Sunday Commentary: Gun Violence Hits Close to Home

gunsWe interrupt this coverage of the elections for a bit of reality that seems more like unreality. As we now know, a distraught young man was driving a black BMW through the city of Isla Vista, a college town, not that much different from our own. Suddenly he opened fire on the crowded streets and when he was done, seven people were dead, including the attacker later identified as Elliot Rodger, and 11 were injured.

The father of one of the victims had enough and spoke out.

“Why did Chris die?” Richard Martinez said at a press conference. “Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA. They talk about gun rights, what about Chris’ right to live? When will this insanity stop?”

It is a statement that will likely get a lot of play from both sides of the gun debate. But for me at least, what stands out is an article that ran in San Luis Obispo Tribune and was picked up in the Sacramento Bee.

Chris Martinez was 20 years old and a sophomore at UC Santa Barbara, and had graduated from San Luis Obispo High in 2012, 21 years after me. For me, that brings the tragedy even closer to home than it had been.

Mr. Martinez, in speaking to reporters, punctuated his statement by saying, “We should say to ourselves: ‘Not! One! More!'” before dissolving into tears and falling to his knees as he stepped from the podium.

But we can’t say not one more. This shooting comes a year and a half after the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adult staff members were killed. 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shot and killed his mother prior to the rampage and them committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

After that shooting, President Barack Obama vowed, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.”

Nearly 200,000 people signed a petition at the Obama administration’s “We the People” website set up for petitioning, in support of stricter gun control legislation. President Obama, in a speech, vowed to make gun control a “central issue” at the start of his second term of office and he would sign 23 executive orders and propose 12 congressional actions regarding gun control, one month after the shooting.

While the shooting was powerful enough to renew the debate about federal and state assault weapon bans and background checks, the reality is that even the killing of defenseless school children was not enough to break the stranglehold of the NRA.

As the Atlantic would report in March 2014, “That conversation has now come and gone. The result?”

“Perverse as it may sound, the horrific mass shooting in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary produced a burst of state-level gun control bills around the country and then triggered a much stronger pro-gun backlash,” Paul M. Barrett reports at Businessweek. “The counter-reaction has now reached its apogee in Georgia. In the past year alone, 21 states have enacted laws expanding gun rights, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Several states added piecemeal provisions allowing firearms on college campuses or in bars or churches. Georgia’s politicians, egged on by the National Rifle Association, have gone for broke.”

Mr. Barrett argues, “The smart response is not scorn or exaggeration. For better or worse, gun ownership has come to symbolize a range of deeply felt ideas about culture and government authority. Making fun of people who view their firearms as emblems of liberty and traditional values (however they define those values) will neither change minds nor repeal legislation.”

The Atlantic adds, “In the aftermath of a gun tragedy, there isn’t anything wrong with proponents of gun control trying to persuade Americans to change their position in light of what happened. But after Newtown, many gun-control advocates tried to shame rather than persuade, as if the ‘correct’ position was obvious to everyone save retrograde idiots. On guns, that strategy has never worked.”

Maybe. The reality probably is a bit different. Researchers in the wake of Al Gore’s surprise loss in the 2000 Presidential Election probably discovered a better reason – while polling shows that gun control advocates outnumber gun rights advocates, the latter group holds their views much more strongly and their numbers are more important in key swing states.

The strategic importance of the NRA in key swing states and districts probably plays a much stronger role in the dynamics. The NRA is not a typical interest or pressure group. They spent very little on lobbyists and rely on their huge numbers of grassroots citizen groups to make their mark.

Truth is, I have always been a bit apprehensive on the gun control issue. My observations are that prohibitions rarely achieve their desired goals, especially when a culture of guns and gun violence are so pervasive in the American psyche.

Notions of an armed citizenry are inextricably linked to notions of liberty and freedom from government oppression. That these are ultimately based on false notions of history and false premises are of little consequence.

Nevertheless, I am uncomfortable in the ability of an organized interest group to hold reform legislation hostage. It is another hallmark of a dysfunctional political system that policy supported by such a heavy percentage of the population can be tied up and bound by one group.

In this case, the attack was not just about guns, the attack beginning with the stabbing deaths of three men in his own apartment prior to arming himself and hopping into his vehicle to kill more. Eliot Rodger, described in the press as a “hate-filled son of a Hollywood director, vowed in his video to exact his bloody vengeance against the sorority women who rejected him and the men who succeeded where he so often failed.”

He posted what was described as “a terrifying YouTube warning” in which he proclaimed, “You denied me a happy life, and in turn I will deny all of you life.”

There are reports of previous warning signs, run ins with authorities, even an attempt at intervention. In the end, while the nation will probably re-focus on the gun debate, each side digging in, the bigger issue that troubles me is the state of our mental health system and our inability to reach and help troubled figures such as Eliot Rodger or Adam Lanza before it’s too late.

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Daniel Parrella

    I lived in Isla Vista in 2011. VERY close to home. From personal experience I can tell you that UCSB has a notoriously terrible/unfunded/understaffed/criminally negligent mental health system, it would not surprise me if we learn he tried to get help but received inadequate attention. I honestly dont know how well UCD handles the legions of troubled young people but I suspect we can do better.

  2. Elizabeth Bowler

    In almost every one of these mass murder cases, the common theme is mental illness and prescription psychiatric medications. Yet the outrage is always about guns. While I am certainly in support of stricter gun control, I don’t understand the lack of focus on the real problem.

    1. South of Davis

      Elizabeth wrote:

      > In almost every one of these mass murder cases, the common theme
      > is mental illness and prescription psychiatric medications. Yet the outrage
      > is always about guns.

      Don’t forget having a Dad that is not around/does not care (no one seems to ever get mad at the dads that don’t give a crap about their kids). It is true that almost all the white (and half white) kids that shoot other kids are on prescription psychiatric medications, but just like the outrage is “always about guns” there only seems to be “outrage” when a white kids shoots someone. Blacks are only about 13% of the US population but are over 50% of the murder victims. If this kid was black and was driving a Buick on 22″ and shot just as many people in Chicago housing project it would not even be national news. A half white kid in a BMW and we have front page news in every paper in America.

      P.S. I bet every person reading this can name half a dozen white kid mass shootings without even thinking about it, but can’t name a single black kid mass shooting…

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Thank you.

      Did the police ask him if he owned guns, and did they check them? In cases like this, why don’t we send out a social worker?

      1. South of Davis

        TBD wrote:

        > Did the police ask him if he owned guns, and did they check them?

        I read another article that said he “legally” purchased his guns and ammo, but it sounds like the cops didn’t have the time to check that database(s) and see that a young kid (who’s parents called and said he it talking about killing people) just bought three guns and hundreds of rounds of ammo (I bet they were on line looking at the fishing boats to buy when they retire at 50 with their $10K/month pensions). Maybe the new “gun law” we need is on to force cops to enforce the “current” gun laws…

        P.S. I also read that he was NOT a UCSB student but a loser hanging out in IV while going to a Junior College (no wonder he couldn’t get a date since some of the biggest drug using losers I have ever met were dumb kids who’s rich parents sent them to live with UCSB students in the FT dorms in IV while they went to junior college)…

    3. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      In almost every one of these mass murder cases, the common theme is mental illness and prescription psychiatric medications.

      I am not sure if you meant to say “In almost every one of these mass murder cases, the common theme is mental illness and A LACK OF TAKING prescription psychiatric medications.” If so, you are right.

      The real problem with violent-prone paranoid schizophrenics, like Adam Lanza, who had been prescribed anti-psychotics but was not taking them, or Jared Lee Loughner, who should have been prescribed anti-psychotics, but never was, or Seung-Hui Cho, who stopped taking his meds several months before he shot all those young people at Virginia Tech, is that we treat them as if they are adults who should be allowed to decide on their own whether they need to be medicated. The reality, of course, is that these individuals, off meds, are out of their minds and cannot make rational decisions about their health.

      The only sensible answer is to allow their families (or a public guardian if there is no family) to go to a court and have the court order their loved one to be forcibly medicated. If that is only possible in a psychiatric hospital (for a while), then that is where the mentally ill person needs to be. We should never wait until they commit horrific crimes or wind up killing themselves. It’s always a tragic ending with paranoid schizophrenics when they are not treated by anti-psychotic medications. Usually, the victims are limited to the patient’s family and himself. But either way, leaving it up to the psychotic person to decide his own treatment is just a recipe for serious tragedy in every case.

      1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

        “The only sensible answer is to allow their families (or a public guardian if there is no family) to go to a court and have the court order their loved one to be forcibly medicated. “

        This is exactly how Laura’s Law is supposed to work, and does work now in Nevada County. The court, if asked by the family, will order forcible treatment if independent psychiatrists recommend it.

        The only real shortcoming of Laura’s Law, even where it is funded, is we don’t have enough psychiatric hospital beds to care for these people in locked facilities. That must be a part of the equation, until the person’s psychosis is under control.

        1. Robert Canning

          Rich, there is a modified Laura’s law program in San Francisco and Yolo County has a small program with less than ten people in it. There is also a mental health court here.

      2. Elizabeth Bowler

        In some cases, ie Columbine, psych meds were being taken regularly, in other cases, there is a history of psych meds which were recently discontinued. Regardless, in almost all cases, psych meds are involved in one way or another.

          1. Elizabeth Bowler

            I have not suggested causation, I have suggested correlation, and correlation does not equal causation.

          2. TrueBlueDevil

            Has the mainstream press really covered this much? I haven’t read it.

            WHY didn’t the police check his room or ask about guns? From the clip I saw, my head would have lite up… I don’t think they even watched the video!

            This reminds me of the police in Antioch or Brentwood that went to do a check on a convict on parole, who had two young hostages for years… the sheriffs went to the house but never went inside and did an inspection. Very, very sad. There were all kinds of red flags, I forget the details, but they did the most minimal check. So sad. What is the old adage: “Better to be safe than sorry.”

          3. Robert Canning

            TBD: The police visited his residence BEFORE he posted his video. The police cannot enter a residence unless they have a warrant or probable cause. It’s not so simple as you suggest.

          4. South of Davis

            Robert wrote:

            > The police visited his residence
            > BEFORE he posted his video

            They visited “before” he posted his “final” video, but “after” he posted “other” videos about killing people (that is why his parents called the cops).

            The cops didn’t bother to take the time to look at the state databases and see that the kid who’s own parents think he is going to kill people is stockpiling guns and ammo.

