numbers. In its presentation of the results to elected officials earlier this year, the agency said only 29% of the homeless population had either a mental illness or substance abuse disorder and, therefore, 71% “did not have a serious mental illness and/or report substance use disorder.”

The Times, however, found that about 67% had either a mental illness or a substance abuse disorder. Individually, substance abuse affects 46% of those living on the streets — more than three times the rate previously reported — and mental illness, including post-traumatic stress disorder, affects 51% of those living on the streets, according to the analysis…

The findings lend statistical support to the public’s frequent association of mental illness, physical disabilities and substance abuse with homelessness.

In other words, the public isn’t crazy to think there is more going on here than a lack of affordable housing. In fact, the LA Times points out that a study published Sunday by the California Policy Lab at UCLA found even higher numbers for substance abuse and mental illness among the homeless nationwide. This chart represents their findings based upon a review of 64,000 homeless surveys:

Westlake Legal Group UCLA-homeless-chart LA Times: Mental illness, substance abuse far more common among homeless than claimed The Blog Seattle mental illness los angeles homeless drug abuse

Again, these numbers matter because, as the LA Times admits, homeless activists and advocates tend to downplay these realities:

At a time when cities and counties are struggling to respond to a growing number of street encampments, the UCLA study and Times analysis raise questions about whether government officials are taking the right approach and doing enough for people on the street who have little hope of getting into housing anytime soon…

Advocates for homeless people tend to not focus their messaging on mental illness, disabilities or substance abuse out of concern that doing so unfairly stereotypes and stigmatizes those without a home.

Briefing The Times on this year’s homeless point-in-time count prior to its release, Peter Lynn, executive director of the homeless authority, defended the agency’s statistics on homeless people with disabilities and substance abuse issues. He attributed the idea that the numbers should be higher to perception bias.

Like other local and state officials, he has portrayed the homeless population as being much like the wider population of housed Angelenos.

And this isn’t limited to Los Angeles. When the news special “Seattle is Dying” was released earlier this year, people were struck by the number of homeless who were shown suffering from some combination of drug addiction or mental illness. One homeless woman in the film even said that “100 percent” of the people she encountered on the street had a drug problem.

In response, a group of well-heeled non-profits in Seattle hired a PR firm that generated a series of talking points about the issue. Those talking points were then repeated (without attribution) by various experts in various print outlets. One of the main talking points was that only about 35% of the homeless experience mental or substance abuse problems. And because that was true, they argued, “Seattle is Dying” was a misrepresentation of the problem.

I found those claims to be extremely misleading even before these new surveys, but now I’m wondering if Seattle and other cities aren’t all dialing these numbers down in a similar way. LA’s Homeless Services Authority didn’t dispute the Times’ findings but merely said they were using narrower criteria established by “federal guidelines.” Maybe the Seattle Times, the Oregonian, and the San Francisco Chronicle should take a second look at the point-in-time homeless surveys in their regions.

This debate is far from over but it does seem to have shifted in a significant way this week. The next time you read or hear homeless activists or experts claiming that only a third of the homeless have mental health or substance abuse problems, remember there should be a big asterisk on those figures.

The post LA Times: Mental illness, substance abuse far more common among homeless than claimed appeared first on Hot Air.

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Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie

Westlake Legal Group Joker-620x349 Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie Narrative movie mental illness Media mass shooting Joker Guns Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture Colorado Aurora Allow Media Exception

It is very difficult for me to trust Warner Bros. to do any justice to a DC live-action movie ever since they started trying to churn out their own “cinematic universe” to rival Marvel’s. However, being a standalone film and not tied to any of those abominations, there is a lot of positive feedback for Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix.

The problem is that the last time the Joker had a major, perception-altering role in cinema, there was a shooting that was attributed to a worship of the character.

Many police forces are announcing they’ll be providing security at theaters to prevent another “Aurora-style” mass shooting. Other critics are pointing out the idol-worship that comes with making the villain the hero of his movie. Many people are just outraged that we would dare portray a mentally-ill person like this.

However, much of this fear and hatred is based off Aurora, Colorado, where a lunatic took a gun and shot multiple people at the premiere of The Dark Knight, where Heath Leger’s portrayal of Joker was widely acclaimed. There were reports that the movie – and Leger’s Joker in particular – were motivating factors for the shooting.

Those reports, though, were bogus.

The Washington Post’s story with the photo gallery said this: “Holmes, who told police he was ‘the Joker’ … .”

