Stawicki's family said he had a history of anger and mental-health problems that he refused to deal with.
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he may have even owned them legally. we'll see.
Did the mentally ill grandmother who shot her family members in south Seattle a few years ago get her guns legally too?
Maybe with his extensive criminal history he should have been locked up longer? See how easy it is to drag corpses around for a political position?
from @Cowbelly :
"Good God. I dated the Seattle shooter, Ian Stawicki, 20 years ago. He slept with a gun under his pillow and was always a little 'off'"
Bipolar disorder, on its own, doesn't really rouse to homicidal violence. Manics who suffer a psychotic episode amidst a period of mania are very likely to commit such crimes as were witnessed today, however. I would imagine a psychotic episode amidst a major depressive episode would be more likely to result in just suicide.
Incidentally, while all those diseases, to some varying degree or another, are treatable, there are many factors beyond simply the failure of social services that give rise to violent outbreaks of this nature. Among these we find that men, due to the manner we inculcate manhood, are unlikely to seek treatment for their diseases and, more perhaps more importantly, are unlikely to seek treatment for dramatic changes in the expression of whatever disease they are suffering from. Prescriptions being used may become ineffective and the victim may not have the wherewithal to seek an MD to adjust them.
I could go on, but I'm not a disciple in these matters and they are better left to a professional.
Linking this to radical right wing policy is opportunistic bullshit.
Have some respect, find the facts, analyze them, think for a few seconds, and then post something intelligent...sheesh...
In other news of tragedy and mental problems, yet another person jumped off an I5 overpass today.
there are costs to society cutting social services and leaving the mentally ill to the streets.
Was he mentally ill? How much goddamn evidence do you need?
It's not about raising taxes or taking away guns but rather confronting the very real issue of mental illness in America.
I've worked in public health and social service in Seattle for over 20 years and trying to get services for mentally ill folks can be nigh on impossible. And we're not much better or worse than most other areas of the US.
My heart fucking aches right now...and I'm in goddamn hotel room in Baltimore crying for guy I've known for 25 years and his partner of almost that long.
This is not going to get any better until some more money comes back into mental health for the homeless and low income patients in our communities. With the economy in the state it is, there are a lot of people who need mental health care and meds who are not able to get the help they need. And some of them have guns.
That was Jonathan's point. There literally are no place to put these people. Either for treatment or just to keep them off the streets. Until they commit a crime like this one. All the state facilities no longer exist.
I've been through the trying legal process of trying to, first get help for a loved one, then just trying to get a state agency — or ANYONE— to recognize that the family can't care for this person.
That system. It doen't exist.
So then then you're left just trying to get somebody in authority to realize this person is going to kill somebody or themselves. And that doesn't seem to work either.
It would be ideal if there were systems of intervention so we could prevent people from loosing their grip so profoundly at all. But nothing, even the most compassionate system is 100% fool proof.
But in lieu of that, jeeze, a fucking state institution would be good enough.
(I know the penalty for straying from these good and twisted offices, but the Weekly had a good feature on the privatization of mental health services. http://www.seattleweekly.com/2012-05-23/… )
Seattle was so well renowned for how it treated people, there was a flood of Katrina survivors, does anyone else remember that?
And, as this points out, the budget for mental health services is insufficient, making it pretty impossible to find resources for clients sometimes. And we're talking about basic resources like food, shelter, and clothing.
The big picture here is that our society does not care about the mentally ill or the people who dedicate their whole lives to working to help stabilize them. The only time we even talk about mental illness is when horrible things like this happen. And that's a huge problem. Because more social workers and bigger budgets alone won't solve this. We have to change the way our society thinks of and treats people with mental illness, and make effective, humane treatment a real priority.
I wish I had a quick answer about what with solve this. I don't...but I know that most of my clients over the years have been profoundly lonely and isolated, with no real opportunities, friends, or things to look forward to. How would you act if that was your reality? What might you do? I wish we could find a way to better integrate the mentally ill into mainstream society, and yes, of course aggressively treat people who are at a real risk of harming themselves or others.
(sorry for the essay)
And our morgues.
Yes, it's true: no concerted national effort to deal in a sane and compassionate manner with the mentally-ill is 100% effective. Therefore, it's a complete waste of our public resources to even attempt to deal with the problem.
Jesus Fucking Christ...
@34: ok - let us know how much public resources (spending) would be enough.
@35 and Golob: yup, they happen even in blue states, isn't that crazy?
Start here: http://statehealthfacts.org/comparemapta…
Now I don't know if the shooter here should or shouldn't have been institutionalized. I don't presume to know. And you don't either. Would this shooting have happened if he had been under proper supervision and medication? Would this shooting still have happened, so that institutionalization was necessary? Search me.
The point is that if we have rejected institutionalization except in the most hopeless of cases --- and we have ---then we can't just "lock them up," contrary to some of the suggestions above. And if we can't just lock them up, then full funding of residential programs, of integration programs, of treatment programs --- funding of these programs is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, REALLY BAD STUFF HAPPENS.