  3. Tia Will


    The descriptives that you have used to describe the UCSB mental health services could equally well be used to describe mental health services available through much of this state. As a society we do not prioritize mental health.
    As a matter of fact, as a society, we do not prioritize health. One of the most important determinants of the health of a society is the health of its individual members, and yet health care is treated as solely the responsibility of the individual. Until we consider the physical and mental health of a community on an equal par with the financial health of that community we will continue to incur the price which we all pay in terms of our homeless, tragedies such as the current trial of a mother for drowning her daughter, and the mass shootings that we all deplore and that we all fail to address.

      1. Elizabeth Bowler

        I meant that he was “prescribed” meds, I have no idea if he was taking them or not and I don’t think we will know until the toxicology results are released.

        1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

          He was prescribed meds, which work, because he was seriously mentally ill. His meds did not make him sick. But because he refused to take them, he seems to have had a psychotic break over the last month or so, and it built up into his horrific crimes.

          1. Elizabeth Bowler

            That is complete speculation on your part. We don’t know if he was psychotic and we certainly don’t know what meds he was prescribed or if he was taking them.

          2. South of Davis

            Rich wrote:

            > He was prescribed meds, which work

            I know that meds “work” to help the mentally ill just like steroids “work” to help people get stronger and pot “works” to help people relax.

            While all the above “usually” drugs so what they are “supposed to do” they also do other stuff to “some” people (like turning hyper boys in to killers, turning body builders in to wife beaters and turning top students in to slacker/stoners)…

          3. Robert Canning

            SOD: I’m curious what systematic evidence you have that psychotropic medications turn “hyper boys in to killers…”?

            Antidepressants have saved countless lives and reduced the economic burden of depression enormously since they were first introduced in the 1960s. Lithium has allowed millions of people with bipolar disorder to live near-normal lives. Condemning the use of psychotropic medications on a few outlier cases does no one any good and simply perpetuates the myths and stigma associated with mental illness.

          4. Elizabeth Bowler

            There is a growing body of litereature linking antidepressants with violent and aggressive behavior. As a result, all SSRI and SNRI antidepressants now carry a black box warning for suicidality. The following is the black box warning for Prozac, the others are more or less the same:

            incr. suicidality risk in children, adolescents, and young adults w/ major depressive or other psychiatric disorders; weigh risk vs. benefit; in short-term studies of antidepressants vs. placebo, suicidality risk not incr. in pts >24 yo, and risk decr. in pts >65 yo; depression and certain other psychiatric disorders themselves assoc. w/ incr. suicide risk; observe all pts for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual behavior changes; advise families and caregivers of need for close observation and communication w/ prescriber; not approved for pediatric pts <7 yo

          5. Robert Canning

            Dr. Bowler, I’m not sure about your comment there is a “growing body of literature linking antidepressants with violent and aggressive behavior.” Do you know of a review article or other analysis that suggests this?

            The original black box warning was placed on these medications following a number of incidents during clinical efficacy trials of antidepressants with adolescents. Simply asserting that those taking antidepressants have increased levels of suicidal thoughts or behavior ignores the fact that suicidal thoughts and behavior are increased in depressed patients. The question is whether this association is a product of the confound or a real effect of ADs.

            The black box warning was placed only for suicidal thoughts or behavior – not for violent behavior toward others. Yes, there have been anecdotal reports of violence associated with ADs (I think they have mostly been associated with litigation) but no systematic study I am aware of has found a significant association. If you know of one I would be curious.

          6. Elizabeth Bowler

            As you know, violence towards self and violence towards others are often two sides of the same coin. The concern is that these medications can be associated with a stimulant-like syndrome leading to manic-like behavior, suicidality and violence, especially in young people under age 24 as per the Black Box Warning. While this appears to be a fairly rare occurrance, it frequently has significant forensic implications. I find that David Healy’s paper is a good one for some background information on the subject. I know of no prospective studies that have been published to date, nonetheless, I believe that given what has been published along with the FDA’s clear warnings and those of other regulatory agencies in other countries, considerable caution must be exercised with these medications in the relevant patient populations, including extremely close monitoring as indicated by the FDA.


          7. TrueBlueDevil

            Thank you for your input.

            I have no creds here, but I have one up-close observance of a youngster and friends. It seems like many are on medication: sometimes they take it, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they joke about selling it, to gain money to buy other drugs or alcohol. Reviewing twitter (facebook is dead to them) revealed that many were juggling 1 or more medications, then over 50% using pot / other drugs, plus using or experimenting with Molly (mdna) and recently “dabs” has become the new cutting-edge attraction. (The crack of the marijuana world.) This is all added on top of sleep deprivation, especially for girls, who facetime and such half the night. Then throw on Starbucks, or Fourloco, and stir.

            Obviously, more prevalent at some schools, less at others. Juniors in high school are doing shots before going to a school sports event … they talk about adderall, and mood meds like it was yearbook. And the parents are often overwhelmed with their own lives, divorce, dating, bills, and have either limited ability or desire to man the situation. Not all, but many. Some seem more interested in being their child’s friend, others pawn parenting needs and decisions off on the counselors. For many, the iPhone is a 24/7 blankie that helps feed this whole cycle. It’s not a pretty picture.

  4. Tia Will

    “He said the son had Asperger’s syndrome, had trouble making friends and had been receiving professional help.”

    If this is the quote that you are basing your statement on, I would have to point out that there is no mention of what type of “professional help” he was receiving. Unless you have other sources, we have no idea whether this
    “professional help” was psychiatric, psychologic, through a trusted family physician or an alternative care provider.
    We simply have no idea what his father meant by “professional help”. I have no idea whether your speculation is accurate or not. What I am sure of is that without substantiation, it is just that, speculation.

    1. Elizabeth Bowler

      I thought I made it clear that I don’t know if he was on meds, but I am betting that he was, they almost always are in these cases. In any event, we will know soon enough I’m sure. And yes, professional help can mean many different kinds of mental health treatment, but the point is that we are talking about mental health treatment, not physical therapy, chemo therapy or any of the other myriad types of medical treatments. And yes there have been reports of actual psychiatric treatment.

      1. SODA

        To add to the speculation, I read he took himself off his meds, all too often a common denominator in these tragic cases. We have no magic, perfect medication for various forms of mental illness. Despite the fact that some for certain illnesses have very positive outcomes, the adverse effects can outweigh the benefits, at least in the patients’ minds and adherence can be difficult to achieve.

        This reminds me of the tragic episode in Isla Vista a number of years ago when someone killed a number of pedestrians with a car. My son was asleep in his apt in Isla Vista and for awhile his friends were afraid he was a victim. Fortunately I did not realize how ‘close to home’ this was until it was over and I knew he was safe. My heart goes out to all involved.

      2. Tia Will

        “but I am betting that he was,”

        Here is the problem that I have with “betting” on circumstances on the basis of a few sound bites in the media. The brother of the Sandyhook shooter was initially falsely identified as the shooter. If someone were to have acted on this information violently, they would have been targeting the wrong individual

        I think that it is one thing to speculate on what might have been the case for a lay person.
        I think that those of us in the medical profession should hold ourselves to a higher standard as someone may make the assumption that our proclamations are a reflection of knowledge which we do not actually have. I am referencing a previous post on a different thread indicating that you and I were the only doctors weighing in. To me this implied that in the perception of at least this one poster, our credentials provided us with a different level of credibility or expertise than that of other posters. i think that our responsibility is to not “bet” but to interpret and inform.

        I realize that this is just my perspective and that you may well disagree.

        1. Elizabeth Bowler

          I was certainly not speculating based on anything in the media. I made that comment about meds because in almost every mass murder in recent years, from Columbine to the present, mental illness and psych meds have played a major role in one way or another. That is not speculation, that’s fact. Maybe this case will turn out to be different from all the others, and if it is, then we will have new set of facts to examine and contemplate, but so far, there have been no surprises that I have seen at least.

  5. Topcat

    Davis Greenwald wrote “…the bigger issue that troubles me is the state of our mental health system and our inability to reach and help troubled figures such as Eliot Rodger or Adam Lanza before it’s too late.”

    Yes, this is a big problem and it’s becoming worse. As someone who has a close family member with a serious mental illness, I can tell you that there is a serious lack of help for people with mental illnesses. If we, as a society, want to prevent further tragedies, we need to focus more resources and attention on getting help for people with mental illnesses.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      It’s even more complex in a country that values personal freedom so much.

      Take the “homeless”. There are people we know who can’t function in the real world, but we put them out where they go back to the streets, over and over, go off their meds, go on welfare, take drugs, get abused, and harm both themselves and others, in addition to being a great cost to the system. Big problem.

  6. Robert Canning

    In many of these incidents, the emphasis is placed on the homicides with secondary comments about the person’s ultimate suicide. Another perspective may be to view them as suicides first, and homicides second. Whether it is “suicide by cop” or murder-suicide involving one or more homicide vicitim, these incidents bear striking resemblance to the progression of an individual’s trajectory toward suicide. These incidents point out the similarity (and continuum) between risk of violence toward others and the risk of violence toward the self. Whether violence is perpetrated upon others or the self, we (our society, the public health establishment, etc.) ought to think of creating a culture of safety – towards the self and towards others. This obviously includes firearm safety but many other areas of making our society a safer one for children to live in.

  7. Frankly

    Nothing recently angers me more about Democrat party politics than does the following.

    Nancy Pelosi’s Partisan Play on Mental Health

    Allowing Democrats to vote for a Republican bill would in her world be to surrender on gun control.

    Were this a case study in a mental-health journal, it might be characterized as Midterm Derangement Syndrome. As there is no such category, call it what it is: the basest form of Washington politics.

    Arizona Rep. Ron Barber, a former aide to Gabby Giffords, led four House Democrats on Tuesday in unveiling The Strengthening Mental Health in Our Communities Act. Mr. Barber insisted his bill is a “comprehensive approach to long-ignored mental health issues” and a completely “nonpartisan” exercise. Which he would say, since this is in reality a Nancy Pelosi special: a raw partisan exercise in killing mental-health reform, shoring up midterm election prospects and protecting Democratic constituencies—all at the expense of the most seriously ill.

    Democrats in Washington and San Francisco cannot let the Republicans be successful at any legislation in the health care area since Democrats are already facing voter backlash for Obamacare impacts. Democrats in Washington and San Francisco also cannot let go of their ideological obsession for banning guns.

    So, with these two drivers, Democrats in Washington and San Francisco have no problem throwing more mental health cases under the bus and allowing more people to be killed by them with guns. Because the media will certainly sensationalize the killings and more anger about guns will rage thereby helping Democrats in Washington and San Francisco pursue their ideological obsession to ban guns.

