“Crazy and insane” comments from an NRA spokeswoman

After watching the CNN town hall meeting held in Florida regarding the terrible school shooting tragedy, I was disheartened to hear the NRA spokeswoman use such terms as “crazy, insane, monstrous.” The acts of the shooter were incomprehensible. But those of us who live with mental illness should never be lumped into a small group of people who are violent.

The NRA spokeswoman also said “the mentally ill” should be put into a “criminal database” and be prohibited from having guns. I’m in agreement that people who have mental illness should not have guns. It’s my personal viewpoint. But criminalizing mental illness will keep people from getting the help they need.

Further, what should qualify as diagnosis that make owning a gun illegal? Does that mean a person with depression goes into the hospital with suicidal thoughts and gets flagged as a dangerous mentally ill crazy person? Or is criminalizing mental illness only reserved for the psychos like me who have bipolar disorder? Because In fact I’m the real insane monster.

Do you see how absurd this is?

I don’t want to see innocent people get hurt or killed. I think there needs to be steps taken to keep people from obtaining guns who shouldn’t have them. But the kind of words we choose to debate what should be done matter. Knee jerk reactions usually have far reaching and usually not good outcomes. Fear drives people to react and results in horrendous name calling and labeling.

My hope is wiser heads will prevail on solutions. We as a society have allowed the issues of an abundance of access to military type weapons, lack of intervention to appropriate mental health care and an overwhelming swing toward not allowing proper intervention to help someone with mental illness get stabilized.

But something very important to ponder is to ask why many other countries who have as much mental illness as the United States, but don’t have mass shootings. Or are those of us with mental illness in the United States just different than the rest of the world? That’s what the NRA is arguing. And to me their solutions to the problem are as far fetched as believing mental illness is the sole cause to all the violence in the United States, when we know only 5% of all violent acts are committed by those who have a mental illness.

I’m bothered by people who are given a national platform who do harm to millions of people by calling for the criminalization of people with mental illness. Although it’s a small effort, I’ll be giving a talk today with college students encouraging them to get the help they need if they have signs and symptoms of mental illness. But can I with clear consciousness tell them there won’t be any negative consequences to getting help? I don’t know the answer. But I do know not getting help is a bad choice.

13 thoughts on ““Crazy and insane” comments from an NRA spokeswoman

  1. I think people who have the opportunity to speak on a national platform about important issues like this have a responsibility to educate themselves before they speak about something. It’s really unfortunate that so many seem to think that’s not necessary, and it certainly sets us back in the fight against stigma.

  2. It’s deeply disturbing that such irresponsible people have positions of authority. To begin with, our children have asked adults to make their lives safer. In any healthy society the adult response is, “what can we do?” and then we do it. Children under the age of ten are gunned down in their schools and the fact is that one school massacre is too many. It is child abuse to place blind ideology above the lives of our kids. It is child abuse to ridicule and smear our kids in response to their grief and rage at seeing their friends gunned down. It is child abuse to force our children to live in fear. I define crazy as the moral derangement of the pathological narcissist. The real crazies are the sociopaths who wrap their selfish needs in the American flag and call them expressions of ‘individual liberty’.

  3. Well, to me the NRA is looking and pushing a scapegoat and that is mental illness period. They really don’t care so long as they sell their riffles. Yes, in my country Cameroon, there are no mass shootings though many with a mental illness like myself with PTSD. So sad at what happened and still happens out there. Good lick with your talk Amy, every little effort matters

      1. Yes I am taking good care of myself. The mental health situation here is sad too because people are in total denial and when crisis occurs some are locked up in Shamans etc. However, since we don’t even have right to guns in the first place, even if not locked up, no mentally ill will have access to one. All this is going by the ridiculous insinuation that all mentally ill are violent and to be locked away. Hope you get my point

      2. Shamans are traditional healers. On another pertinent note which I think you raised in your blog: If mentally Ill (whatever that definition encomprises, as in diagnosed or undiagnosed etc) are responsible for the violence, why not treat them (encourage their treatment and increase research funding etc) like you will do physically Ill (cancer/aids/diabetes patients don’t suffer threats of lock up) and that will be more sustainable solution?

      3. I agree with you. But a problem exists in situations where a person doesn’t want help or treatment and our laws are such that you can’t make a person accept treatment. A person can only be involuntarily committed if he is a danger to himself or others. This criteria is proving very difficult to get people admitted for care. In some cases a person can be taken to an ER for treatment and will be released without any mental health care. Other cases a person may spend 36 hours inpatient and then be released. The system we have is meant to protect people from heinous situations that happened in the past by treating patients with mental illness against their will. That timeframe included the disastrous lobotomy, lots of old school shock treatments, insulin treatments etc. people with mental illness were terribly treated and dreadfully abused. Our mental institutions were closed for primarily financial reasons, but they had gross abuses. People are terrified to go back to those days. But there is a need to come to some solution that will get people the help they need.

      4. And maybe more of voluntarily than not right? I totally understand and agree with you. And even without the mental institutions are patients not still abused today? Even if not physically, psychologically by all the humiliating talks and all.

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