Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Gun Laws and Mental Health

Last week, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino unveiled an interactive map to accompany its 2011 report, Fatal Gaps: Can Dangerous People Buy Guns in Your State? The coalition has been working to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous or potentially dangerous individuals, but the map focuses specifically on state reporting of mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The 2011 report and map provide informative data and some helpful perspective, but the focus and tone, particularly the report introduction, has grossly stigmatized individuals living with mental illness. It has blurred public dialogue and reinforced the erroneous perception that all people with mental illness are inherently violent.

The U.S. Surgeon General has determined that the likelihood of violence from people with mental illness is low. There are many reasons why violence occurs in our society, many of which have nothing or little to do with mental illness.

In contrast to the mayors’ report, National Public Radio last week broadcast a balanced discussion on “The Law—and the Reality—of Gun Access.” Federal law currently bars certain categories of individuals—including some with a history of mental illness—from purchasing or owning guns. Potential purchasers are screened through the NICS.

The mayors’ report is correct in identifying holes in the system but in its call on the federal government to provide clear guidance as to “which mental health and drug abuse should be submitted to NICS,” falls woefully short of addressing one of the most important factors responsible for confusion among the states.

Federal law speaks in terms of individuals “adjudicated mentally defective” a term that is not only highly offensive, but has no practical meaning. Likewise, terms in the law such as “civilly committed” require practical definition.

In 2007, NAMI testified before Congress, explaining how current definitions in the law are vague, leading to holes in compliance and enforcement. To date, there has been no effort in Congress to change the law—thoughtfully and carefully—in a way that is not only overly broad, but also avoids unfair, damaging discrimination.

One paramount concern is to avoid creating a situation where people are in fact discouraged from getting help when they need it because of speculative fear over stigma.

It’s worth having public dialogue about making gun laws more effective. But extreme, broad-brushed rhetoric that ignores medical science, modern definitions and actual risk factors will only detract from the discussion.

52 comments:

Aspergers Test said...

It is important to moderate the mental health before issuing guns or license for a person. It might be harmful for that person's life as well as others.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this article. As a bipolar sufferer and a gun owner, I loathe having to hide my illness or the fact I'm a gun owner with a concealed carry permit from each other. Even though I suffer, I have and will always separate my illness from reality and be a responsible gun owner. I deserve the right to protect myself and my family just as much as any other citizen.

Schizophrenic Gun Owner said...

This issue requires important dialogue because if removing gun rights from a mentally ill person happens unnecessarily, it criminalizes the individual’s diagnosis through punishment. Mentally ill people are actually more likely to be victimized by the types of violent crimes that gun rights seek to protect against. This blog post makes another very important implication that should be made crystal clear. If guns are taken away from people with mental illness, there are many mentally ill people who will refuse to seek treatment in order to keep their rights intact. That is dangerous to everyone concerned.

Suz. said...

It is the year 2012, and well past the hour when our federal law should be updated to reflect current terminology regarding gun ownership and those suffering from a mental health disorder. "Mentally defective" is a phrase that dates back to times prior to the 1950's. It brings to mind black and white photos of individuals institutionalized against their will for years on end, listless, drugged, strapped down, and barely alive in spirit and mind. If we are to be politically correct, let it apply to all persons, not just politicians. I know many gun owners who could be labeled with a DSM-V diagnosis simply because they endured - and survived - a rough patch in their life. Haven't we all? This does not mean these same individuals are a danger to society or themselves, nor does it mean their names should be uploaded to a national registry because they were smart enough to seek help when they needed it, temporary though it was. Our government needs to get real, get educated, and get out of peoples' very personal business.

Anonymous said...

I would probably concur.

I would highly suggest folks research MKULTRA project. I know that when shooting like Aurora and Virginia tech etc happen that they say they were mentally ill. However, there is some disconcerting evidence that something else is going on.

Some people have commented that James Holmes appears to have a disassociative behavior. He does not remember the shooting. Folks say he appears to be on drugs, which may be. There is other strange evidence as well such as witness and police describing possibly a 2nd gunman.

I usually am for some kind of gun control, however, this last event just sends up red flags that some pieces are not fitting together.

Something else is going on and I would suggest folks research MKULTRA and pay close attention to the information about this case.

