The Uncomfortable Talk: Guns and Mental Health
So, I’ve tried to avoid this discussion because I’d rather not be involved in politics, but I figured my voice should be heard on the subject. As you all know, with the recent shooting, gun laws and mental health have been yanked onto the stage once again, and in a very negative way. As always, the perpetrator has been lumped together with all of us as a mentally ill individual, and this really irks me to no end.
It is seriously disturbing what has occurred, and I have no doubt that any individual who commits such atrocities is seriously deranged. Yet, what the media, and therefore the public, fails to understand is that just because someone who picks up a gun and kills people because they are “mentally ill” does not apply to the whole community.
My father, while not a great man in my opinion, was a gun owner. He had guns in our house while growing up. However, even though I do not believe that he knew of my mental illness, he kept the guns locked in a cabinet away from all of us. I had once broken into the gun cabinet to retrieve a BB gun (a pump powered gun that shoots small pellets) that had been taken away from me as I was grounded. It was as I did this that I discovered that not only did he keep the cabinet locked, not well I might add, but he kept trigger locks on all the guns in the cabinet. These trigger locks prevented the gun from being used, and could only be opened by a key. Not only that but he didn’t even keep ammunition in the same location as the actual guns. So my father was a very safe gun owner and there was no way that I could even get access to them without his knowledge. Believe me, there were days that I would much rather have had buckshot for breakfast, but was unable to as it was impossible with the level of protection that he had.
The real reason that these people commit the heinous acts that they do, is because they have no sense of humanity. They are not mentally ill, they are evil incarnate. They have no remorse, feelings, or morals. They do what they do because they are just terrible people. There is something wrong with their brains, like us, but unlike us, their “missing parts” turn them into monsters. The only threat that most of us pose, is to ourselves. I have tried to kill myself 3, almost 4, times; and yet I have never harmed someone more than a punch. It makes me sick to my stomach to even think of hurting anyone.
What we need, is certainly stricter gun laws, that involve more mental health screening. Yeah I would love to own a gun, but if you need to keep a gun out of my hands so that people who are deranged can’t get them, I’ll volunteer. Although, that would be in a perfect world, it doesn’t really work that way, these people get their guns legally or not. I cannot argue that we need mental health reformation, as the system in the US is absolutely atrocious. However, this should be done to help all of us struggling every day against our demons. It shouldn’t be made into a screening service to pick out the real crazies in order to prevent mass murder. The unsightly truth is that as long as humans exist, there are those that just kill. For one reason or another they just do what they want and can to hurt others.
Let’s start taking care of the people who need it, rather than starting another mental illness witch hunt.
Photo Credit: Unsplash: David Levêque