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Psychiatric Study Casts Doubt on Red Flag Laws

A recent study from the University of Liverpool tells us what we’ve long suspected about psychiatric labels. They write, “Psychiatric diagnoses are ‘scientifically meaningless’ in treating mental health.” The study was published in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

By “scientifically meaningless” they mean that a mental illness diagnosis is not empirically verifiable or reproducible. Mental illness cannot be visualized in a CT scan like a tumor and, like most things to do with the mind, is entirely subjective. A patient could get one diagnosis from one doctor and a different one from another.

It’s interesting to note that the Social Security Administration has much more rigorous methods of determining whether or not a person has a debilitating mental illness before approving them for disability insurance. They put applicants through a grueling five stage vetting process in which they are tested for their ability to perform work. Mental health organizations don’t have anything even approaching that. Diagnoses oftentimes are based on one or more conversations with a psychiatrist.

Lead researcher for the study, Dr. Kate Allsopp, writes, “Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice.”

Her point is that a person could have his rights violated or be treated unfairly as a result of a psychiatric diagnosis which is completely unscientific. Restrictions which are imposed on people who are burdened with an official psychiatric diagnosis may have their right to own a firearm summarily taken away.

The moment a person is labeled mentally ill, in states where red flag laws exist, a judge could order police to confiscate legally owned firearms. The person does not even need to have committed a crime. All that’s required to deprive a person of their second amendment rights is an anonymous call and an order from a judge. In the case of mental illness, a judge can simply decide at any point that the person in question should have his or her guns confiscated.

The American Psychiatric Association admits that there is “difficulty in accurately identifying those persons likely to commit acts of violence.” Still, they advocate for the use of federal resources to curtail the rights of citizens.

“Given the difficulty in accurately identifying those persons likely to commit acts of violence, federal resources should be directed toward the development and testing of methods that assist in the identification of individuals at heightened risk of committing violence against themselves or others with firearms,” says the American Psychiatric Association.

There are a number of problems with that statement. For one, the misuse of the word “violence” is telling. To be clear, a person cannot commit violence against himself. In order for “violence” to occur, a violation has to occur. There is no violation in the case of self harm, just as there is no violation involved in suicide.

The second thing about that statement that should raise alarms is the admission that they cannot accurately identify persons who are likely to commit an act of violence. They are essentially saying, ‘We don’t know what we’re doing, but we’re going to do it anyway.’

This is the very definition of what it means to be un-American. This nation is founded in part on the principle that the individual’s rights must come first. Unfounded presumptions of possible future guilt are precisely the sort of thing that the founders intended to protect citizens against.

In their own words, the APA admits, “Only a small proportion of individuals with a mental disorder pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.”

Labeling a person with a mental illness has long been used as a political weapon. It’s a tactic that has its roots in Stalinist Russia and was heavily applied in Nazi Germany. The implication is that if you disagree with the official position, then you must be mentally ill.

Make no mistake, this is what the Left believes. They believe they have a stranglehold on morality and everyone who disagrees with them is either evil or insane.

Once a judge becomes aware that a person has a diagnosis he could arbitrarily decide at any point to take that person’s weapons. Then the police would descend upon that person’s home and confiscate any weapons on the premises using any means necessary.

All of this ignores the fact that guns are used to kill fewer people each year than hammers, rocks, and doctors. But no one is advocating for stricter controls on any of these things.


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