When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

Now For The Predictable War on Guns and Speech

In Can You Hear Me Now?, Civil Lefts, Disappearing Ink on 11/01/2011 at 09:03

When Geraldo Rivera, having departed his career in law, went to work for a New York ABC affiliate in 1971, he needed a story that would get him mega-exposure. Something that would fuel his new career and catapult him to stardom. He decided on mental illness.

Rivera targeted Staten Island’s state-run Willowbrook Mental Institution. With a stolen key, Rivera broke into the facility and exposed the mistreatment of patients, much of it due to overcrowding, and his blockbuster story was cinched.

The story made Rivera a national star and he mainstreamed tabloid journalism as legitimate news. Nowadays it is nothing for a Diane Sawyer to cook a story on a televangelist or for NBC to fix a field test against an automaker to grab headlines. It happens all the time.

Within three years of Rivera’s exposé, Willowbrook was closed and within seven more a class action lawsuit against the state of New York had garnered enough publicity that Congress passed the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act of 1980.

While there is no question that patients were being mistreated at Willowbrook, the reaction of liberals in Congress (with the help of a good-many Republicans) created a far worse and much wider-spread nightmare for the mentally ill in our nation.

The result of one journalist’s irresponsible reporting and government overreaction to it led to the dumping of hundreds of thousands of mentally ill patients onto the streets of our cities nationwide. Today it is virtually impossible to commit a disturbed individual—even for preliminary evaluation—without a court order and a ton of bureaucratic red tape.

Alleged Tucson shooter Jared Loughner wasn’t even considered for psychiatric evaluation, although many seemed to think he needed it. Six are dead tonight and many more injured because of government restrictions. The law that should have cleaned up Willowbrook instead ended it and thousands of mental health institutions across the country. The mentally ill became the new homeless.

In coming weeks Congress, aided by an anxious media, will move to implement laws on speech and gun control under the guise of protecting society from men like Jered Loughner. They will introduce legislation to restrict ammo magazine size, ban crosshair maps, even to outlaw Glock 19 automatic pistols, such as the one Jered Loughner used Saturday. They will attempt to ban what they consider inflammatory rhetoric in the conservative media and Public Square. Meaning any speech that offends them.

The Left overreacts to crisis by design; it is like a great sucking machine, siphoning off the rights of the citizenry into the “public trust.” Liberals in Congress aren’t interested in the rights of the public; they thrive on the accumulation of power for themselves. The speech they intend to restrict is aimed at anyone who doesn’t toe the liberal line; the weapons they will ban if given the chance are the ones in the hands of citizens.

Criminals will always think, say and do as they please until they are prevented from doing so; they will always have guns until someone takes them away. Government never takes guns from criminals; God knows law enforcement cannot do it most of the time.

Government takes speech and firearms from citizens and we must not let them do it any longer. Don’t let them overreact to the Tucson massacre.

Now is the time for citizens everywhere to mobilize: call and right you congressional representatives and senators. Tell them to leave our rights to bear arms and to express ourselves alone, tell them to fix the broken mental health policy they and their media buddies created.

  1. my father worked at a State Mental Hospital for 35 years until he retired.. I remember when Geraldo did his expose on Willowbrook and the years following the change in… laws regarding the ‘patients rights’… not only did it change the way mental patients were taken care of… their new found rights meant they could not be forced to take medications if they didnt want to… also Geraldos expose caused laws to be changed regarding the incarceration of Violent criminals who were in psychiatric wards in prisons.. now they could be re-evaluated and sent to the State mental Hospital , and once there they could Refuse to take the anti-psychotic medications ..
    this was also when they started to close the mental institutions and put the patients into ‘group homes’. where did we get so many homeless people ?
    was just listening to Charles Krauthammer discussing this subject…and how it relates to the legal issues regarding diagnosing and locking up a mentally ill person before he kills anyone..

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