The article linked to a 2012 ABC News report with a statement by New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, saying Holmes had called himself the Joker.

Kelly’s comment to the press appears to be the origin of this myth. Why the NYPD police commissioner would be in a position to know anything about police activity in Aurora is beyond me.

Indeed, why would New York’s police commissioner know or even comment on that?

“It is not true,” said George Brauchler, the 18th Judicial District attorney, who prosecuted the case.

“It is ridiculous,” he said. “Completely unfounded. Some of this stuff. … It gets repeated by so many sources by people doing their research that it just becomes real.”

Investigators heard no witness talking about the Joker, he said. And no police officer claimed Holmes called himself the Joker.

People point to the shooter’s red hair as a sign of the idol worship – except the Joker’s hair is green and when asked by investigators, the shooter himself said it was because red suggests bravery.

But nonetheless, there is a panic among people who think that the Aurora shooting coupled with the political and social environment we live in will undoubtedly lead to another major event. It’s impossible to say one way or another whether that’s the case, but as is so often the case, the issue has way more to do with mental health than it does the move of the night.

If someone were to do try for a repeat, they will be doing so because of the myth that was constructed here, not because of the worship of the Joker. The Joker is a compelling character, no matter what interpretation you are viewing, but he’s not someone who gets “worshipped.” However, the myth of James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, and the reduced inhibitions of someone who is mentally ill and seeking to be remembered for something like he is are far more likely to bring trouble.

Had the myth of Holmes as “The Joker” not been spun into existence by people who were ignorant of the case, then that risk would be greatly diminished. Instead, we get people who, once again, like to find ways to blame something else other than mental illness as the reason people do horrific things.

 


Joe Cunningham is a Senior Editor at RedState. You can find more of his writings here and his commentary on Louisiana issues at The Hayride. You can also follow him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and Like his page on Facebook.

The post Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Joker-300x169 Joe Cunningham: A False Narrative Is Stoking Fears Over The New Joker Movie Narrative movie mental illness Media mass shooting Joker Guns Front Page Stories Featured Story Culture Colorado Aurora Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference returns in October

Westlake Legal Group pathways-to-wellness-conference-fairfax-feature 18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference returns in October Things to Do Features Things to Do pathways to wellness conference Northern Virginia Mental Health mental illness mental health fairfax events fairfax Events
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It’s time to become your best self, according to the Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation. That’s why the organization is hosting the 18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference on Friday, Oct. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The event will kick off with a resource fair filled with local vendors and service providers, canine companions ready to help attendees feel calm and chair massages, which will be offered throughout the day to promote relaxation and physical wellness.

Michael T. Lane, the keynote speaker, will discuss his life’s journey and how he “put the pieces back together,” to fit into the overarching theme of the event. He will be followed by Pete Earley, a Fairfax-based author, and his son, Kevin Earley. Earley is the author of Crazy, a book based on his son’s mental illness diagnosis, and both are now motivational speakers about their experiences with mental illness and how it affects their daily lives.

The afternoon will wrap up with a choice of three workshops: “Making your Vision a Reality” with Cynthia Evans, “Laughing Yoga” with Myra Goodrich and one that has yet to be announced. Attendees can receive a certificate of completion after filling out a survey at the end of the day. // Fairfax County Government Center: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; $30 online, $40 at door

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18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference returns in October

Westlake Legal Group pathways-to-wellness-conference-fairfax-feature 18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference returns in October Things to Do Features Things to Do pathways to wellness conference Northern Virginia Mental Health mental illness mental health fairfax events fairfax Events
© Halfpoint / stock.adobe.com

It’s time to become your best self, according to the Northern Virginia Mental Health Foundation. That’s why the organization is hosting the 18th annual Pathways to Wellness Conference on Friday, Oct. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The event will kick off with a resource fair filled with local vendors and service providers, canine companions ready to help attendees feel calm and chair massages, which will be offered throughout the day to promote relaxation and physical wellness.

Michael T. Lane, the keynote speaker, will discuss his life’s journey and how he “put the pieces back together,” to fit into the overarching theme of the event. He will be followed by Pete Earley, a Fairfax-based author, and his son, Kevin Earley. Earley is the author of Crazy, a book based on his son’s mental illness diagnosis, and both are now motivational speakers about their experiences with mental illness and how it affects their daily lives.