Peace

Lavinia Jiménez said...

Hi, my husband is a disable vet. Struggling with mental illnes but, under medication. As his illnes affects his memory as his behavior, as his daily life... My question is how can i find out if he is okayed by a Psychitryst the fact of him owning weapons?

Anonymous said...

I felt it was my duty to defend the constitution and my fellow citizens. That sense of duty is why I enlisted in the Marine Corps. In the line of duty I developed schizophrenia and was discharged. When my disability was recognized I lost my 2nd amendment rights I sacrificed my health to defend. I am now treated in the same manner that felons and drug addicts are treated. Everyone I deal with(family, friends and mental health professionals) have no issue with me ever being able to buy a firearm. I have never been a risk to myself or others and know more about firearm safety than most civilians that have the right to buy firearms.

This issue is something that should be dealt with on a case by case basis. The sweeping generalizations and insulting terms are remnants of the so-called 'dark ages' of mental health. There are a good amount of veterans that are inflicted with mental illness that resulted from their time in service. Why is it OK to treat us like criminals and second class citizens of this country. We are the reason this country still exists.

Lavinia Jiménez said...

My husband struggles with skizophrenia, (under meds) he is a disable veteran n i would like to know how can i find out if he is liable on owning weapons? I'm a lil concerned since he is ussually under stressed n confussion

Jon said...

Great point. As a person with depression, I think it is in the best interest of a mentally ill person to NOT HAVE EASY ACCESS to buying guns. I don't think this legislation is mean spiritited, just the reaity.

Connie Walker said...

"It's worth having public dialogue about making gun laws more effective. But extreme, broad-brushed rhetoric that ignores medical science, modern definitions and actual risk factors will only detract from the discussion."

I believe that a surprising number of our nation's citizens, and of our elected representatives at federal, state, and local levels, are currently thinking and legislating within a framework that ignores science, modern definitions, and actual risk factors.

When current events -- for example, Aurora -- are added to that cultural climate, I believe it's in NAMI's best interests to stick with its Policy Director's eloquent and balanced testimony and leave it at that.

NAMI cannot go wrong with a sustained focus on vitally important pillars of its advocacy mission: improved treatment and rehabilitation services, and increased access to quality care; equitable opportunities for housing and employment; funding for research; and increased awareness and education at every level of American society ... and I include the needs of our Veterans in these mission areas. I haven't listed them in order of importance because I would struggle to know which to put first. They are ALL vitally important.

NAMI is not the NRA. NAMI's resources are limited and its plate already is very full. I believe it should focus on retaining its hard won mental health advocacy allies and supporters at federal, state, and local levels; as well as its passionate, dedicated, and talented volunteers. I believe it would be in NAMI's best interests to conduct business in a way that inspires more more voices like these to actively take on NAMI's vital mission.

Which is my perhaps not-so-tactful way of saying that I believe NAMI should choose its battles wisely.

Very respectfully,
C.A. Walker, CAPT, USN(Ret.)
NAMI National Military and Veterans Council
Member-at-Large
Wisconsin

Anonymous said...

How about a bipolar being able to get health care period.

Anonymous said...

This is an important issue. In the state of Maryland, when you try to buy a regulated firearm (handguns and assault rifles), you have to sign a form giving the Sheriff access to your mental health records. A felon has a better chance of getting his right to bear arms back in Maryland, than someone who was treated for a bout of, let's say, PTSD or depression, in a state facility, even if it was 20 or 30 years ago. There is no process that I have seen, to get this right back if the sheriff says no. People do get better and deserve to have 2nd amendment rights. It seems that if you had some mental health issues in Maryland, it will follow you forever.

Bob said...

Here in Oregon, Doctors are required to report patients to the DMV if they think they might be too sleepy to drive.

I'm not big on more regulation, but I'd like to see a similar requirement for mental health professionals.

I've watched my son develope a scizoforme condition over the last six years, and there was a long period where he was obsessed with guns and knives.

Anonymous said...

Persons with a hx of mental illness that have recovered...and it is possible!
The stigma should not discriminate.
In this country we all should be able to protect ourselves.

Wendi, Oregon said...

