No Gun Ever Killed Anyone

rodgerEditor’s note: Feminist writer and activist Kate Millet, the subject of the following article, is best known for her 1970 book, “Sexual Politics.” 

Reprinted from

In the 1970’s I was alarmed to hear that my big sister, Kate Millett, who had serious mental health issues which had agonized my family and her friends for many years, was organizing a group called The Mental Patients’ Project in order to claim that the psychiatric community and society were “oppressing” people and “stigmatizing them with labels such as psychotic, bi-polar, schizophrenic, borderline personalities,” etc and unconstitutionally imprisoning them in hospitals thereby violating their civil rights.  We, as a family, had struggled for years with Kate’s issues, many times attempting to hospitalize her so she could obtain the serious help she so obviously needed. She was a brutal sadist, a violent bully at whose hands everyone about her suffered.  Throughout my childhood I was menaced and immeasurably traumatized, as I’m sure was Elliot Rodger’s younger sibling whom he, in fact, intended to murder.

At one point, in 1973, I found myself alone with her in an apartment in Berkeley, California where she did not allow me to sleep for five days as she raged at the world and menaced me physically.  I had come to Berkeley at her entreaty to appear in the UCB Auditorium as she screened a film we’d produced together in the summer of 1970 (another horror story too long to recount here) and which was, in part, a biography of my life along with two other women.  This movie (Three Lives) was the very first ever produced with not one iota of male presence.  Even the people who delivered food to the set had to be female and Kate was touting it as the first all-woman film production in history.

Having had my youth overshadowed by Kate’s irrationality I warily traveled West and the moment I spotted her in the airport knew I “was in for it”.  As she barreled across the airport’s expanse it was clear that she was in the throes of her illness and my heart throbbed with the desire to turn and run.

During the speech after the screening she fell apart onstage before a packed assembly of fawning admirers. It was a standing room only audience.  In fact, they had to schedule a second screening at the last minute, as the response had been huge. As I sat next to her lectern during her incoherent ravings I witnessed the pained looks of confusion as they swept across those faces like a small gale whipping up across the top of a sea; at first tiny ripples gliding across the surface.  They were polite until the realization took shape that she was making no sense whatsoever.  People began glancing at each other, whispering a little then turning to one another with more energy, politeness gone, as some began to get up and leave.  Soon many were slipping out and that was followed by a mad dash for the exits.  She was babbling and shouting incoherently whilst I nodded and pretended every word made perfect sense.  I could not bear to betray her in public.  I sat there feeling my heart melting through my chest and draining into my belly with an indescribable sick empathy.  Her humiliation was unbearable as the gale whipped up to a force ten and with one last enormous surge we were left in an empty room.  The second screening was cancelled.

We returned to her apartment in relative silence.  I was trapped with her in an unfamiliar place. I knew not one person in Berkeley.  I was afraid to sleep for fear of awakening in a deadly pool of blood with a knife in my back. She stayed awake for five days babbling, ranting and wouldn’t allow me to sleep.   She was seeing “little green men” and her eyes were literally rolling around in their sockets.  Never have I been more alone and terrified.  However, love and concern for her and any others she might harm prevented me from leaving.  Unable to abandon her, I stayed and whenever possible reached out by phone to other family members/friends in far flung places such as NYC, Minnesota, Nebraska pleading for advice and help.  One such conversation was with Yoko Ono, a good friend of hers, who called to check on Kate and from whom I tearfully begged advice.

Kate, herself, has written several books on this part of her life (FlyingThe Loony-Bin Trip) chronicling the “oppressive” actions of our family, vilifying us for our deeply worried attempts to aid in her obvious sufferings. So I am telling no “tales out of school” as she herself has documented her own struggles with sanity although she consistently claimed, “mental illness is a myth”.  “Many healthy people”, she said, “are driven to mental illness by society’s disapproval of unconventional behavior and by the authoritarian institution of psychiatry.”  Really?  Tell that to the families of the nineteen who suffered and died that Friday in Santa Barbara…..never mind, it’s all just an illusion, a myth.  Let’s examine and “have conversations” about the violation of the civil rights of these nineteen innocent families.  She has called me and our other sister, Sally, plus family members, cousins, etc. vicious names, demonized us, and written reams of counterfeit versions of “the truth” concerning these matters.  These are published works, which rest in the Library of Congress for all time and which slander our names as people who were petty and malicious and because we “hated her politics” were trying to shut her up and lock her away.  By the way, many in our family agree for the most part with her politics and so this accusation is absolutely absurd on it’s face. However, she is a famous writer and thus a recipient of the immunity fame seems to bestow.

And, speaking of the affected innocent victims: later, she wrote a book about her lesbian lover at that time.  Sita was the title.  This woman committed suicide in response to Kate’s “homage.”

Our elder sister, Sally, eventually came from Nebraska to the rescue, as it was imperative I return to NY to join a European theatrical tour for which I was contracted.  She managed to get some temporary care for Kate, which sufficed for the moment.  Within time, our mother and a lawyer nephew managed to take Kate to court in Minnesota in order to secure her “commitment.” Anyone who knows Kate Millett knows the depth of her shrewdness which she used to bring in a NY lawyer and, in her unglued state, she stood up for herself as only she can and to our great horror prevailed in that courtroom walking out, unrestrained, to spend many more years, lurching about the world to continue her damaging and irrational antics; her genius for chaos.  Subsequently, she boarded a plane for Shannon, Ireland and upon arrival locked herself in the Ladies Room preventing anyone from relieving herself for twenty-four hours until the Shannon police broke down the door and committed her to an Irish psychiatric institution.  She got word out to some of her Irish feminist loyalists who smuggled her out through a window and she escaped to be on the run making her way back to NYC.  Many of her friends in the US were now involved and other interventions were arranged which she also managed to elude, quoting The Constitution to police and ambulance drivers. These efforts were as fruitless as Elliot Rodger’s encounter with Santa Barbara police.  The police are no good at this.  If only they had gone into his room; looked at his weapons and his homemade videos!  Who would doubt the word of desperate, caring parents about the condition of their own child?

So when it came to my attention that as a result of these adventures she and a few cohorts had concocted a new “civil rights movement” for mental patients and in her characteristic ruthlessness was determined to “liberate” NY’s mental patients I was beyond appalled.  God help anyone who gets in the way of Kate and her “righteous indignation” which had already spearheaded the militant Women’s Liberation Movement.  This was to be called, “The Psychiatric Survivors Movement.”

Thus, as a result of Kate’s and her pals’ agitation back in the seventies psychiatric and mental health institutions were forever changed.  This culminated in the depositing on the streets of NYC thousands of confused, terrified and seriously disturbed persons left to fend for themselves in the mean streets of The City.  Most people were shocked but the hapless denizens of New York simply shrugged their shoulders and left these poor souls thus deposited to the whims and cruelty of teens, gangs and other bullies.  We’ve all read the accounts of sick and helpless people being kicked about, murdered, robbed and even set on fire.  Yet, due to my sister’s genius for chaos creation, no one, not even the Police Department can lift a finger of mercy to help these persons because it’s a “violation of their civil rights” to do so.

As they say, “As New York City goes, so goes the country.” And so it was as most of America followed suit and dissembled their mental health institutions and systems.

When I hear the multiple reports of this catastrophe in Santa Barbara my heart swells with sorrow over the people whose lives have been irrevocably altered by the actions of this very sick young man and when I witness (and how I do identify with) the agony of his family who tried so very hard to obtain help for him; the vivid story of Elliot’s mother going to the police passionately begging for help.

DO NOT start the usual vilifying of the NRA and the constant claptrap about guns.  Half of the people Elliot Rodger killed last weekend were felled by the knife.  What?  You want to confiscate all knives?  Or make people get permits to own a knife?  Most of the people injured were hurt by his car.  Shall we outlaw cars?  Let’s start thinking straight:  Do you seriously want to blame the instrument for the actions of the user?  We may as well blame the keyboard for the poison pen letter or the telephone for the obscene phone call or death threat!!! Make no mistake about it.  It’s not guns, not male chauvinism, not white male privilege or male rage.  It was the deconstruction of the mental health system in our country achieved in the seventies and eighties by a mad little gang of meddlers led in their mischief by Kate Millett.

