Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped Loughner?

posted at 10:55 am on January 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

After every tragic event, people try to figure out what could have stopped it.  In the case of the Tuscon shootings, the debate has finally turned from the ridiculous notion that people should stop using routine analogies lest we disturb the already-disturbed to what steps should be taken when we find someone dangerously disturbed in the first place.  After all, Pima Community College suspended Jared Lee Loughner and required a psychiatric clearance for him to return to the public school after staff and students became convinced that Loughner was dangerous.  Should they have been required to report Loughner to a mental-health facility?  Sally Satel and Jeffrey Geller say yes:

In fact, under Arizona law, any concerned party can petition the court for an Order for Treatment. If Loughner had been found “persistently and acutely disabled” by severe mental illness and “likely to benefit from treatment” — regardless of whether he had a weapon or was suicidal — an evaluation and subsequent care could have been court mandated.

Of course, hindsight is perfect. As incidents unfold in real time, most people are rightly skittish about infringing on a person’s freedom. But given Loughner’s troubling track record — the number of times the campus police were called to intervene; the pressing concerns of his teacher and of other students; and the very fact that the college would not re-admit him after his suspension without psychiatric clearance — it seems that a court petition could have been justified.

Good laws work only when applied, of course. And when Loughner did not return to school, Pima Community College was rid of a very troubled young man and his problems. It did what so many colleges, universities and businesses have done before: passed the problem along. …

Perhaps it is time to require action. When a school or business feels the need to protect itself from someone who is mentally ill, perhaps it should be required to try to protect others, too.

Thus, if a school or a business ejects or otherwise removes a student or employee out of concern about behavior and dangerousness, the principal, dean, or head of the Human Resources department would be required, under a mandatory reporting law, to inform the medical director of the appropriate public health jurisdiction. This public official would then have to initiate an evaluation that might lead to a face-to-face evaluation and, depending upon its outcome, possibly involuntary treatment.

Satel and Geller are on more solid ground when talking about public schools.  Those are public institutions, which exist for evaluation of both performance and behavior.  Working out a mandatory reporting system for public schools would be less complicated.  Even without such a mandate, though, one has to wonder why Pima Community College didn’t follow up on Loughner, other than the understandable relief at having put some distance between its faculty and student body and (at that time) a potentially dangerous young man.

The authors note that mandatory reporting already exists for issues like child abuse, which apply to both schools and medical clinics/hospitals.  The latter already have other mandatory reporting requirements for injuries from violent crimes, such as gunshots and knife wounds.  But again, medical clinics and hospitals exist to conduct health assessments already; adding a psychiatric mandate would add more complication but would be within the mission of the profession.  That, however, does not apply to businesses outside of the health profession.  In fact, it sets up the private sector to act as an expert in mental health when such an expertise lies far outside what they do.

Most businesses do not eject an employee for being crazy.  Thanks to wrongful-termination lawsuits over the last few decades, most business won’t fire anyone at all unless supervisors produce a clear track record of specific failures to perform, documented and corroborated by objective data.  Private-sector employers won’t fire someone over allegations of “dangerousness” alone; if they do, they’d better have lawyers on retainer to handle the lawsuit that inevitably would follow.  And once an employee gets terminated, the private-sector business has no obligation to anyone to act as an arbiter of mental health or to “report” their inexpert opinions to the government.

If we want to insist on mandatory reporting for entities when dangerous psychoses are suspected, let’s start first with those entities that are more equipped to diagnose those issues.  But let’s also realize the limitations of such mandates, and the danger of benign individuals getting caught in a trap where they are forced to prove their relative sanity, rather than having the government prove their insanity.


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It would be easier and cheaper to imprison Sarah Palin and build internment camps for conservatives. As Michelle Antoinette said, PBHO will require us to work, and work will set us free.

Bishop on January 19, 2011 at 10:58 AM

people should stop using routine analogies lest we disturb the already-disturbed

hehehe

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:00 AM

The multiple contacts that this person had tells me that the enforcement agencies in AZ are constipated.

That doesn’t surprise me.

I think if the agencies felt at ease about implementing their own laws, this shooting wouldn’t have occurred.

But, alas, that’s not what’s going on in AZ.

You can tell by the Sheriff’s comments.

It’s beyond politicized. It’s toxic.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

This event is really why people are still talking about it. We’re all a bit surprised by how toxic political talk has become.

And about the consequences.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

My first thought when hearing a call for mandatory anything is, NO! Then, after careful consideration, I will often modify my answer to, HELL NO!

pugwriter on January 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM

The way to stomp out “evil” is to live under a police state, under an even greater evil. I think if we are to err, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM

But given Loughner’s troubling track record….

