Full circle? Piers Morgan, mental health & gun violence (again)

27 Dec

The amazing power of Twitter to bring diverse people together, engage, educate and – just sometimes – to sow the seeds of change in even the most entrenched views. Here’s a Twitter conversation which ran over the cFull circle Twitter profile photo DEC 2012ourse of 24 hours on the subject of Piers Morgan, gun violence and mental health with tweeter “ahxcjb” (@ahxcjb) (see Twitter profile photo right).

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Sometimes, when someone directs idiotic comments at me, I play with them a little, just to see if they’ll come up with some more. As tweep “ANM” (@Amazonnewsmedia) said:

“Hmmm This is like finding the very source of a ridiculous prejudice. If we could bottle it, or freeze it …”

First there are tweets between @ahxcjb and I (with some commentary from me). I’m afraid I don’t always have the patience to effectively draw out from people what they’re really trying to express when their arguments aren’t coherent. Luckily however other tweeps did a far better job than me.

After my tweets, there is the Twitter gold of other tweeps’ comments when they explore ideas with him in ways I never imagined.

The best part is that, over time, the tweep’s views really did appear to change –  just a little – through the power of different tweeps engaging with him on his own level and educating him about mental health. Utterly fascinating.

Read for yourself and see what you think. (There are quite a lot of tweets so you can see everything and judge for yourself. I may edit later to focus the post more but don’t have time to do so at present.)

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As a tantilising morsel, here is a selection of favourite tweets, to give you a flavour …

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@ahxcjb: @Sectioned_ i’ll ask again, why did you get sectioned? Were you a danger to the public? Clearly you were. Do I want u to have a gun? God no!

@ahxcjb: @ColinGoffin I just don’t take the viewpoints of someone whose been sectioned previously very highly. If you want to – fine. Your lookout.

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@NicClark83: @Sectioned_ I’d be more worried about people like @ahxcjb having a gun. Such ignorance and prejudice is dangerous.

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@ahxcjb: @Dopamine_Diva yes. I have a problem with anyone having a gun that isn’t police (even then, only with in depth vetting) or military.

@Dopamine_Diva: @ahxcjb So do I. But why single out people with mental health problems? Do u know lots of police officers have mental illness too?

@Dopamine_Diva: @ahxcjb 1 in 4 people have a mental illness. 1 in 10 murderers have a mental illness. It’s the healthy people you should watch out for.

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@GetLost_UpYours: @ahxcjb @Sectioned Out of interest, what about people with mh issues owning a car, they might decide to run someone over.

@GetLost_UpYours: @ahxcjb @Sectioned Or what if I learnt a martial art, I could be lethal with my hands then.

@GetLost_UpYours: @ahxcjb @Sectioned_ Just to clarify, I do have mental ill health, I do own air weapons (which could be deadly) and I’m a qualified marksman.

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And finally, here’s a last link to the Storify story.

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UpdateFriday 28th December 2012 – Tweep @ahxcjb disabled his account yesterday, so none of his tweets are available any longer. As @Dopamine_Diva tweeted hilariously:

“So sad he’s disabled the account, I went on the computer today all ready to recruit him to do some anti stigma stuff!”

We’ll probably never know the outcome of the tweet exchange. But maybe, just maybe, the tweep will have a change of heart about mental issues. Fingers crossed.

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