Yes, I have a mental illness. A scary kind that starts with schiz…. But, I am not and never have been violent. I am more likely to be the victim of a crime than the perpetrator. I am enough of a suicide risk, by that label alone, that I can not purchase life insurance. I don’t want a gun.
There are laws in my state regulating that you may not possess a firearm for 5 years after an involuntary commitment. I am fine with background checks that do not invade my privacy.
I know any marginalized group gets singled out when a member commits a crime. Especially one like mass murder. I dread after violent news that they will say …and he had a mental illness.
This young man. He was a man. Was radicalized in the United States by a white supremacy organization and committed an act of terrorism. How many of these attacks do we need before the government examines these terrorist groups like they do others.
We have so many problems with the mental health system. Not enough beds, people being homeless or imprisoned instead of hospitalized. Questionable housing. Trouble getting treatment or knowing you need treatment. I want so much for there to be proper funding.
But, fear and buying into a false sense of safety that if you just could keep the diagnosed mentally ill from purchasing guns all would be fine, is not an answer. It may be part of the solution, but we need more action.
The suggestion from our school district is “If you see something, say something”. That does not make me feel very secure, either. There were signs in this case, in many cases, and people did say something, and still it happened.
I am not any kind of expert and will not suggest that I have an answer. I will be listening to survivors, pushing for more surveillance of homegrown terrorist groups and not demand a right to bear arms.