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IWISHIHAD
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Below is an article of some problems i wish these politicians would spend more of their time and our money on instead of this bill. If they would get more help for vets and soldiers like they deserve, there would be a lot less seriously sick veterans and a lot less problems.

This article deals more with the soldiers issues but vets are facing the same problems also, many waiting several months to be seen.


The Institute of Medicine reported last month that Veterans Affairs’ methods for deciding compensation for PTSD and other emotional disorders had little basis in science and that the evaluation process varied greatly. And as they try to work their way through a confounding disability process, already-troubled vets enter a VA system that chronically loses records and sags with a backlog of 400,000 claims of all kinds.
The disability process has come to symbolize the bureaucratic confusion over PTSD. To qualify for compensation, troops and veterans are required to prove that they witnessed at least one traumatic event, such as the death of a fellow soldier or an attack from a roadside bomb, or IED. That standard has been used to deny thousands of claims. But many experts now say that debilitating stress can result from accumulated trauma as well as from one significant event.

In an interview, even VA’s chief of mental health questioned whether the single-event standard is a valid way to measure PTSD. “One of the things I puzzle about is, what if someone hasn’t been exposed to an IED but lives in dread of exposure to one for a month?” said Ira Katz, a psychiatrist. “According to the formal definition, they don’t qualify.”

The military is also battling a crisis in mental-health care. Licensed psychologists are leaving the armed forces at a far faster rate than they are being replaced. Their ranks have dwindled from 450 to 350 in recent years. Many said they left because they could not handle the stress of facing such pained soldiers. Inexperienced counselors muddle through, using therapies better suited for alcoholics or troubled marriages.


Poor access; inadequate training
A new report by the Defense Department’s Mental Health Task Force says the problems are even deeper. Providers of mental-health care are “not sufficiently accessible” to service members and are inadequately trained, it says, and evidence-based treatments are not used. The task force recommends an overhaul of the military’s mental-health system, according to a draft of the report.

Another report, commissioned by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in the wake of the Walter Reed outpatient scandal, found similar problems: “There is not a coordinated effort to provide the training required to identify and treat these non-visible injuries, nor adequate research in order to develop the required training and refine the treatment plans.”

But the Army is unlikely to do more significant research anytime soon. “We are at war, and to do good research takes writing up grants, it takes placebo control trials, it takes control groups,” said Col. Elspeth Ritchie, the Army’s top psychiatrist. “I don’t think that that’s our primary mission.”

In attempting to deal with increasing mental-health needs, the military regularly launches Web sites and promotes self-help guides for soldiers. Maj. Gen. Gale Pollock, the Army’s acting surgeon general, has proposed doubling the number of mental-health professionals and boosting the pay of psychiatrists.

But there is another obstacle that those steps could not overcome. “One of my great concerns is the stigma” of mental illness, Pollock said. “That, to me, is an even bigger challenge. I think that in the Army, and in the nation, we have a long way to go.” The task force found that stigma in the military remains “pervasive” and is a “significant barrier to care.”

Surveys underline the problem. Only 40 percent of the troops who screened positive for serious emotional problems sought help, a recent Army survey found. Nearly 60 percent of soldiers said they would not seek help for mental-health problems because they felt their unit leaders would treat them differently; 55 percent thought they would be seen as weak, and the same percentage believed that soldiers in their units would have less confidence in them.

Lt. Gen. John Vines, who led the 18th Airborne Corps in Iraq and Afghanistan, said countless officers keep quiet out of fear of being mislabeled. “All of us who were in command of soldiers killed or wounded in combat have emotional scars from it,” said Vines, who recently retired. “No one I know has sought out care from mental-health specialists, and part of that is a lack of confidence that the system would recognize it as ‘normal’ in a time of war. This is a systemic problem.”

Officers and senior enlisted troops, Vines added, were concerned that their careers could be damaged or that they would have trouble getting security clearances if they sought psychological help. They did not trust, he said, that “a faceless, nameless agency or process, that doesn’t know them personally, won’t penalize them for a perceived lack of mental or emotional toughness.”



Commander: PTSD diagnosis overused
For the past 21/2 years, the counseling center at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., was a difficult place for Marines seeking help for post-traumatic stress. Navy Cmdr. Louis Valbracht, head of mental health at the center’s outpatient hospital, often refused to accept counselors’ views that some Marines who were drinking heavily or using drugs had PTSD, according to three counselors and another staff member who worked with him.

“Valbracht didn’t believe in it. He’d say there’s no such thing as PTSD,” said David Roman, who was a substance-abuse counselor at Twentynine Palms until he quit six months ago.

“We were all appalled,” said Mary Jo Thornton, another counselor who left last year.