    The only thing more disgusting that these actions by the Democrats in Washington and San Francisco is the support they get from other Democrats that claim to be objective and rational.

    1. Robert Canning

      Frankly, I would like to read the full article by WSJ editorial board member and weekly columnist Ms. Strassel, but I don’t have a subscription to the WSJ. Maybe you could print the whole thing.

    2. Don Shor

      It’s a little odd to single out one piece of legislation and the apparent action by Pelosi in this regard, considering conservatives have routinely blocked mental health legislation if they felt it would impinge on gun rights, or for other reasons. For example, Al Franken’s bill, which had bipartisan support, was blocked by two conservative senators. Here’s a summary of some of the mental health legislation and where it all stood as of late last year:

        1. Don Shor

          I don’t know that all, or even many, of the bills about mental illness services involved any restrictions on guns. Do you know that? If there is a restriction that limits access by mentally ill people to guns, do you oppose that being in legislation? As you know, I’m not a proponent of ‘gun bans’, but I also have no issue with figuring out reasonable ways to keep them out of the hands of dangerous mentally ill people. I do understand that is a contentious issue, and that the NRA has blocked some provisions while more liberal gun-control legislators have also refused to compromise. It’s your singling out of Pelosi that baffles me on this issue.

          1. Don Shor

            For example, I don’t think there was anything in Franken’s bill (which had bipartisan support) about restricting guns. From the HuffPost article:

            GOP Sens. Tom Coburn (Okla.) and Mike Lee (Utah) are blocking legislation sponsored by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) geared at strengthening mental health ­programs across the country.

            According to a Star Tribune report Monday, anonymous sources have confirmed that Coburn and Lee oppose the bill because they believe that states — rather than the federal government — should govern how mentally ill people are treated.

            So are you irate about the actions by Senators Coburn and Lee? Is it ‘disgusting’? Would you call their positions an ‘ideological obsession’?

          2. Frankly

            The Franken Bill would provide much needed mental health services and tools for police and the courts to address deficiencies in the nation’s mental health system.

            The Barber Bill was healthcare-focused. Franken’s bill spent $40 million to courts and law enforcement. It was not in the same ballpark as the Barber Bill.

            Coburn and Lee reported that they blocked the bill because of the intrusion into state’s rights and responsibilities. What I understand is that the $40 million would have been inadequate to cover the new federal rules for implementation for many of the states. The money also went to reliable Democrat contributors… the public safety unions… and ensured that additional legislation that would allocate money to the healthcare side of the solution would be more difficult to pass.

            But having written this, I would have supported the legislation.

          3. Don Shor

            A set of comprehensive mental health reform and funding bills is needed. That is going to take a lot of compromise. There are extremists on both sides of the issue. I thought we were getting closer, but I don’t think much will happen in 2014 at this point.

          4. Tia Will

            “And by the way, Coburn is a physician. Franken is a comedian.”

            These are in no way exclusive. One of my partners is both. And I am serious, no quipping.

          5. wdf1

            “And by the way, Coburn is a physician. Franken is a comedian.”

            …and Ronald Reagan was an actor.

          6. Frankly

            So is Obama.

            Reagan was just a much better one.

            And Reagan…

            Served in the military.

            Was on the board and later was the president of the screen actors guild.

            Reagan campaigned in support of Democrat Helen Dahagan for US Senate against Richard Nixon.

            Reagan campaigned for Democrats for Eisenhower.

            Worked for GE for eight years.

            Ran Democrats for Nixon campaign.

            Reagan switched to Republican having experienced the cronyism rampant in the Democrat political apparatus.

            Was a 2-term governor of California… a state that used to have an economy larger than all but seven countries until Democrats took over and made it a nanny state. When he came to office CA had a $200 million dollar deficit and eventually returns a state surplus and gives a rebate back to strapped taxpayes.

            And Obama… as Reagan would have said… well, he was a community organizer before he was a Junior Senator… and I’m sure he is swell man, but a terrible President.

          7. Barack Palin

            A junior Senator that basically just ran for President during his 2 year tenure. And yes indeed, he is a terrible President.

          8. TrueBlueDevil

            I read somewhere that Obama was bored as a Senator… but when he came home at night, he came alive… when he reportedly was writing his (first) autobiography. Given his demonstrated poor work ethic, I now wonder if he really even wrote that.

          9. South of Davis

            Don wrote:

            > I’m not a proponent of ‘gun bans’, but I also have no
            > issue with figuring out reasonable ways to keep them
            > out of the hands of dangerous mentally ill people.

            There are hundreds of MILLIONS of guns in the US and even if we have a “gun ban” there is no way to ever get rid of them. We have “bans” on cocaine and crystal meth, yet any UCD student can easily buy cocaine and meth any time they want.

            If we can’t even come “close” to banning drugs that are used up after someone buys them how can any (intelligent) person think we can “ban” guns (that last for over 100 years with basic maintenance).

            We can make Isla Vista a “gun free zone” or make it illegal for BMW driving rich kids on meds to carry a gun, but does any one really think that a crazy mass murder will care about any new “gun laws”?

  8. Robert Canning

    Or maybe you could summarize why Rep. Barber’s legislation is so noxious to the WSJ. If one reads the summary of the bill (read it at: there seem to be many aspects of the bill that both sides of the aisle could agree with. Without reading the WSJ article it’s hard to know what has gotten you so riled up about this bill.

    1. Frankly

      Robert, I cannot post the entire article for copyright reasons, but here is some more excerpts and my summary..

      The timing, method and content of the Barber bill say it all. Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting, Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, a psychologist, has pushed a mental-health reform designed to find and treat the Jared Loughners before they strike. Mr. Murphy’s subcommittee spent a year investigating every failed corner of the federal mental-health system and months more working with professionals, advocacy groups and families.

      What has most characterized the Murphy effort has been his bipartisanship. His bill doesn’t shy away from necessary reforms: fixing broken privacy laws, revamping commitment standards, increasing assisted outpatient treatment, overhauling that broken federal agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Samhsa). Yet rather than point fingers for past failures, Mr. Murphy has presented the bill as an opportunity for all of Congress to finally tackle a serious national problem. His office has engaged in extensive outreach, and since his bill’s December debut has collected 77 co-sponsors—a third of them Democrats.

      Mr. Murphy also had solicited Mr. Barber’s thoughts and was even working recently with his committee counterpart, Colorado’s Diana DeGette, in the expectation that she would come on board. All that ended when Ms. Pelosi decided that Republicans couldn’t be allowed any victory that might present them as bipartisan, compassionate and leaders on health issues. Mr. Barber and Ms. DeGette received new marching orders.

      While Mr. Barber presented the bill (Ms. DeGette is a co-sponsor), the Hill reported late last week that Ms. Pelosi and Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) were “deeply involved in crafting” it. A lobbyist told the paper that “Pelosi and Waxman hope this legislation will blow up any kind of continuing dialogue with Murphy.”

      That serves another Pelosi priority: keeping alive the dream of gun control. Liberals have been unhappy that Mr. Murphy has so successfully focused attention on mental illness, since it messes with their story line that the only issue is guns. In this warped universe, a bipartisan vote for a Murphy bill —an acknowledgment that mental illness plays a primary role in shooting tragedies—is a surrender on gun control, and potentially an excuse for some Democrats to drop that politically dangerous issue.

      The Barber bill is no threat to these liberals, since it won’t be heard, and is simply another Democratic spending blowout. Pelosi-Barber strips out every consequential reform from the Murphy bill—outpatient treatment, privacy rules, commitment standards, Samhsa reforms—and settles for throwing yet more federal dollars at “mental health awareness.”

      There are three reasons that Pelosi has stepped in to kill this legislation.

      1. Politics – preventing any GOP-led healthcare legislation… even any that have strong bipartisan support… specifically and primarily to perpetuate the media-powered narrative (myth) that the GOP is anti-health care.

      2. Ideology – Pelosi and most of the elite liberal political establishment are obsessed with forcing their anti-gun worldview on the rest of Americans. They actually like the continued gun killing by the insane for the simple reason that with each one the media helps them brainwash more stupid American voters that guns themselves are a danger to them, and that banning guns will make them safer. False…. proven false over and over and over again. Just ask the people of Chicago how banning guns has helped make them safer.

      3. Money – Peolsi’s legislation – something that fails in most counts to even help fix the problems with our mental healthcare system – protects the Democrat Party feeding trough. More government employees. More grants going to the reliable Democrat Party campaign contributors.

      Again though. This is standard Pelosi, Reid, Washington and San Francisco Democrat behavior. It is not new, it is the standard. It is disgusting but nothing close to how disgusting it is that so many well educated smart voters continue to support the people doing these things. And disgusting that the media pays scant attention to it.

      1. Don Shor

        The Barber bill is no threat to these liberals, since it won’t be heard

        Remind me who runs the House? Why won’t it be heard? Who controls the flow of legislation in the House?

        1. Frankly

          The GOP does not have a super-majority in the House… yet.

          And the use of Pelosi to strong-arm the minority Democrat congress to stop supporting a favored GOP bill is just one step in the two-step Pelosi-Reid dance of legislative obstruction.

          So you do you make this argument when the Franken bill failed in the majority Democrat Senate? Seems your logic does not go all they way around to a full point here.

          1. Frankly

            I singled out Pelosi this time. But she has done similar things before. Reid has too.

            The difference is that the media gives these tactics scant attention if they are done by Democrats. Most people never hear about these disgusting politically-driven moves.

            You want to turn this around as my problem for not demonstrating outrage over similar tactics by Republicans. And in taking this approach you too are demonstrating that you are more a politically and ideologically-biased Democrat party faithful lacking much interest or ability to skip the politics and demand the right things be done.

            I thought you were and advocate of improving health care… especially mental health care? Shouldn’t you just write that you too are disgusted about Pelosi? If more of you left-leaners would just step out to be critical of your own party leaders, I would stop directing so much of my criticism at the party.

            But Pelosi does this kind of crap and you all rush to her protection.

          2. Don Shor

            And in taking this approach you too are demonstrating that you are more a politically and ideologically-biased Democrat party faithful lacking much interest or ability to skip the politics and demand the right things be done.