To discriminate against someone for what they haven't done, but may do, mentally ill or not sets a dangerous precedent. No one should be denied their guarenteed Constitutional Rights, if they haven't done anything. Not everyone with a mental health issue is violent. Including those people who are diagnosed with PTSD, Bipolar, or Antisocial Personality Disorder.
Only if a person has a history of violence, not a single incendent, but a history of violence. This should include everyone, not only the mentally ill. It should include anyone with a history of violence.
We can not allow our fears and misunderstandings of a particular section of our population, dictate the Contistional Rights of others.
Years ago, something similar was done to the poor, uneducated and those that others deemed to be SLOW.
If you were considered to be slow (mentally deficient) or poor and/or uneducated, people in positions of power, could and did with frightning frequency, have them rendered infertal. It was done primarily to women, but it could be done to anyone.
So many innocent people were stripped of their ability to have a child, against their will. They hadn't done anything wrong, but socsiety deemed them unfit.
To deny anyone their Constitutional Rights because they may, SOME DAY, do something harmful to themselves or to someone else, would be a travisty no matter what the diagnoses.
A dianoses of a mental health condition is not a predition of or a forgone conclusion of a violent future. In fact, in many cases (not all)of gun violence, there was no previous history of mental illness.
We need to improve our mental health care and provide early intervention for people, without a mental health diagnoses, but under sever stress. So that we can prevent their need to commit an act of violence.

Cauthon said...

It is no surprise to those of us who have followed the general topic of gun control laws for many years, that the advocates for those laws suffer from a shortage of facts and honesty. Some years ago I had a chance to meet one of those liberal professors who write papers on such topics; he told me that he and his colleagues, being good liberals, and gun control being the acid test of liberalism, applied for a grant with the plan that they would go through the statistics and establish the foundation for gun control once and for all, and they found instead that there wasn't any. I have a lot of confidence in their work, since they had the integrity to publish what they found, not what they hoped to find. Many people still cling to the hope that "just one life can be saved" which may well be true; the problem is that in order to save that one life we disarm a lot of good people who can then easily be murdered. Thousands of people per year are murdered, by use of weapons such as knives; many of those could not have been murdered if they had been armed with guns. It would be lovely to live where nobody committed any violent crimes, but we should not let our quest for the ideal defeat our hope for a good life in the real world.

Anonymous said...

Many in society are against the gun laws now! they need to be stricter! 55% of gun violence is suicide-40% is homicide-and they are sold to our youth and high risk population people. No guns should be allowed for anyone who suffers mental illness. The statistics on suicide and homicide should speak for themselves. All gun owners should be forced to keep their weapons locked and secured (as we do with children)97% of the deaths that occur with guns are from the non-owners of the guns. there should be a lot of responsibility and accountability to own and buy a lethal weapon. We as a society should do everything possible to keep society safe. NAMI should not fight for the mentally ill to possess guns-sorry.

Anonymous said...

The idea that there are certain people who shouldn't have guns because they have an "mental illness" (an oxymoron to start with) is going to lead right down the same road as Nazi Germany. You know why? Because there is no way you can tell whether someone is emotionally unstable enough to use a gun. Those who have been diagnosed with "mental illness" are less prone to violence than the rest of the population - everyone; I repeat, everyone has emotional issues (which is what we're really talking about here - not "mental illness") I know people with no diagnosis who I wouldn't trust near a gun, and people with a diagnosis that are harmless. You people need to get your heads out of the sand and start admitting that if there is such an affliction, everyone has it - yourselves included.

sarah said...

People living with mental illness should not be treated like felons. You need cause to take away their rights. Fear is not cause. Most people will simply just not admit to having a mental illness or seek treatment which makes the problem worse. What about all the world war two vets in early Alzheimer's or Parkinson's. We better take away all their guns. That's right, this is still the United States of America. We use are brains and not fear.

Anonymous said...

I have suffered from mental illness for most of my adult life. I also enjoy skeet and target shooting. In the past, I would not have thought much about the question of whether those who suffer from mental illness should be able to buy guns.

Recently, I was in the position of being financially able to purchase a gun for myself recently. But I decided not to do it, because there have been times in my life that I have been depressed enough to use it on myself.

