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tv   Washington Journal Ronald Honberg  CSPAN  August 8, 2019 3:28am-4:02am EDT

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>> i want to thank everybody again. the job you have done is incredible and we are with you all the way. we've sent you a lot of equipment over the last two and a half years, close to three years. hard to believe, but a lot of equipment your way. a lot of equipment that wasn't being used came your way. military equipment that wasn't going to be distributed for some reason, maybe someone will explain why but that is the way it was and it was a lot different. you deserve it and we are with you 100%. the chief has any problems, he calls me and i am there.
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you know that, right? >> yes, sir. [applause] red flag laws, we refer to them as risk protection orders or gun violence restraining orders. they are civil orders, not criminal, wh officers depending upon how the law is written to move quickly and get firearms out of the hands of people who are identified as having risk of and showing violence. host: there is not currently a national red flag law. guest: that is correct. 17 states have authorized them
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under careful circumstances. there is no national law. host: why is there no national law? guest: these procedures require local implementation. they fall within the purview of state law. the federal government could play a role in encouraging them or providing financial incentives to states to implement them. that is under consideration right now. host: that's the effort by senator lindsey graham and richard blumenthal. president trump referred to this effort. what do we know about what's going to be in that legislation or proposal they are coming up with? guest: i have not seen a copy of the draft bill yet. i cannot speak about the specifics. there'souraging that some bipartisan agreement on , whichrelated to guns
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tend to divide congress. the devil when it comes to legislation is always in the details. we are certainly hoping at nami that they don't link these laws specifically to mental illness. there are a lot of risk factors other than mental illness. some ofnest with you, the rhetoric we've heard -- basicallyluded diagnosing the shooters in el paso and dayton and in previous mass shootings as well, diagnosing the shooters as having mental illness with no information supporting that. it's not helpful. it is harmful. the last thing we want to do is create further disincentives for people who may be experiencing mental health challenges. there are a lot of risk factors.
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mental illness is a minor risk factor for gun violence. maybe more of a risk factor for suicide. host: what evidence is there that red flag laws work? guest: they are early in their implementation. there's only been one definitive study in connecticut. that study has shown that they've been very helpful in reducing suicides. impactta about what they've had in reducing homicides. host: the research in connecticut and indiana found for every 10-20 confiscations under the law, there was one fewer death than otherwise expected. that's from timothy williams in "the new york times today." we are talking about red flag laws in this half-hour of "washington journal."
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republicans, 202-748-8001. democrats, 202-748-8000. independents, 202-748-8002. ron honberg is our guest this morning, a senior policy advisor at the national alliance on mental illness. i want to come back to something you said about how mental illness is being talked about in the wake of mass shootings. hear afterts when we these shootings that nobody in their right mind would do something like this -- what is your reaction to that kind of statement? guest: i understand that. extreme hatred and bigotry is not a mental illness. are medicalsses conditions, they are diagnosable. schizophrenia went untreated may include delusions and hallucinations and paranoia. there have been some mass
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shootings linked with severe mental illness. aurora, the movie theater shooting. tucson involving congresswoman giffords. most of them, there have not been indications that the individuals were delusional at the time of the shooting. in el paso, consumed with hatred, consumed with bigotry and racial hatred -- that is not a mental illness. of overwhelming majority those with mental illness in this country are trying to overcome the symptoms -- it is hard for people to access treatment. there are oftentimes negative consequences associated with acknowledging mental health needs. associating this with violence is harmful.
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host: is that what's been happening this week? guest: we wouldn't do that with any other medical condition. host: alan out of alabama. a republican. good morning. is the red flag law for firearms only? guest: yes, and for ammunition as well. on thely depends particular state. they really get the firearms and ammunition. host: you think it should include other things? caller: why just firearms? the mental health of sos country was deregulated people can't get the help they used to. in the 1960's and 1970's, we never had this problem until the government stepped in and messed it up.