He was home living with his parents, so let’s put the blame on them. Parents, more than anyone else have the responsibility to ensure their children grow into productive, healthy adults. If you see your kid has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, it’s time to buy them some cereal.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

But let’s also realize the limitations of such mandates, and the danger of benign individuals getting caught in a trap where they are forced to prove their relative sanity

that’s it right there, Ed. It’s the “false positives.”

The stigma of being considered “crazy” is something that sticks to someone–any person who has been “committed” or forced to undergo a MH evaluation is something that, if you weren’t crazy before, then could certainly make you, and others, think that you just might be.

No person wants that stigma. Hence, the voluntary referrals for MH evaluations are probably awfully low. Subsequently, the burden of noticing concerning signs/symptoms is borne by friends/family/coworkers (and the police) who should be compelled to help someone that they care about or have some shared interest in.

Someone has opined that our jails are ad hoc mental hospitals. I agree with that sentiment. The homeless amongst us are also sufferers of MH issues. Which comes first, the MH issues, and then the crime/homelessness, or do they commit crime/become homeless as a result of the MH issue? chicken-egg argument.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:07 AM

They’re trying to control us through mandates!
Uuugggghhhh. *snap*

Electrongod on January 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

He was home living with his parents, so let’s put the blame on them. Parents, more than anyone else have the responsibility to ensure their children grow into productive, healthy adults. If you see your kid has gone cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, it’s time to buy them some cereal.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

There’s only so much parents can do for a twenty-two year old.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

I am dealing with a situation where a relative has the same problem as the shooter but we can’t make him get help unless we call the police to come to the house and convince them he is a danger, problem is he acts fine when the cops are here and they just say sorry there is nothering they can do and leave. I sure hope there is a change here in Colorado and the rest of the U.S.

KBird on January 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

On one hand it might have helped Loughner…on the other hand something like that could be abused.

Because of my Asperger’s I sometimes come across as a little odd. Years ago I had a phlebotomist tell me that she was trained to be able to tell when someone was ‘mentally ill’.
In her ‘professional’ opinion I was obviously mentally ill.

I reported my little friend and got a formal apology from the clinic that employed her.

What if the woman-who was SUBJECTIVELY deciding that I was crazy-had had the authority, the DUTY to report me.

There’s too much of a chance that those of us who are just quirky could be subjected to false reporting. Once you’re in the system-even if it’s only for a day-it’s awfully hard to refute the accusation that one is mentally ‘ill’.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM

In short, the proper laws were in place. The problem was implementation.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:10 AM

Panopticon, please!

steebo77 on January 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

But given Loughner’s troubling track record….
He was home living with his parents, so let’s put the blame on them

Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM

Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped Loughner?

No, but it may have prevented so dang many of our friends and neighbors from voting for Obama…

Bruno Strozek on January 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Yes, by all means let’s establish a system which allows a bureaucrat to force you to have a mental health evaluation.

I can see it now. “You smoke and have children? That’s Crazy!”

Ahh no.

Rocks on January 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

am dealing with a situation where a relative has the same problem as the shooter but we can’t make him get help unless we call the police to come to the house and convince them he is a danger, problem is he acts fine when the cops are here and they just say sorry there is nothering they can do and leave. I sure hope there is a change here in Colorado and the rest of the U.S.

KBird on January 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

I hear you. Keep trying.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Yeah in this case, it should be and his family should have done it. This guy didn’t slip thru the cracks. He was living at home. I want to know why his father went after him about the black bag and what was in it. Did his father see ammunition in that bag?

Texas Gal on January 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped Loughner?

You can’t legislate crazy…
Everyone has to realize that sometimes things go wrong…it is just the law of averages.
Sometimes you have a flat tire, and you pull over, no problem, every once in while, tragedy happens the flat tire throws a car into another car…you don’t legislate flat tires.
Perfect society also means it has flaws, and we deal with those flaws…not by passing new laws, but recognizing them for what they really are.
We can take safeguards, but the fact is, we have to face it as an aberration. We can’t control everything…the weather, people’s minds, what they buy, what they don’t want to buy, who they support, what their thoughts are.
It wasn’t “mental health care breakdown”, it wasn’t angry speach…it was a crazy man who lived a weird but not to far from a normal life.
PETA advocates are not too far from this guy, health care advocates are not to far from this guy, LaRaza is not far at all, nor are many other minority groups.
Conservatives can’t give speeches on college campuses because they are full of these kind of “wound up tight” guys.
It just happens…sadly it happens…people die in the streets every night, in cars every day, fall through ice, drown in pools, fall off mountains, crash in planes…life is not guaranteed, and the government can’t do anything about it.

right2bright on January 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped AnninCA?

Hell No! She will just continue to concern troll from her padded-cell.

Heck, Good gravy! She’s probably in a padded-cell right now for all we know.

Geochelone on January 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

This issue is about implementation and, yes, politics.