Or we could compare the USA to other countries which is what your first statement was positing. It's up to you.
Awesome! Actual research, something sorely lacking from Golob's rant of an article.
Okay, I'll play "feed the troll".
Considering that roughly 20% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with some form of mental illness; and that roughly 75% of that number receives inadequate-to-literally no care for their condition, the answer to your question would be: "a fuck of a lot more than we do now."
Civil commitment law, mental health services, and US homicide rates
Revealingly the US system rates relatively poorly for most of these criteria, even though its per capital total health expenditure (mental health spend is not given) is over half as much again as that in Canada and Norway, and over double that in the UK.
This seems to come up over and over again when it comes to the overall US system of healthcare. Why is that? I would guess it's due to an ever-rotating line-up of non-profits that help the least mental stable. Why do you think the US is less efficient?
Though back to your first statement. As far as I can read, this report doesn't deal with violence caused by the mentally ill, they even include the caveat that it's far from complete.
So I suppose we'll have to rely on the old objective stat of homicide rate. Luckily, the US kills Norway, 4 to 1! Almost as good as the Mariners against the Rangers today. 3:1.
So I'm at the front desk. Some of the office visitors are quite bonkers and some it's not as easy to tell. But one guy came in... he was dressed in camo, was chatty and a bit too edgy for comfort but was friendly. He didn't seem terribly off-center, and told a bunch of battlefield stories. While he's out of earshot one of the office clinicians discloses to me that he is in fact quite insane, possibly unstable, that they had a call into King County Mental Health to come get him and that they were gonna filibuster the guy to get him to stick around until KCMH arrived.
That talked this guy up for a good long while, to the point where they quite clearly had run out of topics and were clearly stalling. This was about 30-45 minutes. The guy BTW never gave off any sort of threatening vibe that I could tell. Finally he went to leave and they just had no other way to stop him without using undue force.
Go figure, KCMH shows up shortly thereafter and everyone has a 'oh shitballs we just missed him' conversation. KCMH personnel seem disappointed but not terribly upset.
I'm not entirely unconvinced that KCMH wanted him to get away because either taking him in wasn't worth the trouble or they didn't have the resources to squeeze him into a facility, so they took their time getting there.
Just one example...Late November, downtown Seattle and it's pissing rain and blowing like a motherfucker and we've got a client in the alley behind our building w/her pants to her knees and masturbating w/a dead pigeon. And I do mean literally -- she is inserting a dead pigeon into her vagina. Rapidly. And moaning and groaning just like Meg Ryan.
When KCMH finally fucking shows up, they say "oh, she's just drunk". Right. Drunk girls stuff dead pigeons up their twats.
Our system is fucking broke.
Ian wasn't crazy. He was an angry cold-blooded f**k that shot his friends, ran from the scene (cause he knew what he did was wrong), killed some poor lady downtown, then when he saw the cops in West S. he blew his brains out.
He knew exactly what he was doing. Stop searching for blame. Ian made choices. Unfortunately he chose to be evil.
What are the standards for psychiatric care in other countries? Does Norway have better outcomes solely because they spend more money, or do they have more leeway in locking up incompetent and dangerous people?
Though this is largely a result of conservative politics it's sad no one wants to admits the Democrats in this state never grew a back bone to stand up to any of it.
Perhaps the sight or feel of firearms triggers latent psychosis in some people.....Perhaps the possession of a weapons enhances delusions of grandeur and invincibility? Whatever, crazy people with guns create problems that sane people with guns cannot cure or prevent.
lets ignore the fact that he is full of shit.
four stiffs is still way more cost effective than the programs that were cut.
when the moocher 50% want to start paying some taxes then the adults will listen to their ideas about how to spend tax dollars.
till then stfu.
One wonders if you would make the same statement had one of the four been one close to you.
And yet another example of a dangerously ill individual who would not accept treatment. What, other than involuntary commitment, would have saved those six lives?
To the numerous people making such comments, shame on you. You are contributing to a society forcing people into alienation instead of fostering support and cooperative improvement of all of our lives. People need to take care of each other, humans are not any good at going it alone and never would have made it as a species trying to operate that way.
As for politics, I think there is a place for calling for better systems, but it's a shame to make this about what wing is evil and where parties and laws fit in on the spectrum--this is a tragedy about people. Emphasis should be on compassion, not closed-minded criticism and infighting. Call for an improvement of services and better understanding of mental illness, rather than squabbling over who's to blame and what to do with "them." It's heartbreaking, and this is all heartbreaking enough!
If you read the Slog article today by Brendan Kiley about the wake celebration of the victims' lives, one of the slain understood this reality and took steps to include his own killer. Maybe if he had more help, from a concerned community and empowered services, he could have been successful.
Norway has better outcomes because they have more leeway in locking up incompetent and dangerous people.
And it's not just "homeless crazies," either -- this dude probably had cash flow coming from his family -- and he was missed because he could probably play it cool some of the time and spun the lucky wheel of a criminal justice system that is more intent on setting criminals free than locking them up.
