The Importance Of Gun Control For People With Schizophrenia

December 19, 2012 Dan Hoeweler

I have Schizophrenia and because of this I understand that my illness can be a liability for myself and those around me. Though I am a productive citizen of society when medicated, my illness also puts me at risk for relapse in the future. For this reason, I would never allow myself access to firearms for both my personal safety and those around me. This is not because I am an evil person, but because Schizophrenia can result in erratic behavior if uncontrolled. People with Schizophrenia are at high risk for suicide, as nearly 10% will end our lives from our illness. There have also been incidences of homicides as a result of psychotic episodes.

Severe Mental Illness and Guns

The Importance Of Gun Control For People With SchizophreniaIf you suffer from paranoid Schizophrenia and have access to guns, you are greatly increasing the likelihood of suicidal or homicidal behavior. If you are considering purchasing a weapon for either purpose, you should contact emergency professionals immediately for safety reasons. I am telling you this not as an authority figure, but rather as a friend who understands the pain this illness can bring.

I am not writing this column to sugar coat my illness and deny the fact that I have had suicidal and homicidal thoughts in the past. One of the reasons that I have never acted on these thoughts is because I have sought help when needed and kept myself away from firearms. Having a thought disorder means that I can have inappropriate ideas. Despite these ideas I understand that it is what you do that matters and not what you think.

I consider Schizophrenia to be an illness that is attached to myself, rather than something that I am. Every day, it is trying to invade my mind and every day I must fight it with medication and good choices. Though currently I am winning, I understand that in the future it could infest my mind again. Why would I allow myself to have access to a gun knowing that this could happen?

I have experienced the pain and suffering this condition causes. In my darkest days, during the darkest hours of my illness, all sorts of ideas have ruminated inside my head. What matters most, however, is that I never hurt myself or others from these beliefs, not that I had them in the first place. We are responsible for our behavior and treatment, despite having Schizophrenia.

APA Reference
Hoeweler, D. (2012, December 19). The Importance Of Gun Control For People With Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Dan Hoeweler

December, 20 2012 at 4:34 pm

I've been giving this issue a great deal of thought, and while keeping guns out of the hands of schizophrenics is not a bad idea, it will not solve the problem. We need to be taking steps to insure that people with mental illness such as schizophrenia are reveiving proper care and medication administered by a good doctor. We cannot allow them to slip through the cracks and turn into the horrors we see on TV. Most people with schizophrenia would never dream of doing anything like Adam did, if he was indeed one such as these. He needed proper care, and noone was there for him. I'm not excusing his behavior, but rather trying to identify the source of the problem.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Dan Hoeweler
January, 1 2013 at 5:20 am

Yes, treatment is a big part of the equation, though gun control will also help control the problem I think. I don't think Adam had Schizophrenia, but a series of other issues, including personality disorders. I hope someday we can come to way to curb such atrocities in the future. There have been too many such incidences lately.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Franklin P Nobody
September, 24 2022 at 2:10 am

People with schophrenia are more often victims of crime. "Out of the hands of schizophrenics" .How can that one word define an entire human being. . The media does that. Substitute any other word and it might be descrimination... Those schizophrenics are at it again...Even one of those might want protection from other folks with guns or just protection from bears and wolves in the woods.. .

Lacresha Klarr
May, 13 2013 at 4:12 am

The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees every American the right to bear arms. Has any law ever been so ambiguous? What are arms? What does it mean to bear them? At least with the first amendment we know exactly where we stand: Freedom of speech. It couldn’t be any clearer. But, the right to bear arms leaves the second amendment open to different interpretations. We need gun permits to carry a concealed weapon. Do we need knife permits? No. Yet both can, and often do, cause death. We can own a gun, or a rifle, or a sub-machine gun, or a machete, and dozens of other tools to kill, even our own bare hands. So, gun control is a debate in our country that makes no sense unless you broaden the ban or acceptance to include all instruments of death.".
My own web portal

Thomas Sinclair
August, 11 2015 at 5:22 pm

I am bipolar and I own guns.
Who are you to tell me what I can or cannot own? I have never harmed or been violent towards others.
Whatever I do with my own body, or the drugs I consume is none of your concern. If I decide to kill myself with my guns, I have every liberty to do so. I will not cede my liberties because of this.
You speak like a true control-freak.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

October, 27 2018 at 1:17 pm

Never go by what one Doctor may diagnose you as having. They may know your in desperate financial trouble and have no income to survive. I know this because 3 thingsxI was diagnosed with were all made up. I do have Severe anxiety and panic disorder and agoraphobia but that's it. I suffer from constant chronic pain so I'm legitimately disabled and unable to work. I laughed when I went to SSI and they labeled me as having this. Then I thought this is bull and a lie against me. I know what Paranoid Schizophrenia is and I don't have it.

September, 24 2022 at 1:49 am

Psych diagnosis seem to be opinion to tell the insurance company so the doctor can get paid. I think antipsychotic medcation causes some of the symtoms atributed to schizophrenia..I am not a doctor but i have experience . In a perfect world no one would have a gun. Handguns primary purpose is to assualt other people. If someone punches me I dont have to punch back.. But if I want to move to state with loose gun laws where most everyone has a handgun.. And I am dsabled and old and dont run very fast ,anymore...As long as I have good corrected vision ,I would want a hand gun... Even though I did not see blindness as a restriction.....

September, 26 2022 at 3:27 pm

I have schizophrenia and don't feel safe with guns around. I understand how some people would feel differently, especially those who hunt.