I lost one friend to suicide, and I do not want to put my friends and family through that kind of agony. So if I want to go skeet shooting, I borrow guns from friends.

A couple of years ago, I was depressed enough to consider suicide. It was only the pain that I had from my friend's suicide, and the knowledge that I did not want to inflict that kind of pain on my friends and family, that stopped me.

I do not want to curtail the rights of anyone to own and utilize guns just because they may suffer from mental illness. But I would encourage any of you who may have been on the brink of a terrible decision to end your life, or that of others, to think twice about bringing such a powerful weapon into your home.

scott1970NRA said...

The only people affected by gun laws are the people who buy them legally, I have been an avid target shooter and a life member of the NRA since my early 20's. My feeling stand that it is MY constitutional right to own fire arms and I am not going to KILL MYSELF OR ANYONE ELSE. As long as they do not try to harm me or my family.

Anonymous said...

I really really hope this doesn't get through. By the sounds of this, anyone with a whisper of a mental illness is violent and should never own a gun.

So, understanding that, does that mean that anyone with a mental illness will be barred from joining the military, police, FBI, other law enforcement agencies, etc?????

I sure as hell hope not, because my future should NOT be determined by genetics. Because if they do so, that means my dreams of joining the police, getting a Doctorate in Forensic Anthropology and joining the FBI will be scrapped.

They will basically be deciding that the fate of every person labeled with a mental illness is to work in grocery stores. (No offense intended to those that do work in those places).

mbrhodes81 said...

The "defect" seems to lie in congress if after 5 years there has been no change in the law. It would be nice for there to be some wording and clarification change so each of us are not classified as criminals.

Carolyn M said...

This subject has bothered me a lot since I first heard it because I knew it was going to very controversial and there are so many uneducated people and so much existing stigma about mental illness that it is bound to cause problems for those of us with "mental illnesses". I have always wondered why it has been referred to as a mental illness and seen as something so different because at what point did the brain, the mind become something that was separate from the rest of our human body? If our pancreas doesn't work right then we usually become diabetic and take medication, shots, exercise, eat a balanced diet and/or a combination of all the above and that's that but if you are mentally ill and your body isn't producing hormones and neurotransmitters correctly or they aren't working right then we are "mentally ill" and it is very possible we should be put in a straight jacket and sent to a hospital that has people with white jackets working in it. We need to be kept sedated to the point that we can't function because otherwise we are dangerous and do not under any circumstances let us own a weapon so that we can protect ourselves against the criminals in the world who manage to have no problem getting guns. Those people have every intention of using those guns to hurt someone with too yet they can get them one way or the other and no law in the world is going to ever prevent that. So because my serotonin level is off and I don't have enough dopamine or norepenephrine I should not have a gun so that when that person breaks into my home to rob me and maybe even rape me or kill me, I am mentally ill so I just need to deal with the consequences. There are always going to be criminals and there are always going to be people who are cruel and cold hearted. Some people are just mean and yes maybe it is some form of mental illness or disorder who knows but to blanket "mental illness" into one category and anyone with one cannot own or purchase a gun is ridiculous. My first thought was that I just would not let anyone know then which means I don't treat my illness. In the cases of the Colorado murders and the one in Arizona, both guys had pasts that showed they had problems and they needed help. They were shoved off to the side and ignored and then guess what, look what happened? Doesn't society have any responsibility to help one another especially those of us that are more vulnerable and may need help. Often they don't even know they need help, they just know something isn't right. I can remember times in my life where the professionals in the mental health system pushed me around from one person to then next and one place to the next and ignored what I said and got mad when I cried and asked for help. It was frustrating and I felt suicidal very often because I felt so alone and like I hit a block wall with nowhere to go. All I can say is that God had better things in store for me that the people of this world did and He reached down and picked me up and helped me. We, as a community need to help one another and we need to learn about mental illness and stop being afraid of it. The stigma that it carries is killing those of us that have them because we have to hide who we are and that can prevent us from getting better and we can get better but we have to have your help. If you aren't an expert about mental illness then don't pretend to be and don't come up with rules and regulations and laws and drop the stigma and the discrimination. It is a disability and I learned that sometimes it just suddenly appears in life. Whether it is you or someone close to you, it is just there staring you in the face and you never know when you might just have to eat your own words. We are all just people and we all have something wrong with us. We all need to be loved and we all deserve to be loved

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

NAMI is correct in bringing this issue to the forefront. Our error as advocates is when we DO NOT discuss the difficult subjects regardless of our individual beliefs. Thank you, Mike, for having the courage to shine some light on this issue which is absolutely germane to NAMI's mission, especially when it concerns those with mental health issues being stigmatized and having their rights summarily taken away.