            No, I’m saying your ire only seems to go in one direction. I don’t have any fondness for Harry Reid’s legislative tactics, nor for those of the Republicans who have blocked legislation that would have passed with a Senate majority but couldn’t muster 60 votes to invoke cloture.
            Both sides play politics. Gee, what a surprise. I happen to consider Harry Reid a venal politician. I don’t have any great fondness for Nancy Pelosi, either. But where is your ire for Speaker Boehner in all this? He’s the one who determines what comes to the floor.
            I’m not rushing to her protection, Frankly. I’m saying you’re single-minded here. Give me several comments about things conservative Republicans have done, and I’ll see that you might have a balanced view. You don’t, and — as usual –you immediately lapse into your personal attacks.
            Are you ever capable of having a reasonable discussion without doing that? It doesn’t seem so.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            I thought Democrats don’t like Mormons? … Opps, they only don’t like Republican Mormons (Romney).

          4. South of Davis

            Don wrote:

            > I think both sides are responsible. You singled out Pelosi.

            Thanks for this comment…

            Now if we can just get Frankly to realize that pointing out all the bad stuff the Dems to (while ignoring all the bad stuff the GOP does) will not help us fix anything (other than the endless churn of “let’s not change much” Democrat replacing a “let’s not change much” Republican…

      2. Robert Canning

        You know Frankly, if you would tone down the rhetoric a bit (“elite liberal establishment” or “brainwash more stupid American voters” – do you really believe American voters are stupid?) your points might get through a bit better.

        The poiitics in the House are difficult at best – no matter what side of the aisle you are on. Both bills provide needed new programs, support current programs, and reauthorize existing programs. The best thing for mental health would be a truly bipartisan combination of both. Murphy’s bill has more major mental health organization supporters and it’s true the Dems bill is probably there just to spite the Republicans. But simply blaming the gridlock on this front on the Dems doesn’t really address the issue of gridlock.

        1. Frankly

          do you really believe American voters are stupid

          Sheep. Many of them. Too many of them. They don’t know what is really good for them long-term. They just go were the grazing is easier.

          If you are a Democrat in Nancy Pelosi’s district, or even a Democrat in this state, you should be screaming at the top of your lungs about this move of hers. If you are not, then don’t lecture me about the problems of partisanship in the house. If you allow these politicians to behave this way without letting them know you don’t approve and demanding that they stop or step down… then you have to look in the mirror for also being responsible. Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer, Brown… there are all Democrats, right? They don’t listen to Republicans.

          Dems have the power in CA so they also get labeled as having the stench of crappy politics over doing the right things. The same is true for Republicans in states where they dominate.

          But I was brining up this specific legislation because it was/is completely connected to the topic of the article. Mr. Barber was injured in the Loughner shooting and then won a special election to finish Ms. Giffords’s term. Don’t you think Democrats should be behind this congressman in his legislation?

          1. Biddlin

            But we’d all be brilliant if we’d elected Romney, right?
            Get over the presidential elections and the fact that your philosophy of fear and hate doesn’t work so well, anymore.
            This constant butthurt whine was sour the day you pressed the grapes.

            Both times that I have been fired at have been by senior, white males, who had a “gun for protection.” One was a customer who forgot that he had arranged a service appointment and thought a prowler was in the yard, exchanging his 90 gallon garbage can. The other was an old man who shot at me because he thought I was stealing my own car. He wasn’t wearing his glasses and I didn’t look the same out of uniform. In neither case did the police keep the offending weapon and neither paid so much as a fine, sentenced to an NRA safety course, I believe. Even a bigoted revisionist should want at least equal licensing and restrictions to car ownership and operation. How about financial responsibility, an insurance requirement in case of unfortunate accidents? I pay more to operated my radio-controlled aircraft that gun owners do. Sorry to get back on topic, but I haven’t had a shot at you in a while and you obviously need a good a$$ kicking. Why don’t you get off your duff and run for council, or start a campaign to save the city from the tumbleweed conservation crowd?

          2. Frankly

            It is a crack up to watch liberals wring their hands over what the rest of the world thinks of the US and them in general. And so their typical reactionary reaction is to pull back on anything that appears overbearing and dominating… play the passive caring role.

            And now they are perplexed that it isn’t working.

            The rest of world hates us even more!

            The US went from being a strong father to the rest of the world, to being a weak mother.

            If Hillary is elected next President – God forbid – then maybe we can at least get to being a strong mother. Although I would guess is will be just a little less weak than Obama.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            It is tough to argue against “The Free Lunch” and punish Oprah Winfrey … I mean Michael Jordan… I mean Mitt Romney.

  9. Tia Will


    “Whether violence is perpetrated upon others or the self, we (our society, the public health establishment, etc.) ought to think of creating a culture of safety – towards the self and towards others. This obviously includes firearm safety but many other areas of making our society a safer one for children to live in.”

    I could not agree more with this sentiment. Using automobiles as an example, we have made the decision to adopt sensible regulations such as seat belts, air bags, child safety seats, banning ( yes, I did saying the evil “b” word ) texting while driving, DUI standards and other very reasonable measures to ensure our safety.
    We have repeatedly had complaints from automobile manufacturers that some of these steps might be too costly, but never have would heard the objection that these are a means to ban the ownership or responsible use of cars.

    As the daughter of a hunter, and would have been hunter myself if it had not been for my father’s untimely death, I can honestly say that I do not believe that guns are evil, nor do I think they should be banned. However,when every simple, sensible proposal to make them safer, or even to study how to make them safer has been blocked by those who are determined to claim falsely that advocates of gun safety are out to take away their guns motive certainly comes to mind for me. And my conclusion is that these folks are willing to place either a higher priority on their monetary gain than on human safety ( as in the weapons manufacturers) or a higher priority on their
    theoretical “freedom” than on another’s right to live.

    I would also like to point out that many of the suggestions made have nothing at all to do with crime, or violence, but are measures which would protect against accidental firearms discharge which are responsible for many deaths and injuries frequently involving children. Now really, who can claim that they are both reasonable and against protecting children from accidental injury ?

    1. Topcat

      It seems that there also needs to be some way of keeping guns out of the hands of those with mental illnesses. Many of the recent cases involved individuals with a known history of mental illness, yet they were able to get their hands on firearms. I have a family member who has is diagnosed with a serious mental illness and I can tell you that I would do everything I could to keep guns out of this individual’s hands.

      How many more cases of mass killings will it take before we as a society decide that we can’t let people with mental illnesses have guns?

      1. South of Davis

        Topcat wrote:

        > It seems that there also needs to be some way of keeping guns
        > out of the hands of those with mental illnesses.

        Let’s first try and keep (already illegal) drugs out of the hands of those with mental illness (other than killing all drug dealers and drug users on the spot with daily searches of people and their homes I can’t think of anything that will work) Anyone who has spent any time in the Tenderloin or Civic Center Plaza in SF can tell you the “war on drugs” has not been very successful (just like anyone who has spent any time in the Woodland Wal Mart can tell you that Michelle Obama’s “war on obesity” has not been very successful).

  10. Frankly

    I would also like to point out that many of the suggestions made have nothing at all to do with crime, or violence, but are measures which would protect against accidental firearms discharge which are responsible for many deaths and injuries frequently involving children. Now really, who can claim that they are both reasonable and against protecting children from accidental injury ?

    From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. More than a third of the victims were under 25 years of age.

    Deaths from accidental drowning in the U.S. average about 4,000 per year.

    Here is a good graphic of the actual odds for dying from certain things.

    Note that death from firearm is very far down the list… and death from accidental discharge of a firearm is a very small percentage of the total firearm death.

    There are many, many other things you should outlaw/ban before spending any time or effort on outlaw/ban guns if your goal is to save more people. However, if your goal is to ban guns, then it would explain why you just ignore the statistics.

    1. Tia Will


      Having other issues on which to focus does not mean that each issue could not be addressed when identified.
      A society can put seat belts in cars and still develop new antibiotics at the same time.

      Also, please name one occasion on which I have advocating “banning guns”. As a matter of fact, I said quite the opposite. I say this because it is my post you are quoting.
      However, I am aware that there may be some satisfaction in ignoring my actual statements that do not fit your preconceived notion of what I must believe about guns.

    2. Robert Canning

      To be fair, Frankly, the chart you cite notes that the third cause of death on this list is self-harm, i.e. suicide. And of the 36,000 Americans who die by suicide in a year, more than half – 19,000 per year – die from self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

      1. Frankly

        Tia was singling out accidental firearm discharge.

        I have three close family members in that suicide statistic… all by gun.

        Two points.

        There is not a solution to this problem in banning or even restricting guns. It is a non-starter and a fantasy. I prefer to be realistic about problems and solutions.

        Suicide is caused by depression and a lack of coping skills. The former is treated with medication and therapy. The latter should be part of every kid’s public school education. Instead we mother the kids… setting the expectation that adults will solve all their problems for them. We will prevent bullying and make sure their self-esteem is boosted. Then when they get to adults, they lack the protection and the skills… and they lack access to healthcare services because there are not enough doctors, and the costs are too high.

        1. Robert Canning


          1) I never mentioned banning or restricting guns. Please stick to what I say – not what you may believe is behind my words. Banning or restricting is not a realistic solution. However – better gun safety and education about same may improve firearm safety and thus lead to fewer firearm suicides.

          2) Suicide is a complex phenomena that is typically not “caused” by one factor. Although depression is highly correlated with suicide, most depressed people do not kill themselves. And a minority of individuals who die by suicide were in treatment for a mental disorder at the time of their death. I would suggest that you pick up a copy of Thomas Joiner’s “Why People Die by Suicide.” Dr. Joiner’s work has improved our ability to recognize who is suicidal and how to deal with them.

          1. Frankly

            I will add that book to the several I have already read on the topic. Thanks for the recommendation.

          2. Frankly

            Started reading it and right away I can see that much of his theory does not apply to the three people in my close family that committed suicide.

            But I agree that there can be multiples causes.

            However, depression and lack of coping skills are at the top of the list based on my experience and perspective.

          3. Robert Canning

            A sample of three is pretty small. Keep reading – also recommended is Night Falls Fast by Kay Redfield Jamison.

  11. TrueBlueDevil

    A few facts were guns help us to protect ourselves.

    * Based on survey data from a 2000 study published in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology,[17] U.S. civilians use guns to defend themselves and others from crime at least 989,883 times per year.[18]

    * A 1993 nationwide survey of 4,977 households found that over the previous five years, at least 0.5% of households had members who had used a gun for defense during a situation in which they thought someone “almost certainly would have been killed” if they “had not used a gun for protection.” Applied to the U.S. population, this amounts to 162,000 such incidents per year. This figure excludes all “military service, police work, or work as a security guard.”[12]

    * A 1994 survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Americans use guns to frighten away intruders who are breaking into their homes about 498,000 times per year.[20]

  12. Tia Will


    “They actually like the continued gun killing by the insane for the simple reason that with each one the media helps them brainwash more stupid American voters that guns themselves are a danger to them, and that banning guns will make them safer.”