The afternoon will wrap up with a choice of three workshops: “Making your Vision a Reality” with Cynthia Evans, “Laughing Yoga” with Myra Goodrich and one that has yet to be announced. Attendees can receive a certificate of completion after filling out a survey at the end of the day. // Fairfax County Government Center: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax; $30 online, $40 at door

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Fox News Crumples Like a Cheap Suit, Apologizes for Michael Knowles’s Comments About Greta Thunburg

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-4-620x340 Fox News Crumples Like a Cheap Suit, Apologizes for Michael Knowles’s Comments About Greta Thunburg Television Politics OCD News Michael Knowles mental illness Media Greta Thunberg Front Page Stories fox news Featured Story Climate Change Climate Asperger's Allow Media Exception

While on a segment on Fox News, the Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles was discussing the young teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg with Chris Hahn.

Knowles was clearly upset that the left was once again using a child as both a sword and as a shield in order to push an agenda. It’s a disgusting habit of theirs, as it allows them to wheel the child out to make statements and proselytize on their behalf, then if any criticism comes their way, they can become indignant that a child is being “attacked.”

Case in point, watch Hahn lose his mind when Knowles called out the left for exploiting a “mentally ill Swedish child” instead of allowing grown adult scientists take the lead on this climate change narrative of theirs.

Knowles is 100 percent correct in his disgust and on his facts. What’s more, Hahn immediately demonstrates how the left’s playbook works by becoming overly angry during this conversation, throwing no facts back at Knowles and instead resorting to petty insults like “skinny boy” and claiming no one watches his podcast.

The thing is, Knowles was clearly not attacking Thunberg as he even noted during Hahn’s tirade. He was chiding the left for using her as an untouchable prop. He wasn’t even attacking her by calling her “mentally ill,” because as is well known about Thunberg, she has Aspergers and OCD. She is factually mentally ill.

This makes it all the worse that the left is using her, and on a personal note, wheeling someone with Thunberg’s condition all over the world in order to push an agenda can’t be healthy. It looks more like child abuse than righteous activism.

Regardless, Knowles made the point very clear that he wasn’t attacking Thunberg.

However, Fox News seems to believe that Knowles was in the wrong by stating these facts and have seemingly sided with Thunberg. Not only have they issued an apology for Knowles’s comments, but they have banned him from the channel.

According to the Daily Beast, a spokesperson for Fox News said that Knowles’s comments were “disgraceful” and that they have no plans to book him as a guest in the future:

A Fox News spokesperson provided the following statement to The Daily Beast on Knowles’ remarks: “The comment made by Michael Knowles who was a guest on The Story tonight was disgraceful—we apologize to Greta Thunberg and to our viewers.”

Fox News also told The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr that it has no plans to book Knowles again as a guest.

And with that, Fox News just lost a massive amount of credibility.

What the most-watched name in news did is deny reality in the name of political correctness. Knowles, as he explained and even later explained online, was not deriding Thunberg for having a mental illness, he was clearly bringing it up to highlight the fact that the left has sunk to new lows and will take advantage of someone like Thunberg.

Fox not only should have not apologized for Knowles, but instead stood its ground and even backed him up. What’s happening to Thunberg is disgusting and attempting to sweep very obvious facts under the rug is only making them complicit in the abuse of her person. They have assisted in the narrative, and are reinforcing the left as it uses a mentally ill child as a shield.

She is a mentally ill child and the left is using her as a prop. This isn’t an opinion. This isn’t a mean thing to say. This is a regrettable fact.

Shame on Fox News for caving to this.

The post Fox News Crumples Like a Cheap Suit, Apologizes for Michael Knowles’s Comments About Greta Thunburg appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Untitled-1-4-300x165 Fox News Crumples Like a Cheap Suit, Apologizes for Michael Knowles’s Comments About Greta Thunburg Television Politics OCD News Michael Knowles mental illness Media Greta Thunberg Front Page Stories fox news Featured Story Climate Change Climate Asperger's Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Eyes a New Program to Detect Warning Signs of Mass Murder Among the Mentally Ill. But How Slippery’s That Slope?

Westlake Legal Group camera-4277525_1280-620x413 Trump Eyes a New Program to Detect Warning Signs of Mass Murder Among the Mentally Ill. But How Slippery’s That Slope? white house washington D.C. Uncategorized safehome mental illness mental health mass shootings healthcare harpa Guns gun control geoffrey ling Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump DARPA crime bob wright Allow Media Exception

 

 

The Trump administration is peering into a proposal wresting mental illness’s role in mass shootings.

