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chyna's avatar

Do you feel the ball was dropped on the mental health issues of the gunman that shot 5 people at the airport in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida?

Asked by chyna (45314points) January 8th, 2017

Apparently news stories are saying he went to the FBI in Alaska and said he was being forced to watch videos of the Taliban. He also had a gun. They had him evaluated for 4 days, released him and gave him back his gun. Should they have kept him on their radar, put him on the no fly list?
Or should his family done more to help him? How and where does this kind of thing stop?

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36 Answers

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

A month before he went into the FBI offices on Nov. 26th and began raving about voices in his head telling him to work with ISIS, he was charged with domestic battery by the Anchorage cops.

The cops dropped the ball big time when they didn’t pull his permit and confiscate his weapons at the time they charged him.

The staff at the mental facility the FBI took him to dropped the ball when they didn’t contact local law enforcement to make sure he didn’t have a permit to carry before he was released back onto the street.

The Alaskan Secretary of State or Lieutenant Governor or whoever she was, dropped the ball when she said yesterday that there was nothing else they could do to prevent the Lauderdale slaughter.

They all dropped the ball big time and they aren’t taking responsibility for it at all as of loast night.

I think the FBI did the right thing. They bundled a nut case off to a mental facility. It was the mental facility that dropped the ball there. Checking these things and notifying law enforcement before releasing a patient with a domestic violence charge against them was SOP where I worked as a nurse. I\

zenvelo's avatar

Yes, he had a number of interactions with people that are obligated reporters. They all ought to have taken steps to keep him from accessing guns.

elbanditoroso's avatar

The FBI is in a very difficult position. The NRA and their ilk have made it virtually impossible to confiscate guns, even from mentally ill people. Their (NRA’s) viewpoint appears to be that mentally ill and paranoid people can have the same 2nd amendment free pass to hold weapons as sane people. Even if the FBI has a pretty good indication of potential harm.

I have to believe that someone at the FBI said “this guy is nuts and is dangerous” but that some lawyer said “we don’t want to defend this in court”.

So if you want third parties to blame – don’t blame the FBI. Blame the NRA and its crazy absolutist view of guns and the second amendment..

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

On second thought, yes, the FBI did fuck up. They should have contacted local law enforcement to see if there were any outstanding local or state warrants that they might have on this guy before sending him to a mental facility. At that time local law enforcement would have had a second chance to pull his permit and confiscate his guns. In most states that issue carrying permits, all it takes in one substance abuse wint violence, one domestic, or one mandatory psych eval to pull someone’s permit and guns until the problem is adjudicated.

All you have to be is charged for one of these things, not convicted. If found guilty in Florida for one of the above crimes, or deemed chronic substance abuser, or deemed to have a serious psych history the carrying permit is permanently revoked as well as the right to legally own a firearm.

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds like they did drop the ball.

I think our military fucked up when it came to the Fort Hood shooter too. He went to his commanding officer to ask for a transfer, or some sort of change in his assignment.

josie's avatar

No, not at all. No reason whatsoever to imagine that asshole might be a problem!

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’m glad someone is on “Happy Pills” ^

Or clueless.

janbb's avatar

I’m thinking that was sarcasm on @josie ‘s part.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Or “Happy Pills” I missed the ~ ~ ~ or J.K.

johnpowell's avatar

It was only five people. 2nd amendment is more important.

johnpowell's avatar

26 were killed at Sandy Hook. The best that could be tried was done but the 2nd amendment nutters had their way. So fuck it. Enjoy swimming in your kids blood you fucking idiots. You cowardly bags of shit.

flutherother's avatar

It is unfair to expect the medical profession to protect you from mentally ill people with guns when guns are so freely available. You expect the government to take guns from potentially dangerous people while insisting everyone has the right to carry a gun without government interference. There is a contradiction there. Where does this kind of thing stop? It won’t.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^With a system like we have where a schitzophrenic patient with violent ideation isn’t necessarily DC’d when they are stabilined, but when the payee stops paying, any discharge nurse worth his or her salt will notify authorities before discharging a patient back into the community. I was a discharge nurse in a drug rehab criseis unit. I had a back number to the police dept. for just such events.

There are people out there trying to protect the public in many ways that you don’t realize.

JLeslie's avatar

I discharged patients from a psych hospital for a while. Definitely insurance running out influences when a patient gets discharged. However, I did see nurses speak up when they felt a patient was not ready, and I saw doctors keep a patient in hospital even when all the insurance money was gone. At the same time I can tell you a lot of patients in Memphis, where I worked, go home to their gun “for protection.” At discharge patients were asked if they had a gun at home. They weren’t asked if they had a permit. They were asked if it was kept locked away.

In my opinion many unstable people were released and had guns. At the time of release they were stable, but many of them easily within a short time could be deemed unstable again. Just the fact that they leave the hospital with zero meds and need to get to a pharmacy to stay medicated bothered me.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^And then they have to be willing to take those meds on their own, which is a huge problem in the mental health community—and the medical community as a whole.