    Do you honestly believe what you write, or do you just enjoy jerking people’s chains. “They like the continued gun
    killing ? ” Really ! Do you think that this kind of statement forwards the valid points that you sometimes make in any way ?

    1. Frankly

      Do you honestly believe what you write, or do you just enjoy jerking people’s chains. “They like the continued gun killing ?

      The good Democrat politicians in Washington and San Francisco have gone on record for saying “never let a good crisis go to waste.” It is how politics gets done in their world… events that the media sensationalizes create a public interest that they can exploit. With no mass killing by gun there is not enough interest in the public to support banning guns. So yes, it is clear that they like the continued gun killings to a point. They think that end justifies the means. Those gun-clinging God-fearing country folk don’t know what’s good for them and the country… but unless enough other people come around to supporting gun bans, the country folk will continue to win the day.

      Don’t accept this?

      Then just ask yourself how the odds for successful legislation to ban guns would fare without any media-sensationalized mass killings by gun? The mass killings by gun are not just convenient for Democrats like Pelosi to win her ideological obsession for banning guns… they are absolutely required.

      1. Tia Will


        I absolutely do not accept this any more than I accept that most Republicans love to send kids to war so that their buddies at companies like Haliburton can have more profits. I believe that the majority of people on both sides of the isle are so sucked in to their partisan politics that they cannot see beyond them. But I do not share your belief that evil lives in one party over the other. But then, I do not see the world in terms of “the good guys vs the bad guys” as you seem to.

        1. Frankly

          You didn’t answer this…

          how the odds for successful legislation to ban guns would fare without any media-sensationalized mass killings by gun?

          I view the Democrat Party today as a bad mother, and the Republican Party today as a bad father. And both parties are stuck in a War of the Roses nasty divorce.

          But the mother in this case has most of the power and money. She continues to behave badly and nastily. But somehow she still gets a victim card. She is given a pass for her bad and nasty behavior while the less powerful and less well-off father gets stuck with a much higher bar of behavior requirements.

          Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi… they are both members of a special victim group and they get a pass card. And any white male Democrat gets a special victim supporter pass card.

          This is the reason I am so consistent in my contempt of the modern Democrat party and liberals. They don’t take or accept the same level of responsibility for their bad behavior as they demand from Republicans and conservatives. And because of that, their politicians are basically out of control.

          The reasons that I don’t think America is ready for a black or woman President has nothing to do with Republican or conservative racism or gender bias… it has everything to do with Democrat and liberal bias… groupism victimology… specifically their inability to demand the same performance bar for their racial, gender and sexual preference “victims” that they put in power.

          Pelosi should have been skewered by the media for this move.

  13. TrueBlueDevil

    Three of the victims were killed with a knife. Several were hit by his car.

    Several have noted that many of these young mass killers were on medication. I wonder what percentage had a stable father figure in the house?

    The video of this kid shows many problems, including entitlement. Did this occur with any of the other kids? Driving a nice new BMW, and it seems like no job, leaves a lot of time to contemplate one’s own navel and spiral out of control.

    UCSB seems to have more mass killing than say, Cal Poly, Fresno State, or Davis. If so, what are possible contributing factors… reckless party-party scene? Rampant drug use?

    Did the cops ever ask if he owned a gun? did they watch his earlier videos?

    1. Frankly

      UCSB seems to have more mass killing than say, Cal Poly, Fresno State, or Davis

      More spoiled children of the wealthy?

      Proximity to LA… the part of the world containing the highest concentration of the most narcissistic people on the planet. They have kids and then the kids go out into the world unable to handle the normal stress of life.

    2. Robert Canning

      True Blue Devil says: “UCSB seems to have more mass killing than say, Cal Poly, Fresno State, or Davis. If so, what are possible contributing factors… reckless party-party scene? Rampant drug use?”

      To which Frankly responds: “Proximity to LA… the part of the world containing the highest concentration of the most narcissistic people on the planet. They have kids and then the kids go out into the world unable to handle the normal stress of life.”

      I just can’t believe the things people on this blog say. True Blue Devil – do you have any evidence that your assertion is true? Frankly – what a wild statement. Do you even have a clue what the student makeup is at UCSB?

      The things people say without any basis in fact and just wild speculation. Amazing!

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Robert, I have heard of several large scale problems at Santa Barbara. Specifically, Isla Vista (IV), which is the most densely populated mile in California. Here is one.

        “2001 mass killing

        “As grisly as it was, the setting wasn’t the first time that Isla Vista has known a mass killing, especially by a motorist.

        In 2001, David Attias, son of film director Daniel Attias, ran over five people in Isla Vista, killing four of them, and exclaimed he was the “angel of death.” “

        1. Robert Canning

          TrueBlueDevil says: “several large scale problems at Santa Barbara.” And you name one. In your original post you suggest that UCSB has “more mass killing than say, Cal Poly, Fresno State, or Davis.”

          What I find problematic with these kinds of statements is:

          1) You state UCSB has “more” mass killings and cite only one.
          2) You pick Cal Poly, Fresno, or Davis. Why these three?

          Rather than simply suggesting something is wrong with UCSB, look at the research on mass homicide/suicides. The research on these sorts of things shows that they are extremely rare, are multiply determined and unpredictable.

          My best guess is that this incident was a product of a number of interrelated factors, none of which would have predicted the events of last weekend. The speculations on this blog about mental health, psychotropic medications, autism, too much partying in IV, narcissism, too many kids from LA, etc. etc., are just uninformed speculation.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            With this occurrence, we have two mass killings. I can’t recall one at Davis or Fresno or Cal Poly decades, am I wrong? I cite then because they are local, and derive student from a generally similar background.

            There have also been the larger scale disturbances with mass partying / riots that IV has had, which may contribute to the idea that trouble happens there. Kind of like the rep Chico State used to have. (Some say it has been tempered a bit.)

          2. Robert Canning

            I am responding to the assertion that there is something about IV that makes these sorts of events more likely. Can you cite some evidence that this is so, rather than just assert it.

          3. Elizabeth Bowler

            In 1989, a college student in San Luis Obispo, Wade McClave, stabbed his parents to death while in a psychotic state. He was found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity and spent 9 years in Napa State Hospital. He was killed in a motor vehicle acciident in 2004.

          4. Tia Will

            I think that rdcanning has this one right. Since 2009 there have been two mass shootings at Ford Hood and none at Holloman or Altus ( chosen for their proximity to Fort Hood). So does this mean that the soldiers at Fort Hood were heavy partiers, or spoiled, or didn’t have supportive males in their lives, or were
            narcissists ?

          5. TrueBlueDevil

            Let’s log all the data and see.

            Last I read 80% of men in jail can’t read, and 80% didn’t grow up with a Father in the house.

          6. South of Davis

            Tia wrote:

            > Since 2009 there have been two mass
            > shootings at Ford Hood and none at
            > Holloman or Altus ( chosen for their
            > proximity to Fort Hood). So does this
            > mean that the soldiers at Fort Hood
            > were heavy partiers, or spoiled, or
            > didn’t have supportive males in their
            > lives, or were narcissists ?

            I’ve never been to Fort Hood, but since at least the late 70’s (when I first drove down to IV for the weekend as a High School kid) to the 80’s (when I was an ISVT coach two years in a row), to the 90’s (when many relatives lived there) to today (when I have many friends with kids living there) it has been a place with a huge (much higher than average)number of spoiled partiers live.

            P.S. When was the last time the spoiled son of a Hollywood director killed a bunch of people in Davis?

          7. TrueBlueDevil

            They recently had a big riot / arrests in IV because the police wouldn’t let them shut down streets, walk around with open containers, smoke pot in public, etc.

            This “incident” led to students and ‘outsiders’ turning over cars, setting items on fire, etc. I think this is why myself, SOD, and others refer to these kids as spoiled, entitled, and other terms.

          8. Elizabeth Bowler

            agree Tia, I know of no evidence to suggest that location is correlated with violence, either mass violence or otherwise with the possible exception of Las Vegas with consistently the highest suicide rate in the country. You can look at almost any town and find horrific crimes committed by mentally ill individuals, even Davis as in Talamantes by drowning.

          9. TrueBlueDevil

            Tia, you’re making a comparison that doesn’t seem to fit in any way.

            Fort Hood is more likely PTSD, battle fatigue, life-or-death stress, and Political Correctness run amok (I thought I read where the one shooter had numerous red flags, but PC politics kept them from flagging him). (I know less about them.)

            UCSB appears to have become a wealthy version of Chico State, aided with the party school SBCC nearby. I have learned the two work together socially and pragmatically. SBCC also has dorms. The party kids in high school know this, I know this first hand.

            Many schools have their own culture and ethos. Kids at commuter schools often don’t have the time, $$$ or ability for such hijinks. Other kids go to boring schools. Others attend religious institutions, or super nerd schools (MIT, Reed College). To ignore this is to ignore reality. I haven’t heard of student at MIT throwing rocks at the police, or students traveling to Humboldlt to create havoc.

            Money is also a sub issue as working class kids or young parents stay at the local JC to save money, and drugs and booze cost money.

          10. South of Davis

            TBD wrote;

            > I haven’t heard of student at
            > MIT throwing rocks at the police

            My MIT (and Caltech) friends did MORE stuff like this (since for the most part they didn’t have girlfriends in college)…

            > Money is also a sub issue
            > as working class kids or young
            > parents stay at the local JC to
            > save money

            A small number of local kids that live at home and go to a JC may do it to save money (only about 1 in 5 JC students even try to transfer to a 4 year college), but 99% of the kids that live near (often in off campus private “dorms”) UCSB, UCLA, SDSU and Cal Poly are rich drug using F ups that could not get in to a 4 year college and have rich parents that want to get rid of them and say: “He’s having a great time going to college and living in IV” (hoping that their friends will assume that their kid had the grades to get in to UCSB)…

          11. TrueBlueDevil

            Is the transfer rate that low now?

            I heard today that this killer wasn’t a student at UCSB, and maybe wasn’t even a student at SBCC. No job, but parents bought him a BMW, paid for his living expenses, and he had $5,000 in cash to buy guns and lottery tickets. Spoiled?

        2. Elizabeth Bowler

          David Attias, another mentally ill individual with various psychiatric diagnoses over the years, was found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity and committed to Patton State Hospital in 2002. He was released in 2012.