I think that AZ does have something to answer about. There may be such an atmosphere of “individual rights,” that these idiots missed the forest for the trees.

That can happen when every position is elected, and every election is too “hot” about ideology.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

There’s only so much parents can do for a twenty-two year old.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Just sayin’. A serious talk between mom and pop about having Jared re-evaluated and/or possibly committed may have saved a lot of people this grief. Big may have, but still a chance.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped AnninCA?

Hell No! She will just continue to concern troll from her padded-cell.

Heck, Good gravy! She’s probably in a padded-cell right now for all we know.

Geochelone on January 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Please, don’t bore the entire site with some anti-Ann thread.

It bores me, and I’m the topic!

Nevermind boring everyone else.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

This event is really why people are still talking about it. We’re all a bit surprised by how toxic political talk has become.

And about the consequences.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

Stop with this toxic political talk crap. Peddle that somewhere else. No one outside of MSNBC believes that nonsense.

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

right2bright on January 19, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Great post. Thanks. I think that’s actually why we’re all struggling here.

There is no prevention of crazy.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Mr. Loughner is a prime example of the cost of freedom. More laws, more regulations and more outrage are not going to stop a madman from doing grievous damage.

fourdeucer on January 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

We’re all a bit surprised by how toxic political talk has become.
And about the consequences.

What consequences?

Bishop on January 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Ann makes a solid case for mandatory mental-health reporting.

DarkCurrent on January 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

My first thought when hearing a call for mandatory anything is, NO! Then, after careful consideration, I will often modify my answer to, HELL NO!

pugwriter on January 19, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Likewise.

In this age of petty, paltry and cowardly authoritarianism, just another opening for abuse.

The answer can only come from reversing the trend of infantilizing ourselves and our culture. But this is the last thing that would ever occur to “liberal” authority.

rrpjr on January 19, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Yes, let’s make mandatory reporting for crazy speak. Then the liberals can label any conservative thought to be a form of mental paranoia or instability and have us all reported. From there it will be easy to round up the “insubordinate” to “protect the country.”

How about we stop pretending that we can eliminate murder from the world through legislation? Perhaps then we can focus on the proven method of parenting that involves the teaching of sound morals backed up by a firm hand of discipline.

Ed, I’m starting to wonder if you haven’t gone a little screw-loose on us the past week with your sudden willingness to go along with leftist memes (Barry’s speech) and support of the ever expanding bureaucracy…such as this article. I understand we aren’t going to agree on everything, but…are you ok?

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Stop with this toxic political talk crap. Peddle that somewhere else. No one outside of MSNBC believes that nonsense.

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Oh honestly, if you don’t notice that the talk is toxic, I can’t really help you much.

Palin is just the focal point.

The truth is that the politics today is toxic.

It disgusts most of us. We don’t really probably even like to vote.

It’s that noxious.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

The professor in California, who damaged her car then blamed it on racists…the guy who wants a ear necklace…the man beaten for being a conservative, the people beaten by union thugs, Joe the Plumber who was “beaten” by the system for just asking a question.
All these people who perpetrated these events against others, are no different, have no different mindset then this murderer. This guy was not a murderer, until he committed the crime…these people I listed are not murderers either, but have a similar mindset.
Our system would be overrun…except, most of the incidents are carried out by leftist crazies, so the target would be everyone to the right.

right2bright on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Ann makes a solid case for mandatory mental-health reporting.

DarkCurrent on January 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Oh lordy, cute. About like posting on HuffPo and trying to defend the GOP.

Come on people.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I think that AZ does have something to answer about. There may be such an atmosphere of “individual rights,” that these idiots missed the forest for the trees.

I think the sheriff of Pima county, deputies, and the liberal arts college staff and other students, Jared’s family and acquaintences have something to answer to.

These are the “responsible adults” who ignored what the press and AnninCA now believe to be signs of imminent violence.

No one outside of Pima County has a dog in this hunt.

BobMbx on January 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

Just sayin’. A serious talk between mom and pop about having Jared re-evaluated and/or possibly committed may have saved a lot of people this grief. Big may have, but still a chance.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Well I’m not “just sayin’.” An adult can’t be forced to accept medical treatment against their will, for mental illness or anything else. That serious talk could have been with his parents or anyone else — wouldn’t have made a lick of difference had Jared not sought out treatment himself.

Personally, I think that the Pima County sheriff’s office is to blame for this more than Loughner’s parents are. It sounds like they had every reason to believe that he was planning something, and they sat on their thumbs. We need to enforce the laws on the books.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:22 AM

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Before the kid turns 18, you may have something. Once they are 18, then it isn’t the parents responsibility anymore. Not legally anyway.

At what point do we lay responsibility on the individual? The guy was 22 years old. Yeah, he was still living at home, but legally he is responsible to himself.