Anonymous said...

I am schizo-affective and if I had passed the FBI instant check test, I would be dead. Now that I'm well, I strongly support blocking access to guns for the mentally ill. I just happened to have just gotten on disability and I'm assuming that's why I didn't pass. Thank you FBI!!!

Kelly Crofton said...

The people with mental illness should not be treated as ill patients, they should get proper treatment and should recover, then they can get guns.

Anonymous said...

I have been diagnosed with bipolar and severe anxiety disorder. The doctor suggested a hobby. Since I felt I needed to be outdoors. I bought a 22 rifle. Since that first purchase a year ago, I have since purchased a couple other rifles. I am outside in the sun more and my anxiety level has lowered. I believe there is therapeutic benifits in the sport of shooting. I guess if my rights to own a gun were taken away I would go back inside and stare at the TV.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the therapeutic angle, I found it a great stress reliever myself. "HAPPY SHOOTING"

Anonymous said...

We would rather have mind control in this country than simple gun control. That is insane!!!

Where do we ever draw the line????
Why can't we simply take the guns away?? Why can't people have the right to be mad and crazy? GUNS ARE THE PROBLEM !!!!!

Anonymous said...

When people report a concern about a disturbed person with guns or driving under the influence, the police should work with the concerned person instead of taking the info and using it to go after a "criminal". I reported my family member and the police never got back to me so I could get my person some help.
So the average parent, brother etc are afraid of the police response.

holczer13 said...

I am a Veteran. Both myself and my husband suffer from Bipolar Disorder. I will NEVER keep a gun in the house due to the possibility of "hypomanic" episodes on one or both our parts.

I think those who suffer from mental illness are deluding themselves if they think its safe to have guns in the house. I think its downright ballsy to say you are safe if you suffer from PTSD, Bipolar, Schizoaffective disorder or Schizophrenia. If not ballsy, then irrational. You are safe right now when you are reading this, but the folks I take treatment with and classes with each week are "safe" too. Until one of us has a meltdown.

If you think you will never have a meltdown in your life again, you are not being honest. My life is great, most days...but on the bad days I don't want a gun, I don't want to have to decide what to do about it. I don't want to encounter anyone on the street with my same issues, and his or her gun.

One final note, to the person who says they conceal carry and is bipolar, I wish I could turn you in myself. You are a danger to so many people, but first to yourself.

I think in light of the Connecticut Kindergarten slayings, we who have mental illness need to own up to the realities of it. We need to be the best citizens the USA can have. We need to ensure that no one who has a mental illness takes the lives of 20 children again. We damn well ought to be policing ourselves and each other to keep this country a safer place. Promoting gun ownership is NOT the way to do this.

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling the same pain, I'm a mother of 8 kids 2 of my youngest r diagnosed with ADHD and 1 of my oldest was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar at this moment he was admitted 2 the hospital but he's about 2 come home, he ask me why I don't sound happy that he's coming home for the holidays and I'm not gonna lie I'm happy that he's gonna b home and I'm just very worried that he's gonna fall of his meds again cuz 2 trying get help for him 2 get admitted was a challenge, doctors don't wanna listen and half of the time they don't care, just wanna say that we do need more help 4 the mentally ill people and we need 2 put more attention 2 this matter more closely , we need help I need more help.

Anonymous said...

My son is 23 and suffers from schizophrenia. He is going through an extremely difficult time, and has of late repeatedly threatened to take his own life. He is getting increasingly violent and psychotic. Yesterday we found a copy of an application he filled out to purchase multiple handguns. We called this in and had him hospitalized. But he will likely be out soon. This feels like a disaster in the making. Does anyone know how best to prevent him from acquiring a gun? Does the NICS registry actually work and is it sufficient?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. As all of these gun control issues are being directed, almost entirely, toward those with any kind of illness is appalling and insulting. While we were making great strides is reducing the stigma, this is setting us back immensely.

