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Violence: Don’t deny privacy for mentally ill

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The stigma of mental illness is bad enough as it is, and that keeps a lot of us from seeking treatment. How many more will stay away when HIPAA no longer applies to us? Think about it. Would you see a doctor if that meant your name, address, phone number and Social Security number went into an FBI database of people the FBI considered to be a bunch of mass murderers in waiting?

Sen. Jon Tester and the rest are crazier than I am if they think this focus on the mentally ill as scapegoats for gun violence isn’t going to have profound unintended consequences. Easier access to better mental health services is pointless if everyone is afraid to use them. I run a website for the mentally interesting and already people are talking about no longer getting treatment if the incredibly stupid idea of opening up mental health records is implemented. Doing so would lead to more deaths, not fewer. In actuality the deaths would be the usual victims, the mentally ill, by the usual causes: suicide, violence committed upon us and from the harsh conditions of living on the streets. But if it makes you happy, go ahead and imagine hordes of unmedicated nutjobs who won’t be in the database and can thus buy all the guns and ammo they want. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

And just to remind everyone, Adam Lanza didn’t own the guns he used, they belonged to his mother. So our close relatives should be included as well, right? And the close relatives of substance abusers, violent felons, spousal/partner abusers? Where does it end?

A longer, fully sourced essay on the subject is at: http://crazy-meds1.blogspot.com/2012/12/guns-and-mental-illness-no-easy-answer.html.

Jerod Poore, St. Regis

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