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http://www.blog.thegunsandgearstore.com/14-lessons-from-a-year-of-thoughtful-carry/

This is a pretty good list of what happens or what people have go through their minds when they begin to carry for the 1st time!

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Graduated my 4 day Practical Rifle Course at Front Sight (Nevada). Enjoyed every minute of the course and am already planning on another trip, Thanks Front sight for your professionalism and extensive amount of expertise.
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2015-04-02
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This is what happens when you lose your mind in a gunfight... 

This is very disturbing to me as a child psychiatrist.  Children at this age do not have the ability to think abstractly as adults and cannot really understand concepts that are not concrete such as the concept of death. While I am totally against gun control and Pro 2nd amendment, I believe that promoting children singing about getting their guns is totally inappropriate.  Education about gun safety makes sense at this age and showing them what is meant by gun safety under adult supervision makes sense.  I believe your action of glamorizing the use of guns by children can only have a negative impact on mature adults who are fighting to maintain our rights. I know I was shocked by what I was listening to and the fact that Front Sight was promoting the performance.  One of the things that has been shown through research to be associated with increased violence in children is the desensitization to violence that occurs through our media.  We need to be teaching our children that the use of guns is a very serious thing and not one to be taken lightly while at the same time providing education regarding gun safety that results in a healthy respect for firearms and the responsibility that goes along with ownership and use. 
Daphne L. Atkins, MD, DVM

The text above is a copy of an email I sent to Frontsight yesterday.  Based on past experience, I do not really expect a response but seeing the video of the 9 year old singer and songwriter again this morning made me feel a need to share my feelings with others to see if there may be other people who have had similar reactions to the video.  Although I agreed with some of the lyrics I was disturbed by a child singing over and over "just give me my gun"  I am a Frontsight member at Diamond Level with Hotel option so obviously not just about badmouthing Frontsight.  Am I the only one bothered by this?  If you do not know what I am taling about. check out the Frontsight blog "Rock and Roll yourself toa free gun course"

I am really struggling with anti-psychiatry agenda being incorporated in the Front Sight Newsletters. I am a psychiatrist who has a great appreciation for our veterans and hate to see them suffering and not receiving help.  It is bad enough that their privacy rights are being ignored and psychiatric treatment is used to make them surrender their guns.  I think that is a move to take arms away from our most knowledgeable and well trained citizens.  I have had the privilege of seeing over 4,000 combat veterans from WWII until I had a bad fall resulting in disabling injuries.  I did this for 10 years during my spare time. I had another full time job but did not want to work for the VA because I felt I would not be able to give individuals the time they needed to discuss enough to have any idea of the impact of war on them if seen in and report written in 20-30 minutes. I would spend the time it took to do my best to help them to get the benefits they deserved.  I was troubled by seeing individuals being prescribed the cheapest medications which often had the most side effects. I would also see them come in after seeing a private psychiatrist and doing fairly well only to see them decline when they were told they were given medications that were equivalent but actually were often not even the same class of drug.  This is one of the topics that I can get on my soapbox about and go on and on so will try to get back to the point.  As a medical community, we are learning more and more about the effects of trauma on the brain and working on better treatments which are not all medicines but there are some medications that are effective with some that may make an impact in short term treatment along with other modes of therapy.   To make individuals afraid to seek help due to fear of gun confiscation or medications is morally and ethically wrong. 

Anyone who has been exposed to severe trauma will have symptoms of PTSD but they are often not recognized as such and result in veterans having difficulty coping with family, friends and employment when they return. They often try to avoid thinking about what happened in an attempt to make the memories go away but that is not effective.  Even the WWII and Korean veterans who have not sought any assistance from the military deal silently with these issues and the thoughts become more intrusive as they become older and have to slow down physically.  My point is that early treatment with the appropriate medications which are closely monitored for side effects may improve the overall quality of life for these individuals for the remainder of their life.  Medication is not the only type of treatment that psychiatrist offer and is not always the answer. In fact it usually works best in combination with other therapy. 

