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Ask Dr. Helen

Dr. Helen:

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a psychologist specializing in forensic issues, with a private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee and a blogger at My main interests are men’s issues, the influence of pop culture on society, forensic psychology, teens and kids who are violent, podcasting and filmmaking.

“Ask Dr.Helen” will be an interactive column with a question and answer format—you may ask me questions that have been haunting you or that you are just plain curious about that are relevant to your life, your thoughts, your love life, or about pop culture or society in general. I will answer some of the questions in this column as space provides. I would also welcome comments from readers that may add to, or expand upon my answers or you can just tell me how wrong you think I am and why – politely, please! This column is for educational and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to replace therapy or psychological treatment.

I’ll start: So, Dr. Helen, as a gun owner, am I a psycho?

8 Responses to “Ask Dr. Helen”

  1. Sebastian Says:

    Originally in that post I mentioned that Pat Brown’s background is in Criminal Justice and not psychology. I took it out because I thought questioning her credentials when I know very little about her or what she knows was in poor taste and basically just amounted to a personal attack.

    But it does seem to me like she’s the type of expert who is really good at promoting herself as such, but is she an actual expert on the subject she speaks about? I don’t know, but it doesn’t seem like she has much in the way of academic or scientific credentials.

  2. Snowflakes in Hell » Cool! Says:

    […] Dr. Helen has a new advise column.   Hopefully, I will not be in need of relationship advise from her anytime soon.  But I am interested in hearing whether Uncle is crazy. […]

  3. Ripper Says:

    Well, let’s just surf over to Dr. Hellen’s advice column and see what she has to say in her very first post

    To get things started, I will ask and answer the first question—it is an important one: “What kinds of things should an adult be able to do?”

    Ok so far, let’s see. What does she think adults should be able to do?

    Understand and be able to use a basic handgun. Many people will oppose me on this one; they are pacifists, uninterested in guns, scared of guns, whatever. Yet hear me out. Even if you hate guns, knowing the basics of how handguns work (and you might have to shoot one to find out) will save you from looking like a buffoon if you work as a politician, journalist or are just debating the merits of gun ownership and want to at least give the appearance of having some knowledge of your subject. Debating about guns without understanding the basics of how they work is like engaging in magical thinking about the boogey man—but then, many people do this. And a gun is a tool, so it is important to know how the darn thing works just in case you are put in a position where you have to handle one at some point in your life.

    I think we can infer two things from this.

    1) Dr. Hellen does not believe that anyone who owns a gun is a psycho. On the contrary, she thinks everyone should know how to use a gun. Not just any gun, but a handgun.

    2) Though he is not a psycho, Uncle is a moron.

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Though he is not a psycho, Uncle is a moron.

    Actually, ripper, I was being facetious and it seems that you didn’t quite catch on to that. I mean, a non-moron would have clicked the link and realized that.

  5. Ripper Says:

    Yeah, I did click the link. And your attempt to link Dr. Hellen to Pat Brown means you’d have to study hard and long to get up to moron.

    SWPL-Revolver class A

  6. SayUncle Says:

    What you said makes no sense at all. I tried figuring out your point but could not. Must be the moron in me. And it seems Dr. Helen linked to the Pat Brown video just yesterday.

  7. Ripper Says:

    Yes she did. Watch the whole video.

    When you’re trying to uphold the right of the people to keep and bear arms, DON’T ATTACK THE PEOPLE ON YOUR SIDE. ATTACK THE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE.

    Or, if you can’t figure it out from the video, here’s Pat Brown in her own words, from Dr. Hellen’s site

    “Update: Criminal Profiler Pat Brown responds in the comments:

    Wasn’t it just a few months ago when I got wailed on by the left during the Virginia Tech massacre for suggesting kids should carry guns to school to protect themselves? Sometime during the many interviews I did that week I said something to the effect that if we allowed concealed carry on campuses maybe someone would have taken Cho out. I am a big fan of concealed carry because I know criminals carry concealed weapons all the time and I would like to even the field with some honest citizens carrying a few themselves so criminals don’t think no one will shoot back. I think of how many lives would be saved if only someone in the school or company could defend against mass murderers instead of allowing these killers from mowing down a bunch of sitting ducks who are desperately try to hide behind furniture to save their lives.

    Now, after doing interviews on the Jesse Davis murder, those from the right are taking one statement out of context and going nuts about it. It seems they think that I believe any man who owns a gun is a danger to women. If I thought that, I guess I would be talking about my own father and my own son. They have guns for personal protection. For that matter, my daughter has guns for personal protection and I also own firearms for personal protection. I am all for gun ownership for personal protection. Clearly, I was not saying a man with a gun is a psychopath.

    Nor was I saying a man who might have a collection of guns is a psychopath. I know many of these men as well. They are hunters or lovers of antiques or do a lot of target shooting. What I was talking about during the Paula Zahn Show was the combination of psychopathic behavior and an obsession with weaponry as psychopath love weapons as it gives them a feeling of power and control. Psychopaths do indeed have a fascination with guns and knives and just because the rest of us might happen to own weapons or even have a number of them as a hobby doesn’t eliminate the fact that psychopaths may also be shopping at the gun store with us.

    Women must learn to differentiate between psychological healthy men and unpsychologically healthy men if they want to keep from getting into a dangerous life threatening situation. No one trait will be proof that an individual is a psychopath but add a bunch of traits together and this is a warning. A kind, honorable, honest man with a gun collection is not a psychopath or a danger to anyone but a lying, manipulative, arrogant creep who has a cache of twenty weapons is someone a woman wants to get the hell away from. A man who teaches history at the local junior high school and happens to have a collection of Asian swords is not someone a woman should be frightened of but a man who obsessively watches ninja flicks, brags about how he used to be in the CIA, can’t keep a job, calls women sluts and whores, and owns a huge collection of swords and daggers, now there is a guy a woman wants should avoid like the plague.

    Anyone who watched the actual Paula Zahn Show and paid attention to the whole conversation and intent would clearly know I was not labeling gun owners psychopaths. Unfortunately, when words are taken out of context and printed on the Internet, often the meaning of those words get misunderstood. I apologize to any gun owners (who aren’t psychopaths) who thought they were the target of my statements. I respect your constitutional rights to own firearms and would never want to see those taken away. I, like you, want to be sure I can protect myself and my family. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

    Criminal Profiler Pat Brown”

  8. SayUncle Says:

    Yes, she did what?

    And, yeah, I noticed Pat Brown’s response. But that was, of course, after this post. And, you know, the Doc wrote about the story after I dropped her a link to Sebastian’s joint.


    Been saying that for a while, even on this issue in private correspondence with other gun bloggers.

    Other than that (on which I agree), I’m trying to figure out your point.