I have spoken with a few friends with this illness (manic depression also known as Bipolar Disorder), all of whom are stable at the moment; we would all be willing to sign a No Gun Registry to flag our background checks. Just as you, as a U.S. citizen have a right to own a gun, we have a right to request that we will not own one. It is that simple.
Now where it gets tricky is for parents of disturbed children. I think they have a right to put their child’s name on the proposed No Gun Registry until that child is twenty one years of age and requests to be removed of his/her own volition. I wish we could ask the child’s doctor to sign off on Registry removal request; but that is asking a lot of physicians—to police the mentally ill.
As it stands now, I may go into any gun shop and declare myself mentally competent, which I am not. I can lie on the form and say I do not have a mental illness and pass the background check because I have no criminal record, enabling me to purchase a gun either on the spot or with the waiting period required by some states.
Another option for the No Gun Registry is for those on the Social Security Disability payment rolls due to mental illness to be put on the NGR. It is the price one pays for drawing that check. I know that sounds harsh; but if someone is on Social Security due to mental illness, why would anyone want that person to have a gun?
The other thing that disturbs me more than I can say is that each of the gunmen in these massacres has been on SSRI mood-altering medications WITHOUT a mood stabilizer. It seems to me, that all doctors should understand that if your intent is to alter someone’s mood, you should also attempt to stabilize that mood. Most psychiatrists understand this, but the primary care physicians who prescribe the majority of these medications do not know, nor will they know unless the pharmaceutical sales rep states this during the sales call to the physician office.
As things are presently, the primary care physicians have been prescribing these medications for many years, mostly since they marketing push for Prozac in the late 1980’s, so there is over 20 years of re-education about the nature of these medications for the physicians and consumers.
If I take an antidepressant drug (the SSRI’s) without a mood stabilizer, I can tell you I become unstable very quickly. Now I am not saying every person who is given an SSRI by the primary care physician has Bipolar Disorder, but I am saying it just makes SENSE to prescribe a mood stabilizer with these medications for everyone when the mood-altering medication is prescribed. To me, this seems like a common sense issue; but then I am very familiar with these medications after taking them many years both with and without mood stabilizers. Without mood stabilizers, I end up in the hospital eventually.
It was not until I found my psychiatrist who also has Bipolar Disorder several years ago that I understood the importance of a mood stabilizer in conjunction with the SSRI antidepressant. This was after being hospitalized in his clinic while taking an SSRI prescribed by my primary care physician, before I had a correct diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder. I had recently quit an excellent job due to severe depression, but purchased a second home when I could barely make the payments on my first home. Needless to say, I ended up losing both homes and it took several years to find medications which work for me.
Right now my medications are working and I pray they continue to work, which has not been the case in the past. I know from experience if I do not take the mood stabilizer prescribed with the anti-depressant, I get very angry and irritable. I could tell many more stories of “crazy” things I did during times of instability due to being medicated without a mood stabilizer, but I think you get my point.
The bottom line is I do NOT want anyone to sell a gun to me and I believe the value of mood stabilizers should become a topic of discussion within the gun massacre issue.