Stop saying the warning signs were missed.  They were not missed.  The Rodger family was begging, pleading for help from therapists, the police; just as did my own family, my mother, my sister, Sally, my cousins, nephews and I intervened our guts out to absolutely no avail.  There is no system left in this country to deal with these traumas. This is a mental health issue and no more. We are surrounded by phony bleeding hearts who can coolly step over the sacred bodies of the wretchedly ill lying about our streets and sashay into a shop to eat a sandwich.  Shame on all of you and may an huge share of the blame fall upon the shoulders of the perpetrators of this mercilessness, my sister, Kate Millett, and her fawning, ghoulish band of “liberating” acolytes.  These people are the ones responsible for this chaos in our world.

Let the blame for these types of crimes lie precisely on the shoulders of persons who commit evil not upon the instruments used to do these atrocities.  One properly armed citizen could have stopped Elliot Rodger in his tracks and saved several of those lost lives and limbs.

My purpose in writing this account is to beseech, to beg, to plead with the reader to put your thinking straight about these matters.  Stop the hogwash about the instruments used whether they be guns, baseball bats, knives, or blunt instruments.  Think straight:  Behind each of these outrages is a sick, homicidal person hell-bent on destruction by any means possible.  We need to be able to restrain such people. We need an effective commitment process in order to help the mentally sick and to serve those whom they will inevitably kill, harm or maim.  God bless these nineteen families and may we all learn what we should have known all along: Something sane must be done with our mental health system!!

Last autumn, Kate Millett was inducted, along with Nancy Pelosi, into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

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  • UCSPanther

    I always knew a lot of one’s so-called “liberation movements” were more than likely founded by mentally unstable people.

    Insanity and evil seem to be strong companions, and the two can be very difficult to tell apart…

    • tagalog

      I respectfully submit that the mentally ill are not evil, nor is evil consistent with mental illness (would that it were!). They are driven in odd ways, but evil requires an intent, a willingness, a desire, to be perverse. The mentally ill do not as a rule possess such intent, volition, or desire, that’s part of what makes them so difficult to deal with.

      • Renaissance Nerd

        I agree completely that mental illness does not equate with evil, and that even evil acts committed by the mentally ill may not be evil in the sense that they are intentionally malicious, but rather the result of misfires in the brain.

        However I do wonder if it is possible to exacerbate mental illness into evil, with Hitler as an example. His writings and beliefs were crazy in the sense that they ignored reality in favor of fantasy. His belief in the occult, in the theosophist-derived racial theories about Atlantis etc, all smack of a rejection of reality. Yet I don’t think it can be argued that he never became evil in the sense that he consciously set aside the mores of his birth civilization so that he could cheerfully order the death of millions, not in war, but in systematic murder. Can ideology make existing mental illness turn to pure evil?

        I am not asking the question because I know the answer. I don’t know, but I want to, and it’s a question that won’t be asked by psychology, because for the most part they don’t believe in evil, so have closed off the entire area of inquiry.

        In the case of Kate Millet, we have a genius with a mental illness who did terrible harm to millions, and remained indifferent to their suffering. At what point, if any, did that become active, conscious evil? Was it entirely a result of mental illness, and inability to see reality for what it was? Or did it include a worldview and political agenda that reinforced the illness until there no longer remained any line between madness and wickedness?

        I’ve been thinking about this for years and I still can’t figure it out with any certainty. This latest perp has brought it back again, as his ramblings were all too familiar, and the demarkation as elusive as ever.

    • Steeloak

      It seems to me that truly evil people like Stalin, Castro, Che, Mao, Pol Pot, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Mohammed, etc., share two mental disorders in common – Megalomania and Paranoia. I believe that is what separates them from the rest of the mentally ill. They also all seem to be sociopaths who are indifferent to the suffering they inflict on others.

      • J.B.

        You forgot Obama. Or did you?

        • Steeloak

          Well technically,since he hasn’t actually committed mass murder against his own people, he’s not in the same league as the rest – but his term isn’t over yet so who knows.

    • Americana

      There is NO COMPARISON between the dangerously mentally ill individual and the dangerous dictator. There simply are no comparisons that can be made or should be made between the two. There are far more of the run-of-the-mill dangerously mentally ill individuals than there will ever be of the larger-than-life military/political dictators. Besides, the dictator will always have others wielding guns on his behalf who agree w/his political stance.

      This is a social and societal question that’s got NOTHING to do w/anything other than whether or not there are individuals who are so mentally compromised they shouldn’t have access to guns. Boy, there’s just no way everyone shouldn’t say “AMEN” to that question.

      • J.B.

        Then why are so many dictators like Obama insane? Coincidence?


  • pam k

    This article would be more compelling if the author could remember (well enough to at least paraphrase) a single “incoherent” statement made by her sister in Berkeley in 1973, or a single argument Kate made, in her family-engineered commitment hearing, successfully enough to convince a judge to allow her to remain free. And while the release of mental patients into the crazyhouse of NYC was tragic, should we really believe that the blame rests singlehandedly with Kate Millett?

    If the family was so codependent as to remain for generations the victims of Kate’s abuse, it is not their own fault? Why didn’t they sue for slander when Kate vilified them in print? Why didn’t they practice tough love and sever communications with their insane relative? Why didn’t Mallory get out of Kate’s apartment if she truly felt she might be murdered by her sister the instant she fell asleep? Why did she even agree to be in Kate’s feminist film if she had been terrorized by Kate throughout her childhood?

    We are told that the Millett family was motivated purely by love and concern as they tried, time after time, year after year, to institutionalize Kate without her consent. (Is it any wonder that Kate would defend the civil rights of mental patients, when her entire family was aligned against her, working to curtail her freedom?) In sharp contrast to the glowing depiction of herself and her family, Mallory portrays her sister as “shrewd”, “ruthless”, “damaging”, “irrational”, and a “sadistic bully”. Such a one-sided, simplistic, self-serving account fails the test of common sense.

    None of the claims being made in the above article are substantiated, least of all the connection between Kate Millett and Elliot Rodger. To my knowledge, Kate Millett never committed homicide, nor any other violent crime. Moreover, even if one disagrees with her politics, Kate did channel her rage into productive and legal activity.

    It’s too bad that, despite her extensive experience with the insane, Mallory has no solution to offer to our current national crisis, other than to make it easier for people to incarcerate members of their families whom they happen to dislike. And it’s a shame that such a distinguished publication as Front Page or Truth Revolt would publish such a revolting smear.

    • Flicker

      Do you have any psychotic friends or family? If you do I would expect you to perhaps understand how they can rant incoherently when they’re off and be charming and insightful when they’re on. And why they would not sue for libel.

      • pamk

        When a family won’t sue for libel, it’s usually to protect itself from further exposure. Similarly, getting Kate Millett committed to a mental hospital would also have served the family’s self-interest, by invalidating her.

    • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

      Obviously bought Millet’s book and bull

      • pamk

        Nope, never read her books. But I lived in NYC when the mental hospitals were emptied, and know there were other reasons for that. If Mallory is so concerned about this issue, she would study it objectively and not from her own subjective, emotional pov.

      • guest

        I have read her book. She is quite coherent for a crazy lady. Furthermore, it takes some high level organization skills to write as many books as Kate Millet has written. If most of the people in psych wards had those skills they would be free. Don’t be quick to throw away your legal rights to appease members of disfuntional families you would probably not like if you met them.

    • ADB

      Is it not compelling that the entire audience left and the second showing was cancelled? (This is more verifiable than some recollection of an incoherent statement.)

      The article writer’s account rings true to me. I have been through a mini-version of what she writes about. You would be amazed at the denials, politics, self-loathing, hiding from public, etc. within a family going through this process.

      Is your point that everything is fine and nothing should change?

      • pamk

        Of course, everything isn’t fine but this doesn’t mean that psychiatric lock-down based on hearsay testimony is the answer. If Kate Millett was so abusive to her family, why didn’t they call the police? Where’s the paper trail? Where’s the record of arrests? Do you really want to live in a society where you can be incarcerated because your family thinks you might be a threat but can point to no illegal act you’ve committed to justify such an opinion?

        As for “ringing true”, her account does not ring true to me because it’s so one-sided. Ever hear of the phrase, ‘the designated patient’? It’s a term coined by psychiatrists to refer to the theory that dysfunctional families single out one member as the crazy one, the bad apple, the bad seed. The scapegoating may not be intentional or even conscious, but nevertheless it is common, psychiatrists have written, for one family member to take on and act out the problems of the family as a whole.