Sometimes people do evil things. Things for which they, not their parents, are responsible for.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Mandatory mental health reporting? Crikey! Most of San Fran Nan’s district would be in straight jackets.

Nah, bad idea – even for those freaks.

Cody1991 on January 19, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I think the next real shift? To the middle. The last election “righted” things.

And my guess is that people will now shift to the middle.

Can the teaparty withstand that shift to middle?

I really am not sure. Palin’s polls are indicating, “no.”

But I’m honestly not sure that’s not just a natural backlash from the big mid-term wins.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Does anyone think that the adequate application of ‘effective’ mental health care can prevent the manifestation of acute psychosis that led to murder?

Does anyone think that the adequate application of ‘effective’ breast mastectomy or radiation/chemo can prevent the manifestation of cancer that leads to metastases and death?

Does anyone think that the the adequate application of ‘effective’ sex education can prevent the manifestation of sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and broken lives that lead to health issues, abortion and substance abuse?

Does anyone understand what the real and fundamental limitations of any facet of health care actually are?

No matter what level of effort you apply to any problem, there are some outcomes that are simply beyond our ability to a)predict b)prevent or c) control. These are fundamental truths.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I’m sick and tired of this “Toxic Political Discourse” meme. What it, and the idiots that spew it are saying is essentially “Anyone who disagrees with the President or other liberals are culpable for an insane dude’s murder spree.” That we are responsible for law enforcement and university officials who didn’t do their job in helping a wacko that had multiple run ins with others. That Palin, Boosh and any “right wing nut job” are murderers by proxy. I will not stand for it.

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I think AZ had the right laws in place.

What they don’t have is a good enforcement climate.

It’s just too “hot.” That is why Gifford was shot, too. AZ is messed up right now.

Due to emotionalism.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:25 AM

So,instead of a gun, he would have made a bomb and perhaps killed 30 people.

If a guy wants to kill, he will find a way.

No, I do NOT think mentally ill people should have guns.

stenwin77 on January 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM

This event is really why people are still talking about it. We’re all a bit surprised by how toxic political talk has become.

And about the consequences.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM

I would seriously advise you to read it again. This has nothing to do with politics. It has EVERYTHING to do, with Jared Loughners descent into mental illness, and what can be done to help him, and others like him.

The meme about political rhetoric being the cause, is absurd!!!

If you want evil political rhetoric, look up the story of Fuller, wanting to make a necklace out of the ears of conservatives, and why he wants conservatives tortured. Oh…did I mention he’s the guy from the left, who threatened the life of a Tea Party leader?

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM

The other thing I would like to know about is how does anyone know Loughner wasn’t already being treated? It’s not like his doctor could say anything about it. For all we know the guy could have been on, or off, meds which contributed to this.
Also, Loughner’s family was not well to do. The first serious consequence of his behavior was the Pima CC ejection and that was only a few months ago. Perhaps a consultation with a doctor was scheduled already. Perhaps they are on a state insurance program and they are waiting to visit one of the 2 psychiatrists that actually take that insurance.

I just don’t see how everyone is so sure this guy received no treatment at all.

Rocks on January 19, 2011 at 11:26 AM

Does Loughner’s arrest mean his parents won’t have to cover his HC insurance costs until he’s 26?

Ris4victory on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

You make the kid get treatment or throw him out. Simple as that, people. Guarantee you the “adult” here wasn’t paying a lick of rent. Parents had all the cards, played a losing hand.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

It’s beyond politicized. It’s toxic.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:01 AM

So you rail against toxic political talk and yet you accused ED MORRISSEY of being a RACE-BAITER two days ago in the Sharpton thread; just because your disagreed with him!!!!!

Now that’s toxic talk by any definition!!!!

Geochelone on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

As a mandated reporter in the past, I can testify to the personal danger that can result from this obligation. Becoming the object of a mentally unstable person’s revenge fantasies is extremely stressful, and any protections offered by police, etc., are milquetoast at best.

It wasn’t just that I had to pay for the restraining order -a sheet of paper with a phone number to call if I found the angry restrainee within 100 feet of me. It was the 24/7 worry that this irrationally angry person, who had threatened to slit my throat for reporting him to Child Protective Services, would in fact attack me. That thin sheet of paper wasn’t actually going to protect me much, and this man was walking free.

While I can understand the desire to enlarge the field of mandated reporters, there’s a definite downside. After being required to report, therapists, teachers, doctors, etc., are left largely defenseless in the wake of angry threats of reprisal.

marybel on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Ann makes a solid case for mandatory mental-health reporting.

