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Psychiatric Diagnoses Study Casts Reasonable Doubt on Red Flag Laws

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It’s a madhouse. A maaadhouse! Without requiring actual and comprehensive due process protections, allowing shifting psychiatric opinions to be the sole determinant for disarmament is a lunatic idea. (Francisco Goya: Casa de Locos)

U.S.A. – -( “Psychiatric diagnoses are ‘scientifically meaningless’ in treating mental health,” a summary analysis of University of Liverpool research by StudyFinds reported Tuesday. The new findings are published in the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” which “is considered the definitive guide for mental health professionals, and provides descriptions for all mental health problems and their symptoms.”

What are they saying here?

Essentially, “a significant amount of overlap” means disorder diagnoses “tell us little to nothing about the individual patient and what type of treatments they will need [and] this diagnostic labeling approach is ‘a disingenuous categorical system.’”

Or as lead researcher Dr. Kate Allsopp concludes:

“Although diagnostic labels create the illusion of an explanation they are scientifically meaningless and can create stigma and prejudice.”

Liberty advocates concerned about due process-denying gun confiscations empowered by “red flag laws” should see the danger of this, when even the experts can’t agree on the basics. Add to that the American Psychiatric Association’s own “Position Statement on Firearm Access, Acts of Violence and the Relationship to Mental Illness and Mental Health Services.”

Its advocacy platform includes registration-enabling background checks, “smart” guns, storage requirements, “gun-free” zones, doctor-patient boundary violations, and tax-funded anti-gun “studies,” all outside the scope of the training and credentialing of those making these proposals.

Yet despite all that, APA admits:

“Only a small proportion of individuals with a mental disorder pose a risk of harm to themselves or others.”

In other words, they can’t justify their political biases scientifically but they still want the government to pass citizen disarmament laws over everybody. That’s even though they admit the problem is minimal and the latest findings conclude what they’ve been doing all along stigmatizes.

That’s just half the equation. Let’s not forget the back end to disarming someone due to psychiatric evaluations: How will rights be restored when there is no longer a compelling mental health reason to deny them?

The answer is they probably won’t be, although you won’t hear that from the gun-grabbers or from our so-called “gun rights leaders” looking to appease the mob by offering “mental health” concessions.

Ask yourself: Who are the psychiatric evaluators, the risk management administrators and the insurers willing to subject themselves to malpractice liabilities should a “disabled” person they later proclaim “fit” to once more own a gun be misdiagnosed and then shoots someone? The default bias – not to mention the financial and licensing incentives – will be to “err on the side of caution.”

So should we just ignore crazy people and let them all have guns? Wouldn’t that be just plain nuts?

What’s really insane is taking firearms away from a known danger and then leaving him free to stalk among us. It’s not like he couldn’t get more guns, as Chicago homicide headlines prove to us every weekend, or choose other ways to bring the hurt.

The hard but undeniable truth is, anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. In order to involuntarily segregate someone from society, full due process and proof beyond a reasonable doubt are called for. The say-so of motivated third parties who may have a conflict of interest may be enough to get an investigation started, but that’s all.

It’s also true that we can’t just ignore mental health, but diagnoses and treatments need to be acknowledged as tools of a still-developing and thus inconclusive art. And they must absolutely be separated from political agendas.

About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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