Don’t Disarm The Mentally Ill

guns SC Don’t Disarm the Mentally Ill

The school shooting in Connecticut last month has provoked a slew of hysterical calls for gun control in the United States. Big surprise, I know. What makes the calls for “regulation” and “sensible gun laws” somewhat unique this time around is the focus on mental illness. The fact that the Connecticut shooter is alleged to have been mentally ill is being used by some as an argument for further disarming the mentally ill in general. (It is also interesting that so little focus has hitherto been placed on the dangerous drugs these shooters are all taking, rather than mental illness itself).

Gun rights groups have understandably steered clear of the mental illness issue. On first glance, it just seems like common sense that people with mental illness should not be running around the streets with guns, and groups like the NRA have sidestepped the issue in order to focus on other concerns, like making sure an assault weapons ban is not reinstated. This looks like a politically savvy move by these groups, but it is also a cowardly way to avoid having to stand up for a very vulnerable and voiceless group of people. If these gun rights groups had any worth at all, or if they had one shred of moral fortitude, it would be time for them to stand up for the rights of this extremely vulnerable group of people. Since there is virtually no chance of this happening, it is important for us as individuals to stand up for the gun rights of the mentally ill.

Tackling the issue of mental illness and guns is not nearly as politically dangerous as gun rights groups think. On the contrary, there are so many people in the United States that could potentially be classified as “mentally ill” by the state that it is politically dangerous for these groups to not stand up for them. As much as 20% of the adult population in the United States could be classified as having a mental illness in 2011 alone! With that many people at risk of being disarmed, (if they haven’t been so already), the gun rights groups are just plain crazy not to stand up for them.

In addition, the entire case for disarming the mentally ill is based more upon fear and misconceptions rather than rational argument. In the first place, there is the gigantic problem of deciding who is to be considered mentally ill. Most people probably have in mind disarming delusional schizophrenics walking around in bunny slippers, an image the gun control crowd has fostered, but mental illness is a much broader concept than that.

For example, if a medical student suffers a panic attack due to stress and is institutionalized for a day or two, does that mean that she is mentally ill and should be disarmed? If so, for how long will she lose her right to bear arms, and who is to decide if and when she is to recover her ability to defend herself? Or, what about the estimated 11% of Americans who are taking antidepressants? Are these people also mentally ill, and will they be disarmed as well? What if a person took antidepressants years ago, but has since stopped taking them? Is he mentally ill, and will he be disarmed? Or, even more dangerous, what if a prescription-happy doctor tells you to take antidepressants, but you don’t want them and don’t even take them? Would you still be classified as having been diagnosed with mental illness and lose your right to own guns? These are just a few of the fantastically insidious implications of disarming the mentally ill even more than they already have been.

Read More at Lew Rockwell. By Mark R. Crovelli.

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  1. The authors premise is patently false. The NRA and other groups have for many years stood up for and protected the rights of the non-violent mentally ill. He should have done his homework.

    • Seeks_the_truth says:

      I surely hope the NRA isn't standing up for the mentally ill to own firearms.
      Either you engage in personal responsibility or you don't, and if not you don't need a firearm.

  2. Seeks_the_truth says:

    Did I read this right? DON'T disarm the mentally ill? Are they serious?
    Mental illness is just that, mental illness. We should be weary of those with mental illness on medications. The only exception would be our military that return from war, or anyone with PTSD. They have valid reason to seek help and have their right to firearms returned when helped.
    What ever happened to personal responsibility? The lack of is what has invigorated and profiteered our "mental health industry". Becoming a psychotherapist has become a very lucrative position. Has anyone noticed that Medical Doctors are expected to decline, but Psychiatrists and Psychologists are expected to rise?
    What a warped world we have become. A person who suffers chronic pain from many failed back surgeries or broken necks, or even those whose had nerve damage are severely scrutinized when they need a narcotic pain reliever, but yet all one has to do is claim to be "depressed" and they're handed drugs that can rival the best opioid.
    A person is expected to live in severe pain because they MAY become addicted, but psychotics and "anti-depressants" are passed out like M&M's. We have become a Xanax nation. No wonder people turn to "recreational drugs". It's perfectly acceptable not to deal with life.
    18.8 Million people suffer from "depression" and are medicated. Has anyone read the side effects of Chantix, which originally is an "anti-depressant"? "Hostility, depression, or changes in behavior, thinking, or mood that are not typical for you, or you develop suicidal thoughts or actions, anxiety, panic, aggression, anger, mania, abnormal sensations, hallucinations, paranoia, or confusion." Do you REALLY want someone taking THIS drug with a firearm? I heard the dreams are quite vivid.
    How can "anti-depressants" cause "depression"?
    I realize I'm going to be slammed by those who are "depressed". Sorry, I don't buy it. Either you can handle what life throws at you or you can't. It's called personal responsibility.
    They created a drug so they had to create a disease to go with it. Just another side effect of the 1960's. How did people survive before they had the "depression" diagnosis?
    The NRA shouldn't be fighting to help the mentally ill have firearms, they should be helping prevent them.

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