  14. Frankly

    Are you ever capable of having a reasonable discussion without doing that?

    Stop playing defense every time I have a complaint about a Democrat politician and I will naturally stop including you as being part of the problem.

    I find this to be the absolute truth.

    Republicans… especially conservatives… tend to be critical of their politicians as well as others.

    Democrats… especially liberals… tend to protect their politicians while reserving their criticism for others.

    I say tend…and yes, I am generalizing, but this is the clear observation.

    And it is not only recent… for example the love of Kennedy and FDR is legendary even though their transgressions and failures were profound and numerous… easily meeting and beating their Republic peers that consistently had to deal with lower approval ratings. Same with Clinton. And now the new liberal messiah Obama and his water carriers Pelosi and Reid. We have reached new lows with liberal love and protection of these three. Democrats seem so in love with their own ideas that any shyster repeating the correct talking points is given a pass for bad behavior.

    I’m calling out the bad behavior of these politicians and also the voters and media that continue to ignore it, or worse… throw up deflections and cross-criticisms as a way to deflect and protect.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        George Bush Jr. governed as a liberal, effectively, for 5 or 6 years. A big part of that could be assigned to his reaction to 9/11 – big gov’t programs to meet needs (Homeland Secruity goliath created). He did pull in the spending the last year or two, but then it balloooned back under Obama.

        Bush Jr. did combine the best of both worlds when he saved millions upon millions from a horrible death from AIDS in Africa… but the liberals still have the gall to try to label him a racist? The man who hired Codi Rice and Colin Powell. He also added a significant federal protection to pristine Hawaiin islands, an effective pinpoint use of environmetal protection. (Not protecting millions of acres of dessert in nevada.)

        Richard Nixon also governed as a liberal.

        I do generally agree with Frankly’s statements above. I side more with conservatives than the GOP. Some say that the Democrats have become socialists, and the GOP have become Republicans.

        FDR was a patron saint in my family. When I took classes at UCD, professors lavished praise on FDR.

        **Then came the day I read Dr. Thomas Sowell and read that months after the stock market crash… unemployment jumped up, and then dropped back down to 7% or 6.5%. Amazing. The Free Market had worked. Still, Congress was busy crafting legislation to help the economy, it passed, and all of their do-gooder actions drove unemployment back up past 15%. None of my previous profs had mentioned this little tidbit.

      2. Frankly

        I am consistently critical of Republicans. I was critical of both Bush… both senior and Jr. I was critical with Arnold. I am not critical of any California Republican congress person or Senator because they are all Democrats. I am critical of John Boehner. I am critical of Mitch McConnell.

        I was very, very critical of the GOP Congress and Senate when it was in GOP hands. The Gingrich period was one of great frustration for me because we failed to leverage that power to do the right things.

        Obama is the most polarizing President ever. The gap between Democrat and Republican approval ratings has never been higher… ever. That is because Democrats are slow to unwilling to hold him accountable for his mistakes.

        I always wonder if this is because Democrats tend to be racist.

          1. Frankly

            “Obama is on course to have the most politically polarized approval ratings of any president, with an average 69-point gap during his presidency, a full eight points higher than was the case with Bush,”

            In his fifth year, 82% of Dems approved of his performance. Bush averaged 79% GOP approval in his fifth year. But this dropped to 60% when he left office because of the crappy economy. The economy had remained very crappy for all of Obama’s terms yet Dems still love him. On average, GOPers approve of Obama much less than Dems approved of Bush.

            Do you think Obama will have 60% DEM approval rating when he leaves office? For that to happen he would have to be involved in a cover-up of the State Departments failure to protect embassy personnel from death by terrorists… and to be caught in a lie about it only to help his politics… or to be caught in a scandal and lie using the IRS to target political opponents… to keep gas at perpetual $4+ dollars per gallon… To keep real unemployment rates and Great Depression levels for much of the country… to be responsible for a foreign policy that results in the world being a much more violent and dangerous place… to completely botch and multi-hundreds of billions of dollar roll-out of his signature and unpopular healthcare legislation.

            … Oh wait… he has already done all of this. Yet 82% of Dems are still satisfied with his performance.

            I rest my case.

          2. Don Shor

            The greatest degree of polarization in American politics of the last three decades has been the result of the steady drift to the far right of the Republican Party. It began under Reagan, when he embraced the religious right as partners and adopted all of their social wedge-issue positions. Then the GOP declared a ‘culture war’ in America at the 1992 convention. The Democrats veered hard left in the 1970’s, and didn’t correct that until Clinton came along. It will probably take another two presidential election cycles for the GOP to realize it is going to simply dwindle into insignificance if it doesn’t recognize that it is too far right and too offensive to minorities and women to win a national election again. Throw off the far-right Tea Party and the war-mongering Bill Kristol foreign policy, and Republicans will be competitive again.

          3. South of Davis

            Don wrote:

            > The greatest degree of polarization in
            > American politics of the last three decades
            > has been the result of the steady drift to
            > the far right of the Republican Party.

            Sure the GOP has a lot of “far right” religious people since just like the “far left” liberal people they can either vote GOP or waste their vote, but there has not been a “steady drift to the right”, the GOP has actually been drifting to the left in the past 30 years (just not as far left as the Democrats).

            > It will probably take another two
            > presidential election cycles for the
            > GOP to realize it is going to simply
            > dwindle into insignificance

            I am no fan of the GOP, but I don’t think you can call the party that EVERYONE (on both the right and left) who follow national politics says will pick up seats in the fall as “dwindling in to insignificance”…

            P.S. I’m sure there are some out there (like there are probably some vegans who hunt), but I have never met a TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party person that wants the government to focus on anything but fiscal responsibility.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            SoD, I have to agree more with you, though there are probably nuances. I’d more agree that the left went hard left, and the GOP went moderate left. Clinton did do some good things, as did Bush, but we’ve got some mushrooming problems that liberalism won’t address.

            Clinton cut taxes for the poor and middle class, Bush doubled down on that, and I think Obama tripled down. Last I read, upwards of 50% of folks don’t pay any federal income taxes. That’s scary from numerous perspectives and makes our national finances even more untenable. This is just one example.

            With millions of young people being indoctrinated into the “Free Lunch” thinking, millions from Mexico with the same viewpoint, and the race / gender angle being played to the max, I have some friends who think we’re a few years from being driven off a financial cliff.

            We need a conservative, pro-business president who can come close to Reagan’s great results… I think he created 700,000 jobs a month for a while. (What’s Obama at, 150,000?) Reagan’s Revolution created new business, hi-tech, and defense jobs, many well paying, while Obama’s policies create more fast food jobs. (See Obamacare fallout.)

          5. Frankly

            Don is from Venus, I am from Mars. I don’t know what information sources you get your stuff from, but it appears to be written in a 2007 liberal talking points bubble.

            This GOP has shifted right narrative is completely false. The GOP has not shifted a bit more right. Democrats have shifted so far left that McCarthy is spinning in his grave saying “I told you so”. Can you even find a Kennedy Democrat any more? I think those are called independents or moderate Republicans today.

            All that the liberals running the Democrat party have these days is race, gender, LGBT and class divisiveness. It is propped up by the media that feeds off the sensationalism.

            The fun thing to watch though is all the lefties getting caught up in the mess they have created. A society of hypersensitive ninnies that give more attention to a word or drunk utterance than they do all the black men being killed every day in Obama’s city, and all the rest of our youth failing to launch due to a crappy economy and crappy education system.

            The only “right” that Republicans have drifted is a contrast with the wrong that Democrats have adopted.

          6. Don Shor

            More explanation and charts at here:
            I also recommend Mann and Ornstein’s book, It’s Even Worse Than It Looks.
            Key quote from an interview with Poole:

            “This is an entirely objective statistical procedure. The graphs just reflect what comes out of the computer. Howard Rosenthal and I, we’ve been working on something called Nominate. This does all the Congresses simultaneously, which allows you to study change over time.
            “The short version would be since the late 1970s starting with the 1976 election in the House the Republican caucus has steadily moved to the right ever since. It’s been a little more uneven in the Senate. The Senate caucuses have also moved to the right. Republicans are now furtherest to the right that they’ve been in 100 years.

          7. TrueBlueDevil

            I agree, even Kennedy cut taxes. Romney screwed up when he said 50% or 53% or whatever were takers from government. He should not have included Social Security of Medicare or VA folks in his calculations. Stick to 20% or 1/3.

            He could have defended his wealth with his large donations to charity, and he went soft in 2 debates for some odd reason. His get-out-the-vote-on-election-day software was a disaster of epic proportions. Obama may have also helped himself with his “dreamers” program and other slight of hand. Rubio shot himself in his leg, and Perry looks bad.

            I’m hoping for Govs Walker, Jindahl (has he learned to speak?), or Ted Cruz. BTW, when the GOP has a person of color run, the Libs tie themselves in knots with logic and sometimes hate. Quite ironic.

  15. Don Shor

    The biggest expansion in mental health coverage in history occurred with the Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid provisions of that would expand mental health coverage to tens of millions of Americans if all states opted in.

    If all states opted into the expansion, an estimated 13 million more Americans would receive mental health benefits through Medicaid next year, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. The number would rise to 17 million in 2022.
    The Affordable Care Act established health care, including mental health care, as a basic right of Americans. It established coverage of that care at minimum levels that health insurance providers could not deny.
    Anybody who is complaining about a specific procedural action by Nancy Pelosi regarding one mental health bill, lambasting that in isolation as if it somehow proves that Democrats like gun deaths and are obstructing access to mental health care — that individual is being disingenuous. If you support expansion of mental health care, and want it available to the greatest number of Americans, you should support the ACA. And if you want to criticize anyone for obstructing that, look no further than the Republican governors who have blocked its provisions for the poorest residents of their states.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I would not link this tragedy to the disastrous ACA, even when propped up by logical fallacies.

      Forbes magazine had an article a year ago – Happy Birthday To Great Britain’s Increasingly Scandalous National Health Service – that compared our health care system to that of the UK. It was quite enlightening the repeated and countless errors of their single-payer system. Their current goal is to have referrals from a general practitioner to a specialist, to see that specialist within 4 months. Forty percent weren’t seen within 4 months! That is just one example.

      Besides, we were sold a bill of goods with Obama’s lies about the ACA. And we’ll get more cancellations and price hikes after this election, and then the next, and further prices hikes to subsidize the HC companies who will no longer be subsidized by Uncle Sam.