DarkCurrent on January 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Although I know that’s a tongue-in-cheek comment, this is exactly what would happen. Those with whom we disagree would be tattooed with the label of “crazy” and an evaluation would be mandated. No matter the ‘good intentions’ of the program or mandate, this is the fundamental application of it. You say or do something that I don’t like, and, if I have the power to do so, I can recommend you for an evaluation and gain the secondary advantage of tagging you as crazy. What goes around comes around and just look at what happened with US mental institutions in the early 1900′s. Atrocious.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Won’t that put Paul Krugman at risk?

Viator on January 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM

Perhaps an Uncle Fester Law… anyone under the age of 25 who willfully makes himself look like Uncle Fester shall be committee for 90 days for evaluation…

phreshone on January 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Cutting spending and taxes, repealing Obamacare. Virtually everything the Tea Party pushes. Those are the middle.

Rocks on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Amen!!!

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Politics has always been ‘toxic’.

Political talk has always been ‘toxic’.

An actual fist fight broke out in the Senate. Politics is ‘violence’.

Read your history.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Won’t that put Paul Krugman at risk?

Viator on January 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM

+ infinity.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

It disgusts most of us. We don’t really probably even like to vote.

It’s that noxious.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Did you ever notice that no one here buys any of the horse manure you post? It’s not noxious. I read your posts and have no idea why you come to this site. If you don’t like to vote, that’s your right but don’t pretend that you speak for anyone here.

search4truth on January 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Change!!

He said about 15 minutes elapsed between the time Mr. Loughner arrived by cab at the Safeway — and had to go inside to get change to pay the driver — and when the shooting started at 10:10 a.m.

Further proof he was an Obama fan? And, that he needed psych treatment, big-time.

Shivas Irons on January 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

No it would not have helped. But it would have helped when he started threatening people to charge him.

roux on January 19, 2011 at 11:30 AM

No matter what level of effort you apply to any problem, there are some outcomes that are simply beyond our ability to a)predict b)prevent or c) control. These are fundamental truths.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

I pretty much agree. I think implementation of laws is nearly always very political. That’s why the majority of blogs about new laws and about elections mean very little.

I don’t think that the blogs care that’s the truth, either. That means, they can gear up for the next false truth.

I do think that this is a very slow process. Mental illness is uncomfortable. Just like alzhiemers in the threads about Reagan.

But, my personal opinion is that mental illness is real. We need to be OK about taking in people when their illness draws them into violence.

And alzheimer’s is OK, too.

It goes hand-in-hand.

I think people need to recognize that choices in our population are not always about right/wrong.

And let’s just move on.

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Again, they have PET – psychiatric emergency teams. They come out and evaluate people. If the school had a legitimate fear, they could have called them. They could have interviewed him. If they found that he was not a danger to himself or others, they could have persuaded him to voluntarily enter a hospital for further evaluation and treatment.

Blake on January 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Would mandatory mental-health reporting have stopped Loughner?

Would warning the authorities by a father of an explosive underwear wearing son help keep us safe?
The system worked..so I was told.
In the end, the only system that worked was the actions of individuals on location.
Life has its glitches…and anything we do to cover them up also has its glitches. When they align..

Electrongod on January 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

marybel on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Exactly, on both counts. And don’t think there aren’t people out there, that would use this mandate as a weapon against others they harbor a grudge, or revenge for.

capejasmine on January 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM

AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:20 AM

Meanwhile…you think government should make health care mandatory and available to everyone…and despite all the evidence you are convinced and perpetuate that lie that Reagan had Alzheimer’s while in office…
But, you don’t think government should legislate, and you don’t want “toxic” political talk…
Your statements hold little value…like I stated in another thread…good to have you around so we are always reminded how the other side thinks, most of us could never conceive of the convoluted way that liberals think.

right2bright on January 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Should they have been required to report Loughner to a mental-health facility?

How do you know that provision isn’t buried deep within ObummerCare?

In the old Soviet Union, the fastest way for the ruling class to rid itself of any bothersome individuals was to declare them “mentally defective” and make ‘em disappear into the psychiatric system.

bloviator on January 19, 2011 at 11:32 AM

Read your history.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

that’s a good point. At least the history that hasn’t been revised by our intellectual betters. The leftists only love the fallacy of our founders in their “civil” discourse. They spin that myth that the nostalgic days of yore were more civil than they are now. Hamilton disagrees. Politics and the matters of state are a bloodsport, in both the rhetorical and actual contexts. No wonder politicians are required to have a ‘thick skin’ because it’s a thick skin that helps protect from the wounds suffered.

truth.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:27 AM

So the parents should be arrested and charged as accessories to murder?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Pima Community College sent it’s campus police officers to Loughner’s home with a letter, expelling him until such time as he produced a letter from a psychiatrist stating that he ‘was not a danger to himself or others’. This is exactly what is required for an involuntary commitment by a police officer for a psych eval.

The Community College police delivered a letter. They did not take him in.