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why are we being penalized for having to fix our government's mess up? illnessates of mental do not fluctuate, they do not vary across country, they do not vary from the u.s. to the european countries to asia or we see higheryet, levels of firearm violence in this country than other countries. i don't think it's the mental illness causing it. correct thatutely it's very difficult to get mental health care. thatr as your suggestions red flag laws should apply to other devices, knives, et cetera, your point is well taken . they want to be very careful about how they implement these laws. they want to study them to make sure they work. hence, they are starting with firearms and ammunition. host: 17 states have red flag
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laws. take us through the most expansive red flag law estate has and a more pointed version of that. guest: all the laws have two components to them. parte orders -- if you identify the person constituting imminent risk, you can move quickly to remove the firearms and then there's a requirement that there be a hearing after the fact to make sure we haven't violated that person's rights. the second part, the hearings in situations where there's not an involvesorder, that the right to testify, providing evidence for why the gun should not be removed.
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the laws require careful review so that if a person believes --t these are temporary these are temporary orders, if -- theht is restored person has a right to review after-the-fact to have their guns restored. allowf the state laws these orders to last more than the year without a further hearing. host: tom out of california. a democrat. california one of the states with red flag laws on the books. go ahead. -- we: here's the thing already have a 5150 law. all that'sg law, going to do is send more mental health people into hiding.
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law,e have a red flag someone goes in for mental health and gets called out, that's one thing. haveabout the people that firearms that are not registered? you can go into a mental health facility on a 5150 and they ask you if you have any firearms. tell them no. how are you going to prove that they do have firearms if they are not registered firearms? guest: let me try to address the different points. 5150 refers to california's civil commitment law. when someone with a mental illness is determined to be dangerous, you can commit them to a mental health treatment inpatient facility or on an outpatient basis. that is very different from what extremed flag laws are,
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risk protection laws are. it's important that we not confuse one with the other. most peoplerlier, who constitute risks of gun violence to self or others do not have mental illnesses. here are the risk factors that have been identified. -basedng an evidenced approach -- a past history of violence is a big predictor. alcohol and substance abuse have been shown to be predictors. violence.of domestic conviction for a violent crime in the past. in some cases, untreated symptoms of paranoia, untreated delusions and hallucinations can increase the risk
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of violence. most of these people will not act violently, but there is a slightly increased risk. it's important that people do not assume these red flag laws are focused on people with mental illness. there's no need to identify mental illness in these laws. it's about reducing risk for whatever reason. entrees.orgful map -- on of states with red flag laws. north carolina is more of an aange color, a state that has red flag law bill proposed. calling from north carolina, joseph, independent. good morning. caller: i would just like to say one persons usually
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with mental illness in every family. you can keep the mentally ill from getting that, but you can't in a family happens with a legal gun holder and someone else who has a mental illness -- these shooters are being hypnotized by video games. there's a book written in 2016 that shows the powerful effect of these video games. the university of washington used virtual reality to take away the pain from burn victims when oxycontin doesn't work k. why isn't anybody addressing these violent video games that isolate people and get them into
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this netherworld that ends up in gun violence? they think they are playing a game, pushing a button. guest: first of all, you've made an important point that mental illness is much more common than most people realize. about one in five americans are affected by mental health conditions. most people with mental illnesses are not violent at all. more often, they are frankly the victims of violence than the perpetrators of violence. as far as the video games, you're getting me into an area where i don't have expertise -- i haven't seen studies linking video games with gun violence, but i know that is a topic that has been discussed a great deal in the aftermath of these tragedies. host: richland, indiana. republican.