    • Larry Larkin

      “incoherent” means not able to be understood in anyway. Perhaps you should study up on the meanings of words before you post garbage.

      • pamk

        Just because a statement is incoherent doesn’t mean it can’t be remembered. Even if she strung together a series of unrelated words (which I doubt Kate Millett did, being the queen of verbiage), even that could potentially be remembered, perhaps not verbatim but, as I suggested, well enough to paraphrase.

        Using an adjective like ‘incoherent’ without providing specific examples reflects more on Mallory than Kate – – just as your using the word ‘garbage’ to describe my post speaks volumes about you.

      • Mallory Millett

        Ever heard of Howard Hughes? This was intended as a subjective emotional peace!
        The police have been called countless times on Kate by colleagues friends family and neighbors not to mention the police department in Shannon Ireland. Your responses have me seriously considering the possibility that PamK is Kate herself or one of her minions.
        That “trying to steal her wealth” remark is beyond hilarious. Foryears Kate squandered what little she did earn through books and speeches. Then,one year,she was at home with us in Minnesota wallowing in self-pity about her penniless state and how desperately poor she was. I sat down with her to explain to her that she needed to invest her money in the stock market and she reacted as if I were suggesting she set the dog on fire! On Marxist participating in capitalism? Never she cried but Sr. Sally and I after much pleading cajoling and empathizing succeeded in convincing her to get a broker. (heaven forfend) and jump into the market. If she does have any wealth is at all it is a result of her family’s concern and the beauty of the capitalist system

        • pamk

          Mallory, I am not Kate or one of her minions. And as I’ve said in other comments here, I’ve never even read your sister’s work. I don’t know or care if she’s worth defending. I take issue with your article because it violates the ethics of expository writing. it’s a hit piece. If you don’t substantiate your case, you’re really writing in the gutter.

          Personally, I wish you’d write an entire book, a memoir or a novel, in which you can vent to your heart’s content. Of course, fiction imposes its own constraints. Less tell, more show. But I don’t think this would present a problem for you, because it sounds as if your family is as eccentric and fascinating a collection of characters as we could hope for.

          My other problem with your article is that I do not have your faith in the psychiatric community. As I recall, before the mentally ill were released from NYC hospitals and became a huge homeless population, the pharmaceutical industry had already taken over psychiatry. Medication replaced doctor-patient interaction. Very little therapy was actually being conducted; patients were simply being drugged. And this was being touted as a good thing. Politicians were being told that medication could replace brick-and-mortar holding pens. Moreover, the drugs being administered had not been extensively tested. Patients were being used as test subjects for psychotropic drugs.

          Your article starts from the premise that psychiatric hospitals are good places, where patients receive the help they need from intelligent and compassionate professionals. In other words, you idealize them. Just as you idealize your family. It’s as if you have an authority complex, maybe the ‘good girl complex’ so many feminists used to complain about.

          Writing could be your antidote. Your comment immediately above mine is a great start. Your writing has vitality. And getting this huge, heartbreaking, lifelong, life-dominating drama out onto the proverbial Page would IMO be beneficial to you, as well as a delicious read for the rest of us.

    • cathnealon

      I have an issue with the author waiting until now to tell us her sister was mentally ill. I mean Millett’s book has been on the reading list of women’s studies programs for 3 decades. She knew about this back in the 70’s.Sure would have been nice if the young women influenced by this nut could have heard the other side.

      Also, she offers no account of any dysfunction in the family that may have contributed to her sister’s illness.

      • Americana

        A psychotic isn’t often produced by sheer family dysfunction unless the family committed all sorts of abuse and so on… A psychotic most often arises from bad brain chemistry, the sheer misfortune of being on the receiving end of bad genetic luck.

        • cathnealon

          I’m not discounting organic causes, however, if you are going with the ‘bad seed’ theory, then the entire childhood from conception to the onset of symptoms would have to be objectively studied and discounted as the cause. Never has been done. The mother’s mental and physical state during pregnancy, her environmental surroundings, stress factors, drug ingestion(OTC included)her own family history then the father’s can be discerned from records but mostly from subjective personal accounts which anybody can tell you that has survived a dysfunctional family will be suspect. (Family secrets and all that you know–not to mention denial is the halmark of dysfunctional families.)
          I’m more of an Alice Miller follower myself. She refers to the brain studies of sociopaths, killers, psychopaths etc but always links them to the formation of the brain from the beginning to maturation. The synapses are firing, setting up connections in response to external stressors and then get hard-wired at some point. Very hard to unring teh bell but very possible. We are, for some reason, terrified to look at parents and families as the source of psychoses, neuroses, etc. But more than willing to look at genetic causes. Even a child born with predispositions, if treated with love, patient, care and compassion will usually overcome them.
          I would have to look at a factual account from all family members in the Millett household–question neighbors–look at hospital records, etc to make a judgment thatshe was ‘born bad.’ And since that is not going to happen I don’t buy the gene theory as a complete explanation.

          • pamk

            Thank you! You are obviously more knowledgeable about the fields of psychology and sociology than most of the commenters here.

      • Tina Trent

        It is and was no secret that Kate Millet was in need of professional intervention, to say the least. “Heard the other side” because she was mentally ill? Your recriminations are bizarre.

        • pamk

          What do you mean? Recriminations against Women’s Studies?

          • Tina Trent

            No, I mean your complaint that students in these departments weren’t “protected” against Millett’s writing on the grounds that she is mentally ill and also the idea that this was some sort of secret.

            She wrote books about it. It was not concealed. Given Kate Millett’s behavior and the unsurprising severity of her problems, I’m not sure it would have been possible to conceal it.

            Mallory Millet’s argument needs to be taken seriously. I understand the concerns about federal intrusion into privacy, but it is a fact that the federal government has nothing to do with local laws governing involuntary psychiatric treatment — except to enforce federal civil rights statutes that oppose involuntary treatment and disability protocols that redistribute our tax dollars to reward certain types of responses to the problem of supporting mentally ill individuals — the federal stick, carrot, and lawsuit are no small things, but they all favor deinstitutionalization.

            Conservative gun rights scholar and historian Clayton Cramer has written a great book about this subject and its recent bureaucratic history, based on his family’s attempts to deal with his sometimes violent schizophrenic brother: it’s called My Brother’s Keeper, and as with all of his work I cannot recommend it highly enough.

          • pamk

            I didn’t mean to suggest that I thought students should have been ‘protected’ from reading Kate Millett, or that her writing and ideas should be judged or discounted on the basis of her mental health. ‘Mental health’ is really a misnomer anyway, and it has nothing to do with the intrinsic value of a piece of writing, which should be judged by another set of criteria entirely.

            I was remarking that Mallory and her family seem to have been completely disengaged from Kate’s professional life, i.e. the identity politics she helped to spawn which have since grown to a monstrous cancer in our society, from little petri dishes like Women’s Studies departments. In other words, I was saying that students should have been protected from Women’s Studies itself. And if Mallory is so politically minded, why didn’t she speak out about that?

            As for your pitch in favor of Mallory’s argument, I have to admire you for at least been candid, openly admitting that you favor a return to the psychiatric hospital system and a relaxing of the rules of involuntary commitment, for no other reason than this would be cheaper for the taxpayer. Shallow. Stupid. Heartless.

      • pamk

        Great points!

        One of the red flags for me was Mallory’s insistence that her family was normal, decent, sane, and motivated by love. If the family was so motivated by love, wouldn’t that have caused them to do a bit of soul-searching instead of just pointing the finger at the family outcast? And yes, if they were so concerned about the threat Kate posed to society at large, why didn’t Mallory try to protect all those impressionable young girls being herded through Women’s Studies departments?

      • guest

        Maybe, on a subconscious level, she is giving her sister some free publicity. No one could ,seriously, think Kate Millet a potential lone gun man.

    • Drakken

      When dealing with family, loyalty is paramount, but when this poor gal and her family day after day had to deal with this train wreck, sooner or later the love runs out and the loathing begins.

      • pamk

        They didn’t have to deal with her – period. She was an adult. They could have walked away. They were under no obligation to interfere with her life. Nor did they have the expertise to evaluate or solve her problems.

      • guest

        Sometimes the loathing comes first and the excuses come latter. I know no one in the Millet family so I will not judge.

