When a man wants to murder a tiger, it’s called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it’s called ferocity.

15 Feb

 I open CNN to a poll:

“Do you think people with a history of mental illness should be allowed to buy guns?”

  1. Yes

  2. Yes, with tighter restrictions

  3. No

Guess which answer is at 85%.

I don’t deny, at any point, that the mentally ill can be unstable and downright dangerous. We can be, if not managed  by therapy, drugs and hard work.

I become incensed at the idea that we should be controlled with restrictions, a grand database in the sky tracking us, telling some 18 year old in Walmart if I’m allowed to own a gun, letting them know that I’m the crazy, run away! The very idea that anyone with ANY mental illness history (which frankly, is a LOT of people) can’t even touch a firearm because of that ILLNESS is disturbing.

I, like hundreds of thousands of other people, have a mental disorder that can rear up, much like cancer can come of remission, if we don’t take our medication. Because I have bipolar, is it ok to discriminate? What if I only had anxiety? What if I only had depression that was cyclical, dependant on the season?

At what point are the mentally ill truly people?

I read people talking about how “Octo-Mom’s” uterus isn’t up for anyone else’s discussion-despite the fact that she’s impacting 14 children, 2 parents and herself. We should leave her alone, not discriminate, she might be “sick in the head.”

Are we all going to pop out multiple children because we’re mentally ill? No more than we’re all going to pick up a semi-automatic weapon and start killing people. However, people will make that blanket statement, assuming that none of us should ever have a chance to touch a gun, perhaps drive a vehicle, own a house.

And again, soon, that we shouldn’t have any children at all?

It’s easy to climb on a horse, point a finger and say THOSE people shouldn’t be allowed. Much easier than say, supporting mental health initiatives, demanding that mental disease be portrayed truthfully, or pushing their local and federal governments for more funding for care and support.

Taking the gun away is inadequate at best. Supporting the person, treating the sickness, giving them a safe place to land when the chaos does occur-these are solutions. Assisted living for some individuals, out-patient treatment, increased numbers of doctors so we can receive REAL care.

Money is better spent on helping the mentally ill be the best people they can be, than reducing us to caricatures and limiting our lives.

It’s not the guns I care about. At the end of the day, I don’t see why people need guns in the first place, or why they need automatic weapons. But it’s not about that-it’s about how rights can be scrapped away from a group of people in the name of “safety”, and everyone will fall in line.

There’s an exception to every rule. “Normal” people kill people with guns ALL THE FREAKING TIME and yet no one says, in any seriousness, “Stop selling guns, period.”

Fuck, that’s unamerican, right?

The mentally ill, who live in some sort of vacuum, don’t get leeway, don’t get sympathy, they get judged.

It scares me because one it starts, where does it end? And does it end with us? What if statistically, white males 18-24 who like black pants and smoke Player’s are the ones doing the shooting? Will we take away a right? Will we lock them up?

Will we make a problem where one doesn’t exist?

We will spend money on fantasy, and yet not on treatment and everyday living.

You don’t have to be mentally ill to think that’s completely fucking crazy.


No red flags. My ASS.

Liking the Saw movies is not a flag. Someone who:

stopped taking an antidepression medication for obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety three weeks before the shooting

THAT is a flag. Dropping your medication off suddenly can trigger events that otherwise wouldn’t have happened. Wearing a fucking dog collar is strange, not a red flag. Emails to friends that are out of character-flags.

This assumption that he couldn’t possibly function normally because he was crazy, that he lived “a double life”-THIS is what keeps people swimming in the crazy. People will think the worst regardless. People will think our love for horror or black humor means that we’re monsters anyway.

People hurt. Instead of being given help, they’re called “strange” and “weird” and isolated further.

The red flag is life.


15 Responses to “When a man wants to murder a tiger, it’s called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it’s called ferocity.”

  1. slouching mom February 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm #

    i wish people would understand something seemingly so basic:

    it’s all of a piece. the brain, the body. it’s just one more bit that malfunctions, no different from the overactive thyroid, the esophagus that tends towards reflux, the arthritic knee…


  2. thordora February 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    At least if I got to do the St Vitus dance I’d get it.

  3. jen February 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm #

    i’d vote for the one that said “no one should be able to buy a gun” where’s that choice?

    ps. i don’t always comment but i do read. and i sure as hell liked this post.