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good morning. caller: good morning. coworkers, wef my have been discussing these mass murderers or murder-suicide , three or four of us agree that the democrats are behind all this in some kind of take away our second amendment. guest: thank you. there was a supreme court decision 10-15 years ago where the supreme court held that people have a second amendment right to possess firearms. that decision said clearly that
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not unlimited and can be restricted based on risk factors. not all people have a right to firearms depending on factors can they responsibly own guns and things like that. i don't see this -- i don't agree that this is an effort to restrict peoples second amended rights. we need to recognize the red flag laws are only a limited solution, may be a way to protect people from harming themselves in particular, that might be the most important it is not a justification or reason to deflect attention from the broader issues being discussed, including background checks or the types of weapons that people
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currently have access to. host: 10 minutes left with ron honberg from the national alliance on mental illness. caller during our first segment brought up -- one of the first things president was ease restrictions on the mentally ill getting guns. guest: i know that issue quite well. administration, the obama administration, issued rules shortly before they left office that would have required social security administration to report to the fbi, which maintains the national background check system, the names of all people who had been help in managing their benefits.
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my organization and many disability organizations objected to that. we have consistently at nami said if we are going to impose restrictions on a discrete group of people, namely people with mental illnesses, it should be based on predictors of violence. it gets back to what i was talking about earlier. these approaches have to be evidence-based. from anposal administration that was trying hard to do the right thing did not focus on risk factors. withdrawn byon was the trump administration when they assumed office, but we frankly agreed with that anision because it was not evidence-based approach. host: ohio. whoer: i have a daughter
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does suffer from depression. when her medicine ceases to work, she doesn't get violent but she goes to bed and sleeps for days and weeks at a time. paso andppening in el here in dayton, which is not far from where i live, has nothing to do with mental and this. it has to do with racism and you hate people because of the color of their skin. whips the fire and the flames are getting higher. it's time that we americans stand for what we say we stand for. you can't hate somebody because of the color of their skin. i'm a born again christian, i teach sunday school, we used to sing a song years ago about god
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created all children and we love them all the same. i cannot say in the united -- that we'm 71 now are any farther down the racist road then we were when i was a child. we have a person who is an authority -- this could be nipped in the bud today if he would just say this has to end, i will stop fanning the flames by saying racist epitaphs like mexicans are rapists and drug dealers. they are just people wanting to work and support their families. host: catherine in ohio. guest: thank you, kathryn. the point you made in the --inning about your daughter i'm certainly hoping for the best for your daughter.
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thank you for being such a strong supporter of her. that is so important. we are talking about medical conditions like all others. these kinds ofke generalizations about people cancer,rt disease, stroke victims, but we do with mental illness. we have a long history of equating serious mental illness with violence. the overwhelming majority are not violent. we need to stop saying this particularly if our goal is to improve access to mental health care. host: is that happening in this country? what is happening with federal funding to help provide that access? guest: i don't think we've been moving in a positive direction. there have been some increases in funding for discrete programs and for research. that's been a good thing.
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the most important source of funding for mental health services is medicaid. we continue to hear proposals to restrict medicaid in states. that would impact negatively people with mental illnesses people. many of whom rely on medicaid to have access to services and because of medicaid can recover and work and become productive citizens. we really need to look at the big picture. host: how involved were you with expanding medicaid through the affordable care act? guest: we strongly supported expanding medicaid and we have continued to fight for access to medicaid including being involved in lawsuits. the challenge to proposals in restricting medicaid and we will fight hard for medicaid because it is finally important. host: joe in south dakota, independent. good morning.
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caller: good morning and thank you. can you do a blood test to see if you are mentally ill? who is to determine who is mentally ill? the red flag laws will create trouble. and as far as anybody being determined mentally ill or challenged, a non-attributed quote, if all the thoughts of anyone person could be revealed, they would deserve hanging 10 times over. i will hang up and listen. host: two points you made. with regard to the blood test regarding mental illness, we cannot take one, the brain is a complicated organ of the body and we cannot do a blood test to determine alzheimer's disease or other conditions that impact the brain. we make diagnoses based on
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observations of individuals over time. we can now diagnose serious mental illnesses with great accuracy comparable to other health conditions. about the issue jeopardy created by the red flag laws. i want to get back to the point i made earlier. there are extreme risk protection orders based on risk factors and not laws about mental illness. there may be some people with mental illnesses who are impacted by the majority of people who pose risks do not have mental illnesses. only about 4% of all the lights -- violence in this country is attributable to mental illness and with gun violence it is even less. most people do not know this but there are twice as many gun deaths that are suicides and homicides -- than homicides.