    • nomoretraitors

      I don’t think she was trying to establish a direct connection between her sister and the Santa Barbara gunman. Nor did she suggest her sister had committed murder.
      Her point was leftists like her sister, in a misguided attempt at “social justice,” helped dismantle the psychiatric hospital system that treated those with serious mental health issues and protected society. Until we re-institute a system to deal with dangerous mental illness, these tragic events will keep happening, despite how many gun control laws are passed.
      Are there things the family should or shouldn’t have done? Yes. But her private family dynamics is not relevant to the issue discussed here. And the seriously mentall ill need professional help, not “tough love.”

      • Guest

        Kate Millet blunted the power abusive families give themselves over some members. There are far more people with control freak relatives than crazy people with guns. It would be a mistake to sacrifice the many people born into weird families for the relatively few masss murderers. The odds are many would be falsely incarcerated and not one mass murder would be stopped.

        • pamk

          I agree with you, Guest, and I find it alarming that so many commentators here are advocating totalitarian methods. Don’t they realize that, once the standards are lowered for involuntary commitment of ‘the mentally ill’, the definition of ‘mentally ill’ will then be broadened until it could include any one of them?

          And why do they trust the field of psychology? It’s not a hard science. In fact, it’s a pseudoscience, that was born through intellectual property theft. Psychoanalysis, from its beginnings, has ‘borrowed’ the work of scholars in respected fields to give itself credibility – and, worse, it has distorted and twisted that work to fit its own purposes.

          For instance, do these people know that the Oedipus Complex, which Freud declared to be a fact, an actual stage of human psychological development, was based on a piece of ancient political propaganda? As was well known 100 years ago by classical scholars, the Thebans were slanderously accused of incestuous practices by their enemies, the Greeks, after the Greeks lost their war against Thebes. Moreover, there were many competing versions of the history of Oedipus, some more historical than others. Freud just chose the one that would best support his theory. How scientific is that?

          Now, of course, psychotropic drugs dominate ‘treatment’ regimes – because behavioral control is the primary goal of the psychiatric industry. Psychiatry is a ‘handmaiden’ of the ruling class.

        • nomoretraitors

          It sounds to me Kate was the abusive one here.
          Yes, we certainly need safeguards to ensure people are not committed to psychiatric hospitals under false pretenses, but we also need a system to help those who truly need it as well as ensure society is protected from those who pose a danger to others

    • Guest

      Kate Millet is a wealthy unmarried woman with no children. If Kate Millet lands in prison or the loony bin her family will gain control of her assets. Crazy people don’t usually amass wealth.

  • Flicker

    Dear Mrs. Millet,

    Five or six years ago I was of your same opinion, and had been for decades. But with the new aggregation of medical records into the hands of the federal government, including mandatory questions and reporting, the use of the government’s various agencies and bureaus, including the IRS, the NSA and the DOJ, as weapons of control, extortion and vengeance against dissenters (including video makers) —

    and the militarization and increasing brutality of the civilian police forces, the demonizing of gun owners, and the financial and legal manipulations of the government to price ammunition, guns and gunmakers out of existence, to ban those with perhaps a single incidence of reporting depression in the distant past from gun ownership, not averse to using children in schoool as spies on their parents —

    along with a government in power that institutes and applauds these actions, a president that appears to have no conscience or scruples, and along with the fawning acquiescence of the press, I fear that any attempt to reinstitute looser involutary commitment laws would be ignored for your intended purposes of helping the mentally ill, and used instead to, essentially, fill psychoprisons.

    To approve of the power to commit, we must be able to trust those empowered with the process. And the way things are going, that may never happen.

    • Demetrius Minneapolis

      That was exactly the point I was going to write. Nice job Flicker.

    • liz

      Yes, as with the NSA, it can be a tool for good or evil, depending on who’s running it. We also have a similar and huge dilemma with these laws on commitment of the mentally ill, that urgently need to be resolved.

    • Americana

      Though there is always a remote chance this would happen in the distant future, we should not forget that we are a functioning society w/a full set of checks and balances on the individual level as well as the national level. I am not afraid there will be any misuse of such a system for the foreseeable future. I also believe that should any misuse occur, the punishment for such misuse will serve as a reasonable deterrent.


        You may not have noticed, but the “checks and balances” are not stopping Obama from repeated illegal acts, e.g. the use of the IRS to suppress Conservative groups. The courts, now dominated by the Left, are content to allow Obama to get away with almost anything, while Congress, with Republicans in control of only one branch, has not been able to use its power of the purse to slow down Obama in the slightest. Just in the last week we’ve seen Obama violate the law against removing prisoners from Gitmo without notifying Congress, and violate a number of provisions in agreeing to support a Palestinian government which includes Hama, a designated terrorist organization.

        No, we can’t trust the Democrats with civil commitment any more than we can any other powers.

        • Americana

          Those Conservative groups that were subjected to IRS review were not STOPPED or SUPPRESSED in their work. They had to prove their validity and their work was allowed to go on.

          • J.B.

            Liar. They were targeted and denied their legal status so that they couldn’t advise voters before the 2012 election.

            Try again, trolltard.

          • tagalog

            The point was not to deny them their just claims to tax status; the point was to delay them from acting effectively until after the 2012 election.

          • Americana

            Exactly how long do you think it takes to perform a tax audit? I’m not stopped from performing my regular duties as an American citizen because I’m being audited. It starts and it ends and, voila, back to business.

          • tagalog

            How long does it take to perform a tax audit? It depends on how long the IRS wants it to take.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Thanks for revealing yourself as a Progressive fool by making up your own facts (a dead giveaway). Most of those groups are STILL WAITING for approval, while the Lefty groups sailed through. This is established fact. The only remaining questions are how high up did this go, and can we eventually nail Barry for abusing the IRS in a way even Nixon couldn’t get away with.

          • Americana

            I think you all should begin to read ProPublic. It’s got far more accurate facts than you’re able to get elsewhere.

            IRS Office That Targeted Tea Party Also Disclosed Confidential Docs From Conservative Groups

            by Kim Barker and Justin Elliott
            ProPublica, May 13, 2013, 5:40 p.m.

            The same IRS office that deliberatelytargeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year.

            The IRS did not respond to requests Monday following up about that release, and whether it had determined how the applications were sent to ProPublica.

            In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)

            On Friday, Lois Lerner, the head of the division on tax-exempt organizations, apologized to Tea Party and other conservative groups because the IRS’ Cincinnati office had unfairly targeted them. Tea Party groups had complained in early 2012 that they were being sent overly intrusive questionnaires in response to their applications.

            That scrutiny appears to have gone beyond Tea Party groups to applicants saying they wanted to educate the public to “make America a better place to live” or that criticized how the country was being run, according to a draft audit cited by many outlets. The full audit, by the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, will reportedly be released this week. (ProPublica was not contacted by the inspector general’s office.) (UPDATE May 14: The audit has been released.)

            Before the 2012 election, ProPublica devoted months to showing how dozens of social-welfare nonprofits had misled the IRS about their political activity on their applications and tax returns. Social-welfare nonprofits are allowed to spend money to influence elections, as long as their primary purpose is improving social welfare. Unlike super PACs and regular political action committees, they do not have to identify their donors.

            In 2012, nonprofits that didn’t have to report their donors poured an unprecedented $322 million into the election. Much of that money — 84 percent — came from conservative groups.

            As part of its reporting, ProPublica regularly requested applications from the IRS’s Cincinnati office, which is responsible for reviewing applications from nonprofits.

            Social welfare nonprofits are not required to apply to the IRS to operate. Many politically active new conservative groups apply anyway. Getting IRS approval can help with donations and help insulate groups from further scrutiny. Many politically active new liberal nonprofits have not applied.

            Applications become public only after the IRS approves a group’s tax-exempt status.

            On Nov. 15, 2012, ProPublica requested the applications of 67 nonprofits, all of which had spent money on the 2012 elections. (Because no social welfare groups with Tea Party in their names spent money on the election, ProPublica did not at that point request their applications. We had requested the Tea Party applications earlier, after the groups first complained about being singled out by the IRS. In response, the IRS said it could find no record of the tax-exempt status of those groups — typically how it responds to requests for unapproved applications.)

            Just 13 days after ProPublica sent in its request, the IRS responded with the documents on 31 social welfare groups.

            One of the applications the IRS released to ProPublica was from Crossroads GPS, the largest social-welfare nonprofit involved in the 2012 election. The group, started in part by GOP consultant Karl Rove, promised the IRS that any effort to influence elections would be “limited.” The group spent more than $70 million from anonymous donors in 2012.

