People With Mental Health Conditions Deserve To Have A Gun Too
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This is a tough topic in the United States, the idea of not just a person with an illness or a disorder to have a gun, but anyone for that matter. I wanted to write about this because in college I was always thinking of the Aurora shooting in Colorado since I was at school there. The newscasts were always suggesting the guy had bipolar, which I think they thought he did with a bunch of other health problems. I associated bipolar with shooters and now living with the same illness I know how ridiculous that thought process was. Sure, we should be scared that a guy with bipolar has shot people but why did he shoot? Either way a person who is not able to get the help they need or are unwilling to get help may shoot and we cannot do anything about it, except to take action and create facilities and care for the growing population of individuals acquiring mental illnesses. Mental illness doesn’t just come into our life in our teens and early twenties. Mental illness comes into our life sometimes in our fifties and maybe even late sixties! As a society mental illness is what black people were to whites during slavery [Something to be scapegoated].
What is my say on this issue? Obviously by the title we all know what ballpark I am sitting in, but I truthfully would ban certain types of guns and would have laws that would limit access to them. Keep in mind I am not one who likes guns but I am using what I know and what I have read. We cannot take away a person's legal right to own a gun because they have a mental illness. That’s similar to saying some ethnic group can’t have guns because they are known to form violent gangs! To me we are concentrating on all of the mass shootings thinking we will protect people from maniacs but in my mind that is not as useful as taking charge earlier and making mental healthcare more available. One of the most important moves that I see we can make is through education and word of mouth life experience sharing. If I was not mentally ill I would be scared of the idea of a mentally ill patient having a gun but now I see mentally ill individuals different and know we are equally as violent that any sane person. Most people are like me, I have never hit someone and I plan to never do it. The more I think about the issue of gun laws the more I see how ridiculous the argument against the mentally ill. The question of who should be allowed no guns is horrible.
One person who shoots people in a public place because of some problem possibly a mental illness just makes everyone feel scared of mental illnesses. Media often portrays bipolar disorder wrongly, so when we take the media version of a bipolar person we assume that they are all crazy insane. Did you know that there was once a suggestion that the government put everyone who has attended therapy, AA classes, and drug counseling into a database? Crazy and stupid for sure! So who do we need to be aware of and who should be denied the right to have a gun? People may be bipolar or have another mental illness but I know if we look at cases we will find that most shooters have a history of violence on a consistent basis. If a shooter doesn’t have a history of violence then something else is at fault. The point is, is that these people who are shooters, even if they had a mental illness they would be judged by their actions not their diagnoses. If they are judged, people most likely would infer the shooter had something like bipolar but that is another person taking the situation and thinking the shooter was mentally ill. So people with a mental illness have rights. We are not at fault for our illness. It wasn’t like we wished we had an illness for Christmas. When we get down and dirty we see that everyone has the right to protect themselves: Even people with psychiatric health problems.
When a person gets a gun it is their choice of what they do with it. I am not saying we should not do something to prevent the shootings to occur but not allowing mentally ill patients to have a gun is ludicrous. When a person chooses to mass shoot there are steps that could have happened to prevent an individual to shoot. But then it is responsible for a person to learn how to advocate for themselves. There are more reasons of why one shoots and if one needs to kill they would keep trying to find a way to get their ‘fix’. This is just my opinion. Everyone is welcome to their own.
- Susan Page