Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

Oregon Killer’s Mother Wrote of Troubled Son and Gun Rights (The New York Times)

From what little detail is given in this article concerning the recent mass shooting, it seems clear that the shooter in Oregon had an extensive history of mental illness. Once again, everybody is “up in arms” (pun absolutely intended) on either side of the gun rights debate, as is what always happens after one of these now all-too-familiar tragedies. Nobody ever seems to have much to say about the mental illness aspect that is present in nearly each one of these cases.

My personal experience has confirmed what I already believed, that the way mental illness is perceived, addressed, and handled by today’s society is in need of drastic change. The way mental illness and those seeking help are treated by social programs and government bureaucracy is in need of drastic fucking change. And, while I absolutely support the 2nd Amendment and believe Americans are entitled to the right to legally obtain and possess firearms, I also believe their need to be measures in place to prevent these firearms from ending up in the “wrong” hands, whatever that is defined to be.

People with certain severe mental illnesses, myself probably included, should be regulated in some manner in relation to handling and possessing potentially deadly machines. Cars, guns, rocket launchers, forklifts, armored tanks, Mexican firecrackers, whatever…REGULATED. I made the personal choice not long ago to sell or give away all of my firearms, for my own safety and for yours. Too many nights spent in a fucked up head-space with the barrel of a .45 in my mouth, or days spent in a misanthropic murder fantasy. Not everyone with similar problems has the capacity for such a personal decision, and these are the times when a governing body is meant to step in for the safety of the people.

Nothing is so black and white as we make it.

Here is a link to an article with more information about the nine deceased victims of this tragedy.

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Duties of a Precarious Sentience in the Epic Uncool

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I suspect almost every day that I’m living for nothing, I get depressed and I feel self-destructive and a lot of the time I don’t like myself. What’s more, the proximity of other humans often fills me with overwhelming anxiety, but I also feel that this precarious sentience is all we’ve got and, simplistic as it may seem, it’s a person’s duty to the potentials of his own soul to make the best of it. We’re all stuck on this often miserable earth where life is essentially tragic, but there are glints of beauty and bedrock joy that come shining through from time to precious time to remind anybody who cares to see that there is something higher and larger than ourselves. And I am not talking about your putrefying gods, I am talking about a sense of wonder about life itself and the feeling that there is some redemptive factor you must at least search for until you drop dead of natural causes.

Lester BangsPsychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung

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The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous

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one drop

Insomnia by Sevgihan Soydan

Insomnia by Sevgihan Soydan


What follows is a selection from The Sacred Lost Tomes of The Ryan, the brief and terrible history of which is glossed over here and here.  A lysergic, funereal ode to insomnia and hallucinogen consumption, this piece of shit was written circa 2001, possibly not long after I dreamed I died.


one drop

i can’t sleep, but somehow?
-mygrain- (of) thoughts pulsing through my head
numb the pain, disappear for another day
i can’t feel, myself, no sensation to name,
empty inside, heart like a hole, head like a…THEN—
fever pitch rising, temperature rising, waters rising, cringing, rising
wave comes over me (canyouhearthatsweetsicklysound?)
and i rise to the level – KICKED in back of head –
and the race begins, not out to win but rather
careen out of control, yes i am lost in this madness
(but remember, you chose it) though not, yes…somehow comfort…
crying isn’t what it used to be, laugh through the deluge, but
in the end, who really knows? no state to think…
— where should you be?—

nowhere.

they say overthinking separates, but really….can I help it?

Insomnia by Kristie Holliday

Insomnia by Kristie Holiday


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Just writing…

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© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“The demons got my beautiful, loving daughter…” via The Washington Post

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Doris Fuller with daughter Natalie, 2004

Read “My daughter, who lost her battle with mental illness, is still the bravest person I know” by Doris A. Fuller on The Washington Post.

In case some of y’all don’t know, this “crazy emo brain cloud bullshit” kills motherfuckers.  This kind of story always hits home, because it makes me realize the potential consequences of my own suicidal ideation, and it makes things like the death of my brudder Branden come up fresh and new again. (A tale for another time…)

To paraphrase a friend, after every manic episode, every bout of deep depression, every nervous breakdown, every psychotic break, it becomes harder and harder to bounce back, to find your center again, to remember who you are. Some don’t make it back.

