I know I am in a database somewhere telling public officials I shouldn’t have a gun. I know this because I have been sent involuntarily to an inpatient mental health facility, under police escort. I know I shouldn’t have access to guns because I would be dangerous in my psychotic times— I get paranoid and have really scary, expansive thoughts and thought patterns— never violence-intended thoughts, just completely unpredictable. I would be dangerous with a gun in much the same way that a toddler would be dangerous with a gun, is the best analogy I can give for my psychotic times. I am perfectly great with the idea that I will never own a gun because they terrify me anyway. I never want one in the house and I am grateful I married a pacifist for this reason, among many other reasons.
I also know, unfortunately, that I am much more likely to be a victim of some sort of incident because of my mental illness. I know this first hand because I have experienced it.
I don’t argue that people who deal with my severity of mental illness should have access to guns. I wholeheartedly agree people like me shouldn’t have guns.
However, it is overly simplistic to say mental illness is to blame for gun violence.
I am mentally ill, doing relatively stable at the moment. I am not homophobic or bigoted or racist or scared of immigrants. I am none of those things even when I am psychotic.
I am one person I realize, and I have known other psychotic people who scared the bejesus out of me. I am not saying mentally ill people cannot be dangerous.
Racism contributes to violence.
Bigotry contributes to violence.
White supremacy contributes to violence.
Homophobia contributes to violence.
My access to guns is rightfully limited. I just think that maybe people with histories of hate platforms should have their access to weapons limited as well.
*From a post originally published on my personal Facebook page.