            Applications were sent to ProPublica from five other social welfare groups that had told the IRS that they wouldn’t spend money to sway elections. The other groups ended up spending more than $5 million related to the election, mainly to support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Much of that money was spent by the Arizona groupAmericans for Responsible Leadership. The remaining four groups that told the IRS they wouldn’t engage in political spending were Freedom Path, II, America Is Not Stupid and A Better America Now.

            The IRS also sent ProPublica the applications of three small conservative groups that told the agency that they would spend some money on politics: Citizen Awareness Project, the YG Network and (No unapproved applications from liberal groups were sent to ProPublica.)

            The IRS cover letter sent with the documents was from the Cincinnati office, and signed by Cindy Thomas, listed as the manager for Exempt Organizations Determinations, whom a biography for a Cincinnati Bar Association meeting in January says has worked for the IRS for 35 years. (Thomas often signed the cover letters of responses to ProPublica requests.) The cover letter listed an IRS employee named Sophia Brown as the person to contact for more information about the records. We tried to contact both Thomas and Brown today but were unable to reach them.

            After receiving the unapproved applications, ProPublica tried to determine why they had been sent. In emails, IRS spokespeople said ProPublica shouldn’t have received them.

            “It has come to our attention that you are in receipt of application materials of organizations that have not been recognized by the IRS as tax-exempt,” wrote one spokeswoman, Michelle Eldridge. She cited a law saying that publishing unauthorized returns or return information was a felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and imprisonment of up to five years, or both.

            In response, ProPublica’s then-general manager and now president, Richard Tofel, said, “ProPublica believes that the information we are publishing is not barred by the statute cited by the IRS, and it is clear to us that there is a strong First Amendment interest in its publication.”

            ProPublica also redacted parts of the application to omit financial information.

            Jonathan Collegio, a spokesman for Crossroads GPS, declined to comment today on whether he thought the IRS’s release of the group’s application could have been linked to recent news that the Cincinnati office was targeting conservative groups.

            Last December, Collegio wrote in an email: “As far as we know, the Crossroads application is still pending, in which case it seems that either you obtained whatever document you have illegally, or that it has been approved.”

            This year, the IRS appears to have changed the office that responds to requests for nonprofits’ applications. Previously, the IRS asked journalists to fax requests to a number with a 513 area code — which includes Cincinnati. ProPublica sent a request by fax on Feb. 5 to the Ohio area code. On March 13, that request was answered by David Fish, a director of Exempt Organizations Guidance, in Washington, D.C.

          • NAHALKIDES

            ProPublica seems pretty far Left to me. As to the article you presented, I find it interesting but I certainly don’t see anything there that would cause anyone to revise the conclusion that Conservative groups were unfairly targeted. The authors seem to believe the all kinds of “political spending” are the same when they’re not. They also avoided pointing out that Lefty groups sailed through without incident.

          • Americana

            I frankly don’t give a rip which groups were targeted because I believe the IRS was FOLLOWING THE MONEY rather than following the party. The fact is, the IRS followed the largest piles of money being directed at socio-political causes. It behooved the IRS to establish the bonafides of these organizations that claimed they weren’t really directing their funds at political action.

          • NAHALKIDES

            Face it: Democratic partisans deliberately targeted Conservatives because they were Conservatives – period. That is unconscionable, and if these people can’t be imprisoned for what they did, we need to change the laws so they can. Either way, we need to take the IRS apart so it can never be abused this way again.

          • Atikva

            Sure, leftist documents are certainly an authority to prove that this leftist government is innocent of the scandals it has perpetrated.

          • Paul of Alexandria

            It’s called “death by harassment” and “lawfare”. Sure, they could prove their innocence – but how much did it cost them? Lawyers are expensive, proving your innocence takes time. How many left-wing organizations were similarly treated? (Very few).

          • Atikva

            Wrong again. They were discriminated against in order to paralyze any opposition. Everything was done to prevent the conservative associations from obtaining the 501 statute granted quasi automatically to the leftist ones. That’s another among many scandals engineered by this leftist government that stinks to high heaven.

            For God’s sake, wake up to reality!

        • tagalog

          It’s not the checks and balances that aren’t working; it’s this Congress that’s not working. They won’t hold Obama and his administration accountable. That may be due to the heavy influence of Democrat Party legislators, or it may be due to Republican timidity, or both, but it’s not the system that has failed. It’s the political parties that have failed.

          • NAHALKIDES

            I’ll go along with you half-way: I agree that the Republican House could have forced some concessions from the Democrats if they had the guts to stick to their guns even while being accused of “shutting down the government”. I do not accept the “we only have 1/2 of 1/3 of the government” standard excuse for not fighting the Democratic Left. You and I are, of course, in the minority on that score, and the Establishment “leadership” of the GOP does not agree.

            But I must disagree when it comes to the courts. Their history since at least the New Deal proves to me they can’t be trusted to vindicate our rights – once they’re controlled by the Left, they invent “penumbras” and “living Constitutions” to subvert the plain meaning of that document and sustain every governmental usurpation of power. This was something the Founders could not foresee. I believe the people and the states must be given more explicit power to annul acts of Congress if we are ever to be secure in our liberties again.

      • J.B.

        Absolutely false on every level. Peddle your totslitarian BS somewhere else.


      • Atikva

        You are ridiculous.

    • Renaissance Nerd

      I would rebel before I would grant the right to commit people to the federal government. State governments aren’t much better, but they’re closer. It might be best to start at the county or city level, and create a board of half elected, half governor-appointed people, requiring some of those appointed to be lawyers, some police, and some psychiatrists, to review these cases and make decisions on petitions. It would of course still be subject to abuse, but that is always the case with any human institution; imperfect human beings will never have a perfect system. At least it would be local, and locals would have some say in who makes the decisions, which is what federalism is all about.

      • Americana

        It IS the local government and court that takes the actions that commit dangerous individuals into custody. That’s the way it’s always been handled legally in this country.

        • Myrtle

          The only way I would put a mentally handicapped relative in the hands of a government institution, is that it is my last resort and this was the only solution. In some of these places I believe there is much abuse going on toward these helpless people. I read a lot and I have read about this evil. It is all lies??? I would not be willing to take that chance. Where there is a lot of smoke there is bound to be some fire. Frank comes in after loosing a terrific fight with wife and the lookout patient, this has happened.

          • tagalog

            People didn’t put their relatives in mental hospitals in my day unless it was indeed the last resort. And NOBODY wanted to put their loved ones in a state- or county-run mental hospital. They had a reputation for being storehouses and snake pits (named after the once well-known movie starring Olivia deHavilland), although they were usually a LOT better than that. People chose them because when you’re talking about long-term care in a health-care facility, you’re looking for cheap.

          • Drakken

            Well the choice is either and institution or prison? Take your pick?

          • Guest

            Troublsome people are hard to imprison when they obey the law.

        • J.B.

          Bull`h!t. You don’t know what you’re referring to.


        • Marcella

          The prisons in our country are filled with people with severe Mental Illness. These people had to commit heinous crimes, usually murder, to be found in prison. The cost to the individual is unfathomable. And most like not being treated for their illness. Many ar thought to be untreatable… Now the cost to the murdered victims and their families… The cost to Society is 40K a year for prison; 75+K a year for some level of Mental Hospital confinement for public safety-which is extremely rare. People are dying to protect the Civil Rights of Violently Mentally Ill.

      • J.B.

        What the F do lawyers and police know about mental illness?

        • Renaissance Nerd

          They know the law, or at least as much as anybody can. The laws would have to be simplified, which they desperately need anyway.

        • Drakken

          The police know about it all too well as they are the first ones to have to deal with them and the resulting chaos. The lawyers are next as to how to proceed, either with criminal or involuntary commitment proceedings. Ever since intuitions were closed down mental health has deteriorated to what we have now and it will get worse. That is why prisons across the country are country are filled with the mentally FUBARed.

    • Americana

      Oh, the sheer dramaturge of the above! There have been plenty of the socialist countries in Europe that have had this “collecting of medical records by their governments” going on for decades. Do we see any evidence in Europe that the systems are all being used against their populations or against their gun owners in any way? There would have to be countless communications between family, government officials, judges and mental health professionals to achieve the psychoprisons that Flicker envisions. Of course, anything is situationally possible, but I think we’re so far from being the victims of this type of confluence of pernicious influences, it’s not something that should guide us in our redrafting of laws for gun rights as applied to the dangerously mentally ill.

