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Readers Respond: What's Your Perspective on Guns and Mental Illness

Responses: 47


Updated February 16, 2009

Too often perpetrators of mass shootings are found to be mentally ill. Does this mean gun ownership should be restricted? Share Your Thoughts


Sorry, but bipolar, or manic depressive, the old term for bipolar, would, in my opinion, definitely, remove you from owning a weapon. I have seen at least 2 people who are bipolar; people with this permanent disability should NEVER be allowed weapons.
—Guest issachar5

assault weapons

we are not at war in our community.so why would we need an assault weapon?
—Guest les

Legal terms written into the law

I think you are being way too harsh on Mr. LaPierre. He is talking about the state of Federal law since the Gun Control Act of 1968 and using the same wording as the law and the BATF form 4473 because those are legal terminology defined in the law. Currently the NRA is on the other side of the issue. The VA and the FBI have gone beyond the law and have been putting the names of veterans receiving mental disability benefits on the list of people not allow to buy a gun even though they have not had the due process of being declared incompetent by a court.
—Guest Guest

okay wait wait now hold on

I'm going to say this. If a person has mental issues, they should be able to sell them rifles, or guns they can't conceal. If they have have a rifle on the street, they would be apprehended. But don't sell them concealed weapons without checking with his/her doctor first.
—Guest James "Bookie" Frost

mentally ill son commits suicide

My son was 31 years old and mentally ill. He had been to many doctors and mental facilities admitting to wanting to commit suicide. He went to walmart bought a shotgun and killed himself. After admitting to being suicidal I feel people should be flagged from purchasing guns for their safety and the general public safety. He was impulsive and if access was denied at the time of his of purchase maybe he would still be with us today. Our entire family is grieving his loss. I hope laws are passed to deny anyone who ever admits to thoughts of harming themselves or others not be allowed to purchase guns. I hope that other families are saved this extreme pain. It should be like the law to protect children when anyone admits a child has been abused it must be reported by law. Some of the mentally ill do not even have the comprehension level of children and should not have access to guns. We would not let a child buy a gun. We should not allow mentally ill persons to buy guns either!
—Guest mom of suicide victim

Response to Oregon Gun control

Tell those of us in the anti-violence, pro-self-defense and gun rights community how to write and enact laws that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals with felonies on their records (against the law for felons to own a gun but felons always seem to get them). If we don't require a crime or commitment before restricting gun ownership, we wind up with even more defenseless citizens in Tucson or in the incident this week in Oregon where a bipolar woman passed the background check and then shot and killed a police officer during a traffic stop, for no apparent reason.
—Guest Louisiana Gun Rights Advocate

Some mass killers are not mentally ill?

If you do what the govt tells you and go kill men women and children in a war where your country was never attacked by then, does that make you mentally ill or does i was just following orders get you out of that characterization? If our govt goes to war without congressional approval and the president is not given a lethal injection for treason are the congress, the president or the people or any of us mentally ill for not stopping it or doing anything about it. I have the funny feeling that we are all born inately and severely mentally ill due to the super conscienceness we seem to possess. And for someone to post such thoughts on the internet where the govt tracks it all w/o worrying about it because it just the way it is, well, does that make them mentally ill. And lastly, do you allow mentally ill people to post thier thoughts on this site as long as it is not threatening, vulgar, racist, sexist etc and let it post for all to see even if they are obviously mental ill? Thanks
—Guest guest name

Is there an "abuse of power disorder?"

Life experiance of myself and most of those in my community see the criminal justice system and police as mentally ill. Delusions of grandure are common, don't even look at them, they will arrest you for "something". Fight them in self defense and they will hurt and/or kill you, even at a later date. If we remove guns from anyone it should be with these lawless bullys first! It's really bad now.
—Guest Above the law disorder?

Just my thoughts

I think people should be able to own guns even if they have BP as BP doesnt make you a dangerous Person. We should not choose who and who doesn't get the right to own guns because of BP or other mental illnessess.
—Guest Bob

Flame Throwers, Grenades & Screwdrivers

Not directly Mental Illness & Guns, but in the70's I believe, a German man entered a school in West Germany and commenced to do what one plans to do armed in a school... With a Flame Thrower. In the 80's a German student threatened the school with a WWII German grenade he had dug up and around 94'/95' a student in a technical school in West Berlin, around the corner from where I was working as a security guard, rushed into the street and stabbed 5 passers-bye with a screwdriver, the first two in the neck. Whether mentally ill or just criminal, havoc and harm are not limited to guns. We should require a license for screwdrivers and ban them from Mentally Defective people like me/us I guess.

makes you think!

What are the REAL percentages of mental illness? Has anyone "normal" ever been diagnosed with a mental illness? Did you know that psychology is a soft science NOT an exact science. Which means a diagnosis by one Dr. could differ from another rendering the original diagnosis of mental illness altered or void. Therefore whom is to say which "mentally ill" patient is a threat? Has any "normal" person ever had mental illness episodes? Has any "normal" person thought about committing suicide, committed suicide or killed someone? Of those who kill themselves or others with guns, how many actually owned the gun? How many "mentally ill people with guns have saved their own life or someone else's? Some of these fore mentioned are unmeasurable, some are not. Killings are measureable, saved lives are not. There is so much to ponder. Taking the 2nd Amendment rights away from nonviolent "mentally ill" people is not.
—Guest awesome RN

Forrest Service borrows text

Yesterday I was sent a link to a Federal job announcement for the Forrest Service Law Enforcement that uses the same text as the Federal Firearms Transaction Record , just dropping the bit about handling your own affairs. Guess I need not apply... http://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/308664200

va and incompantance

I was labled incompaitant by the va, because i was adicited to illeagal drugs so i wad issued a payee and hence denied a firearm via fbi background check. However i went to rehab and cleaned up my life a year later i asked my psych doc for a review and i was granted to be companant and to manage my money. Shortly later i wrote the fbi deniles board and explained my stort and provided my letter of compancy from the va. The fbi reversed their decsion and now i can purches any long gun. btw im also bipolor and have anxitiy.
—Guest vet

Depends on the mental Illness

Thousands of people around the world own guns and have undiagnosed mental illnesses, I have bipolar disorder and sometimes I get really pissed off, but I respect the Gun, and I have never pulled out a gun on nobody, and when I go to the rage I have never thought about suicide or shooting someone else, and for the guy that wrote "I don't consider suicide with a gun because I'm a christian", well, I think there are ropes, razors, poisons and many kinds of ways to end a life, thousands of people go to the psychiatrist and own guns, yet gang members and dictators kill more people. So there is no problem if a person/ a law abiding citizen with depression or other mental illness wants to protect his family.
—Guest JoeJoe

Let's be smart about this.

The safest nations on earth are populated by people who own guns and are not restricted by gun control laws. Accidental death can occur in thousands of ways. People who have guns must educate all in the family on why they shouldn't play with them. There is such a thing as a gun lock/gun safe. Bipolar people are moody. We are not paranoid schizophrenic/psychotic/narcissistic personalities. Ronald Reagan said a government is just when it tries to keep people from hurting society, but it's overstepped its boundaries when it tries to protect people from themselves. It's nobody's da**ed business if I own a gun. What I do with it is my choice. I have been denied the right to protect myself because some ignorant person says Bipolar people are dangerous. If I was going to kill myself I'd do it with or without a gun. Stop trying to protect ppl from themselves because you can't. Class action, anyone?
—Guest Eden Rose Archer

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