During a speech following the El Paso and Dayton murders, the President touted “reform[ing] our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence, and mak[ing] sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement.”

The Commander-in-Chief pointed to a comparative irrelevancy of firepower when it comes to the slaying of innocents:

“Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

As reported by The Washington Post, now the White House is contemplating the creation of a new agency to study how such atrocities may be averted via the signs of mental disturbance:

The White House is considering a controversial proposal to study whether mass shootings could be prevented by monitoring mentally ill people for small changes that might foretell violence.

Former NBC chairman Bob Wright, a longtime friend and associate of President Trump’s, has briefed top officials, including the President, the Vice President and Ivanka Trump, on a proposal to create a new research arm called the Health Advanced Research Projects Agency (HARPA) to come up with out-of-the-box ways to tackle health problems, much like the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) does for the military, according to several people who have been briefed.

The Daily Wire notes that a three-page proposal — sent to Health and Human Services Sec. Alex Azar among other officials — rolled out a plan called “SAFEHOME” (Stopping Aberrant Fatal Events by Helping Overcome Mental Extremes). The initiative would determine how technology could pinpoint warning signs. Cell phone data would be included in that implementation.

For those interested in the slipperiness of a slope, the proposition emphasizes that participation would be on a volunteer basis. There would, as stated, be no “profiling of any kind.”

How many would-be murderers would say, “You’re right; I’m probably gonna try to kill everybody; here’s my consent so you can stop me”?

Among the mentally ill, there surely might be some; but a lot?

As the Post relayed, Geoffrey Ling — HARPA’s lead researcher — defended the program with maybe not the most convincing sales pitch:

“To those who say this is a half-baked idea, I would say, ‘What’s your idea? What are you doing about this? … The worst you can do is fail, and failing is where we are already. You need to find where the edge is so you can push on that edge.”

The FBI indicates a quarter of mass shooters have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

So we’d be looking at volunteers among that 25%, and then the government’s ability to effectively discern and extinguish impending evil?

How slick is that incline again?

What are your thoughts on the program? Let us all know in the Comments section.

-ALEX

 

See 3 more pieces from me:

A Television Icon Laments America’s Divide, But There’s A Greater Lesson – A Forgotten One We Learned Long Ago

Pioneer David Hogg Changes His Tune – The Cause Of Violence In America Is No Longer Guns

The NRA Pulls No Punches In Its Strike Against Walmart’s New Anti-Gun Policy

Find all my RedState work here.

And please follow Alex Parker on Twitter and Facebook.

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The post Trump Eyes a New Program to Detect Warning Signs of Mass Murder Among the Mentally Ill. But How Slippery’s That Slope? appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group camera-4277525_1280-300x200 Trump Eyes a New Program to Detect Warning Signs of Mass Murder Among the Mentally Ill. But How Slippery’s That Slope? white house washington D.C. Uncategorized safehome mental illness mental health mass shootings healthcare harpa Guns gun control geoffrey ling Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump DARPA crime bob wright Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

FBI: West Texas shooter had long been on a “downward spiral”

Westlake Legal Group texas-gunman-spiral FBI: West Texas shooter had long been on a “downward spiral” The Blog Texas mental illness mass shooting Gov. Greg Abbott Federal Bureau of Investigation background checks

The shooting started with a routine traffic stop, but the West Texas perp had been on a “downward spiral” long before. The FBI briefed the media yesterday on the history behind the spree that killed seven people in Odessa and Midland. His employer had fired him that day and tried to warn police that the shooter might get violent:

A west Texas man, on a “downward spiral,” made “rambling” calls to police and the FBI before embarking on a shooting spree that took the lives of seven innocent bystanders, authorities said Monday. …

“Right after that firing he called 911 … and so did his employer,” Odessa police chief Michael Gerke told reporters. “And basically they were complaining at each other because they had a disagreement over that firing.”

He left his trucking business employer’s office before police showed up.

By that time, it was too late — the man had already left. However, he himself called the FBI’s tip line and left a rambling, confused message. The traffic stop was unrelated to either of those calls, but it touched off the man’s violent ambitions. It took more than two hours to track him down in front of a movie theater and kill him to end the mass-murder spree.

The FBI has not reached a formal conclusion in the case, but it sounds as though they are leaning toward mental illness as the prime factor:

While the FBI and police stopped well short of explaining the killer’s motive, they painted a picture of a man who’d been struggling for a long period of time.

