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I helped take a man's guns away.

Discussion in 'Gun-Control Issues' started by runcible68, Jan 26, 2012.


  1. runcible68

    runcible68
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    I'm a gun owner. I also have worked in mental health, on and off, for twenty years. A little while ago, I was talking to a man who had voluntarily signed himself into the psych unit for depression and suicidal ideation. This guy really wanted to die, but had enough sense to understand he wasn't thinking clearly.

    During the course of our conversation, he told me that he owned several guns. I asked him if his suicidal thinking involved the use of firearms. He replied that the thought had crossed his mind.

    I relayed this conversation to the psych doc who called the family. They had not mentioned the man's gun collection when he was admitted. The police were contacted and the man's guns were removed from his house. The patient was eventually discharged to aftercare. I do not know if he ever got his guns back but, because he tried to sign himself out while actively suicidal, he was involuntarily committed for the rest of his stay, so I doubt it.

    I felt bad, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

    Having seen just how disturbed people can be over the years, I'm a firm believer in not letting the severely mentally ill have access to firearms. It's unsafe for everyone. I do NOT, however, advocate that stance for people suffering non suicidal depressions, anxiety or manageable bi-polar illness. Everyone needs help from time to time. And if we restricted gun rights just because a person was in therapy, half the cops in this country would be on the bow and arrow squad. I would also hate to see non suicidal/homicidal people not avail him or herself of medication/therapy just because they were afraid they'd lose their gun rights.

    What say you?
     

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    #1 runcible68, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  2. IhRedrider

    IhRedrider
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    I would have to ask, what right do you have in taking someone's, who has violated no one's rights, rights away? A man was honest about his FEELINGS and you judge what he MAY do and take from him what is RIGHTFULLY his. I would not want to be you when THE judgement comes down. If YOU or anyone else was truly honest about the depression and violent thoughts that pass through you or their heads, everyone would be horrified. And if "they" followed what I would guess is your rationale, no one would be free or have any means to defend themselves. I don't think you would be happy if someone took something from you based upon what you felt. What say you?
     

  3. Misty02

    Misty02
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    A person in my husband’s family has attempted suicide a multitude of times. She has tried to cut her wrists, taken pills, and a bunch of other things. To my knowledge, she’s never tried a firearm.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    Anyone that wants to harm/kill themselves or others would work around and find other equitable methods. It is difficult to stop intent and determination.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    He just won’t posses a tool known to be effective for self-defense. <o:p></o:p>

    .
     
  4. John Rambo

    John Rambo
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    Ya know, I read this earlier, thought on it, then came back...thought on it some more. And now I'm here a third time. And for what its worth, I don't think theres any way for you to be the 'good guy' here. It was a hard decision - its always a hard decision when you decide that somebody must be protected from themselves.

    Personally, if I had a guarantee that they were only going to off themselves, I'd let them keep their guns. But what he could do to others on his way out the door is what would worry me.

    So, if you let him keep his guns and he decides to mow people down...you're the bad guy and maybe even liable in some ass-backwards court. And if you take the guns from him you're the bad guy because now you're the gun-grabbing gestapo.

    I suspect you won't get much sympathy here, but if you're looking for a right or wrong affirmation...well...you'll have to look to a much smarter man than me for that.
     
  5. Dukeboy01

    Dukeboy01
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    You did the right thing. Don't expect any further acknowledgement of that from anyone else around here and you'll be fine.

    Mental illness is one of the areas of life where reality punches ideology in the nuts and takes it's lunch money.
     
    #5 Dukeboy01, Jan 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  6. esh325

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    It's a difficult choice. I would have done the same.
     
  7. CaptTurbo

    CaptTurbo
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    A suicide often claims more victims then the one who takes their own life. Usually there will be friends and family who would be devastated. I can't say that you didn't do the right thing.
     
  8. IhRedrider

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    I know this is your opinion, but how can you defend this?

    I would say that this statement conflicts with itself. If he voluntarily checked himself into a psych unit, he was looking for help and did not really want to die. If he REALLY wanted to die, and he had firearm access, I would say that the coroner would be dealing with him not you in the psych ward.

    The more I read the OP, the more it looks like a liberal troll for "reasonable gun control for our safety". What say I to this? I'm not interested in trading rights for safety.
     
