My Initial Response to The NRA’s “Database for the Mentally Ill” Request


“How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame from a national media machine that rewards them with wall-to-wall attention and a sense of identity that they crave, while provoking others to try to make their mark,” LaPierre said. “A dozen more killers, a hundred more? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?”-Wayne LaPierre, NRA lobbyist

The NRA sickens me. Truly. They just gave a completely tone-deaf and disrespectful response to what occurred a week ago today. They believe arming school officials and having armed guards at school will prevent such tragedies. I don’t agree with this perspective at all for varying reasons, but I know there are those of you who do. I don’t want to debate that with you today. I simply want to address the question asked at the end of the above statement.

I’m a mother of two boys.

I’m a USAF disabled veteran and former police officer.

I’ve survived Postpartum Depression and Anxiety.

I currently live with mental illnesses called rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder type II and OCD.

ย I take medication for these illness. 4 of them. Every day. Every.Single.Day.

I go to therapy. I see a psychiatrist.

There are days I struggle to keep it all together and not let the fact that I have some chemical imbalances stop me from living life.

There are days when I want to give up.

I have been hospitalized-not because I was a threat to those around me but because I was a threat to myself.

I am not a violent person, although I have been traumatized by and have experienced violence first hand.

I am not a threat to society.

I have no desire to own a weapon, and never have despite my knowledge of how to use, clean, and take them apart, and being properly trained and qualified on several of them-ranging from the M9 pistol I carried on my hip every shift to the M203 grenade launchers, M249′s, and M4′s I was trained to use in combat during deployments.

I do not belong in a database because I have a mental illness.

My mental illness does not mean I am a violent person.

I am a compliant, law-abiding citizen who still manages to function just like everyone else despite the effects my illness has on me.

My friends who also have mental illnesses? They don’t belong in a database either.

They are just like me: men and women, mothers and fathers living with a painful “invisible” illness but still living their lives, working, raising their children, loving, helping others, and being productive members of society.

If our mental health records should be put into a database, then every person who applies for a weapons permit or who purchases a weapon, should submit to a comprehensive mental health evaluation, comprehensive background check similar to what’s required to obtain a security clearance, and a weapons safety course. You can’t say I should be registered in a mental illness database but not even mention that a more rigorous and comprehensive screening of those applying for weapons permits and buying guns is needs to be monitored as well.

It shouldn’t take less than 20 minutes to walk in to WalMart and walk out with a gun, I don’t care what you’re using it for.

Also? No one should be allowed to own or put together an assault rifle or semiautomatic weapon. I don’t understand why such a deadly weapon should be in the hands of the man who lives next door to me.

Yes, you have the right to bear arms, but maybe the kind of arms you’re entitled to bear should be re-evaluated. Yes, you have the right to protect yourself in case of a threat or danger…but we all saw how that played out with the Trayvon Martin incident, didn’t we? Maybe we start redefining what a threat is and what self-defense actually looks like. Maybe we start asking ourselves some hard questions and making some compromises. Not saying I’m right. Not saying the solutions or answers to this are simple. Just thinking out loud here.

You have the right to bear arms, but guess what? I have rights too. I have the right to have access to mental health services and resources that aren’t underfunded and understaffed; services and resources that have qualified professionals working for them who treat us with the respect and dignity we deserve just as much as “normal” people.

You have your rights. What about mine? And the other 1 in 5 people who live with some form of mental illness in this country? You have a right to arm yourself…we have our rights to privacy…and to the same life you do.

Those who live with mental illness are not all dangerous. We don’t all need to be tagged and stored in some database. If you REALLY think we do, then I say you should be too. Because while you may not have a mental illness you could be just as capable of violence. ANYONE with access to a gun can quickly and easily become a criminal-yes, even “responsible good guy gun owners.”

I am mentally ill. I am not violent. I don’t belong in your database. Stop stigmatizing me and those just like me. Stop using us to redirect criticism and calls to action by saying we are the problem. We are not your scapegoat.

I guess the old clichรฉ is true: “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” No you can’t. Not when their greed disguised as advocating for”rights” is stronger than their desire to admit they could stand to learn a few things.

Go fuck yourself, NRA and hold another press conference when you have something more substantial to say.

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13 thoughts on “My Initial Response to The NRA’s “Database for the Mentally Ill” Request

  1. I totally agree. I was naive enough to actually think that the NRA was being respectful by waiting to make a statement. I even thought they might agree that we need some stricter laws. But what they said is so disrespectful!!! Data base? I am not a pedophile! I do agree with the possibliity that some of those video games could be influencing our young people. But adding even more guns in the equation is so stupid. I don’t know why that I thought it would be any different.

  2. I agree with you very much. But I almost welcome having my name added to some ridiculous mental illness database… as long as they also have that gun owner database. Then, when they do their analyses of these terrible shootings, they’ll see whose names are on which list. I bet you the perpetrators’ names won’t be on OUR list.

  3. I really think the response of the NRA was a way of securing their right to bear arms.
    There was no effort in trying to find or offer a solution about gun control.
    There was no real outrage or consideration for the children and families of Sandy Hook.
    It was all about self preservation.
    They are putting up a smoke screen and are pointing in different directions. Therefore I can not take anything they say seriously. They are not taking any responsibility and they are not helping to create a solution or at least a serious debate. All they care about is holding on to their stupid guns. Anyone that wants the right to own a deadly weapon, but does not want to make sure that innocent children are protected within that same right is a complete idiot.
    Thank you and well said!

  4. Addye, this was such a well thought out post. I was horrified by the NRA’s press conference. You and I do not belong in a national database. We need tighter gun control regulations. Owning a gun should be a privilege, not a right.

  5. Pingback: Gun violence: a Hunter’s Perspective | tranquilamama

  6. Boy are you all a bunch of numbnuts. Your fabulous POTUS and VPOTUS has recommended EXACTLY this registration of the mentally ill. And IF you do seek treatment your name will be on that list, like it or not.

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