A third counselor estimated that perhaps half of the 3,000 Marines he has counseled in the past five years showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress. “They would change the diagnosis right in front of you, put a line through it,” said the counselor, who asked not to be named because he still works there.

“I want to see my Marines being taken care of,” said Roman, who is now a substance-abuse counselor at the Marine Corps Air Station in Cherry Point, N.C.

In an interview, Valbracht denied he ever told counselors that PTSD does not exist. But he did say “it is overused” as a diagnosis these days, just as “everyone on the East Coast now has a bipolar disorder.” He said this “devalues the severity of someone who actually has PTSD,” adding: “Nowadays it’s like you have a hangnail. Someone comes in and says, ‘I have PTSD,’ ” and counselors want to give them that diagnosis without specific symptoms.

Valbracht, an aerospace medicine specialist, reviewed and signed off on cases at the counseling center. He said some counselors diagnosed Marines with PTSD before determining whether the symptoms persisted for 30 days, the military recommendation. Valbracht often talked to the counselors about his father, a Marine on Iwo Jima who overcame the stress of that battle and wrote an article called “They Even Laughed on Iwo.” Counselors found it outdated and offensive. Valbracht said it showed the resilience of the mind.

Valbracht retired recently because, he said, he “was burned out” after working seven days a week as the only psychiatrist available to about 10,000 Marines in his 180-mile territory. “We could have used two or three more psychiatrists,” he said, to ease the caseload and ensure that people were not being overlooked.

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BooDog
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This kid isn't a vet and all the more reason to call BS on this whole act imo. Efforts and resources could be spent so much better. Now ask who the kid is a by product of and how the gun came into his posession. That may lead us in a circle. Yet the kid did this, not a vet.

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Gunman in Custody After Shots Fired at Northern California High School, Schools Locked Down
09-29-2007 1:10 AM
By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer

OROVILLE, Calif. (Associated Press) -- A student gunman held a high school drama class hostage Friday, firing shots and holding three of the students for more than an hour before police persuaded him to surrender, authorities said. No one was hurt.

Police would not say what the 17-year-old's motive might have been, but several students said he was distraught over a breakup with his girlfriend the night before.

The gunman initially took about 30 students and a substitute teacher hostage in a band room at Las Plumas High School. He eventually released all of them except for three girls, Capt. Jerry Smith of the Butte County Sheriff's Department said.

Turbo Her, an 18-year-old senior who was in the class, said other students initially thought it was a joke. "I said, 'Oh no, this is a real gun,'" Her said. "The girls were crying and hysterical. He wanted to scare them, to let them know it's real."

One shot was fired into the ceiling, Her said. Authorities said at least two shots were fired from the .22-caliber handgun the boy was carrying.

Her said the boy told students he did not want to hurt them and just needed to hide out for a bit. At least two students talked with family members by cell phone while they were being held hostage, Lt. Al Smith said.

Her said that after about 30 minutes, the gunman said that "anyone who's scared can leave," and about 25 students and the teacher left. Sheriff's officials said three remaining hostages did not stay there voluntarily, but they did not know why the gunman chose them to remain.

Smith said the gunman's only demand to deputies during the standoff was that they "back off." He asked for cigarettes, but Smith said he did not know whether the boy was given any.

Six schools in the Oroville Union High School District were locked down while a deputy talked to the hostile student on a cell phone.

"We made him realize that the best thing for him and everyone concerned was to release the remaining three hostages," Smith said.

Another student, Candace Carey, 18, said she was in algebra class next door to the drama classroom where students were taken hostage. She said she and her classmates crawled out a window to flee.

The boy's name was not released because of his age. Smith said he was a student at the school.

Deputies took the boy for questioning after he gave up and placed him in custody at Butte County juvenile hall, where he would remain at least until his first court appearance, authorities said.

Parents were directed to an Oroville church to be reunited with their children, and cars were backed up for half a mile leading to the church. Friday night's high school football game was canceled.

Oroville is 80 miles north of Sacramento.

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All post are my opinion. Do your own DD. Who's clicking your buy/sell button!?

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Machiavelli
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no he's not a vet but he had a GUN and the issue of how he came into possession of it is a issue which leads to the debate of gun control anyways...

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Let the world change you... And you can change the world.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna

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BooDog
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lol. So as a vet.... taking controls to maintain... i should be attacked because some prick can't keep it together?

gimme a break

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All post are my opinion. Do your own DD. Who's clicking your buy/sell button!?

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Machiavelli
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he shouldn't have a gun in the first place... and somewhere the "system" broke down or just plain doesn't work and a new system is needed...