  4. Krishanna February 15, 2009 at 5:00 pm #

    Hmmm… I am pretty pro-Second Amendment. I think every woman should at least know how to operate a firearm and know how to shoot one. You don’t have to own one to learn firearm safety and how to fire one. It’s also a good idea to know how they work. Education erases fear.

    Great Post!

  5. thordora February 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    Oh I want a gun-badly. I just don’t trust myself with one at this point. I still don’t get why anyone has one though….one begets the other…

  6. Bon February 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm #

    i’m with jen. original thought is proving too much work.

  7. Krishanna February 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    Well people want firearms for any number of reasons. The obvious one being protection. However, if you haven’t ever learned how to handle and care for a firearm properly, protection is probably not what you’re going to get. You’ll probably get it taken and turned on you. Like anything else- dangerous chemicals, cleaners, acids, electricity, paints and such you being educated and RESPONSIBLE is requirement when considering or getting a firearm.
    Other people hunt with them, collect them and invest in them and sell them RESPONSIBLY and LAWFULLY. The idea that guns shows are filled with freak-a-zoids looking to stockpile firearms to hurt other people is just idiotic- like every other stereotype.

    The fact is that people will go off their nut and kill people with or without firearms. I just saw a documentary where a guy killed 7 people with an axe and a fire. No firearm was used and he had no history of mental illness or violent behavior.

  8. thordora February 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm #

    \I just find it funny that in some places (like up here) people aren’t all fired up to have guns for protection. Hunting, shooting, but not protection. What are we so eager to protect ourselves from? The other people with guns?

    I just have never seen the real point, despite my desire for a pretty silver thing to hold on my hip. Responsible handling is absolutely true-remember that 8 year old who died because he was shooting an UZI? Which two adults let him try out, his father and someone who should have known better.

    Maybe it’s because I’m canadian, but I do not see the driving need. If I owned a gun, I know I’d eventually use it, even if it wasn’t warranted.

    Doesn’t mean I don’t want to go to the shooting range though. 🙂

  9. SonofRojBlake February 23, 2009 at 4:45 am #

    One observation: it is in principle correct that an illness should restrict one’s right to do things that those without said illness can do with impunity. Two examples, both from friends from university. One was epileptic. In every conceivable way to the uninformed observer an entirely healthy man, rugby player, mechanical engineer, husband, father. But due to his illness, the law prevents him from driving a car. His illness is controlled by medication, but the consequences of a failure are judged by society to be not worth the risk – so he is not now and never will be allowed to operate a motor vehicle, a right most of us take for granted. Another friend was one of the fittest, brightest people I ever knew. He was sponsored through his aeronautical engineering degree by the Royal Air Force, they taught him to fly, and he had every expectation of becoming a fighter pilot. And then, at 21, he had a heart attack. Unusually for someone so young, he survived. But his career was over. He will never, ever be allowed at the controls of an aircraft again. He lived to fly. He took a more mundane job, but his lifelong dream was destroyed.

    People have rights, sure. But it seems to me perfectly acceptable that the exercise of those rights is circumscribed by their health, where their health may reasonably be described as having a material effect on their fitness to exercise their rights responsibly. Epileptics can’t drive cars, even though most of the time it would be fine. People who’ve had heart attacks can’t fly planes, even though most of the time it would be fine. I don’t see any difference between those circumstances and the rights of the mentally ill to own or operate firearms.

  10. thordora February 23, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Because epilespy is a measurable medical disorder. mental illness is still a disorder that is relative to the doctor, and has no way to be quantified specifically.

    It would be like telling you you can’t do something because you MIGHT do something bad. YOU can’t drive because YOU might drive drunk, because you can’t be trusted.

    They are two completely different scenarios.

  11. thordora February 23, 2009 at 9:50 am #

    And what REALLY gets my goat is that you have 20 gauge shotguns sized for CHILDREN and that’s ok, that’s the american dream. But anyone who might possibly have the slightest bit of mental illness, well, THEY might be the ones to fear.

    Considering that they’re less likely to harm others, it really doesn’t make sense.

  12. de February 24, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    I agree 100% with your point that generalizing will damn us all.

  13. AlexSorent April 8, 2009 at 10:12 am #

    Well, these are interesting thoughts. I think they are true. However, everything is
    relative and ambiguous to my mind.


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