  9. Gunhaver

    Gunhaver
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    Spot on. Especially the part about being honest about the things that go through our heads sometimes. We all have the right to live and to check out if we make that decision. Some of us are strong enough to pull through it, just another form of natural selection if you ask me. I've been down so bad before that I've thought about it. I always bounce back stronger than the last time. I remember breaking down right before my divorce and setting the safe combo up to change and asking my ex to punch in a new number and never tell me what it was until we worked out all the ugly details. That's the only unquestioned cooperation I can remember from that woman.

    Danger to others is such a non-issue. The vast overwhelming majority of suicides do not involve homicides, they're just looking for a way out. I don't see where another has the right to close that door on someone. Talk them away from it, sure, but not close it. You have to realize that you're working with a system that is looking to take someone's guns and doesn't care if it's for life, a system that values CYA and safety over freedom of choice every time. All it takes is a slight shift in the already ill-defined standard of who's sane and for how long before someone can take your rights... for your own good. For THEIR definition of your own good.
     
  10. id1otbox

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    I believe that if someone truly wants to kill them self they will get it done sooner or later.

    Is living a life of misery really living?

    Choosing how you die is your right. People should be offered help and counseling but if they really want to get it done they shouldn't be stopped. God forbid, if I ever felt the need to end my life I hope that no one around me takes all the quick painless avenues away from me.
     
  11. Misty02

    Misty02
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    You are right, on things of this sort there is no way to win, so a person has to do what they believe is right. There are consequences to both taking action and not taking action that would require a lot of thought be given. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    There may be cases where an evaluation of the issues, not just those that are short term but long term consequences, are not part of the equation because an individual has a legal responsibility to take action.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Either way, we have to live with the consequences of our own actions (or lack thereof). When you ask for opinions after the fact, assuming there was a choice in what to do, please do expect those opinions to be from one side of the spectrum to the other.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    The only question that matters (unless you are asking before doing something to evaluate the pros and cons): Do I believe I did the right thing and for the right reasons? If I can answer that question satisfactorily to myself, then the opinion of others would be of little importance. Asking would be only to validate what we did, in our own mind, because we don&#8217;t feel completely comfortable with the action we took. I know having doubt happens and it&#8217;s human, but too late to do anything about it now.<o:p></o:p>

    *********<o:p></o:p>
    Question (general, not just to you John): Would you also work toward having his driver&#8217;s license suspended? A person with suicidal tendencies is just as dangerous behind a multi-thousand pound vehicle. If they decided to ram their vehicle against a tree or other inanimate object where innocent people won&#8217;t be harmed it would be the same as you mention, but what if they decide to go for a head-on collision with another vehicle?<o:p></o:p>

    .
     
    #11 Misty02, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  12. eracer

    eracer
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    My opinion has always been that the Founders understood that 'The People' meant 'functional, law-abiding, members of society.'
     
  13. Gunnut 45/454

    Gunnut 45/454
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    My one and only question- did the state pay the man for his property they stole? Removing the tools of suicde is all well a good. But to steal a mans property with out compensation is totally wrong! In most states that do this the guns are destroyed. Why not find a compotent relative to remove the guns?:whistling:
     
    #13 Gunnut 45/454, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  14. TexasFats

    TexasFats
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    I have had to help deal with the aftermath of a suicide where I teach. One student committed suicide at a time when six of the eight students in my summer class were close friends. I say that the OP did the right thing, and, perhaps, the legally required thing. Having said that, we do need to be careful. The gun grabbers would love nothing else than to classify 99% of the population as "potential suicides", and will do so if they can.
     
  15. runcible68

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    Actually I was legally bound to tell the psychiatrist about the patient's gun ownership. Also, if the man had gone home and killed himself, I'd have to live with that on my conscience.

    It is true that most suicidal people are not homicidal. However, the chance exists. Is that some thing you'd risk if confronted with the same situation? Depression often has an anger component to it. And is the man was on the mood disorder spectrum, he could have entered a delusional state where he'd not be thinking clearly with regards to the consequences of his actions.

    I am not surprised that a few posters said I was a "liberal troll" or the Gestapo. There are quite a few inflexible 2cd Amendment fanatics on these forums. Having guns is a right, yes. But when a person's life is in jeopardy, limits on that right are appropriate. We do so in other cases with other rights to more or lesser degrees. Thanks to posters who left supportive comments. I'm glad I posted this. The reactions were most illuminating.

    Best Wishes
     
  16. IhRedrider

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    Is NOT what I said. I said....

