Sunday, 18 February 2018

Nerd Church - America, Don't Blame Mental Health Problems For Your Useless Laws

(Warning: this post discusses mental health problems, stigma, and gun violence including school shootings.)

Crumpled note with 'X' sign, and 'unacceptable' written in lock capitals

America - what the actual f**k?

Look, I'm probably preaching to the choir here - but in case any of you out there are pro-killing-machines - let me explain some things:

  1. There are mental health problems all over the world
  2. School shootings aren't the norm in pretty much any country other than yours
  3. Your gun laws are the problem

I'm not saying that other countries have 'perfect' gun control or gun laws.

But a lot of us seem to be doing better* than the USA.

In the UK (where yours truly lives) you have to have a gun license in order to own a gun.

You have to keep the ammo in a separate place.

Several types of guns or ammo are prohibited to members of the public; it's just common sense, honestly.

*(The article I link to says 'England' rather than the UK.

For once, I'm not going to yell, because the UK's gun statistics tend to be worked out per country in the UK (so England would be a separate figure) in order to stop potentially anomalous data from Northern Ireland from affecting the overall picture.

If I find out that they're counting the whole UK under England however, then I will yell.)

This demonisation of people with mental health problems by that creature you've elected as your president is deeply troubling.

The sort of rhetoric he's spouting suggests scapegoating yet another group of marginalised people is his intention.

People with mental health problems are more likely to be the victims of crime than the perpetrators.

Sadly, you will always get lost souls who want to cause harm - this won't change any time soon. 

What you can do is limit people's access to weapons. Limit the amount of death that finds its way into the hands of lost souls.

To do that, you need to tighten your laws.

And before someone comes up with that ridiculous 'the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun' argument, please, ask yourselves this:

Why is it legal for the 'bad guy' to have a gun with very little background checks?

Why is it legal in several states for the 'bad guy' to have a semi-automatic weapon?

Why are your guns not registered?

Who, in your scenario, decides who the 'good guy' is, and who the 'bad guy' is? Very few people see themselves as the villain.

Guns are made to injure and kill. That is literally their purpose.

The damage they do is horrendous, and gun accidents can and do happen.

If you don't own a gun, you can't use it. It really is that simple.

At least with a less efficient weapon - like a knife - the number of people who can be hurt or killed before the assailant is stopped is limited.

And there's a chance to out-run manual weapons. The chance of out-running a bullet is tiny.

When it's easier to get access to a gun than to decent healthcare - something has gone wrong. Something that desperately needs to be fixed.

The rest of the world looks at this latest gun shooting, America, and asks itself what it will take for you to come to your senses.

Because if not now, then when?

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  1. Literally have nothing else to add here. Other than the fact that this is an epidemic that has been around long before Trump even became president. The USA has a problem that no president has been able to fix.

    1. Too true. Unfortunately Trump is the least likely to do something about it.

  2. I'm from the UK too and agree with everything you said. I can't understand how gun control laws haven't been controlled by now. It seems that the right to own a gun is more important to some than the lives of others and their rights to live a life free from fear.

    1. I know, right? It just seems so weird from where we're sitting!


  3. I agree. Somehow all these other countries have been able to keep from having so many mass shootings, yet there are mentally ill people everywhere. Clearly, it's the gun control that's the problem. Especially something like the assault rifles, there's no reason to be selling those to any random person who wants one.

    1. The fact that you can buy that as a member of the public is a totally alien concept to me... like, other than to do a *lot* of harm, there's just *no* reason to have that!

  4. Where I'm from (Philippines), there are "rumors" that our president himself is behind a bunch of shootings, which is horrible. And yes, gun control. I have no idea why our country isn't stricter about this--there have been shootings and thefts from people owning guns--people who shouldn't be owning them. :/

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    1. Wow, that sounds bad. Every country needs firm gun control laws - I honestly don't mind sports rifles (y'know, target shooting,) but they still need to be controlled, and monitored. I know that it's hard - but the sooner governments begin to move on this, the easier it will be in the long run.

      At the very least, countries need to ban the sale of automatic and semi-automatic weapons to the public. With that as a start point, things *can* get better!

  5. I am fearful for all the kids and mine going to school. I wish the Americans will wake up and do something about gun laws. Sadly, if kids as young as 5 are getting shot and nothing changes, then I don't see anything happening now when the newest shooting are of older kids.

    Dinh@Arlene's Book Club

    1. I wish I had something comforting I could say to you. All I can say is this: don't give up. If people like you know that things need to change, then there's hope - and hope can change the world.

  6. oh love this post in every possible way. I had t get out of my Facebook account for a few days because of all the people posting things like "why are all those people with mental health issues walking around free??" I was physically SICK. I couldn't help myself and posted a few sarcastic replies "yes let's deprive ill people from their freedom but never control your precious guns huh??

    1. Iesu, I would've given them a damned piece of my mind!!!! (And well done on the sassy come-backs!)

      *hugs* People are awful sometimes. Mental health has never been a stigma in my family, because my grandmother - one of the kindest, most elegant, strongest ladies there ever was - was bipolar. But still, even with my family being open about these things, I found it extremely difficult to ask for help and admit that I had problems; society as a whole needs to stop perpetuating the stigma.

      People are people. Guns are weapons. I worry when people can't see the difference.

    2. Mental illness and runs strong in one side of in my family. Schizophrenia, Bipolar, clinical depression, mixed with ADD, ADHD spectrum. We are a poster child for mental illness and neurodiversity. That's why I like to read and blog about it. So at the family level we are ok. Just ok in terms of not stigmatizing it. The other side of my family is less "evolved" even though they have their own mental health and behavioral issues too. But it's is so disheartening to see close friends who you love and respect talking like that about mentally illness. It's like going back to the dark ages!

    3. Preaching to the choir! That's why it's so important to keep *talking* about mental health (and not in a stigmatising way, obv.)

  7. My boyfriend is from the UK and he actually thinks that guns are illegal in the UK and that you can't even get one. He's said it on multiple occasions. He'll be like "how did they even GET a gun, I've never seen one in my life". So even if you CAN legally get one, that's the general vibe you get if you grew up in the UK, I suppose? Which is why the US puzzles me to no extent. And especially the way they think their gun laws are just completely normal. That one guy who tweeted about his friend in Europe, talking about armed guards in schools being the norm in Europe? I wonder which Europe that dude was talking about :D
    And I love that line of yours about the healthcare vs guns! So on point.

    1. Yeah... they are legal in the UK. It's kind of our fault that the US constitution is like that, because it was based on one we had to 'defend' ourselves against Catholics (only the US were 'defending' against the Brits.)

      But here you have to have a licence. I suppose I've seen a few more than your average person because I live in a rural area, and sometimes people have sports-rifles for target-shooting, or farmers have guns for shooting foxes (poor foxes!) or dogs who kill sheep etc. But it's still **far** from the norm. Like, I'm still genuinely shocked if I see a gun in the window of fishing/outdoors-y shop.

      Like, was it in a combat zone in Europe, like, part of Ukraine? Cos I doubt it otherwise! And, last I checked, there were no official combat zones in the US. #JustSaying.


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