Anonymous said...

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Are we now going to judge and pronounce guilty anyone who is, or has been in the past, treated for a mental illness? And just what will be defined as "mental illness" and who will be defining it? Will mental "disorders" now fall under the umbrella of that definition? Will someone who has a personality disorder, such as avoidant personality disorder (or any of the myriad of labeled disorders)now be told they cannot own a gun, because they "might" do something bad with it? Shall we ban knives, bats, crow bars, shovels, hammers, lighters, matches, etc. from their homes as well, because they might hurt themselves or someone else? Perhaps they should not drive - they might plow their car through a crowd! I think you get the point - we all need to avoid the disorder of being overly "hysterical" and put a little rational thought process into all of this.

Anonymous said...

As much as I wound like to be able to own a firearm for safety reasons, I know that owning a firearm is ultimately a bad decision due to my bipolar condition. Admitting what I just stated doesn't make me weak or different, it's who I am and accepting the reality of my condition.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of an 11 year old with major depressive disorder. Because of his illness and our difficulty in managing it at times, I would never have guns of any kind in the house. I support those of you with mental health diagnoses who recognize that it is not in your best interest to have access to weapons. However, neither you, nor I, nor the government, have the right to make that decision for every person who has ever experienced mental illness. Like physical illness, there is a wide range of symptoms, diagnoses and treatments for mental illness and to lump every diagnosis into one category and treat each person the same is unfair and unproductive. I support gun control but not like this.

Anonymous said...

Your absolutely right

Art said...

How about this! I had moderate depression and situational anxiety attacks since I was about 10 years old. Finally, in 1992, at the age of 33, I decided to find out if it was psychological or physical, so I saw a psychiatrist. He told me that it was a physical chemical imbalance in the brain. He treated me with Prozac and Xanax. Things were going along well, but in 1996, the depression was returning. I had a new health insurance policy, so I saw a new psychiatrist. This "doctor" kept me on Prozac (an SSRI) and added in Imipramine (a tricyclic). This resulted in Seretonin Syndrome and I attempted suicide (with sleeping pills) five times, and I was involuntarily committed for 72 hours each time. Finally, a doctor figured out what the problem was and took me off of the meds, and that was the end of the problem. I carried alot of guilt at what I put my family through, but my doctor told me that I was not responsible for my actions because my brain was toxic due to the interaction.

So basically, the suicide attempts (which I would never even consider doing under normal circumstances) were caused by the interaction of two different class antidepressants. Problem solved right? Nope!! Despite the fact that my actions were caused by a doctor's mistake, and that the condition ceased to exist once the conflicting drugs were removed, I am banned, for life, from owning a firearm.

Any involuntary commitment equals a loss of your second amendment rights! It is a one size fits all approach and, I suppose, that they consider anyone who has ever had to be in a psych unit to be insane and a threat to society. There is no review process to restore your gun rights, short of paying a high priced lawyer to ATTEMPT to get your commitments expunged (and the one I talked to told me that it would cost me about $6,000 and the odds of expungement were 50/50)!

I am so sick of the stigma and the labeling that comes with ANY condition related to behaviour. Today, my depression is controlled well, but I now get panic attacks, for no reason and out of the blue. Because of a panic attack at work, I was forced out of my job and am on disability.

Yes the stigma is alive and well, and the government will use any means possible to keep you from owning firearms. The broad definition of mental illness is used to keep guns away from people, and they don't care about the details, circumstances or your current condition. I was involuntarily committed so, in the eyes of the law, I am crazy, case closed!