    I did not say YOU were a liberal troll, I said it (the post not the poster) LOOKS like a liberal troll. And that is my opinion, which says far more about me than you. I was not trying to offend you or make claims that you are or said something you are not or did not say. IF you posted this to gain support for gun control for safeties sake, then I would say that you are a liberal troll. And you will never get support from me. If you posted this for reassurance that you did the right thing, then I would say that you already feel you did the wrong thing If you feel you did the right thing you would have just not said anything, especially on this forum. If you feel it was not quite right to take a free mans rights away, you will get no support from me. Now these are only a few reasons for the OP, if none of these where your reasons. Then you should probably be clear to others what you want from them instead of asking, What say you. When you ask a question like this in this type of forum, you will get may opinions. All that said, I would ask you. What were you looking for when you posted your original post?
     
  17. Jerry

    Jerry
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    If had someone’s firearms take away I’d be so proud of fact that I’d post about it too. :upeyes: :faint:
     
  18. runcible68

    runcible68
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    I'm not proud of the fact I was instrumental taking that man's guns away. It saddened me. But then again I'm happier if he lives

    "The more I read the OP, the more it looks like a liberal troll for "reasonable gun control for our safety". What say I to this? I'm not interested in trading rights for safety."

    We can argue semantics all you want, but you called me a liberal troll. You used the old Socratic gambit, "I will not say that Mr. X is a despicable man. That's far from me to judge." Don't kid yourself. And why did I write the post? For the same reasons most people do in these forums - to see what people think. You are entitled to your opinion, as much as I disagree with it. Other people agreed with me.

    If people started using the public health angle, saying guns cause suicides and they must be banned/curtailed I'd fight that tooth and nail. But, despite my championing of 2cd Amendment rights, there are compelling and limited cases when those rights must be taken away. It does not follow that taking a suicidal man's guns away will open the portal to more gun control. Not everything leads to a slippery slope, not matter what the monthly crisis fund raising alarums the NRA sends out all the time. Sometimes, in limited cases, people's rights are curtailed in the interest of public safety. We deprive people of freedom when they are a menace to society. Sometimes, we have to limit 2cd Amendment rights to ensure a suicidal man's safety. It saddens me, but it happens.

    Safety versus gun rights is part of the gun control debate raging in this country. We have had our gun rights upheld in the courts. The 2cd Amendment isn't going anywhere and CCW will probably stand well against legal challenges.

    The conflict will never cease until the gun community tries to understand the fears of the non-gun owning public and make some kind of offering that does not infringe on our rights to bear arms. Why aren't we agitating to keep guns out of the hands of crazies? Is making stringent background checks at gun shows a good thing? What about really cracking down of straw purchasers and dishonest gun dealers? Is the one gun a month thing so terrible? Isn't that a concession we could make? I can see having a loophole for collectors of historical weapons. but do any of us really need to buy one gun every 30 days?

    I don't have all the answers. I'd love to have a discussion on what we could do to try and make peace with the non gun owning community. Sure, there will be the zealots with whom we will never be able to reason. But there are people like that on our side to. What can we do to make things better? Or will it be a never ending cycle of conflict, a conflict that might do us harm.

    And to anyone who thinks a person should be able to go home and "take himself out" shame on you. If you have seen the results of suicide, as I have, the effects on family and friends, you might have a more nuanced and human take on things.
     
    #18 runcible68, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
  19. Javelin

    Javelin
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    I would be standing on my roof with a bullhorn and going to Denny's telling anyone that sat down at the counter about it.

    Fact is the Government is doing everything it can to take away gun rights. Hell the VA is voluntarily submitting documentation to the ATF to ban veterans from owning weapons even though they were never given due course and in most cases without their knowledge.

    This whole big brother thing is becoming too much to be honest.
     
  20. Jerry

    Jerry
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    I hear that if they (the government) don&#8217;t get enough medical people to turn people in they&#8217;re going to start using Precogs. The Precogs have told me I should lock this thread because it&#8217;s going to turn ugly, but I don&#8217;t believe in punishing people until they actually do something wrong. Just call me crazy! Holy moley did I just say that? Please don&#8217;t tell them they&#8217;ll come &#8220;steal&#8221; my stuff. But after that boating accident and my donation to the homeless I really don&#8217;t have any guns left. :whistling:
     
    #20 Jerry, Jan 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2012
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