If communities are paying attention to the marginalized, they are also going to be more likely to notice when they have become dangerous and need a more extreme intervention, which can likely be temporary once a reasonable level of health is achieved. Writing off people in crisis and avoiding them is clearly backfiring.
If either of you ever slip in your level of mental health, which is not unlikely given that a quarter of American adults experience mental illness over a given year and many go unreported (from www.nami.org), I hope you reach out for help and find a receptive community of support, rather than proclaiming yourself immune and not like "them" until you snap. We are all people here, and sometimes we need more help and intervention by those brave and compassionate enough to recognize it. If we had better social justice and services, it might be a feasible reality to intervene in time. If we have more hatred and discrimination and fear, well, we'll have more fear-inspiring hateful retaliation.
A note: I do not say any of this as insensitivity to the pain caused to the victims, but to the contrary to encourage thinking on how more atrocity and pain could be prevented. In fact I knew two of those who died. One of whom showed the compassion I'm describing shortly before the tragic outcome, unfortunately to no avail. Unfortunately, one man's kind actions aren't enough to counteract the major force of societal neglect of vulnerable people. Don't be part of the problem.
There are so far many perspectives for mental health workers, but not many perspectives of mental health patients, so I thought I would share my experience. I have had severe depression my whole life and have always been responsible about taking meds and doing what I can to treat it. I often go through periods of severe suicidal ideation. There is a "help" line that you call, where they coldly cut you off after 10 minutes, and you are in fear of them calling the police to incarcerate you without listening to you properly. I mentioned suicidal ideations to a doctor once, and he called an ambulance to take me less than a mile to the hospital. The worst of the worst was when my therapist determined I was not safe and threatened to call the police if I was not in the ER by the time a family member left the next day.
I was desperately trying to not go through the ER, but my provider lied to me and said that at that clinic they don't admit people straight into the hospital (which is untrue). So me and the family member ended up going to the ER. At this point I was willing to be voluntarily committed. I was ignored for quite a time and then finally put in an isolation room along next to 3 others in the ER, many of whom were screaming, being belligerent, or singing, acting generally crazy, etc. These people were treated gently and led up to their rooms quite quickly. When the social worker came in, she acted rude and insulting, and ended up determining that the hospital could not help me. However, she stated, since I was in danger, they were legally obligated to commit me involuntarily. So here's the picture - I came in voluntarily, suffering greatly, and was told in a damaged and vulnerable state by someone in charge that I couldn't be helped...At this point, I no longer wanted to go to the hospital, since I was experiencing extreme rejection sensitivity and didn't want to be somewhere I was not wanted. If it weren't for the kindness of my family member rearranging her schedule I would have been involuntarily committed when I went in to be committed of my own accord. For 2 days after I had psychotic episodes where I would babble that I couldn't be sick because the hospital said they couldn't help me.
In short, the more work I do to get help in the system, the more I've been punished. For someone who is already hopeless, there is a time at which you will just give up, given a system that does not want you.
JONATHAN GOLOB: "In Washington State, it is exceedingly difficult to involuntarily commit mentally ill individuals—particularly for extended periods of time—unless someone is an imminent threat to themselves or others."
Cheese and rice, Jon; Is there ANY OTHER REASON "to involuntarily commit mentally ill individuals" ?
Your position as a policy analyst on Fox News awaits.
What a yutz. Based on your post, I wouldn't trust you with a goldfish. Thank you, for not "having a gun", but please resist the temptation to disarm the entire public on the basis of some guy for whom mental health services were not readily available.
Laws do no good if we can't use them. Even with new gun laws, the Crazy Ians of the world would still walk free if we don't throw them in prison for mad violence and it's easily possible for them to dodge charges... and your new laws would do no good.
It wasn't Eyman who did this. It was Christine Gregoire who cut our state's basic health system and completely slashed funding for mental health outreach programs, etc. Meanwhile, she went on a spending spree building worthless unnecessary roads, bridges, tunnels, etc to "stimulate" our economy (i.e. give away public money to private companies).
Why pass the buck to conservatives? I'm a liberal, but darn it, let's fix the real problem and be rid of all this partisanship. Our state has been run by Democrats for years, and I'm fine with that, but they ALL need to get off their butts and address the REAL issue here. Standing around pointing fingers at Tim Eyman is not only disingenuous, it takes attention away from the real problems we face and makes finding a solution even harder.
I am sorry you had a difficult time in the ER you went to. If it might help, I want to explain why the social worker you saw probably said you needed to be involuntarily committed. Sometimes, many times, there are no "voluntary" psych beds in the county. Seriously. In the past, people who needed treatment and were voluntary but there were no beds open were referred to the DMHP's (the ones who can commit people) in order to find them a space. So that may have been the reason the MSW told you that. Now they are getting away from this, and admitting voluntary patients to a medical unit while they wait for a bed. Not ideal, however.