For those who may need them, below are a few links to resources for help in moments of crisis.  Please, if you need to, use them.  If you don’t, guaranteed someone you know does, so feel free to pass them along.  And keep your head up!  There’s plenty more ridiculous shit to experience. 😀

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (US)
1-800-273-8255

National Crisis Services (US)

List of Suicide and Crisis Hotlines

Crisis and Suicide Hotlines (Canada)

International Suicide Prevention Lifelines

International Crisis and Suicide Hotlines

The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”  — David Foster Wallace

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Image by Neo-Surrealism Art

Tripping With Dubya and Mother, Broken Bones and Metal Tones

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We once met the frontman from Bad Acid Trip, hanging out on the lawn at Ozzfest the year System of a Down headlined for their “hiatus” tour. This was not long after we had road-tripped to Dallas to see both of those bands perform along with The Mars Volta. On the way back, I was too focused on my sweet, sexy cajun chicken from Popeye’s while trying to drive, and damn near sped us into the ass-end of a stand-still line of traffic on the freeway, itself gridlocked due to an accident involving a tractor. This is one of those “near-miss” moments I’ve talked about that I sometimes think actually killed me (us), making everything that has happened since a product of run-out electrical activity in a dying central nervous system. But that is another story…

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The BAT vocalist was wearing a shirt depicting George Dubya Bush in an Islamic shemagh. Pumpkin, clearly overcome with veneration, complimented the guy on wearing a Mother Theresa shirt at a metal gig. Because, hey, they are basically the same person, right?! ;D

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Later in the day, we also met the vocalist from Dragonforce and his magnificently curly locks of mighty gloriousness. I think that may have been the last year that Ozzfest was any good, right? A few years later, after the demise of the Ozz-Man’s tour and once Mayhem had moved in to claim the throne of Shitty Mainstream American Metal Festival, I would break my ankle in the moshpit during a fucking brutal set from Slayer. Yeah, I kept moshing…like you had to ask!

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Why am I thinking about all this now, at 8:00 a.m. on a random Friday, and sharing the memory with all of you? Who the fuck knows. Have a nice day, yeh bastards! 😀

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\m/..\m/

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Musings, Volume I

Photograph by Roberts Birze at thescatteredimage

Photograph by Roberts Birze at thescatteredimage

— Some days, I have no idea that I am in a scornful, loathsome, misanthropic mood until I have to interact with other flesh bags. So, some days, when I have sense enough not to pursue flesh bag interactions, my scornful, loathsome, misanthropic mood might go largely or completely unnoticed. Actually, I think that happens all days, regardless.

— Why aren’t there any films or television series’ set in medieval and/or “fantastical” eras, but which focus not on the nobility, but rather the peasantry? Do we honestly accept the fallacy that the lowest class has no interesting or pertinent story or content to provide? Am I thinking too much into this?

— Something tells me that conspicuously and belligerently harassing innocent employees of a business, speciously accusing management of racism and bigotry, threatening physical harm to said employees, and refusing to leave the premises upon request is not the best way to go about inquiring on the status of your job application. But maybe I just do things differently than that dude.

— Winning an argument with willfully ignorant and obnoxious internet trolls is a lot like trying to clean up a Wal-Mart restroom by using the crusted feces covering the toilets to edit, correct, and contextualize the graffiti on the stalls. No one will appreciate you for your efforts, your earnest attempt to better the world and improve the collective intelligence of “our” species has proven fruitless, the shit and the tags remain ineffectually unaffected, halfway through you come to your senses and abandon your futile drudgery, powerless to explain why you undertook such distasteful and repulsive task in the first place, and in the end you are the one left exasperated and mired in filth.

— Sometimes I get Denis Leary rants and Henry Rollins rants confused in my head and have to willfully concentrate on separating and properly classifying said rants to their appropriate speakers. Even though they are clearly very different people, with often differing opinions as well as subject matter. I think my brain just likes to intake angry diatribes, process them through the filter of The Ryan, and then roll with that shit!

— Also, sometimes I find myself utterly convinced, or at least strongly suspecting, that I am already dead. In those moments, I am certain that one of the so-called “close calls” in my past actually in fact resulted in my demise, and everything I’ve experienced since then is merely the run-out electrical pulses of a dying organ, the muscle-memory result of synapses firing instinctually at neural receptors as the juice slowly bleeds out.

— Moments of schizophrenic uncertainty occasionally enter my mind, convincing me that certain people, places, events which I take to be real and existent are in fact products of my psyche. I’ve spent hours trying to persuade myself and prove that said people, places, events are genuine and tangible, and that it is ridiculous to think otherwise. You can see how this comic absurdity could easily turn cyclical and frustratingly oppressive.

— I like turtles.

The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich

The Abbey in the Oakwood by Caspar David Friedrich

Do you find these musings to be annoying, pretentious, fallacious, condemnatory, shallow, atrocious, or simply moronic? Feel free to leave your praises and rebuttals in the comments!


© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.