      • Atikva

        You must be kidding! Europe as an example, please don’t be ridiculous. Have you read the news across the Atlantic these last months?

        You trust “the government”, or rather: your kind of government, not to abuse its power in order to stay in control, and you do it at the worse moment in our history when this is precisely what our government has been and is doing. Naivete should have limits, and sorry, there is no way I will follow you on this slippery road.

        “Democracy, IF you can keep it”. Well, we can’t, not for a long time anyway. We couldn’t in Greece, we couldn’t in Rome, we certainly couldn’t in France and even in America, we failed to keep it. The Feds are invading and obstructing our daily lives with their leftist myths; in addition to all the rights they have already appropriated, giving them the right to control our only remaining means of protection is pure madness. Who would control the Feds to allocate the right to bear arms, would they be as impartial, transparent and above-board as for granting the 501 statute to conservative associations?

        Apart from the useful idiots, these politicians couldn’t care less about the mentally ills or their victims, all they care about is staying in power. Please try to wake up.

  • fiona

    She sounds demon possed

  • JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Gotta give her credit because the Left will now CERTAINLY loathe her. Pelosi belongs in the loony bin too !!

  • Steeloak

    Thank you for personalizing what I have long known, that the left engineered the de-institutionalization of millions of very sick people in the name of “Civil Rights” and as a result we have so many sick people like Elliott Rodger loose on the streets to endanger themselves and others. What I did not know was the extent of involvement of your sister in spearheading this movement.
    My mother had a long time friend who was bipolar. When she was on her medication she was a sweet, loving person. Unfortunately, on her own she would forget to take her meds and would spiral out of control, often ending up living on the streets and being picked up by the police for her behaviour. Her disease made her paranoid and she would refuse to take her medication, claiming it was causing her to go crazy. These cycles went on for many years because she could not be made to live in a supervised home or institution. Once doctors got her back on her meds & stabilized, the courts would order her released and the cycle would begin again.
    Like David Horowitz and his experience with the Black Panthers, I empathize with your shock & horror at the way people blindly idolize your sister while ignoring her serious mental health issues.

    • Renaissance Nerd

      What’s really ironic about this episode of our history is that many people blame Ronald Reagan for it, because part of it happened during his term in office. I used to blame Carter, because it began while he was president. But in all fairness, neither of them had much to do with it, and neither could’ve done much to stop it. Presidents just don’t have the magic powers we attribute to them. This is one area that We the People have to accept as our own mistake, though fortunately for my own conscience I was a child at the time. It was a popular movement, and now those of us with mentally ill family members and no recourse other than to suffer with them get to learn the truth the hard way, while others have no idea that these problems even exist other than having to step over the homeless in disgust. I myself was entirely ignorant of the whole world of mental health until it struck in my family, and I didn’t get to learn about it from a book, though I’ve read quite a few on the subject since my novitiate.

      • Steeloak

        I blame the radical judges who have been appointed to office over the years, mostly by Democrats, but a few by Republicans as well (David Souter comes to mind). Our legal system from the law schools to the highest courts has been taken over by the left in their endless pursuit of power.

  • James Jeffrey Paul

    It was very brave of you to write and post this, Mrs. Millet. Thank you for doing so and I hope your essay will do much good.

  • johnlac

    Confirms my suspicions that many of the feminists from the sixties were as I suspected at the time deranged. The harm done by these people is incalculable.

  • Pickle

    Most heroes of the left have a sliver that is lauded of a mostly hidden and discrediting whole.

  • fjord

    I hate to sound like a tinfoil hatter, but with the advent of big pharma, not only is mental illness not being addressed correctly, but new cases are being created by overzealous doctors who prescribe the drug of the moment for every day inconveniences, which are causing mental breakdowns/psychotic breaks/poor impulse control, and therefore more violent actions.
    All you have to do is listen to the side effects of smoking cessation aids, diabetes pain management drugs, antidepressants, etc to see that their effects on the frontal lobe are different in each individual and resulting in otherwise unpredictable violent episodes.
    The insane are RUNNING the asylum (the entire country).

    • Americana

      I agree, fjord, about the questions regarding inappropriate medical transformation of someone’s brain chemistry by giving them biochemical bumps over the course of their life. It’s like some crazy science experiment and no one is willing to stop it. However, it’s being done for the best intentions. I met a family who’s son has threatened to kill family members for years. He’s on all sorts of medication. He’s an adorable, smart little boy when he’s OK but when he’s not, he’s a holy terror. I’m not sure where we begin to evaluate what’s best to do for the sick individuals and their families vs the rest of us around these individuals.

  • Demo P. Seal; PouponMarks

    Her sister, the author, should have beaten her into submission; and then beat her some more.

  • tagalog

    The abandonment of the psychotic to life on the streets and the near-monthly slaughter of mass groups of innocent people by the violent mentally ill is the price that some say we must pay for their interpretation of liberty. For myself, I respectfully disagree.

    As a worker in a county psychiatric hospital in Westchester County, New York, in the 1970s, both before and after the deinstitutionalization movement obtained its landmark victory in the Supreme Court case of O’Connor v. Donaldson, I personally witnessed the abandonment of the severely mentally ill, both those who are prone to violence and the great majority who are not, to life as derelicts.

    Life in the mental hospitals was not particularly attractive, but mental hospitals were not the Snake Pits that the ACLU, Kate Millet and those like her, and Hollywood liked to depict to the public. People were protected, fed, kept warm and dry, and provided with reasonable quarters. Most of us hospital workers were greatly dismayed as we saw the most vulnerable among our citizens left to their own pathetic devices to care for themselves. And the law provided for due process for those who objected to involuntary commitment.

    • Americana

      I agree w/ALL your points, tagalog. There should have been a midway point between releasing the seriously mentally ill and keeping them incarcerated in those mental institutions. Most of those facilities were large enough they could have been redesigned to achieve community-based living w/many amenities to make living there more tolerable. It simply isn’t possible to meet the needs of all — the society and the individual — in ALL instances. Sometimes, depending on circumstances, the concerns of one must prevail over the concerns of the other. Those seriously, dangerously mentally ill who EXTERNALIZE their dementia and their psychoses cannot necessarily be given all their rights as citizens to be exercised at their discretion.

      As far as Mallory Millett believing that the insane will use whatever weapons are available to wreak havoc and kill, that may be true, but GUNS will ALWAYS REMAIN FAR AND AWAY the most PORTABLE, MOST DEADLY form of weapon an insane person can decide to wield. There is no reason whatsoever to continue to pretend that allowing the dangerously mentally ill to retain their gun rights is a sensible course. The NRA has no reason whatsoever to prevent the national conversation on taking away the gun rights of the seriously mentally ill from being undertaken right now. And neither does Mallory Millett.

      • tagalog

        When I think of the deinstitutionalization movement, I always remember how they sold the movement to the public: there were going to be community halfway houses to provide supervised environments that were more liberated than the hospitals. Once the Donaldson decision came down, that argument stopped altogether and no halfway houses were ever built. That was one the events that moved me away from being a leftist and toward conservatism, the lack of real interest in the plight of the people they claimed to be trying to help.

        When I think of the people who supported deinstitutionalization and remember how little they knew and understood of the plight of the mentally ill, I remember that passage in The Great Gatsby about how Tom and Daisy Buchanan passed thorough life, unwittingly and uncaringly causing irreparable harm to those they touched. That’s how I think of the liberals who brought about deinstitutionalization.

        I don’t believe that the NRA or any gun-rights organization is interested in the slightest in preventing any national conversation on involuntarily committing the potentially violent mentally ill for observation, or background checks that could be relied on to keep guns out of the hands of the violent mentally ill. To see how seriously the federal government takes mental illness as a bar to gun purchase, do a computer search for the form that is used in every firearms purchase from a dealer, ATF Form 7743, Question 11(f). The directions that appear on the form, telling the purchaser what he must report and what he doesn’t need to is quite interesting.

        • Americana

          Oh, believe me, tagalog, I think the firearms self-reporting form is a JOKE! What that says about the ATF and the national government being interested in the mentally ill possessing guns I’m not sure. I believe the stance of the national government is shaped by what the NRA is willing to say is wise and feasible. The national government is fearful of the NRA’s misrepresentation of something like preventing guns getting into the hands of the mentally ill. Look at how some on this forum have written that the mentally ill should have guns to defend themselves! Obviously those folks have never seen a psychotic in a full-blown episode and haven’t a clue what someone like that might be inclined to do if he/she had guns in his possession.

