Archive for the ‘Gun Control’ Category

Gun Control and Mental Illness

December 26, 2012

Hello, Friends.

I have a confession to make.  I am “mentally ill.”  Now – those of you who have read this blog already know this!  For those “searching” the web for blogs and statements about gun control – this is probably brand new information for you.

What do I mean when I say I am “mentally ill.”  That is such a huge and encompassing statement.  Even Mirriam Webster dictionary says:  See Mental Disorder.  The definition is as follows:

 Definition of MENTAL DISORDER
: a mental or bodily condition marked primarily by sufficient disorganization of personality, mind, and emotions to seriously impair the normal psychological functioning of the individual—called also mental illness.
 
Is this accurate?  I suppose in a way it is.  There are days, times, moments that my “normal psychological function” is impaired.  However, it isn’t because I have done anything wrong – it isn’t even because I have something wrong in my head.  It is because of what was done to me!
 
The gun control debate has turned hotly towards those who are “mentally ill” being denied their 2nd Amendment rights.  Being diagnosed with PTSD, Depression, Anxiety or any of the other Post Trauma diagnosis that exist doesn’t necessarily make you a danger to yourself or to others.  Surviving trauma doesn’t mean we are “insane.”  In fact, I would dare say that most of us would do everything in our power to protect another person from experiencing trauma. 
 
Criminal:
 
Criminal behavior is a whole different world.  Being mentally ill is NOT a crime.  According to the dictionary the definition of crime:
 
1
: an act or the commission of an act that is forbidden or the omission of a duty that is commanded by a public law and that makes the offender liable to punishment by that law;
2
: a grave offense especially against morality
3
: something reprehensible, foolish, or disgraceful
 
Only “criminal behavior” should prevent someone from exercising their rights under the Constitution.  Only the guilty should be denied their rights.
 
We are not the guilty one’s.  Those of us who live with PTSI as a result of what was done to us by an agent acting on behalf of the Federal Govt are not guilty.  Those who raped us are, those who assaulted us are.  Yes, I did say “agent acting on behalf of the Federal Gvt.”  I said that because when you wear the uniform you are always, always a member of the US Military.  Even when you are “off duty” you can be held liable and proscecuted for criminal behavior.  If you are off duty and you are drinking under age and get busted by local police- your Command will be made aware and you will most likely suffer UCMJ punishment.  When you are in the Military you are ALWAYS in the Military – and to forget that and do what was done to us brings shame on every member of the Military.  Dishonor, Shame and Disgrace to every good soldier that served!
 
I believe in the 2nd Amendment.  I believe in the right to keep and bear arms.  I believe in the right to protect myself and my loved ones with deadly force if necessary. 
 
Liberal friends ask me – “Could you really take a life?”  You don’t think about what you are killing – you have to think about what you are saving.  Would I kill to save my loved one, my sons and my daughters or my husband – HELL YEAH!  Does a soldier kill the enemy to protect himself and the soldier next to him – HELL YEAH!  There is no joy in it – no “yeah – I popped a cap in the ass!”  It isn’t like that – it is a responsiblity and a consequence that I am prepared to deal with.
 
Being a rape survivor doesn’t make me a criminal and it doesn’t make me a danger to others.  Not all “mentally ill” people are Adam Lanza!  Not all “mentally ill” people want to harm others.  I hope that this nation remembers that as they go crazy talking about “gun control.”
 
Joan
 
 
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Why I Carry.

December 18, 2012

Hello, Friends.

Friends will sometimes ask me, “Why do you carry a gun?  You gonna be a hero?” then they snicker.  The CT Tragedy has once again ignited the gun control debate.  CT has the 4th most restrictive gun laws in the Nation.  I live in a “Shall Issue” state.  Our state will issue a concealed carry permit to anyone who presents a record of military service showing weapons training or to anyone who completes an authorized firearms class. 

For Veterans – it takes anywhere from 7 to 14 days to receive your permit in my state.  They do a full background check and they can even check references. 

I carry as often as I can – and I carry concealed.  I follow all the laws – I don’t carry onto my work site because it is federal property and that is illegal. 

I always carry at the mall – regardless of their little signs on the door!  After all, no one about to shoot up a mall looks at the sign and says, “Oh, Shit!  Gotta do it somewhere else!”  I often carry to church.  I often carry into Wal-Mart.

I have no intention of running towards gunfire in a crowded mall looking for the shooter.  Anyone who has an understanding of active shooter scenarios knows that this is the worst thing you can do.  If you are close and can take cover and get a clear shot without shooting an innocent bystander – then take the shot.  If not, you are better off finding a safe place to barracade yourself into.  The purpose of the weapon is to protect yourself and the innocent people with you in the event of a direct attempt by the shooter to access your barracaded location.

There has been talk about making sure that people with “significant mental illness” don’t have the ability to purchase, access or carry weapons.  I can understand most of that – most of that.  However, I wonder how they will label those of us who have Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (okay – I know the term is “disorder” but I hate that term.  The only thing “disordered” is what was done to me to injure me!)  I fear that if they include PTSI on the list that it will prevent Veterans from getting the help they need and their compensation for their injuries.  “I can’t go to the VA – I will lose my right to own a weapon!”

I don’t know a single survivor of military sexual trauma that has killed their attacker.  In fact, these mass shootings are not perpetrated by Veterans – except for the Ft. Hood Shooting that was motivated by radical beliefs.  I can only think of two that have been committed by service members.

As for teachers learning how to use a firearm to protect their classrooms.  I have taught – I was adjunctive faculty at a Community College for three years.  One of those years I taught high school students.  No, I could not carry or possess a firearm on campus and it was long before our state changed their carry laws.  However, I can honestly tell you that I adored those kids – I would have died for those kids – and if necessary, I would have defended those kids with deadly force!

I was a soldier in the US Army.  The oath I took did not go away when they sent me away.  I took that oath for life.  Part of that oath includes defending the innocent from all enemies foreign and domestic.  Who are the innocent?  My children are the innocent, your children are innocent, my neighbor, my church, my community, the stranger in the mall, my co-worker. 

I am prepared to give my life in their defense. 

In honor of those in Sandy Hook School that did give their lives trying to protect the innocent.  Rachel Davino, Dawn Hochsprung, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Mary Sherlach and Victoria Soto. 

American Heroes – Gone…but Not Forgotten!

Peace,

Joan