Tag Archives: Gun control

Mass shootings, gun control, and equal rights-a different viewpoint


Equal Rights road sign isolated on white.

I have written before on this topic, but always trying to appeal to “everyone”, with little reference to having mental illness.  I think it’s time to try again.

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I have bipolar.

I watched, with everyone else, the media coverage of the mass shootings in recent years.  I watched, and have heard, how the focus for every media covered shooting has ended in a call for “gun control”.

I don’t understand it.

Being someone with a mental illness, invariably what screams out at me is the fact that, with the exception of the Trayvon Martin debacle, every nationally covered shooting has had two common denominators.

1:  A firearm was used.

2: The person committing the mass shooting had a mental illness.

It’s really strange to me that the focus is on “gun control”.  I remember a time when there were a number of incidents that were highly publicized about senior citizens driving into stores and crowds.  There was discussion about treating them as individuals and testing them on a case by case basis, more frequently, or whether to set an “age limit” on the driving privilege.

When it has come to nationally noticed gun violence and people with mental illness, the same consideration is not taken.  Instead, to make a comparison, the discussion most brought up in the public eye is whether or not to ban guns of this type or that, as well as calls to ban them in general.  This is sort of like with the senior citizens, if there had been a public debate on whether to ban automobiles of certain types or something.

What a tragedy!  All of that money and airtime that could have been spent on mental healthcare reform and such wasted on limiting the rights of people who have done nothing wrong.

What gets to me, though, even more, is the amount of disrespect it shines on people who have a mental illness.  “They can’t be held responsible”, an attitude which carries on into everyday life constantly.

I wish people would wake up to this.  The United States is based on the importance of the rights of individuals, and great battles have been fought for the equality of individuals and the elimination of discrimination against groups of people.  Here we are, though, with the disposition that people with a mental illness are incompetent children who are unable to be responsible for themselves.

I am not a child.  I have an illness.  If I shoot someone, why on earth would you then want to limit other people?

I am expected to pay bills.  I am expected to do what I am supposed to do within society.  I am expected to take responsibility for the maintenance of my own care to battle my mental illness.  I am allowed to vote, to buy alcohol, to drive, to do any number of other things that I am afforded the right to do by my rights as a citizen.

How disrespectful for the government and society to treat me like a child, and to encourage me to sit down and be quiet because I am “suffering” and I have “no control”.

Madness.  They want people with a mental illness to take all of these responsibilities, and then pat us on the head if we do wrong.  They wink at us and say, “Oh, well, you know, they’re crazy, you can’t hold them responsible.”

It can’t be both ways.  We are either expected to do right and treated like equals, or come right out and say that we should be treated like children, and then provide us with the same care you would a child.  Either provide us with “full care”, housing, therapy, medication and everything else that would be provided to the child you think we are, or treat us as we are.

We are citizens, individuals with different capabilities fighting illnesses as best we can and in different ways.

Have the respect for us to hold us responsible for the things we do.

 

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I’m not a fan of the NRA, but…


I don’t like the NRA. Don’t get me wrong, they’re supporting the 2nd amendment, they’re well funded, organized, blablabla. I guess that’s all a good thing. I want to take a walk down memory lane with you, though.

In the 90′s, we had background checks* come up. The NRA came out as supporting them. The leader said in a hearing they were all for “instant” background checks, something pointed out as being a political masterstroke, binding up congress with a technological impossibility, at the time.

Now, they have reversed their “position”. Why? Because “things like that won’t help anything.”

I’m all for the 2nd, and totally against registration and background checks as a tool that could be easily wielded by a tyrant to illegally move to take people’s firearms. I suppose the position “it won’t help” works, but I can poke a giant hole in it with no thought involved at all. “How will we know until we try?”

This is why I don’t like the NRA. They take a weak position to engender the most political support possible, offering politicians a position defensible to the public should they face reelection, but it puts them in a constant state of trying to cause congress to dither.

If they take the strong position, then I’ll be all for them. Until then, though, I can’t help but wonder if they are not an “agent provacateur” working WITH the government.

The knowledge that you send the NRA your money tends to make people think,”Well, I don’t need to do a thing as an individual. That’s why I pay them.” Thus, if they turn around and give the government an “in” to gun control, then you are caught unaware until they show up at your door to take your firearms because of the deal they struck with “NRA support”.

Do I think you should send your money to them? If you got the money to send, then go ahead. But never think they should be your ONLY advocate. YOU are your best advocate. Send your money, but make sure you drop a line to your government representative, congressman, sheriff, president, and whoever else you can. Think of them as one of your pawns in this maddening game of political chess, so that they do not make you a sacrificed pawn in a play of their own to maintain their own position, power, and income.

 

*-This was written some time ago, and I used “gun registration” instead of “background checks”, something which caused people to focus on the idea that the NRA had never supported direct “registration” rather than what I was trying to get across-the idea that being a pawn for one entity was as dangerous as being the pawn of another.

