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Thousand Oaks shooting


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#1
El Chalupacabra

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https://www.cnn.com/...lded/index.html

 

So, we have yet another mass shooting.  And the usual discussions about gun control started almost immediately after. And there will be no resolution to that debate.

 

But I would like to have a different type of discussion.  As it turns out, Ian David Long, the murderer, was a combat marine veteran. 

 

https://www.cnn.com/...nman/index.html

 

To be clear, he, and he alone is responsible for his actions, and there is no excuse for that kind of evil.  But what about the situation itself, where he may have had PTSD as a result of combat service?  Law enforcement made contact with Long multiple times and even had him evaluated by civilian mental health experts, but because of the way laws are, law enforcement could not hold him, or compel him to be institutionalized.  

 

So, I ask, what culpability does the VA share?  I say a lot, and I think they were negligent in this case.  We all know that the VA has long been lacking in taking care of vets, especially those who suffer from psychological issues.   Indeed, this country has a long track record of rah-rah-ing their military off to war, but when they come back, we, as a nation, fail miserably at taking care of our vets, both physically and mentally.  Everyone seems to be good at being facebook slactivists, or saying empty phrases like "thank you for your service," but year after year, decade after decade, little changes at the VA.  I think that whenever a combat veteran leaves the military, there should be a very intense mental health evaluation done before release.If it is determined that said veteran requires mental health treatment, ranging from outpatient, to even institutionalization, it should be taken care of immediately.  If it means the government paying for non-VA treatment because the VA is over-extended and cannot provide the treatment in a timely manner, then I feel the government is obligated to pick up the tab for outside, civilian treatment.  Indeed, I think the VA is largely a failure, and should be abolished in favor of signing up vets for FREE medical and dental insurance, so that they can go anywhere they need for their medical treatment. 

 

Therefore, I believe that the VA should be sued by the family members who were killed in this shooting.  In fact, the same goes for ANY mass shooting that involves a vet with PTSD as a result of military service. Until the VA starts getting sued and having to pay out massive punitive damages, I think nothing will change.  Clearly Congress, and even the president seem either unwilling or powerless to do anything, with the bureaucratic monster that is the VA system. 

 

So, what say you?


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#2
Ms. Spam

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When I first heard it was a former Marine I think we need to do better for our veterans and people who serve as a nation. We have to work on better ways to reach out and treat PTSD as well other things that happen to not only our military people but also men and women who serve as police officers or firemen and how to help them with the ways service breaks them down. If anything I'd like to have us take a long hard look at how we treat mentally ill patients in the US and work on making this a priority if we can't look at gun control measures. 

 

So yeah, I agree about suing the VA if it forces the system to change and become better. It was one of things I hoped Congress and some president would work at addressing. The Air Force got sued by Sutherland Springs.

 

And another issue is my heart hurts for that policeman's family. He didn't wait for backup. He went in. I can't imagine what he was feeling but that surely was scary and we continue to ask this of police. I don't want open carry. I don't want to have to arm myself. And I don't want good people like this policeman to have to go in to situations like this. We are a first world country and we have to be better. I feel like the mood of the country contributes to some of these increased shootings and I want our leaders to be better at setting examples instead of inciting. 


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#3
Metropolis

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I have doubts about the military and how seriously they treat soldiers with PTSD. My best friend did a tour in Iraq. His wife kept telling us how he was different he was after he got back. He started drinking heavily. One day he went AWOL for how base in Georgia and came down here to try and jump off of the Skyway bridge. He couldn't do it so he tried running away. Cops going him in a abandoned house in Daytona a week later. He was sent back to base for discipline and medical attention. He spent all of a week in the hospital and was pair with a friend of his in his platoon. Seemed quick. Sure enougha month later he stole his roommate pistol, drove down to where his wife and kids were in Naples to try to kill himself. Once again he couldn't do it, she called the cops and he spent a couple of months in the hospital before he was dishonorably discharged. They got divorced because she found out he was cheating on her. Long story short, he's now in jail here awaiting trial for molesting the daughter of the girl he cheating on his wife with. To use the cliche, I would have never seen this coming. I was angry with him because he never came to me how best friend to talk about any of this. I feel bad because I chose her side. These were my two best friends in college. I shouldn't have waited for him to come to me. He apologized to me a few years ago for not thinking he could come to me. Now he's in a prison about 20 minutes from me and I still haven't visited him yet because I don't know who I'll see. My best friend or the guy he became.
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#4
Kyrian

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If it means the government paying for non-VA treatment because the VA is over-extended and cannot provide the treatment in a timely manner, then I feel the government is obligated to pick up the tab for outside, civilian treatment.  Indeed, I think the VA is largely a failure, and should be abolished in favor of signing up vets for FREE medical and dental insurance, so that they can go anywhere they need for their medical treatment. 