My final point is that they don't seem to be too concerned about knives, baseball bats, vehicles, or any other object that can inflict damage. I guess we are all too CRAZY to have a gun, but they don't have any concern that we can plow a car, at 100mph into a crowd of people!! Are you seeing an agenda here, because I certainly am!! And for the record, during that period, in 1996, I was never violent towards anyone. They are using mental health as a means of gun control and this has to be addressed!!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone see where this could end up going? So they bar everyone who has a "mental illness" from owning a gun. What will be the next step? Perhaps, if you have a member of your family who is "mentally ill", your entire family will be banned from owning guns! Perhaps it will spread out from there - if you have an aunt, uncle, cousin - 1st, 2nd, 3rd - who has a "mental illness", you and your entire family, including extended relatives, will now be banned from owning guns. Eventually, the entire population of law-abiding citizens will be banned from owning guns, because almost everyone has a relative with a "mental illness" or "mental disorder", which is vaguely defined and broadly applied. In the meantime, those who are already criminals and obtain guns illegally, are going to continue to do so. In fact, I see it working much like prohibition did -a huge black market will be created which will only benefit those who are already criminals! At the same time, those who have never committed a crime in their life, including those who suffer from "mental illness", will be criminalized without due process. And let's not forget - some have suffered "mental illnesses" or breakdowns BECAUSE they have been victims of REAL criminals - victims of rapists, theives and murderers! Our government is not genuninely concerned with gun violence. Their real concern, like Nazi Germany, is to get guns away from the people through any means, so they can more easily control the populace and eventually put a full dictatorship in place.

confused said...

Can you legally purchase a firearm if you have been diagnosed with bipolar in virginia. Were hosp. Voluntarilly in 2011? Thanxxxx

Anonymous said...

This is exactly what I was thinking. If I can't own a gun to protect my family, then i'm not going to mention my bipolar. That sets a more dangerous system than we have now.

Anonymous said...

Everyone like to paint with such a broad brush across mental illness. There are more individual aspects to this problem than their are cars on the road. Each ones a little different.

Mooseina Canoe said...

This literally makes me feel even more like a second class citizen. I have done nothing wrong. I do not own guns but I do seek treatment for GAD severe depression and agoraphobia. Most people with mental illnesses are treated like lepers as is. More people will refuse treatment for fear of being labelled dangerous and guess what the murder will continue anyway.

Low Cost Health Insurance said...

This is one of the finest informational post on mental health check for issuing gun arms. Nice info!!

Anonymous said...

just compensation should be made to each person that is denied the right to hunt there own food, due to illness. loss of food gained should be based on a life time of food loss at max bag limets, witch would be a few million for each case, a right lost for illness should be compensation by those denying it

Christy Kinard said...

I live in fear but I get denied a gun cus of them not rite I'm gonna die cus I can't pertect my self

Corey said...

i am very worried here. i am 21 years old and im labeled as bipolar ive been to mental health clinics and in the past some medications. i always wanted to help people and fight for whats right. At a young age i wanted to be a marine then police officer but here to find out i cant because of my disorder or i am told. i live on my own my girlfriend and i pay our own bills and ive kept a job for a year and half. i do get angry and my bipolar is noticable but i have been able to be an adult and live on my own. I am just so upset that my dreams of saving people and doing good things is in the toliet because i cant become what i want to be. i even looked up being a bounty hunter and i have to pass a psycholoical exam to be able to use lethal weapons. i just want to become what i want to be instead of working at mcdonalds and scraping by. i want to make a difference in the world but i cant. so if anyone can give me some advice of what i can do that would be great. do i contine to get meds to become level headed but that will be on record or do i tough it out like i have been and lie about it. i dont know. any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Your exactly right. Well put!

Ryan Murphy said...

This is a HUGE GRAY AREA. Did you know that POLICE have a department Psychologist and Psychiatrist? Did you know that many police talk to them, and some take antidepressants? Yet they can carry firearms, they can still do everything. A friend of mine went to buy a firearm a couple of weeks ago, cause his house was broken into while he was away (TWICE). So he went to go get the firearm, an his background check was denied, because he took some ADHD medication when he was 11 years old. ELEVEN!!!! He was put on the medication for about 3 months, then it was found he did not have ADHD and thus did not need the medication. This is what he was denied for. My fiance, she applied to buy a firearm, she needed to speak with a Psychiatrist a few years back, because she saw two people brutally killed during a hit&run, she watched the people die, saw the blood, heard the screams and even heard and saw the bones crack, so she needed some counseling for a few months. She was denied. This stuff is getting silly. It's getting really silly, cause my fiance and my friend are good people, they pay taxes, go to church, are generally happy people, they just want to protect themselves, an they can't cause this mental illness stuff is getting crazy.