News & Politics

blues_pagan
Constitutional Rights vs. Responsibility
January 20, 2013 at 1:18 PM

I am always seeing this, "That is my Constitutional Right!"

Whether it means owning guns, writing an article or even talking to people every United States Citizen knows they have a Constitutionally protected right to say, write or own just about whatever they want.  But when does responsibility come into play?  

Sure, we have a Constitutional right to scream, "Bomb!" while on an airplane but shouldn't we take responsibility for the repercussions of our action and the ensuing chaos it would create?


The same goes for writing, we do it here everyday. From calling people names to generalizing in a way that could be misconstrued as libel.  Do we have the Constitutional right to write whatever we want?  Sure.  But we also carry with that a responsibility.  Just look at what is happening to people who get caught being cyber-bullies. 

And now we come to my favorite, gun ownership.  This has been the hot topic of debates recently with the mass shootings that occured last year.  Of course as an American citizen I have the right to purchase, own and store weapons.  But let's say that someone who is a known drug abuser or who has a severe mental illness wants to own a gun for unknown reasons.  Don't we have a responsibility to ensure that people who own guns are responsible and clear minded enough to do so or does that persons Constitutional rights trump responsibility?  And what happens if that person goes out and does some serious damage with that weapon?  Do you only carry the responsibility after the fact or should something have been done before hand (even though the person has a Constitutional right to bear arms)?

What are your opinions?

Replies

  • ms-superwoman
    January 20, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

  • blues_pagan
    January 20, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    But this would be on the fringe of violating HIPPA

    Quoting ms-superwoman:

    I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.


  • 29again
    by 29again
    January 20, 2013 at 2:02 PM


    Quoting ms-superwoman:

    I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

    There was a day when I would have agreed with this completely.  Today I don't, and I won't!  Look at what is now considered to be mental illness.  I garden and then can & freeze the fruits of my garden.  Today, according to the latest DSM, that could classify me with "Hoarding Disorder" since I store (read Hoard) my food.  That is now a mental disorder. 

    And maybe, just maybe, there are people who think differently than you do, but they are in no way mentally unstable.  Now, having said that, I do agree that there are a few people who should not have weapons. 

    One thing that I think I could agree to is that the background check that is done be linked to mental health info, but limited to something very basic such as whether the applicant has been diagnosed with a short short list of diagnoses.  But I don't know exactly how that would work out, or if it could be legally done without infringing on the doctor/patient confidentiality stuff and HIPPA.  But a straight out psych eval for everyone is a no-go.

  • blues_pagan
    January 20, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Hey 29.  Canning and storing your own home grown food wouldn't be considered hoarding. I have a DSM right here.  According to the DSM-IV, hoarding falls under OCD.  In order to be diagnosed with something like this you have to have, "recurrent obsessions or compulsions (Criterion A) that are severe enough to be time consuming (ie, they take more than 1 hr a day) or case marked distress or significant impairment (Criterion C).  At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable" (DMS-IV page 417)


    So I would HIGHLY doubt any medical professional would even consider you a hoarder at all.

    Quoting 29again:


    Quoting ms-superwoman:

    I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

    There was a day when I would have agreed with this completely.  Today I don't, and I won't!  Look at what is now considered to be mental illness.  I garden and then can & freeze the fruits of my garden.  Today, according to the latest DSM, that could classify me with "Hoarding Disorder" since I store (read Hoard) my food.  That is now a mental disorder. 

    And maybe, just maybe, there are people who think differently than you do, but they are in no way mentally unstable.  Now, having said that, I do agree that there are a few people who should not have weapons. 

    One thing that I think I could agree to is that the background check that is done be linked to mental health info, but limited to something very basic such as whether the applicant has been diagnosed with a short short list of diagnoses.  But I don't know exactly how that would work out, or if it could be legally done without infringing on the doctor/patient confidentiality stuff and HIPPA.  But a straight out psych eval for everyone is a no-go.


  • little.worthen
    January 20, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    the problem is, that when the constitution was written, there were so many people who go off of technicality and everyone still worked off of common sense now everyone nitpicks every single teeny tiny insignificant little detail of everything...

