“We have no national database of these lunatics… We have a completely cracked mentally ill system that has these monsters walking the streets.”
— Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President NRA
Don’t want what monsters, Mr LaPierre? What do you consider a lunatic? What mental illness would require an individual to be tracked to ensure we are not walking the streets with our guns armed and ready to do some serious damage?
Mass shooters in the U.S. have been linked with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, and even depression. That’s going to be a pretty long list and none have found to be a specific factor in the increase of mass shootings. There’s already stigma for those who have been diagnosed. I’ve spent the last five years on this blog to help people understand that there is no shame in being mentally ill. Sadly, statements like yours further polarizes us.
There are some restrictions already in place. Many years ago, when I willingly checked into a psychiatric ward, I was required to sign a form advising me that I was restricted from purchasing a firearm for the next five years. This form, however, was not created to prevent me from hurting other people, its primary purpose was to keep guns out of my hands so I would not hurt myself. Considering 1 out of five diagnosed with bipolar disorder commits suicide, it seems to me like a pretty good law to have.
What about depression? Well, that would certainly be a very long list. Polls show that between 17 million and 21 million American adults are diagnosed annually with depression. That’s a lot of people. Many of those diagnosis’ are situational, however, is a person who suffers from a short term diagnoses any less dangerous than someone who suffers from chronic depression? I doubt it. In fact, it is my uneducated guess that those who suffer from situational depression are probably more likely to harm themselves and others. Why? Because they have had less time to learn how to control it. There is little incentive to learn to adapt.
How dare you, LaPierre. You and the rest of the NRA have shown no shame. You’ve indicted virtually every institution to avoid looking toward yourselves. One of your most recent claims is the AR-15 shown above is the modern day version of a musket. You’ve shown a lack of compassion to the residents of Newtown by having robocalls dial throughout the area to garner support for gun owners rights less than three months after the Sandy Hook elementary shootings.
What about you, Mr. LaPierre? I am empathetic to the fact that you also suffer. After all, you did cite mental illness as a reason to receive a draft deferment during the Vietnam War. I know how difficult that must have been. Go ahead and further pursue a law requiring the mentally ill to have to register with a national database. Just make sure that you put yourself first in line.
2 comments on Crazies With Guns
Excellent piece, Brad. I couldn’t agree more. The idea that we should “register” the mentally ill rather than guns is abhorrent. So much for “freedom”.
I’m glad you read this, Nuna. I was hoping you would. I was thinking of you the entire time I was writing it.