Guns in America-PTSD

December 20, 2012

With the most recent mass shootings in Sandy Hook I started to wonder just how many guns there are in the United States.  I checked with the latest statistics which said there were over 200,000,000 privately held guns. If you add those of the police, they said that there are enough guns to give every man, woman and child in the US a gun.  Since there are plenty of people that do not own one and would not own one, there are obviously many people who own multiple guns.

Now we need to have an honest conversation with returning servicemen and women.  Remember the statistic is that there were over 2,000,000 people who served duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Additionally the estimate is that 20%-30% will have PTSD.  If my math is right that is 400,000 military PTSD/ sufferers and that doesn’t include others such as policemen, fireman, emergency first responders, abused children, traumatic event participants and others.  Now we know that there is a suicide every 18 hours from veterans.

Does it strike anyone else as alarming that the only thing worse than someone with PTSD is someone with PTSD who has a gun?  A common practice recently of something called assisted suicide.  This isn’t a Kavorkian type thing but an incident where someone wants to kill themselves but hasn’t the nerve to do it.  So their solution is, to do something terrible that will cause the police to shoot to kill the person in response to the initial crime.  This usually includes threatening to kill someone else or worse still, actually killing them. This brings action from the police which ends in the killing of the perpetrator, who wanted to die in the first place.

I know that I sound alarmed but I also know that this mental illness is one that is approaching us like a tidal wave and we need to start taking steps to find answers and get the people who have PTSD as much help as they need to deal with this most serious illness.