Mental Illness and Guns, A Personal Perspective

Hi there sunshine! I’m going to start the day with a fantastically inflammatory statement. Ready? I hope so!

Some people with mental illness really, really shouldn’t have guns, and they need to be able to state it themselves. I know because I’m one of them.

I’m not trying to argue from a position of authority, this is simply an opinion piece on something I feel strongly about. I also know all too well that this is absolutely not the only conversation about mental illness that needs to be had. There are so many other conversations to be had, please don’t take this as a catch all conversation!

I wouldn’t personally go out and off someone, but I don’t trust myself to take the first open opportunity, if we owned a gun, and take my own head off. I know I’m not the only person in full realization of their own personal motives and possibilities when facing their mental illness, but it seems like nobody talks about it.

People with mental illness don’t want to be further stigmatized.

People without mental illness often figure it’s not their place to make that call.

So what do we do? How do we talk about it. Having the conversation of mental illness and firearms is a damn important one, and we need to quit skirting the talk.

Not all people with mental illness are incapable of owning firearms safely. Not even close, but there are indeed those of us who are.

I hate to admit that I really, really shouldn’t own a gun, but honesty and objective truth are far more important than personal feelings.

I think the single biggest hurdle in this entire conversation and getting more people with mental illness to speak out, regardless of what side they are on, regardless of their ability to own firearms or not is this: people will too often take objective truths and personal stories like mine and extrapolate these thought and ideas into a skewed and convoluted perception of what, at that point, has become a subjective truth at best, and I feel like I’m still giving that end result too much credit.

This is a conversation we need to have so, so bad. The people who bash mental illness need to learn how to have a conversation and not be assholes, not getting something doesn’t make you right. The people who are for better mental illness care, but don’t have any and are uncertain how to proceed… Thank you for being mindful of not taking this whole thing over and being the voice of those who’s situations you can’t possibly fully understand. You’re good peeps. All I can say is learn as much as you can from the mouth of the ones dealing with it.

Those of us with mental illness, I know it’s hard, and I know it’s scary, and I know that the fear of further stigmatization is relevant and worth mulling over, but we need to talk you guys. We need to talk much more, and much louder than we have been. This conversation has been dominated by people who trash those with mental illness. If we want true conversation about it, we have to be loud as hell too.

So stand up, blog, vlog, Facebook, do whatever it is you want to do, but do it loud, do it proud, check your facts, point out opinions, and take control of the conversation about mental health and firearms. There’s no way we will drown out the loudest by shying away and being quiet.

Have a beautiful day loves.

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