I'm very anti-gun. I always have been, and I certainly always will be. The political climate surrounding guns is suffocating and tumultuous to tread, but I can say from firsthand experience that I personally lived with an unmedicated bipolar individual who had multiple handguns in our home. I don't mean to disrespect this person, who was fully versed in gun safety and all that jazz, but I find it hugely problematic that they were aware of a mental condition and purposely did not medicate themselves and/or disclose that information when purchasing their gun/s. There were only 3 specific times when I felt unsafe knowing that they had access to a gun, but STILL. That is THREE TIMES I legitimately wondered if it was going to be used. Thankfully, this person never did pull the gun out. I can say with most confidence that I don't think they ever will, but this person (and several others) all have the same story about buying guns: you look for an excuse to use it when you have it.

So when you tell me that owning a gun requires an explicit background check, I don't really fucking believe you.

HOWEVER, I find the systemic conversation re: mental health to be equally problematic, because it offers an excuse for this behavior. Mental illness is a huge deal and needs to be treated as such, but it shouldn't be our go-to debate every time some MAN decides to murder people. It's insulting to those living with mental illnesses, as if to say we are all loose cannons and that the real problem is our brains, and not the life-ending weapons in our hands.

I found this article to be especially chilling:
"There is no reason that any private citizen in a democracy should own a handgun," he wrote. "At some point, that simple truth will register. Until it does, phones will ring for dead children, and parents will be told not to ask why."