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Weaponized psychiatry

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In American Greatness, Christopher Roach writes,

n the wake of recent horrific shooting sprees, Donald Trump and other Republicans wishing to appear to “do something” have seized the purported “middle ground”: red flag laws. These laws would permit law enforcement or concerned family members to petition a court to remove firearms from individuals deemed dangerous after a summary judicial procedure.

Laws such as these enjoy popular support and a general perception of plausibility upon first glance. After all, there is a broad public consensus in favor of keeping guns out of the hands of convicted felons and other dangerous people. Recent mass shootings where the shooter made pre-incident threats, or otherwise instilled fear among those in his circle, appear to have offered several missed opportunities to prevent deadly violence.

…Psychologists and psychiatrists tend to be overwhelmingly people of the Left. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders changes every few years, removing old diagnoses like homosexuality and gender dysphoria, mostly because of political pressure from interest groups. A move is afoot to add conspiracy thinking to the manual. While conspiracy thinking can be an intellectual dead end, sometimes “they” really are out to get you. Ask Carter Page. It should be obvious how changing and amorphous diagnoses will be used against those on the right.

…Trump and other Republicans’ embrace of red-flag laws is especially shocking in light of our own very recent history: the attempt to declare President Trump incompetent under the 25th Amendment.

In support of this effort, prominent psychologists opined contrary to their ethical rules about the president’s mental health. The FBI deemed him unworthy of the normal deference and respect due to a president, treating him instead as a target in his first days in office. Prominent law professors explained how his removal would be entirely lawful and reasonable. In a shocking departure from the norm, a rogue Department of Justice official, Rod Rosenstein, offered to wear a wire to entrap the president. If the president, with the power and platform he possesses, could be so harried by weaponized psychiatry, a run-of-the-mill gun owner stands little chance.

Even in the absence of intentional abuse, biases of various kinds can infect a psychological assessment. After all, for many in the mental health establishment, the mere fact of wanting to own guns may be seen as a type of red flag. Should we entrust a treasured American liberty to this group of political leftists practicing an uncertain and malleable science employing pro forma judicial processes? The question answers itself.

Roach goes on to cover other areas where red flag laws might be detrimental. Read more here.


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