May, 21 2016 at 5:23 pm

I did synthetic marijuana cause I couldn't get anything out of lfie, that and just smelling it one time put all conciensness in a fire and burned. I am made of scars.

Frederick William Dehner
September, 15 2017 at 1:52 am

First of all, I do not want to mislead anyone from the getgo here: I agree the author here is a very responsible and caring individual, but I'm not sure if she's advocating self-control or legal actions and punishment against citizens who have committed no crime to justify taking away their civil liberties arbitrarily because they MAY commit a crime. I can think of two varieties of people who would stoop that low and they're in practice flip side of same coin: despots and crooked politicians.
So, having said that I have several family members thru marriage and friends who have been either ( mis ) - diagnosed with a psychosis manifesting disease which was subsequently determined to be Lyme Disease. Secondly, there are those who have been diagnosed correctly with diseases which symptomatically manifest with psychosis, delusions or erratic behavior. Diabetes, for instance which can cause incredibly destructive behavior if my friend goes hyperglycemic. She was hospitalized involuntarily before the doctors realized she was suffering from type 1 diabetes, and she will FOREVER be at risk of having an episode of psychosis due to glycemic imbalances. I also know people with schizoaffective disorder, PTSD, borderline personality disorder or acute triggered psychosis for losing a job or court case. Without identifying people, many of them do keep and bear arms as is their civil liberty just as freedom of speech or voting in elections is. Until such time as they are either given bail condition or are convicted of a violent crime, it's quite plainly illegal and a civil rights violation to legislate ANYONE'S rights away without due process involving conviction for a crime BEFORE any crime is committed. That nightmare until recently has been the plot for thrilling movies and fiction only. I do not think playing wag the dog with civil liberties by crooked politicians is commendable ever. It's disgusting, unethical and quite frankly feels like something a NAZI would clap for in approval.
Let me be very clear here: all of the people I know who keep or carry weapons are in my opinion not an imminant danger to themselves or anyone else. And they would ask for someone else to hold their property if they felt unsafe or suicidal. I have had to do this as a friend and family member for someone more than once. There's a very clear difference between volunteering to temporarily forfeit your civil liberties away or surrendering tools and property to the care of another while you get your life back on track versus PREEMPTIVELY BEING DENIED your civil liberties and having your property forcibly seized without due process or just compensation by armed, often dangerous individuals who get away with murder & deprivation of rights regularly ( rogue police ). The former is ENTIRELY COMMENDABLE, PARADIGM SETTING behavior which ought to be the norm. The latter is REVOLTING, TYRANNICAL, TREASONOUS AND CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY BY THE FIVE PERSON LEGAL DEFINITION.
I'm saddened that our government, standards and values are so eroded in this country that outstanding individuals such as yourself already victimized by an affliction are routinely victimized over & over again by media fear mongering when in point of fact you are statistically more bound to be the target of violence and marginalization by police mistreatment, medical provider negligence or politicians using your struggles with a disease to gain favor. Imagine how outraged the public would react to a diabetic being used like this or even if a 'regular' person who was just laid off a job had their tools stolen, driving privs revoked, car seized, guns seized and every word regularly over analyzed for any hint of anger so they could have an IEA filed against them and be placed on suicide watch under lock and key PREEMPTIVELY because they MIGHT HAVE COMMITED A CRIME AGAINST THEIR FORMER EMPLOYERS.
This sounds like a nightmarish dystopia made manifest. But this is what many of our elected officials would like to have happen.
Why are police who regularly shoot and kill unarmed individuals without consequences not under the microscope and critically examined as a decent person such as you are madam?
I'm frankly appalled by where our country is headed today and how we treat the least among ourselves like suspects in crimes that haven't even been committed. It sickens my heart.
Why doesn't the news show the brave and open self-examination and responsibility of model individuals deserving praise like yourself. Because mass killing, foreign war, starvation and police overreach are better for ratings.
You ought to seriously consider the flimsy data and flawed studies that are cited publicly to justify this affront to our justice system and the rule of law. You should be in the headlines before we become a state of rule by LAW ENFORCEMENT, thuggery and corruption any further. Your gifts should be highlighted to stop the insanity, paranoia and histrionics encouraged by media. People like yourself can turn this around for all Americans.

December, 15 2019 at 9:22 pm

I was diagnosed with schizoafect and medically stable, I am not a harm to myself ,or others.

January, 24 2020 at 4:26 am

I am a vet and I miss my weapons but I am glad I can not get any lmao

Philip Harding
July, 17 2020 at 12:21 am

When I was growing up in the '70s, hardly anyone at all had guns, except for hunters and criminals possessing illegal ones (didn't know those). What has changed in society to where it suddenly everyone and his brother and sister now 'needs' a gun? What for? Self-defense?
Well, then there's all the talk about the Second Amendment. Then why is it the first time in our nation's history that we see the Second Amendment giving individuals the right to bear handguns and assault rifles just's their right? But WHY do you even need a gun in the first place?
As for the Constitution, read the Second Amendment again and again and again and explain to me how 'a well-regulated militia' means the general public running around with lugers in their cars. The gun-rights craze can be explained in three big greedy lobbyist letters: NRA.

July, 17 2020 at 10:21 am

Dear Philip, Thank you for your comment. I want you to know I completely agree with you. I even had my husband sell his gun before we got married because I didn't want to live with a gun in my home. Take Care, Elizabeth

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