Lets talk about facts for a moment, shall we? But before we dive in, I have to remind you that I work with adults in recovery that have a serious mental illness diagnosis. This understandably influences my view, and I find myself strongly opinionated when it comes to gun control of the "crazies". And boy, that term is insufferable. Bear with me here as I explain; it shouldn't take too long.
I'm going to skip the nuts and bolts of this argument because more than likely you've been flooded with news about shootings, NRA claims, hypothetical solutions and whatnot for months. So lets just talk about the villianization of the already stigmatized, mmmkay?
It's really easy to scapegoat a demographic you don't know much about. While many people unbeknownst to them either have a mental illness or are close to someone who does, the statistics/facts/realities of brain disorders escape the general public. 1 in 4 Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness, which I believe is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too low. What thrills me is that this number has been increasing over the years, but it's not because people are becoming "crazier". If anything, it's because we are working on de-stigmatizing mental illness and to a minimal degree its working. As people become less afraid of seeking help and accepting some form of a diagnosis, those numbers will continue to rise. And that is a GOOD thing! It means that the world is becoming a healthier place; a place where people utilize the resources available.
But here is the part of this discussion that really pisses me off: the state requirement to submit the name of every mentally ill person into a federal database. And thirty-eight states already do that to prevent them from owning a firearm. (///EDIT: I was told that the only submissions to the database are those enrolled in federally funded health care. Cause, y'know those that are rich enough to afford private insurance are less of a threat///) Here's the thing: guess what percentage of diagnosed US citizens are responsible for gun violence? FOUR PERCENT. Guess how many people who participate in gun violence actually have a mental illness? 100%. How do I know this? Because any person who would use a gun to kill another human (or twenty) is most certainly not mentally sound. This makes it glaringly obvious what the real problem is: the 96% that have an undiagnosed mental illness. Yay critical thinking! Brilliant deduction; gold stars for everyone! But, uhm... where do we start?
In my dream reality, the statistics of those diagnosed with a mental illness would skyrocket. Synonymously with increased funding, health care and therapeutic support. More people would be talking about, educating on, and accepting the fact that none of our brains function at 100% capacity. We would all be seeking some form of assistance to live healthier, happier, more balanced lives. And the acknowledgement of all of our imperfect craniums would make the negative mental health statistics irrelevant... and wouldn't that be nice?
Stop picking on the people who are brave enough to face their brain disease. Start focusing on creating a country where seeking help and acknowledging omnipresent neurological deficiencies is normal. Fund the fucking health care system. Institute preventative care. Not only will you see gun violence decrease, but other social ills like homelessness, unemployment, all types of violence, poverty, and a million others issues that the world can do without.Trust me on this one; I'm a smart cookie.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my (not short at all) rambling of absolutism? What would you change? What do you think the real issue at hand is? Talk to me smarty pants. I wanna know.