--------------------
Let the world change you... And you can change the world.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna

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BooDog
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What I meant was why should the vets rights be challenged? There are enough issues keeping local and state enforcement agencies busy trying to maintain what laws are already in place.
We don't know this case. The kid may have been taught how to handle the gun by his parents for whatever reason. Or maybe his father was a cop and he took it. Who knows. The "system" isn't ever going to be perfect. Why target ptsb vets? Are they trying to act like they are doing something right in the name of gun control? Just to save face that they are doing something? I believe in gun control and the bad guys shouldn't be allowed to buy them - and there is a process already in place to aid in preventing them from buying them. I also know federal agencies issue weapons to individuals for their duties and they usually have a psych eval beforehand. If they fail the evaluation they can still go out in town and buy their own and thats with complying with the wait period. So work on the system that's already in place. Leave the vets alone imo.

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All post are my opinion. Do your own DD. Who's clicking your buy/sell button!?

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IWISHIHAD
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As i see it the basis for this law is the interpretation of veteran's thoughts, not their actions. If we were to take rights away from everyone that had thoughts that were interpreted as illegal, we might not have any politicians to make and change laws. Actually, sometimes we see politicians that actually perform illegal acts and still never have any rights taken away! But that's a topic for another day.

I wish i could believe that our government is really trying to do the right thing to protect us when then put new laws into effect. I also would love to believe some of the things Machiavelli said. Wouldn't it be nice if surveillance was only used to catch criminals.

Maybe my age and history has made me a bit skeptical about how our government looks at our constitutional rights. Unfortuantly some of the older gereration (over 50) can be partly to blame. Many seem to feel more volnerable as they get older and feel the need to be more protected, thus wanting the government to step in and help protect them. These same people will not be the ones that will be most affected by our eroding rights and lack of privacy. Future generations will have very few rights or privacy if this trend continues.

The proposed law posted here is just another example of how quickly the rights of one targeted group can be eroded. The real issue for me is not guns but rather the "right" to own a gun. The interpretation of "thoughts" is not a reason to take those rights away.

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Machiavelli
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we'll if the interpretation of "thoughts" is not a reason then perhaps we should let people with schizophrenia, multiple personalities and other mental diseases that are severe have guns then... [Roll Eyes]

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Let the world change you... And you can change the world.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara de la Serna

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turbokid
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not sure if anyone saw this but i thought id post it up for discussion.

-------

There is NO such bill as the "Veterans Disarmament Act"....it doesn't exist.

The bill this person is referring to is H.R. 2640 which would just continue certain policies...and, actually, protect many veterans.

It would require government agencies and states to provide NCIC with names of persons who have a "court order" denying them the right to buy a firearm, who have been legally declared a "mental defective" or who have been "committed to a mental institution", and those convicted of a "misdemeanor crime of domestic violence."

This is all pretty standard stuff and has been going on for years.

This has NOTHING to do with PTSD. In fact, PTSD patients are protected....see (C) below. A medical diagnosis does NOT get a vet on the list. The protections are all listed below from the bill. And, the states would be required to update this info on a quarterly basis.

(1) IN GENERAL- No department or agency of the Federal Government may provide to the Attorney General any record of an adjudication or determination related to the mental health of a person, or any commitment of a person to a mental institution if--

(A) the adjudication, determination, or commitment, respectively, has been set aside or expunged, or the person has otherwise been fully released or discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or monitoring;

(B) the person has been found by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to no longer suffer from the mental health condition that was the basis of the adjudication, determination, or commitment, respectively, or has otherwise been found to be rehabilitated through any procedure available under law; or

(C) the adjudication, determination, or commitment, respectively, is based solely on a medical finding of disability, without a finding that the person is a danger to himself or to others or that the person lacks the mental capacity to manage his own affairs.

The legislation would actually give veterans, and others, the chance to get off the NCIC list if they were put on it in the past. This is a major step forward.

I am NOT a believer in gun control. I, like many veterans, keep a legal weapon in my home. So, I am disappointed that the person who wrote this article is distorting the facts. We do NOT need misinformation like this making the rounds in the veterans' community.


Larry Scott
Founder & Editor
VA Watchdog dot Org
www.vawatchdog.org


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"Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over."
Herbert Hoover 1930

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IWISHIHAD
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It seems logical to me that these 'severe' mental patients should already be institutionalized if they were diagosed as severe. That is if the system worked properly. The law will not make any differance of what these indivuals do or don't do.

Most of the veterans(included in this law) with a diagnosis of PTSD are being treated with a general recommendation for counseling sessions. How dangerous do the proponents of this bill really think the veterans are given the 'treatment' veterans are receiving if they want it?

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turbokid
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also...