“It’s a very strange residence. It’s very small. I can tell you the conditions reflect what we believe his mental state was going into this,” Combs said.

“He was a long spiral of going down. He didn’t wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble, probably been in trouble for a while … we really need the public’s help to reach out to us when they see people in that downward spiral that may be on that road to violence.”

Mental illness appears to be the connecting factor in all of these shootings — that, and maybe contagion as a contributing factor. One thing that wasn’t a contributing factor was a hole in the background-check process, according to Texas governor Greg Abbott. The shooter had been denied a firearms purchase after he failed a background check a few years ago:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tweeted Monday that Ator did not go through a background check when obtaining the gun used in the attacks, which were spread across at least 15 crime scenes.

Ator had before failed to pass a check with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System while trying to buy a gun, said John Wester, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent.

Years earlier, Ator had been charged with criminal trespass and evading arrest, according to a public records search. His previous interactions with Odessa police were minor, Gerke said.

This will lead to a question that has repeatedly arisen in the background-check debate. Did anyone follow up to prosecute Ator for attempting to illegally purchase a firearm? In the current system, those follow-up investigations are exceedingly rare even though it is a crime for prohibited people to attempt to purchase a firearm by any means. Rather than expand background checks, opponents argue, law enforcement should start by enforcing that existing law first. At the very least, that might uncover the mentally unstable long before they begin shooting sprees.

The post FBI: West Texas shooter had long been on a “downward spiral” appeared first on Hot Air.

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Aussie heroes: Bad guy with a knife gets stopped by good guys with … a milkcrate?

Westlake Legal Group sydney-stabber Aussie heroes: Bad guy with a knife gets stopped by good guys with … a milkcrate? The Blog Terrorism SYDNEY stabbings mental illness heroes Australia

You make do with what you have, and these four Australian men made the most of the tools at their disposal. They subdued and detained a lunatic with a knife on the streets of Sydney, but unfortunately not before one woman was killed and another seriously wounded:

The four men knew something was about to happen even before it began, and took steps to contain the situation as best they could:

The Prime Minister and the NSW Police Minister have praised bystanders who put themselves at risk by tackling a man armed with a knife in central Sydney and holding him down until police arrived.

Armed with nothing more than chairs, a milk crate and crowbar, several men chased the man as he ran up Clarence Street and jumped on the bonnet and roof of a car.

Four of those men — Paul O’Shaughnessy, Luke O’Shaughnessy, Lee Cuthbert and Alex Roberts — said they instinctively sprung into action when they saw the commotion below the York Street recruitment office where they work. …

The man was allegedly waving a large knife and then jumped back down from the car roof and into the middle of the road, shouting as his pursuers continued to close in.

They eventually knocked him down with a cafe chair, and then used a milk crate to hold his head to the footpath as first firefighters then police arrived to restrain him.

The suspect turns out to be a mental-health patient who had just recently left a hospital. Police at the moment aren’t treating it as a terrorist incident, but they’re leaving the possibility open:

A knife-wielding man with a history of mental illness who is suspected of killing one woman and stabbing another in Sydney, Australia was stopped when members of the public were able to pin him on his back using a milk crate, authorities said.

The man is believed to be responsible for the slaying a woman in a downtown Sydney apartment before wounding another woman nearby and attempting to stab other people Tuesday. Police and witnesses say they heard the suspect yelling “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great.”

Police have not labeled the rampage an act of terrorism, although the 21-year-old assailant — who was restrained by members of the public before being arrested — had collected information on his computer about mass killings in North America and New Zealand, New South Wales state Police Commissioner Michael Fuller said.

“It is not currently classed as a terrorist incident. Obviously, as the investigation continues we will reassess that,” Fuller told reporters.

Here’s more footage from the attack and the capture. The audio’s a little clearer on this one, in which the suspect shouts “Shoot me in the [expletive] head” and “I want to die.” The four men didn’t grant either wish, but they do offer some colorful commentary on what they witnessed at the end:

This looks less like a terrorist incident than an attempted murder-suicide by cop plot. The radical-Islamist chant might have been a tactic designed to get police to open fire, a tactic thwarted by the four sharp-thinking men in Sydney. The police are assigning this to their homicide bureau rather than counter-terrorism, which indicates that they’re thinking the same thing.

Kudos to these Sydney men. They not only saved lives, but they made sure this lunatic will get what’s coming to him … we hope.

The post Aussie heroes: Bad guy with a knife gets stopped by good guys with … a milkcrate? appeared first on Hot Air.