          I’m w/you on all counts of how this deinstitutionalization came about except I don’t believe it was entirely driven by liberals. I thought I remembered it being an effort by both parties and that it was driven both by budgetary concerns as well as humanitarian beliefs. I believe once it became clear how much it would cost to “mainstream” the mentally ill, the mainstreaming ideal of housing and self-contained communities simply faded away as a local and national concern. I don’t have a clue how we’ll be handling the increase in the profoundly mentally ill and handicapped in this latest demographic bulge of autistics and sundry other mental anomalies. I’ve dealt w/soooo many children of late who are completely non-verbal and many who resort to violence if they are thwarted in any way. We need the personalized, loving education that Helen Keller’s guardian gave to Helen Keller (I know Helen wasn’t mentally ill) for those who are so disturbed. Those capable of such loving handling of the profoundly mentally disturbed are rare.

        • Americana

          Ah, another comment that’s been bleeped by the insanity (or is that inanity??) of Front Page Mag moderation. I won’t reprise the whole thing since we seem to be on the same page… Ask me any questions you feel are necessary.

          I agree w/many of your points, tagalog. I believe the deinstitutionalization efforts failed in their intention to achieve a reasonable alternative only once the process was already well underway though. The building of alternative housing communities simply wasn’t discussed early enough in the process for the financial realities of building such communities to be decided upon before the closing of the warehouse institutions. As unkind as those warehouse communities were, it’s far worse to simply ignore the plight of those left homeless and dysfunctional on our city streets. I agree w/your points about the failure of the NRA to move the conversation about abrogating the gun rights of the dangerously mentally ill.

      • nomoretraitors

        “national conversation on taking away the gun rights of the seriously mentally ill”
        We don’t need to have a conversation on this topic. The law has always prevented people with serious mental illness from owning firearms.

        • tagalog

          Once it was commonly accepted that gun dealers didn’t have to sell a gun to anyone they were suspicious about. Just as it was commonly accepted that when a mentally ill person begins acting out strangely, it was OK to call the “men in the white coats” to cart him or her off to the mental hospital.
          Those days are over, and, like most social changes, haven’t provided benefits without cost.

          • Americana

            I agree, tagalog. People like you, who’ve been working in the mental health field and have worked in those institutions, should be the ones bringing this side of the discussion to the American people.

          • guest

            “I think we should bring back freedom of contract and be able to rely on our law enforcement and citizens to be able to judge mentally ill persons”
            What a profoundly horrible idea! The law places limitations on what the police and citizens can do to individuals for good reason. Nothing is dumber than a mob who have singled one person out to suffer.

          • tagalog

            On the suffering bit, you’re putting the cart before the horse. The cops and relatives act when the mentally ill person is suffering intolerably, not before then. No one is advocating shanghai-ing the mentally ill into hospitals.

          • Guest

            The people playing the knock out game are pscychopaths. Psychopaths are stone cold sane. Psychopaths hurt both sane and insane homeless people because the homeless are the bottom caste. The root of the horrible treatment of the homeless is class warfare.

        • Americana

          This is not what’s happening, nomoretraitors. Lots of mentally ill people have been able to buy large numbers of guns and lots and lots and lots of ammunition. Now if someone who’s this mentally ill can buy this amount of weaponry, it indicates something is SERIOUSLY FLAWED about the REPORTING SYSTEM for mental illness that these folks aren’t on those CANNOT SELL lists.

          • nomoretraitors

            You would be barred from owning a firearm if you were committed to a psychiatric hospital or had on record a diagnosis of mental illness. The problem is we often don’t find out someone is mentally ill until AFTER they have committed a horrific act like what happened in Isla Vista or Newtown.

          • Americana

            No, that’s not precisely how the reporting system works. Most people avoid at all costs being committed to a psychiatric hospital so even if you’re liable to go bonkers once in a while, you can avoid being committed if you’ve got the appropriate home care situation and can fly below the radar. I had a man call up making threats after having bought a fine art print whose framing he didn’t like. I told him to bring the print back for a new frame job and he wouldn’t do it. He ended up calling the gallery back after hanging up on me and making a BOMB THREAT! Jeepers, sir, get a grip. His psychiatrist called up a few hours later after the bomb threat was announced on the news and excused his patient’s behaviour. Sorry, Doctor, but no, your client shouldn’t be able to make those kinds of threats and YOU shouldn’t be covering for him!

            As for those who are mentally ill but haven’t required secure facility hospitalization, it’s up to the psychiatrists and psychologists if there is ANY REPORTING of those patients to the system so as to prevent them getting access to guns legally.

      • Paul of Alexandria

        The NRA has absolutely no problem with taking away the “gun rights” of the mentally ill – so long as we can come up with a definition of mentally ill that doesn’t include “all gun owners.” We (I’m a member) abhor the kind of event that Rodgers committed!

        • Americana

          Of course, Paul. I can see that. I’ve had tons of friends say how worried they are about being a gun owner and being on anti-depressants. They don’t want to lose their guns especially if they enjoy sport shooting or hunting or they live in a dangerous area… As far as I’m concerned the law should be written to focus on people who externalize their anger or who always have that simmering rage issue going on where it’s got unexpected triggers and whose mental state viz psychosis can only be controlled by medication. But to hear friends worrying about losing their guns just because they have a minor mental illness? I’m not interested in taking away anyone’s guns if they’re a competent, capable, careful owner. But it’s you guys in the NRA who really should be moving legislation on the dangerously mentally ill forward in order to retain as much control as you can. Be honest and pro-active and I believe it will help the cause of the NRA versus doing the opposite.

  • Wolfthatknowsall

    This is one of the best articles I’ve ever seen written, on this subject, if not the best.

    There is someone very close to me with “serious mental afflictions”. She is the kindest, sweetest person I know, and I would trust her with my life. Indeed, I have. But I also insist that she take her medications. As long as she does so, she is not a threat to anyone, and is loved by all.

    However, I would never … ever … be in favor of her holding a gun in her hand, and I am a strong proponent of the Second Amendment (I have guns ranging from a bolt-action .22 to a Barrett .50-cal). Ammunition is locked up, trigger locks are installed, many of them are in a gun safe. My concealed weapon? Only I have access to it, and its ammunition.

    As long as she follows her doctors orders, and takes her medications, I am completely safe with her. But guns? Not a chance …

    We need to get a handle on this problem, gun-haters and gun-lovers alike, and come to some sort of consensus on the measures that need to be taken. But like the title of the article says, “No gun ever killed anyone.”

    By the way, combat veterans are not a threat to society, at large, unless they also have underlying mental health issues. Since Vietnam, I have never killed a single human being …

    • Americana

      I agree w/you, Wolf. There is no reason why the dangerously mentally ill should retain their gun rights. No gun ever killed anyone. But the combination of a gun and someone who’s seriously mentally ill has killed many more than one. There is no worse combination than an individual who cannot distinguish fantasy from reality and someone’s fantasy often is mistaken for reality. It is terrible for our veterans to have to face the stigma of being a combat veteran.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        This is something that we can both agree on, as long as the medical conditions that disqualify someone to own a gun aren’t taken to ridiculous lengths.

        For example, I knew a man in Vietnam … a draftee … that was “dumb as an ox”. But this guy was dedicated to his jobs, and to the men in his unit. I mention this because I’ve heard some people talk of IQ as a means of establishing whether a person should be able to own a firearm.

        • Americana

          But even if this guy wasn’t ultra-smart, you could tell he had the right stuff to be loyal to his fellow soldiers and he was a GOOD human being in his heart, right? This is where the clouding of the issue begins. I have no problem w/someone retaining his gun rights if he’s not super smart. After all, there are huge number of Americans who hunt to put meat on their table. There’s NO REASON to take away someone’s gun rights if they abide by all applicable laws and they show no signs of being a danger to society. I don’t believe the slippery slope on gun rights will ever devolve to someone’s IQ, it’s simply not the correct starting point for evaluating someone’s qualifications to hold firearms.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Gun safety begins at a young age, with parents demonstrating how to handle a firearm properly, and respecting its awesome power to the utmost.

            I sincerely hope that the “debate” over guns doesn’t devolve into one where a person’s IQ … a very imperfect tool for measuring intelligence … is taken into consideration.

