A rare political post
How do you control the sale of guns to the mentally ill? I’m mentally ill. I’m stable and have rarely ever in my life shown out in a violent way. I don’t feel like, as a bipolar person, I should have a gun. But this is for my own safety, not for that of others. I can’t imagine ever using a gun to harm another person, but there have been times when I might have attempted to take my own life had a weapon been easily accessible. But if I choose, I can buy a gun. My background check is flawless.
But who decides how mentally ill or functional someone must be to be declined gun ownership? Should someone with anxiety or a history of depression be denied a weapon for self defense just because they went through a rough spell in their twenties? Should all mentally ill people be subject to a “list” as if they are criminals? What about the many, many people who have mental health issues but do not seek treatment?
I am against high capacity rifles in anyone’s hand. I’m sorry, but there’s not a single person I trust with that kind of power. Not one. But regulation is difficult to define and even more difficult to enforce. It’s a bit of a mess.
I think that Americans are not going to stand for heavy gun reform. Because of that, I believe that a push for more accessible mental health care is necessary. It’s unavailable for many, unaffordable for most, and the stigma of being labeled is a really heavy weight to bear.
It’s important for employers to work with people who suffer from mental illness – high levels of stress lead to instability. It’s important for communities, schools to offer programs that teach about acceptance and education on these issues. It’s very, very important that our emergency agencies learn about these things and how to diffuse situations with people who are either mentally unstable or just simply burned out and frustrated with life. It’s important to be there for people in your life who are struggling and offer a strong support system.
The guns aren’t going anywhere. That means that we have got to work on our mental health system and teaching our children coping skills and acceptance of others.