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“Mental Illness” Is Not A Good Enough Reason To Introduce Red Flag Laws

Westlake Legal Group gun-store-620x414 “Mental Illness” Is Not A Good Enough Reason To Introduce Red Flag Laws shooting shooters red flag laws Parkland mental illness Guns gun laws gun control Front Page Stories Featured Story El Paso depression dayton Allow Media Exception

In this photo taken March 15, 2017, AR-15 style rifles made by Battle Rifle Co., a gunmaker in Webster, Texas, are on display in its retail shop. The gunmaker is one of more than 10,000 currently in the United States. President Donald Trump promised to revive manufacturing in the U.S., but one sector is poised to shrink under his watch: the gun industry. Fears of limits on guns led to a surge in demand during President Barack Obama’s tenure and manufacturers leapt to keep up. (AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane)

On September 11, 2001, most of the United States was watching in horror as terror attacks rocked the nation.

On that same day, I was at home with family, mourning the death of my grandmother. She was an alcoholic, had been in rehab, and had been recently divorced. She lived by herself, and I suppose that isolation combined with these other factors in a bad way. She called my grandfather, told him goodbye, and shot herself.

I was in middle school at the time and barely understood the concept of suicide. But, it had a profound impact on my life. The idea of someone doing to their family what my grandmother had done to mine was horrifying. I loved this woman with all my heart. She was the person I was closest too in the whole world, and she was suddenly gone.

That impact has probably saved my life. In 2018, I was diagnosed with depression and subsequently started seeking treatment for it.

With every mass shooting comes a discussion on how we can make things safer for American citizens. Do we restrict sales, create gun-free zones, buy guns to protect ourselves, etc. On the right, one of the first talking points after a shooting, aside from buying more guns, is to address mental health.

Republicans in Washington D.C. and even President Donald Trump have voiced support (or, at least, consideration) for “red flag laws.” These laws are designed to set up a system by which law enforcement can be made aware of potential threats to public safety. Many of these warnings come in the form of erratic behavior, questionable statements, and other signs that get lumped into the category of “mental illness.”

There’s a problem with this “diagnosis,” namely in that you can’t diagnose a shooter at all based on this criteria, and rarely do you find a mass shooter who fits this ideal profile of a shooter. Some do exhibit the signs – like the Dayton shooter, who kept a kill and rape list – but some seem perfectly fine right up until they open fire.

Many times, someone with an issue doesn’t exhibit any noticeable signs and then something triggers it. Other times, they are victims of societal neglect. These aren’t things red flag laws will catch.

I don’t know when my grandmother got the gun. But even with the alcoholism and rehab, she never once seemed like the type of person who would commit suicide.

In a few cases, there are noticeable signs that authorities could act on. As my colleague Streiff pointed out, many people look at the example of the Parkland shooter in this case.

The idea here is that, in the instance of the Parkland shooter, if the police who had visited the shooter’s home at least 39 times due to complaints of dangerous behavior by his step-parents and the educators who didn’t want him expelled from school because it would screw up their statistics had only had this tool, then the shooter could have been prevented from carrying out the shooting. I stopped believing in leprechauns a long time ago.

As he goes on to point out, it is hard to prove just how successful it will be in saving lives. With this system, you are essentially asking law enforcement to rely on the judgment of people who are nervous or scared, and rarely do fear or nerves make for a good basis in judgment. The red flag law will simply create a system by which people who have exhibited any sort of disorder will face the threat of losing their guns, and you really stand on shaky constitutional ground as it pertains to both the Second Amendment and due process.

Not to mention the number of personal fights (bitter divorces, political or social disagreements, etc.) that end with someone claiming the other is crazy and dangerous and owns guns, then you get into even more of a constitutional mess.

“Mental illness” has really become a rhetorical scapegoat in this sense, and using it to justify red flag laws doesn’t help anyone. It creates more opportunity for people who may have some issue to have their rights stripped because the average citizen really doesn’t understand mental illness. Meanwhile, other people with absolutely no issues whatsoever will fall victim to a hostile person leveling accusations simply because they are fighting over something.

I know people want to solve the problem, but creating a system based on judgment calls and accusations is not the best way to go about it. Once again, it’s not something you can label and file away. It is an issue that has to be discussed at length.

Once again, we’re rushing into an emotional decision without weighing the long term consequences.

The post “Mental Illness” Is Not A Good Enough Reason To Introduce Red Flag Laws appeared first on RedState.

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