            Also, common sense is important. Yesterday’s blistering attack on the “open carry” folks, by the NRA, was proof of that.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        Here’s where we have a problem, though …

        If someone is dangerously mentally ill, and has gone so far from sanity that he decides to kill, there are many ways to do it. Killing by automobile comes to mind. Machetes will do it, certainly, as the people of Rwanda found out. Compound bows, knives, baseball bats … take your pick.

        We can’t have a completely safe society. But we can take common sense measures to reduce the danger to society posed by people who have serious mental issues.

        Someone who is simply depressed might not fit into the “dangerous” category. But someone with paranoid schizophrenia who believes that his neighbor (or his children) is a demon trying to possess him could go off, at any moment.

        • Americana

          Very, very true, weapons of all kinds are available everywhere at hand. But w/most hand weapons, the likelihood of a victim being able to GRAB something to deflect a hand weapon is generally always possible. A chair, a handbag, some hot coffee, all can be used once you’re aware someone is intending to attack you.

          That ability to deflect the effects of a gun aren’t anywhere near as easy to come by as for hand weapons though. You either run and hide or you die if someone is a competent shooter or is faster than you are or simply catches you unaware. The gun gives someone a huge range that a hand weapon doesn’t have.

          Definitely, reasonable identification of those who pose a danger to society. There’s really no question when you talk to most families as to whether or not a family member is dangerously mentally ill and even if psychiatrists couch their diagnoses, there’s no getting around what a person has done for violent episodes over their life.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            This has been an interesting discussion!

            I used to be a sniper in Vietnam, and I still keep my skills current, and progressing. My best grouping, to date … a “grouping” defined as 5 consecutive shots striking a human silhouette target … is 2375 yards, and now I’m working on 2500 yards.

            But the evidence shows that most shootings in America take place within 15 feet … within a living room, for example, or on a city street (usually by gang members). The reflexes of someone defending themselves from a gun attack had better be incredibly quick to survive such an attack, or they had better be extremely lucky.

            Add to this that a non-gun attack … knife, baseball bat, whatever … goes down at the same attack range, and the possibility of defending oneself from such a short-range attack becomes extremely slim.

            But the gun remains the “demon” of the Left that they wish to exorcise. Some people on the Left have decent motivations behind what they’re doing. Others, however, simply wish to end the Second Amendment.

            This, we the people who value all of the fundamental rights of people, including the right to bear arms … which shall not be infringed … simply shall not allow the Left to accomplish, without a fight.

            “… my cold, dead hands …” is a phrase that comes to mind …

    • Drakken

      Unless and until we are able to lock up the insane in asylums like we used to, we will have no handle on the problem and as the population grows, the problem will get worse. The problem with the left, as it relates to gun control, is that they want total gun confiscation no matter the price we have to pay for it. The left have made it impossible to negotiate in good faith where guns are concerned, for if you give them an inch, they will take a mile. So we are now at an impass.

      • 95Theses

        And the Left shamelessly plays upon these tragedies EVERY time they occur, and can be relied on to exploit them as a pretext for more gun control, knowing – yes, knowing – that the restrictions they yearn to ratchet down on persons like me (and presumably you and most others on this forum) would have ZERO effect in reducing serial crimes. Because it’s not about reducing crime and never has been. “Never letting crisis go to waste” is the constant pretext (worn-out from use) which latent totalitarians (hey, FrontPage, I’ve got a meme for you!) use in fulfilling their goal to control us.

      • Wolfthatknowsall

        If they open the asylums, again, they will also determine who the “insane consists of.

        Someone who has these mental disorders can function in society, if he or she has quality healthcare (which isn’t Obamacare), and strong support in their families. The stigma that comes with being … for example … schizophrenic makes both difficult.

        “Mental health” is whatever the Left determines it to be, and the insane are whoever the Left determines are insane. You’re right, it’s all about the guns and control …

      • Paul of Alexandria

        Actually, it might be sufficient in many cases to – as Wolf suggests – mandate that the individuals take their medications. If you have TB, you must report regularly to the medical center and the nurse will watch you take your antibiotics (TB can appear to be gone, but if you don’t finish the full course of medication it can reappear – but this time antibiotic resistant).

  • nomoretraitors

    “She has called me and our other sister, Sally, plus family members, cousins, etc. vicious names, demonized us, and written reams of counterfeit versions of “the truth” concerning these matters”
    Sounds like a radical leftist to me

  • nomoretraitors

    “Last autumn, Kate Millett was inducted, along with Nancy Pelosi, into the National Women’s Hall of Fame”
    Yeah, that makes sense

    • Atikva

      You have got to admit the two celebrities thus honored have some things in common.

      But now, what sensible woman will accept to stand in the Women’s Hall of Fame next to these two lunatics?

      • nomoretraitors

        Probably none, but then how many sensible women (or people for that matter) are there left. Look at the results of the last 2 preisdential elections

  • 95Theses

    Thank you for taking the risk of writing this because I, too, know first-hand of someone who is in serious need of mental health supervision and I understand how personal a subject this is. The problem with my family member is that — whatever the etiology of his condition is — I am 100% certain that his problem (his burden) is organic, and not the result of environmental traumata. I only wish I had the resources to pay for a genetic test to determine what is missing in order to give a mental health care professional some clues as to the proper treatment — which he is not getting.

    And as with Wolf-man, my brother is/can be sweet and compassionate. But the volatile mood swings, the outright paranoia, and — to the point of your article — the lack of mandatory treatment and administration of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a crisis that could have been avoided if the proper security measures for these unfortunate souls had not been dismantled. And to that we have the ACLU to thank.

    I wish you well. Been there, still doing that.

    • pamk

      “the lack of mandatory treatment and administration of pharmaceuticals has resulted in a crisis… And to that we have the ACLU to thank.”

      No, thank the pharmaceutical industry! It was big pharma that took over the mental health field, replacing traditional therapy with untested, addictive, and often dangerous psychotropic drugs. Most psychologists today do little more than write prescriptions.

  • cacslewisfan

    This is the best article I have ever read on the state of the mental health system and how it got this way. Thank you so very much for posting this. I will share it with everyone.

  • Jules C.

    Thank you, Mallory, for your article on the heinous act of violence at Santa Barbara, Goleta, where I lived while going to UCSB. I don’t think others know the mental anguish we suffer when a mentally ill member dominates the entire family.You advised well about my own “sini-sister” at David’s Restoration Weekend. Thank you for thoughts on the subject with your “nemesister.”
    Warm regards,

  • meanpeoplesuck

    Love the logic, guns don’t kill anyone, so why not let every man, woman and child have one? Great idea Mall!

    • Atikva

      Why don’t you read the article before making a fool of yourself by posting such a ridiculous reply?

      You’d better take a good look at yourself and your liberal friends, for Mallory Millett is right: you are all responsible for allowing these homicidal people to roam free among the rest of us. And when they kill by whichever means they choose, part of the blood spilled falls on your hands.

      • UCSPanther

        That’s asking too much of that tard…

    • UCSPanther

      Well, well. I see Gavin Lopez, the king of vapid stupidity has infested FPM.

      Time to get the flea spray…

    • Drakken

      I do get a nice chuckle out of your little avatar, mean people might suck, but nice people like you swallow.

    • tagalog

      Actually, if all law-abiding people went armed, there would be no Sandy Hook or Santa Barbara mass murders. No Columbine. No Aurora movie theater shooting. No Adam Lanzas or Elliott Rodgers cutting loose unencumbered.

    • Paul of Alexandria

      Where does it say that?

    • nomoretraitors

      Please show us in the story where she advocates arming every man, woman and child

  • Mallory Millett

    PamK…I’d recommend that you read both Flying and The Loony-Bin Trip before you make judgements re: Kate!, me or our family. It’s all in there in HER own words.

    • pamk

      Maybe so, but a non-fiction piece is supposed to contain within it all that is necessary to justify an argument. In other words, you should have cited or quoted these books within your essay.

      As for passing judgments, I haven’t. I’m merely responding to the weaknesses in your writing. And the reason I’ve taken the time to do so is that the political solution you put forth is dangerous.

  • Matthew William Millett

    You sister should have been locked away, I am sorry you had to deal with her for so long and how so many praise her completely dismissing the facts that she’s got more than a few screws loose.

  • Sam

    It is difficult to get a handle around the questions let alone come up with wise answers. Mallory Millet’s authenticity, clarity and balance certainly provide as good a starting point as possible.