The next point I wanted to make is that there are cases when individuals respond negatively to medications.  A good family and personal history can help to identify some more likely to have adverse effects. It is also necessary to closely monitor for adverse reactions of side effects and to warn the patient and family about signs that may indicate the medication should be changed or discontinued.  I was the expert witness in a case of a double homicide by a 12 year old who killed his grandparents and burned the house who I feel certain killed the people he loved the most due to mania induced by medications.  The symptoms of medication induced mania were definitely there but not recognized by the primary care physician prescribing the medication.  I think it is rare for something like this to happen but it did in his case so he is spending 30 years in prison because the jury did not believe the medications could cause this.  I have no doubt that this can happen, but I have seen many more people benefit from medications than to have such negative outcomes. 

I have requested to talk to Mr. Piazza on more than one occasion about this because I cannot in good faith recommend his reports because of his stance concerning psychiatric illness and medications.  He sent me a list of people who committed violent crimes while taking psychotropic medications.  Without the details, there is no way to know if due to the illness or the medications.  In most cases, it is more likely due to inadequate treatment of the illness rather than the medication itself.  One thing that I believe supports this assumption is the fact that antidepressants were blamed for juveniles committing homicides and there was a lot of media response to this and sincere concern by physicians.  It turns out that when larger studies which were more sound in their methodology were completed this did not turn out to be true. There was actually a decrease in the rate of suicides once current treatments became available.  There are times when the medications are blamed because they have been prescribed but that does not mean the person is necessarily taking them.  Front Sight sounds great and I have invested quite a bit of money in it as a Diamond level member with hotel privileges and since I bought other level memberships before that and courses I have quite a few to give away or sell in addition to my desire to get out there to train ASAP. It is a shame that I do not feel that I can share information about Front Sight because of the agenda against psychiatric care.  

I have always had a desire to do research on alternative ways to treat individuals with PTSD after combat but never had time when practicing.  One of my ideas involved scuba diving because most combat veterans have no interest in groups.  I will not bore you with the full idea and why I think it might help. I only mention it because I think there might also be some possibilities to help them in an environment like Front Sight because it could potentially be a safe place for these individuals to get together and face the memories that haunt them along with other combat veterans who could relate.  There would be a great opportunity for families to heal but not when it is not a safe place to mention what is classified as psychiatric illness.  Many children and spouses don't understand the changes that happen to their loved ones and why they seem distant and are often irritable and wanting to isolate.  A place where they could share experiences and realize it is not them but the effects of trauma on the ones they love can really help.  In closing, I just want to say that I hope this is actually allowed to be posted and that Mr. Piazza reads it. I hope that it reassures at least one veteran or family that there is hope for better days.  My last point is one that I tell every one of the combat vets I know.  It is the fact that PTSD is classified as a psychiatric illness which is not something I really agree with.  People might be better off if it was classified as a neurological illness due to the stigma of mental illness.  It is the result of a normal response that anyone should have to a severely traumatic incident. If people are really in combat they were traumatized even if some are able to push it back and avoid the memories by becoming workaholics that never slow down until not able to keep going and then it gets worse.  We know there are changes in brain chemistry and the other systems of the body that are normal responses that allow a person to survive.  I won't bore you with details but the effects are real as the body revs up for survival and never normalizes totally after return to a safer area. The chemicals that change not only impact the brain but also cause things like high blood pressure, weight gain, heart disease and diabetes.  

Even if this is not read by Mr. Piazza, I hope there are some veterans or families that may benefit from a better understanding of what I consider to be a normal response to a terrible situation allowing for survival during war but harmful if the same level is retained after return to the USA which is at least safer thus far.  Please feel free to pick my brain, that is what is left of it, if this causes you to think or have further questions. Psychiatry is an evolving field and we learn new information all the time.  If I don't know the answers I will try to get them.  Lanette
Just wanted to add that I am acting as a friend and in no way am I attempting to treat anyone.  I guess it is my specialty training in forensic psychiatry that makes me need to make it clear that I am not entering into a doctor patient relationship with anyone who might respond to this post.

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My new video came out great - I really love all the upgrades to my beloved AR-15 - check it out for yourself and leave a comment.

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