Let me explain a few things about this bullshit idea that people love of "if you need psych meds, you never get a gun."

I'm going to introduce you to being mentally ill, poor, and living in rural areas.
When I was growing up, there were significant portions of the time that if we didn't hunt, we didn't have enough meat. Hunting rifles were an important part of providing for the family. When Dad was at sea, I took over the job when I was old enough.
This was not uncommon. Farm families always have rifles and shotguns on hand because you fucking need them. You have to put down an animal and it's too expensive to call a vet. You need to shoot a fox or something that's in your chickens. This is normal.
None of these are semi-automatic weapons, mind you. We're talking single shot, bolt or lever-action rifles. You have to manually push the next round into the chamber. Most were ancient. Rarely did anyone buy new guns, they got passed down.
These are the weapons that generally, people agree have a legitimate purpose. They're for hunting animals, not killing lots of stuff in a shot span of time.

Okay? Got it? Let's carry on.
If we're talking about registering all guns, which is a good idea, and denying registration to people who have predictors of violence, we're also talking about hunting weapons in rural communities.

This is where the "if you take psych meds, no guns ever" argument fails.
Rural communities are woefully underserved for healthcare. It's infinitely worse when you talk about mental healthcare. Add into that things like Medicaid, where your options are limited.

Now. If you're depressed and you live in East Jerkwater, what are you going to do?
You'll go to your family doctor, because that's your option. And you'll be given a script for Zoloft or Paxil or Prozac or something. Because the therapists in your area have a 6 month wait-list. And by your area, we mean the town 45 minutes away.
This med could help! But if you take it, you lose the ability to feed your family, because you have to give up your rifle if you take Dangerous Psychiatric Medication. Because we don't want crazy people to have guns.

I'd refuse that script.
Not because I enjoy being depressed and I'm a danger. But because the ability to feed my family is more important than the benefit of easing my depression.

When you factor in the role guns play in rural communities and our lack of healthcare, this gets complicated.
It looks really easy on the surface to say, "if you take psychiatric meds, you don't get guns because nobody needs them."

Sure. If you live in an urban or suburban area. And you have access to both food and healthcare.
If you live on a farm? You need a shotgun or rifle. If you rely on hunting for food? You need a rifle. You don't need a semi-automatic rifle, but you need a rifle.

And you may also need fucking Prozac because mental illness doesn't care where you live, but therapy options do.
Don't put people in a dichotomy where they can either treat their mental health with the most easily accessible means or they can have the weapons that have legitimate, important purposes.

This is ableist. This is classist. This is harmful, most of all.
Rural folks, especially men, are least likely to admit they need mental healthcare until it has hit crisis point. This sort of shit will make it harder. It's short-sighted and perpetuates the stigma about mental illness as making people inherently dangerous.
Psych meds are the most accessible tool for mental healthcare that we have, especially for things like depression and anxiety, which are incredibly common.

18% of Americans have anxiety disorders. About 10% have depression. And that's just reported numbers. It's under-reported.
If you make "no psych meds ever" a condition for owning a hunting rifle? I guarantee you, mental health in poor and rural areas will deteriorate even further.

The danger won't be mass shootings. It'll be suicide. And you don't need a rifle for that.
The US is huge and has broader demographics than any other Western nation that has had to deal with mass shootings. Our approaches have to be nuanced and thoughtful.

That nuance begins with divorcing mental illness from the presumption of violence. #endthestigma
And while you're at it, tip the mentally ill people who are putting ourselves out there to combat the stigma against us that is easier to sell in the media than gun control. ko-fi.com/A534F8R

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