THEY PASSED THE BUCK.

GarandFan on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

In the old Soviet Union, the fastest way for the ruling class to rid itself of any bothersome individuals was to declare them “mentally defective” and make ‘em disappear into the psychiatric system.

Strange; these days the Dem party recruits the same types and gets them elected in bezerk districts. Pelosi, Moran, Dellums, Waters, Grayson, Franks, Green of SC … feel free to add more.

Shivas Irons on January 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM

There’s only so much parents can do for a twenty-two year old.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

Where did he get money for his “supplies”? From his movements in those last 24 hours, it appears he had plenty of folding cash. Why was his father concerned about the black bag he took out of the Nova in the family driveway the morning of the shooting? They suspected there was a problem. If that had been my kid, I would have been filing reports with every official agency available, so they knew they were officially on the spot if something went down. That’s how you get things done.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM

If y’all don’t stop putting up that creepy azz picture of this scumbag, I’m gonna need some mandatory mental health screening.

Talk about him, yes ……. keep using that picture and he wins, because you think he’s grinning like that from total mental health issues, you’re wrong. He’s getting exactly what he wanted ….. his mug plastered all over the place.

Jerome Horwitz on January 19, 2011 at 11:38 AM

So the parents should be arrested and charged as accessories to murder?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

No. But, as the de facto caretakers and parents of this kid, these two should be questioned about what they knew and when they knew it. If they had good knowledge that their son was a danger to others, and made credible threats, and they did nothing about it, then there is responsibility there to be had. These people were family and cohabitated. This question would be null if the kid lived somewhere else for the last 5 years, but he didn’t. He lived like a child, had no viable employment, and was subsisted by his parents. Where did the funds come from for guns/ammo/dope/skulls/etc? The kid couldn’t hold a job. Either daddy is lining his pockets with some spending change or ??? I don’t know. the money for that stuff came from somewhere. If I were funding a kid’s private arsenal and he happened to live in my house, you better be damned sure that I’d have something to say about it. Word.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Where did he get money for his “supplies”? From his movements in those last 24 hours, it appears he had plenty of folding cash. Why was his father concerned about the black bag he took out of the Nova in the family driveway the morning of the shooting? They suspected there was a problem. If that had been my kid, I would have been filing reports with every official agency available, so they knew they were officially on the spot if something went down. That’s how you get things done.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:37 AM

That’s also no guarantee. The question of “How could we have prevented this from happening” is a natural human response, but it’s not a rational question. The way we prevent this sort of thing from happening is to accept living in a police state. I know that’s not what you’re advocating, so don’t get your panties in a wad.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

So the parents should be arrested and charged as accessories to murder?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

No, but their failure to push the bureacracy into action should not be discounted as we try to avoid future episodes.

Until we have all the info on any connection between the sheriff’s failure to pursue evaluation and the mothers political juice as a employee of the Parks Dept, we’ll not have all the facts.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:45 AM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

My thoughts exactly.

Geochelone on January 19, 2011 at 11:45 AM

This argument can also be applied to the Hasan Fort Hood shooting. Was the Army just passing the buck? That deranged muslim was obviously insane (but I repeat myself) and yet the army brass left him alone.

Wine_N_Dine on January 19, 2011 at 11:46 AM

No, but their failure to push the bureacracy into action should not be discounted as we try to avoid future episodes.

Until we have all the info on any connection between the sheriff’s failure to pursue evaluation and the mothers political juice as a employee of the Parks Dept, we’ll not have all the facts.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:45 AM

You heard it here first, folks. A conservative advocating for “push[ing] the bureaucracy into action.” Am I the only person here that just sounds wrong to?

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

That’s also no guarantee. The question of “How could we have prevented this from happening” is a natural human response, but it’s not a rational question. The way we prevent this sort of thing from happening is to accept living in a police state. I know that’s not what you’re advocating, so don’t get your panties in a wad.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:40 AM

I agree with your sentiment, but I have to say you are dead wrong. Living in a police state would not prevent this sort of thing from happening. These types of murders still happened in Nazi Germany, the USSR, Mao’s China, etc… There is NOTHING you can do to prevent mass murders from ever happening again.