Isn't that a thing already? I seem to remember hearing very recently that Trump was crowing about enacting some kind of program similar to this and was trying to take credit for what was actually an Obama-era piece of legislation that he'd merely approved an extension of funding for.



#5
El Chalupacabra

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If it means the government paying for non-VA treatment because the VA is over-extended and cannot provide the treatment in a timely manner, then I feel the government is obligated to pick up the tab for outside, civilian treatment.  Indeed, I think the VA is largely a failure, and should be abolished in favor of signing up vets for FREE medical and dental insurance, so that they can go anywhere they need for their medical treatment. 

Isn't that a thing already? I seem to remember hearing very recently that Trump was crowing about enacting some kind of program similar to this and was trying to take credit for what was actually an Obama-era piece of legislation that he'd merely approved an extension of funding for.

 

Sort of, but the thing is, the only time a military person is guaranteed VA assistance after leaving the military is 1.  if they retire,  or 2. if they were injured while in the military, and were chaptered out with a disabled status (EG what most people might call early retirement).  Most military members do not stay in long enough to retire, and not all vets that need physical or mental treatment are disabled during military service.  To be considered disabled, it is a complicated process to qualify for.  Physical disability is easier to qualify for, but mental disability is much, much harder to get approved.   If someone completes an enlistment, but does not retire, they MAY qualify for VA assistance, but they have to be under a certain income level.   There is also a convoluted process, similar to getting on social security one has to go through to get that coverage, if they are under that income level.  Now, my understanding as of a couple years ago, is that non-VA medical coverage CAN be provided if one qualifies, but it only kicks in if one is in an area where it is too far from a VA hospital, or if the hospital cannot provide that coverage for some reason within 30 days.   Generally, what qualifies as too far, is if you have to travel by air or boat to get there!  So, if one lived 40 miles away or less from a VA facility, that still counts as being able to travel by car, unless you have some condition that would qualify as a hardship.   But if you are so poor to where you qualify for the VA, you might not be able to afford a car either, so 40 miles may as well be 400 miles.  

 

Also, like Metropolis brings up, and as I stated earlier, there really is not much of a mental evaluation process when one leaves the military (or is in the military), and generally those who get chaptered out under mental reasons, are shunned by their fellow military personnel and looked at as weak.  So there is still a huge stigma that prevents many military personnel from seeking out mental health treatment while in the military.    Also, its not uncommon for when a military member is mentally disturbed while still in the military, to find themselves in legal trouble.  The military will sooner court martial someone than actually get them the treatment they need (EG PTSD), if they find themselves in legal trouble.  This often leads to a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge, rendering one ineligible for VA health benefits.  

 

So yeah, just because Trump crows about something, doesn't necessarily mean the problem is actually solved! Just swept under the rug, like all the presidents before him.


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#6
El Chalupacabra

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I also forgot to mention that even when someone qualifies for VA medical benefits, there is fuzzy math that goes into that calculation.  One may qualify, but only partially.  Also, there is a priority system depending on what you need to be seen for, which determines how long it will take to see you.  


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#7
Ms. Spam

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Yup. The system sucks. I think it is because they don't wanna spend the money on broken soldiers or acknowledge that this stuff happens. They'll re-up you until the cows come home but endless  war hurts. 

 

Met, thanks for sharing that story. So hard on the mother and kids and friends. I struggle with suicide issues because of my sister. 

 

For me, i never matriculated. I got hurt in boot camp. I wanted to follow in my Dad's footsteps and go Army. It was the summer in Ft Benning and I fell hard from the training wall you have to climb and screwed up my knee. I rehabbed but never went back to try again because stuff happens. It would have been during the Clinton years so my service would have been peaceful relative to Bush, Obama and Trump years. However both my Dad and older brother served as well as a friend who is still serving and is a full Colonel now. My experience with PTSD has to do with that Colonel. She served in Afghanistan and to this day her husband still has to stay up until she falls asleep and her kids are the best behaved because they can't scream or yell around mommy. She's tried to get help because she feels so guilty when she screams at her kids or the fact that she doesn't feel safe falling asleep at night but it is really hard to make those loops or get the Army to admit anything. 


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