      BTW, many of these young mass shooters have been on meds … are we over-pre-scribing these dangerous medications?

      1. Don Shor

        Pointless comparison, since we aren’t even remotely close to single-payer. Talk about a logical fallacy.

        Besides, we were sold a bill of goods with Obama’s lies about the ACA. And we’ll get more cancellations and price hikes after this election, and then the next, and further prices hikes to subsidize … blah blah blah blah usual conservative rant

        Nothing else the right wing has been warning about ACA has come true. A dwindling number of Americans believes that it is “disastrous” and they are all on the far right wing of one party.Why should we believe these predictions you’ve listed?
        You really don’t get it. ACA is here to stay, it is working for millions of people. It may need some modifications. But we all have to wait until the ACA is accepted as reality, I guess, before any bipartisan effort might be made in that regard. So I’d expect that a Democrat-led Senate working with a Republican-led House might present a bill to President Hilary Clinton in 2017 that modifies some things. After all, a substantial majority of Americans either wants the ACA kept or improved. Not repealed.
        And it is a provable fact that it has expanded availability of mental health care to Americans.

        are we over-pre-scribing these dangerous medications?

        I don’t know, since I don’t have any expertise in that subject. Do you?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Obama wants a single-payer system, as do many Demos. You just couldn’t get it first go around.

          “Nothing else the right wing has been warning about ACA has come true.”

          Obama Lie 1: “It will save the average family $2,500 a year.” Fact: increases are $2,500 a year. He knew this.

          Lie 2: “If you are happy with your doctor, you will be able to keep him.” That’s also been proven false.

          Americans were wary of this monstrosity when it was sold to us, Democratic Congressman were bought off to get the votes needed, we’ve now found out about the lies from President Obama, and more.

          The ACA will make the VA scandal look like Romper Room, that’s why the Democrats are running away from it, and last week they were playing the race card across the board … they don’t want to talk about their signature achievement. The ACA! Right now, unless the GOP screws it up… which ods are, they may … they will take control of the Senate.

          It’s funny how when anyone tries to compare our HC system to France or the UK, the Progrressives say, “Oh, our system won’t be like France”. Cause gov’t run health care has serious problems.

          1. Don Shor

            The ACA is not single payer. You can keep using the term single payer, but it is not what we have. My insurance payments go to an insurance company. I bought the plan I have through the exchange. I had a choice of several plans, through several companies. And, in fact, I could still have bought insurance directly from a private company rather than through the exchange. So it is not single payer. Do you actually understand that? If you do, why do you keep uttering the phrase single payer?
            The ACA is very, very successful for me. And for millions of others. With each passing month, more of us who were finally able to get our insurance through the exchanges have a very strong stake in the continued success of the ACA. If you plan to repeal it, please inform me what you plan to replace it with. Because that is my insurance and my health care you are threatening now.
            The GOP will probably get bare control of the Senate in 2014, and lose it again in 2016. Don’t get your hopes up for any changes in the ACA any time soon.

          2. Don Shor

            You know what you are posting is misleading, right? The majority of Americans want to retain the law or improve it. The majority do not want to repeal it. You know that, right? Because it’s actually the subheading at the link you posted: But Most Opponents Want Politicians to Make Law Work

          3. Don Shor

            Perhaps reflecting this sense that the debate has gone on long enough, more of the public would like to see Congress keep the law in place and work to improve it (49 percent) or keep it as is (10 percent) rather than repeal it and replace it with a Republican-sponsored alternative (11 percent) or repeal it outright (18 percent).

            Similar results from Hart Research Associates.

          4. TrueBlueDevil

            Its all in how you word the poll.

            I believe pretty strongly that most Americans want our HC systems to work better, cover more people, at a somewhat reasonable price. I have numerous friends in their 70s and 80s who have survived repeated cases of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The miracles of modern medicine!

            However, the President lied to us when he lied about the true cost, that we could lose our doctor / coverage, and more.

            Obama and the Liberals weren’t stupid, backloading many of the costs, obligations, subtext and repercussions down the road. Many kick in after every election cycle 0- now isn’t that ironic??!!

            Like Pelosi said: “You have to pass it to find out what’s in it.” Now they are hiding from it.

            Obama said that he wanted to “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” (October 30, 2008)

            We’ve got it. $6.5 Trillion in new debt. Record numbers on disability and food stamps. Obama’s defacto zero interest rates have made the class divide even larger.

            If Obama really wanted to help the 30 million uninsured (which is really more like 10-15 million), then why not focus on them? Instead, he created a giant new bureaucracy that gives out more jobs, more money, more federal workers and taxes. And if its so great, unions and congressional staffers would have wanted in!

          5. Don Shor

            Its all in how you word the poll.

            No it isn’t. The numbers don’t lie. The ACA is here to stay. The public wants it to stay. Get used to it.
            The rest of your answer really had nothing to do with anything. Just conservative boilerplate.

          6. TrueBlueDevil

            No boiler, no plate, just a Ross Perot voter here.

            Did you see where hospitals are now cutting charity due to the ACA? See below.

          7. Don Shor

            Yes, because

            Patients “who refuse to purchase federally mandated health insurance when they are eligible to do so will not be awarded charitable care,” the hospital’s revised policy states.

            One of the goals of the ACA was to reduce the amount of medical care that hospitals were writing off due to providing emergency services to people who couldn’t pay for it. Most people in that article would qualify for nearly 100% subsidy through either Medicaid or their exchange plan. The individual mandate requires them to purchase insurance. So what the hospitals are doing makes perfect sense.

          8. Tia Will

            “Did you see where hospitals are now cutting charity due to the ACA?”

            I do not believe that anyone should have to depend upon the existence of charity for their health care. I believe that just as being here entitles one to the protection of the military, I also believe that being here should entitle one to health care. Now one can say that health care is accessible through ER’s who cannot turn one away. And my response is it is absurd to pay far more for far less effective care than it is to offer preventive and less expensive care in the first place.

            Elimination of charity health care is not the problem, but rather the sign of a society with seriously misplaced values given the number of bankruptcies caused not by lack of willingness to work, or excessive spending on frivolities but by excessive medical bills.

          9. TrueBlueDevil

            Is this in the Constitution? Why should we steal money from you, to pay for another citizen’s health care?

            I think we should apply your logic to food as well. Food stamps for everyone. (I guess Obama is going there anyway.) Where does it end? Public housing for all?

            If we didn’t have 30-45 million illegal immigrants using the ERs as thier doctor’s office, that would have an enormous effect on the HC system. Finances, waiting times, resources, etc. Then we could focus on the 20 million who really truly need HC.

            Health savings accounts are part of the answer. I think published prices would be another big step, which would bring more information and competition. Allowing more HC companies to compete across state lines is another key. We put up barriers of entry and raise prices by all of our meddling and politics.

          10. Barack Palin

            ER visits are way up since Obamacare. Weren’t we told ACA would bring down ER visits, or was that just another Obama lie?

  16. Robert Canning

    Frankly says: “…don’t lecture me about the problems of partisanship in the house.”

    I am a Democrat in the state and I don’t think my tone was lecturing. You use the most strident language. I find it difficult to understand your positions sometimes because you choose extreme statements (“stupid voters” – does that include you?) that don’t add anything to the argument.

    Your point about gun deaths ignored the 19,000 suicides by guns. If we counted them, gun deaths would move way up the list.

    You also say re. Barber’s legislation: “Don’t you think Democrats should be behind this congressman in his legislation?” Having read summaries of both Barber’s and Murphy’s legislation I find Murphy’s more appealing and as you suggest the Democratic leadership’s move may just be “playing politics.” That’s too bad.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I could see supporting some of these items, but we need to know more.

      I’d also like to know how we are spending out current dollars, and would like to see some effort to weeding our fraud, abuse, and incompetent care.

      I also don’t understand the need for this: “Include occupational therapists within the National Health Service Corps”

  17. tribeUSA

    He murdered his 3 apartment room-mates with a knife; and hit at least two bicyclists and a skateboarder with his car. I saw an article that described him as 5’5″ and 105 lbs; wonder how he managed to stab all 3 room-mates to death? Scary to think what a big strong guy could do with a knife; given what a small guy like this did.

    That said; I support continuing efforts to keep handguns away from the mentally illl–it’s my understanding that he had been seeing many psychiatrists over a period of many years; and that he had recently purchased and legally registered several firearms–so apparently none of the psychiatrists were able to put him on a list that would keep him from legally purchasing/registering firearms?(I don’t know exactly how the law works here).

    Hard to say what would have happened without the firearms–would he have attempted to stab more people or run over more people with his car? Maybe made plans for improvised bombings instead? Instead of shooting himself; might he have revved up his BMW to 90 mph and done a head-on collision with another car on the road (such homicidal suicides are known to occur)? Who knows.

    1. Tia Will

      “Hard to say what would have happened without the firearms”

      You are right. We will never know what would have happened without the firearms in any of these mass shootings.
      Perhaps, they would have found another means of destruction. And, perhaps they would not have and all of those gunned down would still be alive. The only thing that we do know is what destruction they managed to wreak while armed. Keeping the use of firearms safe, namely out of the hands of the mentally ill, children, and people not adequately educated in their safe usage and storage should be something that all can agree upon.
      Sadly, even that does not seem to be the case.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        I agree with safe usage. Guns also protect a lot of innocent people.

        The take over robberies a few years back terrorized Oakland, robbers taking over restaurants, retail stores, etc., robbing the businesses as well as customers. The criminals finally walked into the wrong liquor store where they were stopped by a little old man by force, and the take over robberies topped.

  18. TrueBlueDevil

    Obama as a senator, is a proponent of a single-payer system. “Everybody n, nobody out.” (1 minutes)

    Hillary Clinton accuses Obama of contradicting himself. Then Obama claims he can’t here the tape (of what he said in 2003), and trys to reframe what he said. )1:30)

    Harry Reid Says ObamaCare Just A Step Toward Single-Payer

    1. Don Shor

      You can’t stop saying single payer, can you? We aren’t going to have single payer in this country. Ever. What Harry Reid wants is irrelevant. What Obama said in 2003 is irrelevant. We have a market-based system in which you buy private health insurance through an exchange. If in fact you support repealing that (along with a tiny percentage of Americans), please do inform me what you plan to replace my health insurance with.
      And the fact remains: the Affordable Care Act, and the related expansion of Medicaid in many states, expanded health insurance coverage for mental illness to millions of Americans. Do you acknowledge that?

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Dear Don, it is a giant mess, so I’m not sure.