  • blues_pagan
    January 20, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    So you just think that we are too PC and nitpicking about things?  

    Quoting little.worthen:

    the problem is, that when the constitution was written, there were so many people who go off of technicality and everyone still worked off of common sense now everyone nitpicks every single teeny tiny insignificant little detail of everything...


  • ElitestJen
    January 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM
    The Supreme Court has said we don't have the right to scream, "BOMB!"

    And, of course, we should take responsibility for our actions. We don't have to take responsibility for someone else's actions.
  • blues_pagan
    January 20, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    I used the "bomb" example because I know people who think it is their Constitutional right to say anything at any given time even if it causes panic.  

    But with the last part, so we are only responsible for ourselves and not for those around us even if we know they have the potential to do something wrong?  We have no responsibility to try to figure out how to keep others from committing heinous acts if we know they have the capacity to do so?

    Quoting ElitestJen:

    The Supreme Court has said we don't have the right to scream, "BOMB!"

    And, of course, we should take responsibility for our actions. We don't have to take responsibility for someone else's actions.


  • 29again
    by 29again
    January 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Not doubting you, but....  I read that the NEW DSM-V is vastly different, that there are a whole bunch of new "disorders" included now. This op/ed is a bit old, but it is informative, and discusses the new DSM-V.  (the disorder that I specifically mentioned is not in the op/ed, that came from a different article altogether.)


    btw, it does take more than 1 hour to can a batch of beans or tomatoes, and it takes a bit of planning...and if I don't do this, my family won't eat as well, so it does bother me if I can't do it.    But I know what you meant.

    Quoting blues_pagan:

    Hey 29.  Canning and storing your own home grown food wouldn't be considered hoarding. I have a DSM right here.  According to the DSM-IV, hoarding falls under OCD.  In order to be diagnosed with something like this you have to have, "recurrent obsessions or compulsions (Criterion A) that are severe enough to be time consuming (ie, they take more than 1 hr a day) or case marked distress or significant impairment (Criterion C).  At some point during the course of the disorder, the person has recognized that the obsessions or compulsions are excessive or unreasonable" (DMS-IV page 417)


    So I would HIGHLY doubt any medical professional would even consider you a hoarder at all.

    Quoting 29again:


    Quoting ms-superwoman:

    I think there should be a psych eval before getting a gun. I know people who legally have guns, that are very unstable and shouldn't own a butter knife, let alone a gun.

    There was a day when I would have agreed with this completely.  Today I don't, and I won't!  Look at what is now considered to be mental illness.  I garden and then can & freeze the fruits of my garden.  Today, according to the latest DSM, that could classify me with "Hoarding Disorder" since I store (read Hoard) my food.  That is now a mental disorder. 

    And maybe, just maybe, there are people who think differently than you do, but they are in no way mentally unstable.  Now, having said that, I do agree that there are a few people who should not have weapons. 

    One thing that I think I could agree to is that the background check that is done be linked to mental health info, but limited to something very basic such as whether the applicant has been diagnosed with a short short list of diagnoses.  But I don't know exactly how that would work out, or if it could be legally done without infringing on the doctor/patient confidentiality stuff and HIPPA.  But a straight out psych eval for everyone is a no-go.



  • ElitestJen
    January 20, 2013 at 2:23 PM
    We may have a moral responsibility, but not a legal one. And certainly not at the expense of sacrificing your own rights. Society is made up of individuals, therefore the responsibility lies with each individual. We don't punish everyone else because someone fails.


    Quoting blues_pagan:

    I used the "bomb" example because I know people who think it is their Constitutional right to say anything at any given time even if it causes panic.  

    But with the last part, so we are only responsible for ourselves and not for those around us even if we know they have the potential to do something wrong?  We have no responsibility to try to figure out how to keep others from committing heinous acts if we know they have the capacity to do so?

    Quoting ElitestJen:

    The Supreme Court has said we don't have the right to scream, "BOMB!"



    And, of course, we should take responsibility for our actions. We don't have to take responsibility for someone else's actions.



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