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.