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How the 2nd Amendment benefits everyone…


Do those who commonly call for gun control and an end to the 2nd amendment think that the second amendment doesn’t afford them rights and protections as well? I hear this most commonly from liberal minded people, so let me toss out a scenario: 2016-A backlash against Obama leads to a far right candidate being elected to President, as well as far right candidates gaining control of the congress. 2017-Christian values are legislated, homosexuality is declared illegal, speech is censored, and liberals are placed “under watch”. 2018-An alleged terrorist act is committed on Washington DC at the Supreme Court. The justices are wiped out. The President passes a new act-the “Keep America Safe” act, and moves to register and investigate anyone who speaks against the government. The congress and president bring in a new set of S.C. justices who are all Extreme far right, who become a “rubber stamp” for the Pres and Congress. 2020-During the election, many candidates who appear to be doing well against the far right people in office are charged with sedition or are killed in “random acts of violence”. The Far right leadership leans further right, requiring that anyone who can not prove their citizenship either leave the country or be jailed. Abortion is declared illegal, and mandatory sentences for all crimes becomes hard labor. 2021-After another “heinous act” committed by an unstable individual, the far right leaning government declares begins registration of firearms and confiscation, with the media declaring(by government issued mandate) that they are only collecting the firearms of those who are “deemed a security risk”. 2022-Anyone who speaks against the government-in any way is deemed a “security risk”, and they are collected for psychiatric evaluation and “reconditioning”.

Consider this: With the second amendment, all of those whose rights are trampled throughout this are able to get firearms and fight all of this-and would have support from those “unreasonable” gun owners who want freedom and liberty before anything else. Without firearms, nothing can stop this freight train, and the United States becomes a one-party system, and effectively an oligarchy. Paranoia? Perhaps. Read up on the rise of the third reich and get back to me-this sort of thing HAS happened before. The second amendment is for EVERYONE and protects EVERYONE. So long as the government has to fear armed insurrection, extremism cannot come to power successfully.

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On Gun Control…


I am on to say something, and I want you to know where I’m coming from on this. I am mentally ill. I will never own a firearm personally. That’s ok with me, and I totally understand the reason for this.

The problem I see right now is that people are focusing on the tool used to commit atrocities-but it is not “socially acceptable” to point out the other thing that is always the same. Those who commit these acts are mentally ill.

As a person with mental illness, I want to say that I believe that we should be dealing with the issue of regulating the mentally ill, not firearms. There have been huge changes in the world of psychiatry over the past 30 years or so, and long term stays in the hospital have gone from being common to almost nonexistant. However, during my personal times of crisis, I NEEDED to be somewhere safe, for a longer period than a week, so that I could be watched and cared for until I came out the other side.

People with mental illness should be registered and monitored more carefully and thoroughly. There needs to be a requirement that I speak to someone from the mental health industry with an eye toward my stability on a monthly basis, I should not be allowed to own a gun, and if someone I live with owns a firearm, they should be required to show that they are taking steps to keep it out of my hands. Whether a gun lock, a class on gun safety, whatever.

You see, I have thought about the efficiency of delegalizing assault weapons and firearms, if I were to decide to become destructive and kill people on a large scale. Simply put, if I wanted to kill people, a ban on firearms would not stop me at all. Shall we next ban bleach and ammonia(mixed they make a potent poisonous gas)? How about hammers? I could kill someone with those, even a large group, should they be unarmed. How about cars? Give a person a car and a desire to commit an atrocity, and large crowds should beware.

This is all said to illustrate-banning a firearm in no way will protect people from the acts of the criminal or the mentally ill. If you want to “protect the public” from the acts of this minority, then keep close watch upon them. I would understand being registered as mentally ill, regular check-ins and even being sent to a long-term care facility in the event I refused to take care of myself. This is called holding me responsible for my own actions and choices.

Mental illness is not a license to act badly. If you have a mental illness and act badly, you should be incarcerated. Perhaps away from the “criminal” element, but you should still be away from society. Why on earth would you, instead, if a person acts poorly, hold everyone else responsible?

I do not believe the government wants to take your firearms to keep you “safer”. Being “safe” is an issue of personal responsibility, and if that is what the true desire is, then gun ownership, gun training, should be things we encourage as a society. If everyone is armed, then the power of the “scary assault rifle” gets quite a bit weaker.

What if the principal had been armed? What if there had been an armed guard or two in the halls of sandy hook? What if there had been a few audience members in CO that had been armed?

Even better, what if ALL of the responsible, law-abiding adults had been armed with a firearm during any one of these atrocities?

The government wants to disarm the people for a reason besides public safety, and it’s time we looked that fact in the face and called it for what it is. It’s time people started publicly seeking the truth of their motives.

I am mentally ill, and I say we need to watch the mentally ill more carefully, and encourage gun ownership by the public. These are the solutions to prevent “atrocities” by the mentally ill, while allowing the citizens to defend against any moves toward tyranny.

I’m not ashamed of being mentally ill, but I recognize it for what it is. Hold me personally responsible for my behavior and well-being, don’t hold everyone else responsible for it.

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