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

Responses: 41


Updated February 16, 2009

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

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

being singled out.

I think it's wrong. Here's my story when I was young. I used to run away a lot. And when I would get picked they would always take me to psych. eval cuz I would always use the "ill kill my self" so they wouldn't take me to juvenile hall cuz it sucked there any ways long story short now I'm 26 years off age have a son a house a family and I. Well I'm a grown man now and its really a bummer that I cannot get a gun in my name because of something when I was a child. And the messed up part is it's way easier to get one off the streets all I want is to be legal with a firearm and I can't. I wish there was a way to fight for legal rights to own a firearm. I feel its wrong to ban me my entire life from owning a gun. I'm tired of buying hot guns. I'm just sayin'. Here's one for ya the day I got denied to own a firearm by the DOJ in CA. I was so mad that I made one phone call and had a brand new in the box 45cal. Its just that easy. All I want is to be legal be a man and protect my family from harm.
—Guest taylor

mental illness

I have depression & bipolar disorder I have to take meds but I do not want to kill anyone or myself. I think their are a lot of people with mental illness that they think they are normal but they or in worse shape mental than I'am and they have the right to care a gun. I look at it this way mental or not if you get it in your head to kill nothing will stop you. So don't judge me judge yourself, I have seen what a gun can do to a person it will make you sick. I just want the right to protect my wife kids.
—Guest william proctor


This real purpose of the limitation of guns to people who are not "mentally fit" is to exterminate us. Think about it American culture encourages people to form militias and own guns but THEY MENTALLY NORMALS dont want us to own guns why? Not because we are unstable. read http://www.mentalhealthstigma.com/historyonics.html They are afraid of retribution. Mentally normals have mistreated pretty much every not mentally normal disorder/illness,disability. They have killed,discriminated,experemented,bullied,used prenatal testing ,limit ours rights..etc. They are afraid that we will use the guns for justice just like the "Virginia tech massacrer"(he was autistic) did. They are afraid to face justice. This is the REAL reason why guns are being limited from us. For those of you who think i am a conspiracy nut(which i am) atleast look at the way mentally normal people treat us and tell me is it right?
—Guest anonymous

The NRA does not have my support

I have owned guns and participated in shooting sports for many years, and I refuse to support the NRA until they recognize the harm they are doing by promoting the idea that anyone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, or that the "mentally ill" as a whole, pose a special threat to society. 40% of Americans have at some time been diagnosed with a mental illness. I think it's safe to say that many of the remaining 60% probably would be if they were evaluated and were honest in their evaluations. Does the NRA believe that the Bill of Rights only applies to 60% of Americans? This is no less discriminatory and offensive in this day and age than if the NRA advocated for gun bans for black people.
—Guest Anonymous


That's a whole different discussion all in itself, Laneah. Do YOU think he should have his gun taken away if he owns one? I don't think it's for me to judge, nor is it for you. The other thing you should consider is that most threats go unfulfilled. My point is that it's completely unfair to make a blanket rule like that. Our Constitution guarantees our right to bear arms. It's a civil right. In fact, ANYONE can just crack and go postal. There have been situations where people with NO history of mental illness killing. Again, the discussion is not the threat you propose. It's whether or not BP sufferers should be forced to give up their civil right to bear arms. And I am against taking guns away from those diagnosed with BP just for the sake of it. You're denying them the right to protect themselves & family in a way they feel comfortable with. Thats wrong. Don't be an alarmist.
—Guest q

Now Wait Just A Moment Here!

I have had depression, anxiety, and even slight BP for years. Owned guns my entire adult life, been around them growing up too. I have never even considered taking my life or another's. Fortunately, never been faced with a self-defence situation, either. Yes, I suffer. But I know and respect guns as tools for a specific purpose, and not to take my own life or anyone elses in any fit of rage. Trust me, I've had my share but never have I considered going for my weapon, nor have I wanted to harm myself or others. Just because someone has mental issues should not constitute losing their civil rights. Mental illness does not automatically constitute instability or untrustworthiness.
—Guest q

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