----
Voluntary Psychological Treatment

Neither current federal law, nor H.R. 2640, would prohibit gun possession by people who have voluntarily sought psychological counseling or checked themselves into a hospital:

Current law only prohibits gun possession by people who have been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to any mental institution.” Current BATFE regulations specifically exclude commitments for observation and voluntary commitments. Records of voluntary treatment also would not be available under federal and state health privacy laws.

Similarly, voluntary drug or alcohol treatment would not be reported to NICS. First, voluntary treatment is not a “commitment.” Second, current federal law on gun possession by drug users, as applied in BATFE regulations, only prohibits gun ownership by those whose “unlawful [drug] use has occurred recently enough to indicate that the individual is actively engaged in such conduct.”

In short, neither current law nor this legislation would affect those who voluntarily get psychological help. No person who needs help for a mental health or substance abuse problem should be deterred from seeking that help due to fear of losing Second Amendment rights.


http://www.nraila.org/Issues/Articles/Read.aspx?id=246&issue=018

--------------------
"Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over."
Herbert Hoover 1930

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IWISHIHAD
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Turbokid, you sure know how to kill a argument.

But there is a one main point to all of this, there is a lot of stigma around mental health and especially ptsd. That's why veterans are so hesitant to seek help.

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turbokid
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killing arguments with facts is my forte [Smile]

you guys can continue to argue if you wish,dont let me stand in your way, i say a good heated discussion on racist homosexual illegal aliens who support bush favor bombing iran own guns and favor abortion should be a good topic. [Smile] LOL
-god im funny! [Smile]

--------------------
"Gentleman, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over."
Herbert Hoover 1930

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IWISHIHAD
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As long as we are on the issue of veterans, i will state a few facts about the VA disability compensation system. I had stated ealier that this bothered me more than this potential law did.

The VA disabilty system has a backlog of claims of 400,000 and rising. Some Veterans are losing their homes and living in the streets
because of this. Average time to evaluate a claim the first time is about a year sometimes longer.

If these claims go beyond the first stage, which many do, the time frame to a final decision on a claim can be 4-7 years. The solution to this problem is not adding more people to the VA as the government would like us to believe. The solution is to hire better people that follow the laws(cfr's) that were set up to judicate a claim.

I do not know if the reason for this mess is that we do not have enough money to support these vets, thus making the system so tough that many veterans just give up. Many that give up should have received disability or a higher rating for their disabilty.

The laws (cfr's) were set up to give the benefit of the doubt to the veteran if there is one. This does not happen.

If a claim is denied or if the disability rating is not agreed on by the vet, then the vet must file a letter of disagreement. The vet under most cicumstances has 60 days from the date of mailing of his decision to do this. Unfortuantly the date of mailing is not necessarily the date the letter was mailed. It can be delayed weeks. Also there is a second part to the law and that states the vet has one year period from his intial claim, but this usually has been eaten up in the backlong process and he gets penelized if his claim goes to the next level.

This time period that veterans have to disagree with a claim has other issues. None of these claims are sent registered mail, if a claim does not reach a veteran or is delayed futher the vet loses, that claim is thrown out, and the only choice for the vet is to start over if there is new evidence. A ton of wasted money in this process, if thats what you want to call it.

There are no time requiirements or penealties that the VA has, this is a one way street.

It also appears that a vet is required to keep records for life, i cannot find any thing that says otherwise, of course if the VA loses your records it is your problem. Thus if the VA decides to re-evalute a claim and a veteran does not have records to support his claim, it can be thrown out or a reverse discision made.

This list can go on and on and nothing much favors the vet.

I sure hope that someday our politicians will correct this judication system back to where it was intended to be and help support the new wave of veterans that are having to enter into it, but realistically i only see it getting worst.

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glassman
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quote:
Originally posted by turbokid:
killing arguments with facts is my forte [Smile]

you guys can continue to argue if you wish,dont let me stand in your way, i say a good heated discussion on racist homosexual illegal aliens who support bush favor bombing iran own guns and favor abortion should be a good topic. [Smile] LOL
-god im funny! [Smile]

i posted a link to the actual bill at the library of congress last week, and the old link is now no good, here's a new link, read it for yourself to see what it says instead of listening to special interest groups:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-2640


if you want a govt for the people and by the people? you, we, the people, have to participate

this part is why i said the system is working, imperfectly, but working:

1) Approximately 916,000 individuals were prohibited from purchasing a firearm for failing a background check between November 30, 1998, (the date the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) began operating) and December 31, 2004.

(2) From November 30, 1998, through December 31, 2004, nearly 49,000,000 Brady background checks were processed through NICS.


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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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andrew
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I like cake.
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glassman
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cake is popular

 -

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Don't envy the happiness of those who live in a fool's paradise.

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BooDog
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Brush your teeth!!

Nice pic LOL!!

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All post are my opinion. Do your own DD. Who's clicking your buy/sell button!?

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