        Like when Obama cuts $400 Billion from Medicaid, and then most of the people who signed up for ObamaCare sign up under Medicaid, how do we calculate that?

        Because someone theoretically gets coverage, can they get it, is it what they need, is it cost effective, and does it help? I know a lot of people who have gone to high-priced talk therapy for garden variety issues (my parents didn’t buy me a graduation present, they liked my older sister better) which seemed to get drawn out.

        Yet I’ve also known people with serious un-addressed issues who neglected their mental health and I’ve spent numerous hours / time wondering if my friend / relative were going to make it. … I actually once saw a guy go from mad, to angry, to threats… to actual foaming at the mouth … it was so odd I found it hard to believe. Years later he said, “You saw one of my ‘episodes’.” And it can get complex. He has a UC degree and is very intelligent, but sometimes he prefers to check out and he very plainly says he wants to surf the net and have us pay for his HC and medication.

        1. Don Shor

          I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you’re trying to say with all these words that have no bearing on my question.
          So it’s really simple. Did the Affordable Care Act expand availability of mental health care for millions of Americans? The answer is Yes. If you’re trying to figure out a way to make the answer No, you’re not succeeding.

          1. TrueBlueDevil

            Our government and President have lied enough to us, I don’t take anything at face value. He’s not the first, but he’s become quite the all star at it.

            Inflation is low, right? Well, Bill Clinton took food and energy out of the inflation index! Rather convenient. Nevertheless, I’d take Bill Clinton over Obama (or Hillary) any day. (From what I can tell, Hillary will just be a 3rd Obama term.)

            We’ve got Benghazi, the IRS, the NSA … Liberals and Moderates could look away at all of these scandals, but the VA scandal is hard to ignore. This is bi-partisan. Besides, this started under Bush Jr., and there were 3 different reports given to the Obama White House. It’s been 5 years. Where Obama?

            There is a pattern here. First, Obama will say “I just learned about this in the press today, I’m angered by this.” Then he’ll say, “We’re going to have a blue ribbon study.” Last, he says, “I can’t talk about it.” This is getting old.

            Did you know that hospitals are now cutting charity due to the ACA?

            How about this, from your own party?

            Democrats Privately Calling Obama ‘Detached,’ ‘Flat Footed,’ ‘Incompetent’

            And now the White House has outed their own top CIA Agent!


            The ACA is a disaster, and it will continue to burp new revelations along the way, probably moreso after every major election.

          2. Don Shor

            Again all of what you’re posting is just conservative reprinted boilerplate and irrelevant.

            The ACA is a disaster,

            For me and many people I know, it is a complete success. If you threaten it, you are threatening my health care.

          3. TrueBlueDevil

            Repeal and replace it. Helping 5, 10, or 15 million people at the expense of 100 million people isn’t a good trade. And its not fair.

            The carnage of Obamacare will continue.

          4. Don Shor

            Then you understand that, by your definition above, risk pools are “not fair.” There are always higher-cost individuals, whose disproportionate costs are borne, in part, by the rest of the pool.

  19. Tia Will


    ” it is a giant mess, so I’m not sure.”

    What you have done here is to blame your lack of a proposed solution to the mess that is our country’s health care provision on the “mess” that you ascribe to Obamacare.

    There would have been no need for Obamacare had generations of Republicans and Democrats been willing to work together to provide health care for as many individuals as possible. There would have been no need for Obamacare had the insurance industry been willing to abandon the egregious tactics of rescinding people’s insurance policies as soon as the benefits were needed, or denying insurance to those who had “pre existing conditions” including such killers as “exercise induced” or “seasonal” asthma, and acne. There would have been no need if health care were recognized as a right instead of a commodity that you can purchase ( but only if you have enough money) or if you have a good enough job.

    I do not particularly care for Obamacare as written.I so distrust the health insurance industry that I would prefer that the ACA have absolutely nothing to do with the private insurance industry. I would support a single party payer system .
    However, as a provider, I am seeing a steady stream of new patients with previously unmet needs who can now access health care. My own daughter is alive today because of the clause that allows children to stay on the parents health care plans until age 26. She is not alone.

    As a provider and as a parent I am completely with Don when he says that when the ACA is threatened, I view the threat as a direct threat to the health and well being of my patients and my family. There is plenty of opportunity for improving this law. There is no justification for supporting its repeal without having a fully developed alternative ready to put in its place.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Should food be a right? Housing? A car? (Make that a Prius.)

      I agree that changes needed to be made, but we know that the free market does a far better job at innovating, and being cost effective, than Big Government. If Big Gov’t were the cure, France, England, and Canada would have Americans flying there for treatment, and they would be the primary HC innovators. Not America. Despite our larger “risk factors” which hurt us, we are more likely to do well or survive when it comes to cancer, heart disease, strokes, etc. than, say the UK.

      Did you know that in the UK, their goal is that you can see a specialist (with a referral) within 4 months? But 40% don’t make that window, which leads to thousands of unneeded deaths per year. It’s a travesty. The only time I needed to get into a specialist, I got in within … 3 days? 3 days to 4 months. Think about a woman who feels a lump in her breast, and she has to wait 4, 5, 6 months to see a doctor. You call that progress?

      There would be far less of a pinch if we didn’t have 30-40 million illegal immigrants using our ERs and services, often for free. If politicians had closed the border – as they said they would when Reagan signed Amnesty – we wouldn’t be turning ourselves into a far different country. (Hey, want to fold Mexico into the US? Do it legit and let them vote on joining the USA.)

      I know of four senior citizens who are alive, well, and have all overcome multiple serious illness. Three have overcome multiple serious illnesses, and lead full lives, and have loving families. Its pretty clear most would be dead in the UK or France, and future seniors like these in their 70s and 80s will be rationed with Obamacare. That is clear as day. There is no other way the math can even come close to working. It is a basic fact that the majority of HC funds are spent in the last 2-5 years of life, and a big chunk of that the last month or two. So pencil pushers in dark rooms will play god.

      1. Tia Will

        “So pencil pushers in dark rooms will play god.”

        You mean like those that choose not to insure people with pre existing conditions or refuse to provide health care benefits from insurance paid into for years because someone forgot that they had had acne as a teenager as has happened with private insurance companies when culling years old insurance applications for “fraudulently hiding pre existing conditions” ?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Yes, our system needs improvement. But we see how poorly the VA has been run.

          Today it came out that they were telling us waiting times were 28 days, when they were really over 120 days. There were further bad numbers.

  20. Frankly

    If in fact you support repealing that (along with a tiny percentage of Americans)

    Not true.

    please do inform me what you plan to replace my health insurance with.

    We did not need Obamacare to deal with the problem of per-existing conditions.

    First, there are really not that many people in your circumstance. Maybe 2-4 million total. And with Federal assistance to states to fund state high-risk pools, we could have had a much better solution… for hundreds of billions of dollars less than what Obamacare is costing.

    1. Don Shor

      Your poll doesn’t prove what you think it does. A majority of Americans does NOT support repeal. Which is what I said. Your poll shows dissatisfaction among one group with the ACA. It doesn’t show what they want to do about it. Repeat: the majority of Americans want to either keep or fix the ACA, not repeal it.
      Good to know there’s ‘only’ 2 – 4 million people in my situation. That number is incorrect, but let’s just pretend for a minute that it is. High-risk pools are not an answer. They don’t pencil out. So they would be underfunded, and we’d be right back where we started. Either people get dropped, coverage gets reduced, or rates for the individuals in those pools skyrocket.
      NOTHING pencils out when you make it mandatory to cover pre-existing conditions unless you adopt the individual mandate. That’s why every solution to the problem of the (actually tens of) millions of people who are uninsured or underinsured (read: pre-existing condition excluded from coverage, a very common situation) ends up right back at something resembling the Affordable Care Act.

      1. Don Shor

        What you are proposing with high-risk pools is that the government should establish and run directly a program for the uninsured who have pre-existing conditions. There are numerous problems with that, the most important being that it will certainly be underfunded. Then the definition of what is a true high-risk individual will be very complicated. The temptation to expand those pools will always be there, with lots of pressure from private insurers to keep expanding it so they can get the most expensive individuals off their cost and into the government-run programs.
        High-risk pools would immediately become an uncontrollable entitlement. And it is ironic that any conservative would prefer a government program to the market-based solution that is used in ACA.
        Then there is the repeated suggestion that people only be eligible if they’ve had continuous coverage. This ignores the fundamental problem those with pre-existing conditions have faced for years: unaffordable or unattainable coverage is a major reason they would NOT have had continuous coverage.
        Finally, since it would become an ever-expanding government expense, conservatives have proposed that the total cost be capped. But that leads to two immediate problems. The first should concern fiscal conservatives: Congress would very likely keep increasing the cap due to the increased need. And the second should be a real concern: if you cap it, how do you cover the individuals who are in those pools? Obviously by increasing the cost they bear. So again, health care becomes unaffordable and unattainable. Back to square one.
        But there’s a very simple solution: put the high-risk people into a massively-expanded pool. By requiring that all pre-existing conditions be covered, and that all Americans have coverage, you greatly expand the total insurance pool. The cost of that relatively small sub-set of high-risk people is borne much more readily by an insurance pool that has expanded by tens of millions of participants.
        Hence the pre-existing condition requirement of the ACA, and the individual mandate. The one doesn’t work without the other.

          1. Don Shor

            In the absence of the ACA, mentally ill people could be denied access to health care. The ACA mandates that mental health treatment be accepted; it extends the parity act that Congress passed previously. If the conservatives have their way and repeal the ACA, that protection will be lost. The whole point of this is how to expand mental health care and coverage. I guess Frankly and friends would just put them into the high-risk pools.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Obamacare is underfunded, and is a new ‘uncontrollable entitlement’. Did that stop you from supporting it?

          I know how to fund it. Limit the travel of CEOs, CEOs wives, and the President’s wife, and funnel those funds to coverage!

          Allowing cross-state competition would also be a major boon.

          I think we should also allow all Americans, expecially Democrats, to send in more money to the gov’t to pay for other people’s HC coverage. We can track the results, and even set up a donation website. Completely voluntary. What a concept.

          If we did have robust, birth-to-death health savings accounts, helping a sibling, child, or parent in need would be much easier. There are many people who go decades using few health care services (especially men, I am told). I’ve had numerous male friends who go years and years rarely going to a doctor in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Frankly, great point. The 40 million uninsured figure is a wishy-washy figure. Some are between jobs, some qualify for Cobra, some qualify for Medicare, and some chose to not buy health care (like younger kids).

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