Dr. Laurie Roth
January 17, 2013
President Obama's announcement about deputizing mental health professionals -- and doctors in general -– with regard to guns and their patients is beyond dangerous, beyond unethical, beyond legal and beyond the US Constitution. It will create much more danger and promote killings because the people who actually need treatment in the early stages of a dangerous cycle won't seek treatment. They will just quietly get worse and then, perhaps, drive into a schoolyard, or poison their boss, or steal a gun and kill a bunch of people from a tower somewhere.
I am a national talk show host and have an earned Ph.D. in Counseling from Oregon State University. My emphasis and original research was in alcohol and drug abuse with female alcoholics and I have been a crisis counselor for over 20 years, while building a talk radio career and raising a family. I am a mental health expert and a proud gun owner. This announcement -– this initiative -– is tantamount to war against me as a gun owner and war against me as a mental health provider.
Mr. Obama not only uses children as a backdrop to advance an ideological agenda, but now mental health professionals and doctors of all kinds. They are to be his new spies to achieve the abolition of guns and gun rights from law-abiding citizens. Now, the 'deputized' mental health professionals and doctors of all kinds are to ask about guns in the home, as well as questions that would target any 'violent' tendency, depression, fear, perhaps an episode of spousal abuse or vandalism.
Maybe a kid was formally in a gang in high school and was struggling with memories of violence and crime – boom – report him and deny his gun rights. Maybe a young women reports feelings of acting out and violence against her Dad who raped her when she was 5 and she struggles with thoughts of doing him in – boom – report her and deny her gun rights. Certainly, the returning military veteran dealing with nightmares and adjustment issues must be turned in as well. Boom – report him and deny his gun rights.
If this is allowed to stand, it will bastardize and destroy the mental and physical health professions. Confidentiality, which is supposed to be the first safety net of any client who pursues and needs counseling, will be gone. There will be neither reason nor any safety in going to a counselor, therapist or doctor ever again!
The truth is, and has been, that millions of people go to therapy because something isn't working right; they have troubling thoughts, or are stuck in certain behaviors. That does not mean that they plan to kill someone or should have their confidentiality rights betrayed over an alleged theory from a therapist now being guided, intimidated and encouraged by an unethical politician and special interest activist; resident Obama.
If this is the new "law," regulation push and Executive Order (whatever Mr. Obama wants to call it) and he is putting his weight behind it, then this is what I encourage the nation to do.
Never see a mental health counselor or psychiatrist. If you have to see a medical doctor, never answer questions about your home, hobbies or guns. It is none of their business and now those queries are meant to be used against you and your Constitutional rights.
Leadership in the mental health fields must stand against this bold attack and intrusion. This will only stop the people who really do need help from ever coming to get it in time.
Truth be told, Mr. Obama is making things much worse for those who need help...just like his signature achievement, Obamacare, is making healthcare less affordable and harder to attain for everyone.
Perhaps the mental health professionals and counselors of our country can answer me these two simple questions: What is Mr. Obama thinking? Or is he thinking at all?
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