shooters

shooters have inflicted horrible pain and anguish on many people. if we are to identify and prevent future shooters, we must first understand the mind of the shooter and what motivates it. the claim that shooters are mentally ill and that their mental illness causes the shooting is ignorant nonsense advocated by people who don’t understand mental illness or ordinary motivations and they compound their ignorance by proposing that shooters can be identified and controlled by strengthening the mental health system because they don’t understand that either. the chief proponent  of this ignorance is Rep. Murphy of Connecticut who has posted a bill that would authorize coerced psychotherapy, which he calls  by the euphemistic name AOP, or, assisted outpatient psychotherapy. Doesn’t Murphy understand the difference between assistance and coercion? that is what i mean by ignorance. forcing someone to submit to a person called a “therapist” is not kindness, it is coercion. first of all, it ignorantly assumes that psychotherapists do something to change a person’s thoughts and motivations. the truth is that therapists can’t change anyone unless that person wants to change. then,a good therapist can help. i have been practicing psychotherapy for fifty years (i am a psychiatrist) and i’ve never changed anyone, but many people have changed because they appreciate logic kindly communicated. To be blunt,Murphy’s bill is stupid, because it assumes that psychiatrists can identify potential shooters, while psychiatriststhemselves,(honest ones) admit they can’t. Diagnosing a person as mentally ill does not mean that the person is a potential killer. None of the shooters were ostentatiously mentally ill, On the contrary, they tend to have been quiet, recessive and withdrawn, men, several of them were diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. People with this problem are not likely to become violent and they do not respond very well to conventional psychotherapy.To prevent such “suspicious” people from committing violent acts requires that they be committed to a psychiatric hospital, which the Murphy bill also facilitates without realizing that this intervention, shorn of its disguising medical language is preventive detention, an act specifically forbidden by the rule of law. In a future blog I will offer an understanding of the mind of the shooter and as method for identifyiong potential shooters and preventing them from acting without either radical gun control or coercive psychiatric interventions

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