6.9
May 30, 2022

Mental Health Doesn’t Kill People. Guns Do.

Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.

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I’m really mad.

As someone who suffers from mental health issues, to constantly be viewed as a menace to society gets old.

I’ve dealt with mental health issues my entire life. I’ve never hurt anyone and definitely haven’t killed anyone.

Have I thought about hurting myself?

Yes. Yes, I have. And it’s for this reason (and others), I don’t want to own a gun, nor should I be allowed to own a gun. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

Do we have a mental health crisis in the United States? One hundred percent yes we do.

Does it contribute to the increased violence that includes 212 Maas shootings in 144 days, 27 school shootings in 144 days, 288 school shootings since 2009, and a continued increase in violent crime? Yes. Yes, it does.

But this is not why children are being killed in schools. This is not why grandparents are being shot and killed in grocery stores.

Every developed country across the world has mental health issues, but none of them have nearly as many mass shootings and school shootings as the U.S.

The difference? Their populations aren’t walking around with assault rifles.

I used to say America is better than this. The fact is no, we aren’t. But we can be.

We can start by enacting sensible gun laws once and for all. I shouldn’t own a gun. And a lot of others shouldn’t either.

And then while we are at it, stop blaming the killing of our children on a group of people who are suffering and not killers. We can get them and me the help we need. It’s cruel, and you are making us feel worse, not better. For f*cks sake have some compassion for people who are in pain.

I used to say America is better than this. Well, we aren’t. But we certainly could be by doing something to solve the issues for once.

Enact sensible gun laws and work toward helping the people who are suffering instead of making them the enemy.

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