Psychiatrist Illustrates Why "Mental Health Screenings" Won't Fly

One idea that anti-gunners often try to push is to require mental health screenings before people are allowed to purchase a firearm. Their argument is that this will keep the disturbed–people such as potential mass shooters–from being able to buy firearms but shouldn’t impact the rest of us in the least.

Of course, that’s male bovine excrement and we all know it.

You see, the kind of people who conduct the screening are human beings. As such, they’ll have their own biases. Especially political biases.

Sometimes, those political biases will have these mental healthcare providers do some colossally stupid thing. Take this individual, for example:

Back in October of 2017, Bandy Lee—a forensic psychiatrist at Yale who doubles as a self-anointed political schoolmarm—notoriously diagnosed President Trump as having so-called narcissistic personality disorder. Having done this without “examining” him, Lee violated the American Psychiatric Association’s Goldwater rule, which states that “it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.” Lee was widely rebuked by people throughout her profession, which, needless to say, is hardly a MAGA crowd.

Now Lee has gone after Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz for criticizing the view that Donald Trump is guilty of obstructing justice or other impeachable conduct. Dershowitz, according to Lee, suffers from the same “mental disorder” as the president. What makes “experts” like Lee so dangerous is their blithe use of “science” to advance what is really a kind of moral crusade. In her introduction to The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President, Lee writes:

Possibly the oddest experience in my career as a psychiatrist has been to find that the only people not allowed to speak about an issue are those who know the most about it. How can I, as a medical and mental health researcher, remain a bystander in the face of one of the greatest emergencies of our time, when I have been called to step in everywhere else?

Although she is terribly lacking in analytical rigor and has, to put it generously, a middling intellect, Lee is nonetheless bursting with hubris. “Everywhere else” means all domains and contexts other than what she calls “one of the greatest emergencies of our time”—namely, the Trump administration. Quite a busy life, Bandy Lee’s! Reading Lee on Lee, one is reminded of St. Paul: “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

In other words, Dr. Lee is ready to diagnose people as suffering from mental disorders based on little else except for profound political disagreements. If you think she’s alone in this, you’ve deluded yourself.

No, not all providers would be so blatantly biased. Even some who hold anti-gun views would still try to perform screenings in as unbiased a manner as humanly possible.

However, Lee knows good and well she’s not permitted to offer diagnoses on people she hasn’t actually seen as a patient, yet here she is. She’s illustrating the precise problem because she’s ignoring her oath and her training in order to try and hurt people she disagrees with politically.

Meanwhile, buying a gun is an unfortunately political act. Simply by doing so, you’re illustrating your own beliefs in the Second Amendment. Do you think someone like Lee won’t judge your entire political ideology based on this one simple act, that she could be trusted to give some a fair and impartial screening?

If so, I have some beachfront property to sell you in Arizona.

Screenings require people, which introduces bias into the system. For a group of people who spend a lot of time talking about inherent biases, you’d think the anti-gun left would understand that. Apparently not.

But so long as you have people like Dr. Lee running around, you’ll have an even harder time trying to convince me and other gun rights supporters that this is a viable thing. Even if you somehow circumvented the constitutional arguments against it, that is, which you really can’t.