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I think the next real shift? To the middle. The last election “righted” things.
AnninCA on January 19, 2011 at 11:24 AM

Sorry for the OT, but this is wrong. The last election “righted” nothing. Trends don’t shift based on election results, but on material results from those elections. The tea party isn’t a “corrective” movement so much as a purgative and restorative one. Very little has been purged and nothing restored, and Obama’s stealth socialism and recondite fascism will continue. What we’ll see is cosmetic alterations on his part, and sops to base on Republicans’ part, but no real changes close to what was required or demanded. If anything, the trends will strengthen and, depending on level of GOP ineffectualness and the quality of their nominee, deeper alienation, stronger tea party, and a more vocal cry for a third-party may follow. The genie is out of the bottle.

rrpjr on January 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Check this. We have some friends with a 16yo boy. Trouble left and right with him. Skipping school, dope smoking, stealing from cars, run ins with the police. He’s just recently been committed to a boys home. My thoughts on those are similar to prison. People go to those places to hone their skills on being a craftier juvenile deviant, or take steps up to become a ‘better class of criminal.’ Either a kid gets a swift kick in the ass from life–like a basic training experience–and he sees the writing on the wall, or he doesn’t. If a kid goes through his first 25 years of life and rarely, if ever, experiences harsh consequences to deviant behavior, then he has little motivation to avoid that behavior. If parents fail, then the police are the next stop, and jail/prison/rehab are the final stops, if he doesn’t end up dead.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM

A little late addition. Police states usually sanction more widespread and destructive mass murders.

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM

There’s only so much parents can do for a twenty-two year old.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

You’re saying that the college has more power to get this guy the mental health he needed than the parents?

mizflame98 on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I agree with your sentiment, but I have to say you are dead wrong. Living in a police state would not prevent this sort of thing from happening. These types of murders still happened in Nazi Germany, the USSR, Mao’s China, etc… There is NOTHING you can do to prevent mass murders from ever happening again.

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Well that is a debate for another thread. The one thing I do know is that by respecting the spirit of the 2nd amendment, you can minimize loss of life, and hopefully dissuade the potential perpetrators that do have a shred of sanity left in them.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

There are fewer greater/more miserable challenges in life than being the parent of a paranoid schizophrenic.

I have two friends who each have a son with this horrible disease. Their two sons are both in late 20′s and cause their parents nothing but trouble and broken hearts.

In CA, due to the wisdom of the higher courts, they have made it nearly impossible to keep the crazies under lock and key… as much as they may need it. I sometimes see them wandering the streets… hell, one of them used me, and certain challenges I’ve faced, as his “Essay” on application to get into the University of CA. He got in, and came back a year later with no sense of reality.

It apparently occurs most frequently between the ages of 18 and 22 and ruins the lives of all that are in family. As much as I want to blame Loughner’s parents for being irresponsible – and they may have been – I know too much about how impossible it is to manage an adult child suffering from paranoid schizophrenic.

Shivas Irons on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

So the parents should be arrested and charged as accessories to murder?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Absolutely. And every last scrap of their wordly possessions sold at public auction./

Not quite what I had in mind. Just hope other parents who have adult-size basement dweller children who withdraw from society and sputter random thoughts about grammar over the dinner table make a real effort to do whatever they can to get their kid help. Guess, we’ll find out more if they made any attempts, in the future. Or maybe Jared’s “craziness” is being exaggerated to save his hide.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

You’re saying that the college has more power to get this guy the mental health he needed than the parents?

mizflame98 on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

I believe I said in an earlier post that I thought it was the Sheriff’s Office that seemed to drop the ball the farthest.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

You heard it here first, folks. A conservative advocating for “push[ing] the bureaucracy into action.” Am I the only person here that just sounds wrong to?

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:47 AM

I live in the real world. Bureaucracies will always exist. If that makes me impure, so be it.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

The one thing I do know is that by respecting the spirit of the 2nd amendment, you can minimize loss of life, and hopefully dissuade the potential perpetrators that do have a shred of sanity left in them.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

Agreed. Also, it is next to impossible to have a police state with an armed populace.

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:39 AM

I see what your saying, I do.

But this just smacks of more laying responsibility somewhere other than where it belongs.

Are the parents doctors? Are they trained in psychology/psychiatry? A parent may indeed feel their child is ‘troubled’, what parent doesn’t at some point? But where is the line?

They gave the kid what amounts to an allowance. Now they’re responsible for what he spends the money on? Yeah, he lives at home, but they are responsible for his whereabouts? The guy is 22 years old! He’s not 16.

And I ask again: Where do you draw the line? Mommy or daddy didn’t give him enough hugs so he turned into a psychopathic killer? Sorry, but I’ve never bought that whole line. Plenty of people grow up in less than ideal homes and don’t turn into psychopaths.

People are responsible for their own actions.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Sheriff Dupnik has no comment.

BacaDog on January 19, 2011 at 11:53 AM

I live in the real world. Bureaucracies will always exist. If that makes me impure, so be it.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Bureaucracies have no business deciding if I am a threat to myself or others without due process. If you believe otherwise, that doesn’t make you impure. It doesn’t even make you stupid or evil. Perhaps a bit naive, but that’s about where we’re at as a society when it comes to effectively dealing with mental illness. I know from firsthand experience.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM

People are should be responsible for their own actions.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Fixed it for reality.

