The recent mass shooting in Isla Vista highlights, yet again, how appallingly easy it is for mentally unbalanced people to get access to firearms. Elliot Rodger was seeing multiple mental health clinicians and had been prescribed an anti-psychotic drug (which he wasn’t taking), yet he was able to legally purchase the guns he used to kill six people.
Ohio Rev. Statute 2923.125 states, “No person shall acquire, have, carry or use any firearm if he or she: Is under adjudication for mental incompetence, has been adjudicated as a mental defective, committed to a mental institution, found to be mentally ill subject to hospitalization by court order, or is an involuntary mentally ill patient.” But a gun store background check only covers the purchaser’s criminal history, not their mental health history.
I myself have been diagnosed with, among other things, severe depression, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. I have suicidal thoughts on a regular basis and I would not be writing this now if, in the past, I had ready access to a loaded gun.
I have been hospitalized several times for my mental conditions and am under regular monitoring by mental health professionals. But because my previous hospitalizations have all been voluntary and not the result of any court or law enforcement order, I probably do not meet the above criteria for not being able to legally own or purchase firearms.
I find it very disturbing that a mentally ill person such as myself could simply walk into a gun store, lie on the forms about my mental health history, and walk out with a gun.
People like me should not have the right to bear arms.
— Meaghan Good, Venedocia