You’re right, we didn’t ask if they had a permit as it was neither here nor there. What was important was whether they had access to firearms. We got around the HIPPA conventions by having a standing doctor’s order to notify a licensed MSW (Medical Social Worker) who worked for the police dept. and with the local judiciary, if the patient met a very specific criteria. They have access to the state police records database, which would reveal if the person had a permit among many other things. The FBI would have the NCIC database which would inform them of the same things, locally and nationally.

A doctor’s recommendation for further treatment is often is over-ridden by admin with their eye on the budget rather than public health. Many unstable people are discharged back into the community every day because of this.

I just saw a pundit on a CNN video clip say that a conviction for domestic violence is required before a person’s permit is revoked in Alaska. Not true in Florida. A charge is all that is required in Florida. Is that unconstitutional? Yes. And I don’t give a shit.

The founding fathers had no way to predict the way our society has perverted the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment under the monolithic influence of orgs such as the NRA, the proliferation of abuse of permanently mind-altering substances, poor parenting and all the other unstabilizing influences in American society today.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Where I worked they too often ran very tight on nurses per patient count, and some other things that bothered me, but I never saw administration override a doctor’s order to keep a patient inpatient if the doctor deemed the patient shouldn’t be released. It’s possible in some cases maybe patients eventually got transferred to state facilities, but I didn’t see that happen.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^I saw doctors countermanded constantly. If you weren’t close to them, or close to admin, you would never knew this was happening. They don’t complain to nurse’s aids and volunteers. They complain during report or with colleagues in the break rooms. I saw doctor’s desperately go through the DSM and the billiing code classification system with their RNs in search of believable diagnoses covered by insurers and other payees in order to keep patients. But if they couldn’t find a way, the patient was often DC’d anyway.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I don’t doubt it. I worked as the assistant to the CEO for a while and was in on meetings, and definitely there was pressure about the bottom line in general. I’m sure some of that seeped over to pressure on the doctors. The doctor did have to “answer” for making a decision that cost the hospital money. It didn’t happen very often that a doctor wouldn’t release a patient once the insurance ran out.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

True. And the doctor could very easily be discharged or pressured to leave if s/he was deemed too uncooperative with admin’s bottom line.


JLeslie's avatar

^^One thing to consider is that in average our patients who need the most help are in government insurance.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by that. My experience is that the average psych patient by far is indigent and has no insurance. These are often the most extreme cases, as well. But I’ve dealt with patients with various Fed insurance programs, mostly VA, and if you are insinuating that these programs don’t go far enough to adequately cover the therapy regimes often recommended by medical specialists, you are absolutely right.

Seek's avatar

I’m still wondering why it’s illegal to bring firecrackers in your checked luggage, but it’s legal to bring ammunition in your checked luggage. They have the same active ingredient.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Seek The answer to your Q is firecrackers are not legal in all states and ammo is sold in all states.
Also the NRA doesn’t get money from the firecracker manufacturers.

JLeslie's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus My point was that the private extortion is watching the bottom line, but with many of these patients it’s the public sector that is controlling the money available to the patient. As much as I want a socialized system it’s gotta make me wonder how the government would treat these patients.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@JLeslie… it is the public sector that is controlling the money available to the patient.

I don’t get that at all, unless you are referring to the ACA, expenditures of which are controlled by private insurance companies with stockholders to feed. That is the reason why it is far from true universal healthcare. The public don’t allocate those funds any more than they do BlueCross/BlueShield.

If the public is directly supporting healthcare at all, it is through a confusing, disorganized patchwork of unrelated faith-based and non-faith-based programs, which is a totally inefficient delivery system and often redundant, resulting in a vast waste of funds. They still exist to supposedly fill in the many holes not covered by the ACA and Medicare. But they all have different criteria on whom they will and will not help, which is the right of any private org as long as they follow some very basic federal guidelines.

I want a system where the MBA whores must take a back seat to medical ethics and the medical professionals sworn to uphold them—as we did before we were conned out of our community hospitals in trade for privatization. A Master’s in Business Administration should have no influence on medical decisions, but they now do—as we both described above.

If their actuaries don’t like the odds of making a profit under medical ethics, then they can get the fuck out of our business and turn it over to a true, single payer health care system.

JLeslie's avatar

^^There are a lot of Medicaid patients.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Medicaid/Medicare, whatever. Leslie. Our government will treat all patients the same way as almost every other wealthy democracy treats theirs, if we would adopt the same system, which is single-payer national healthcare. We don’t have to re-invent the wheel and we don’t have to go broke doing it. It’s not bloody rocket science.

The reason we don’t do it is because, in order to make it cost-effective, we have to cut out the middlemen—the healthcare industry and their stockholders that fund our congressmen, senators and presidents, and also pour vast sums of money into lobbying efforts to prevent single-payer healthcare from ever becoming a reality in the U.S.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m all for it. Like I said, I want socialized medicine, I always have. I grew up in it, I grew up in military care. I just also know it won’t be perfect and we need to watch for pitfalls.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I know that, Leslie. We’re not arguing. We’ve been having a discussion with one another, a lost art on the internet and even in many coffee shops. It was very enjoyable and refreshing. Thank you.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, no argument. :)

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