Pattosensei on January 19, 2011 at 11:55 AM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Andrew Jackson was also another example of quiet political discourse. BTW, wasn’t Jackson a Democrat?

mizflame98 on January 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 11:51 AM

Same kind of logic which has placed the blame for what happened at the feet of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

I suppose if Loughner stands trial and is sentenced to death, his parents should fry right along side him? Or spend the rest of their lives in jail? Because they didn’t give their child enough hugs when he was 17?

The community college he went to is also responsible, they dropped the ball too. The dean should also be arrested as an accessory then? His teachers should go to jail? The chief of the campus PD? While we’re at it, why don’t we go after his grandparents too (if their still alive)?

Shouldn’t all of them have spotted his neurosis?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

But where is the line?

They gave the kid what amounts to an allowance. Now they’re responsible for what he spends the money on? Yeah, he lives at home, but they are responsible for his whereabouts? The guy is 22 years old! He’s not 16.

And I ask again: Where do you draw the line? Mommy or daddy didn’t give him enough hugs so he turned into a psychopathic killer? Sorry, but I’ve never bought that whole line. Plenty of people grow up in less than ideal homes and don’t turn into psychopaths.

People are responsible for their own actions.

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM

I agree with you, however, your argument presumes that the ‘line’ is age 18 and, beyond that, responsibility becomes the entire issue to be borne by Laughner himself. You are right. However, that’s a singular argument that ignores the fact that the man lived as a child, with his parents, unemployed, ate his moms food, slept in a bed purchased by his father, paid little/no rent, and behaved in this fashion. He is above 18 and should be acting as an adult in proper societal fashion–employed, living in an apartment/home, paid for by him, cooking his own meals etc. The fact is he wasn’t. Jared Laughner was an adult in age only. He will certainly be tried as an adult, but he was no adult. For that, the parents own some responsibility and have already stated such by their release of a statement. If he were living by himself, in another state, far removed from his parents, we would care less what his parents said. His parents words matter a whole lot more in this instance because he was 2ft away from them. Despite the disconnectedness in this family, mom and dad, by both proximity and relationship bear some of the cost of this tragedy. How the justice system determines that “cost” is beyond me, but we can agree that there is some cost to be borne by the parents.

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Same kind of logic which has placed the blame for what happened at the feet of Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck.

Shouldn’t all of them have spotted his neurosis?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 11:58 AM

I don’t see the connection, catmman. Palin nor Beck lived under the same roof with this guy, in a caretaking role. The universities and the police department had runins with Loughner as he was acting out his pathology away from home. There’s a clear disconnect between Loughner and his parents here that’s really sad.

RepubChica on January 19, 2011 at 12:05 PM

Perhaps a bit naive, but that’s about where we’re at as a society when it comes to effectively dealing with mental illness. I know from firsthand experience.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 11:54 AM

I have followed your posts and realize you have personal reasons for feeling the you do. That said, mental evaluation regarding danger to self or others has to be done by someone. Hopefully, it is done by a competent, objective professional, operating in some official capacity.
I recognize that system can be abused. IMO, that potential for abuse can be minimized with proper checks and balances, and is preferable to avoiding the issue altogether. No system will be perfect. The present one is obviously not.

a capella on January 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

The cost to be borne by the parents won’t be in a criminal court. There’s simply nothing to charge them with as there is no law to charge them under. Perhaps a civil action, but somehow I doubt that the hassle and cost of pursuing a tort would be worth it in the end, for the victims’ families to have to relive all this.

gryphon202 on January 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM

It apparently occurs most frequently between the ages of 18 and 22 and ruins the lives of all that are in family. As much as I want to blame Loughner’s parents for being irresponsible – and they may have been – I know too much about how impossible it is to manage an adult child suffering from paranoid schizophrenic.

Shivas Irons on January 19, 2011 at 11:50 AM

So easy to sit back and blame parents, friends, etc.
The fact is, we don’t know the dynamics were…but we do know if you have an ill child you can’t always “fix” them. And you can’t abandon them. You throw them out on the streets and let them die, or try to live with them and treat them…I have had a friend with a similar case, and it was a dilemma that consumed their lives, and sucked away their bank account. It destroys a functioning family. Most any choice is destructive in some ways, and there is no real “solution”, even from the arm chair pundits.
But it is sure easy to say “They should have” without living with the outcome of the action.

right2bright on January 19, 2011 at 12:08 PM

ted c on January 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

We both pretty much agree with one another I think.

I’m still hesitant to place ‘blame’ on the parents. The parents didn’t pull the trigger.

If there is a price to pay, they are paying and will continue to pay it knowing their son did such a thing.

If we’re going to start looking at all of that tangential stuff looking at assigning blame or assessing culpability, again I ask where do we draw the line?

catmman on January 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM

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