Tuesday, December 25, 2012

La Pierre Calls the Mentally Ill Monsters

ABC News reports
The National Rifle Association has come under fire by an association of psychiatrists for its characterization of people who commit violent crimes as "monsters," "lunatics" and "insane."  

"One of the things that may be especially distressing for individuals who have a mental health condition and their families is this automatic leap based on stereotyped perceptions linking mental illness and violence," Corolla [Bob Carolla, a spokesman for the National Alliance on Mental Illness] said. "Statistically we know the relationship is very small." 

According to Corolla, one in four American adults experience a mental health problem in any given year, yet the U.S. Surgeon General determined over a decade ago that the overall contribution of mental disorders to the total level of violence in society is exceptionally small. He added that people with mental disorders are far more likely to be the victims of crimes, rather than the perpetrators.
The gun-rights folks often call people who break into houses and commit other crimes "goblins." This de-humanizing of the criminal is very useful in justifying an extreme response. In a similar way, Wayne La Pierre referred to the mass shooters as monsters in his famous statement the other day.

What's your opinion?  Is that wrong?  Is it politically incorrect to refer to the mentally ill like that?  Does it matter?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I'm not sure what the point is. Plenty of people, both pro-guns and anti-guns, would agree Adam Lanza did something monstrous. While I get it that LaPierre is not very well regarded, you can find plenty of people who are equivalent to him in terms of public opinion and on the opposite side of the issue who I'm sure would share his opinion about the nature of the crime. Frankly, I'd be just as dismissive of the APA's statement if they'd (hypothetically) said that Piers Morgan was being insensitive.

    1. Aren't you following along, Jack. It's not about "doing something monstrous" or about "being insensitive." He called THEM monsters. The idea is they're people who are sick, not monsters. Get it?

    2. So schizophrenic murdering his mother, stealing her firearms, driving 20 miles to an elementary school so he can shoot in the windows of a locked door so he can get in and murder 20 children under the age of 7 is not monstrous?

      His mother warned the people that watched this monster not to turn their back on him......

      She knew what a monster he was but did not get him committed to a mental institution when he was younger and when he found out that she was trying when he got older he killed her in her sleep, that is monstrous.

    3. Well now that you mention it, I think the mother was a monster for allowing the crazy boy access to the guns. And she was one of you guys, don't forget.

    4. One of us,

      Fuck you,

      If I had a son who I knew was dangerous, I would not leave guns lying around the house, and I sure as hell would have had him committed to an institution if he were so dangerous that I had to warn others that cared for him to watch your back.....

    5. She was a gun enthusiast who, just like many of you guys, had guns around the house. One of you.

  2. I give not a damn as to what is politically correct or not. Someone who kills an innocent person commits an evil act. Doing that in large numbers or because of motives not readily understood puts the person doing them outside the norm of human behavior.

    1. Yes, de-humanizing them makes everything easier, everything from shooting them under the castle doctrine to sentencing them to state-sanctioned murder.

    2. If someone breaks into my home, I don't have time to practice psychotherapy with the person. Under normal circumstances, I respect the rights of all human beings, but if one is putting my life in danger, we've decompensated to the law of the jungle.

  3. I'm not going to get into the whole goblin thing right now. I just wanted to weigh in quickly on this "monster" issue.

    I don't use the term lunatic for the CT shooter and others because I don't know if they are. However, they are monsters. Anyone who slaughters the innocent, and especially anyone who walks into a school and slaughters a first grade class, has become a monster by his own actions. He has seared out his conscience to such an extent that he has lost his humanity.

    Frankly, we need to care a lot less about PC and call a spade a spade in these cases.

  4. I'm game, what should we call a person responsible for the massacre of 26 children and 50 adults?

    Or the person responsible for 1.5 million deaths whose representative then says killing those 'was worth it'.

    What do we call Hitler, Stalin, and the guy who dropped atomic bombs on the civilian population centers known as Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

    Like I said, I'm game, what do we call them, if not monsters?

    orlin sellers