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if we could somehow identify everyone with a mental illness and take away firearms from them , we would not be appreciably reducing rates of homicide. host: what percentage of suicides are people with diagnosed mental illnesses? guest: there have been studies, the cdc has looked at this, and others and the estimates are between 50% and 60%. suicides, they constitute the second-highest of deaths among people between 16-24. although not all people, when they attempt to take their lives, use guns, when a person does use a gun more often than the use of the time the gun results in the death and
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in other cases serious disability. to the extent we're talking about -- we are having this debate but we should look at suicides. another point is suicides this reportedly -- disproportionately affect veterans with 20 better and per day taking their lives, many with guns -- 20 veterans per day taking their lives, many with guns. host: the free service you offer 24 hours a day. operated by trained volunteers at nomi. richard, republican, virginia. caller: i have to get my train of thought back. ohio that killed all of those people, her girlfriend i mean, his girlfriend knew he
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was mentally unstable and did not say anything. did not call anybody. we need a hotline people can call if they think it is one of the relatives or their brother or sister or mother or father or whoever. if they are unstable and changing. if you have a hotline, people could check those people out before they did something terrible. richard, first of all, most people who experience ,ental health issues are not you know, going to engage in violence. i know i have said this a few times before.
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the reason we should be concerned about helping people with mental health conditions is because we want to help people experiencing health problems, we want to reduce the symptoms. there are hotlines, suicide prevention hotlines, many, john gave the nami helpline number. it is a way to link people with resources in their local communities but many local nami affiliates, we have 600 state and local affiliates throughout the country, also have health lines. -- help lines. people should be aware of compassion assistance. host: the national suicide prevention number. it is a 24 hour service as well. ronald honberg's policy advisor
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>> coming up this morning, the cohost of the firewall, i'll tell you what. watch c-span's washington journal live at 7:00 eastern this morning. be sure to watch our final day of podcast week on washington journal starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on friday. our guest is jennifer briney, host of "congressional dish." washington journal mugs are available at c-span's new online store. go to
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products. the c-span >> here is a look at what is light on thursday. eastern, the11:30 secretary of state for international trade talks the future of u.s.-u.k. relations and at 1:45, live coverage of the iowa state fair where presidential candidate steve burke and joe biden are speaking. the cator in the day, institute and heritage foundation cohosted debate among interns about libertarianism versus conservatism. that is at 6:00 p.m. eastern. more live coverage on c-span2 in the morning as the center for strategic and international studies looks at trade relations between the u.s. and china. that is followed by a discussion on the future of ukraine, with two former u.s. diplomats. later, foreign-policy diplomats. foreign policy experts discuss
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rising tensions between the u.s. and iran. that is at 2:00 p.m. eastern. night on q and a. taking out of the home in front of this mob of angry people. >> berry college professor talks about being physically attacked and 2017 after an appearance by the author charles murray. >> you left that room and went where? >> i don't really remember. you whatt even tell door we went out. we were taken out of the hall and confronted this mob of angry people, some of whom were in masks. they were shoving and jostling. their target was charles murray. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m.
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eastern on c-span's q&a. >> montana governor steve bullock spoke wednesday at the national press club in d.c. in his remarks he addressed gun violence and president trump's comments. following his speech he took questions from reporters. >> good morning. club.e to national press i am the washington bureau chief. last tuesday 10 of the people seeking the democratic parties -- party's -- as the dust settled, one of the storylines is about one of the candidates working hard to assert their views. steven bullock is one ofho


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