Michael On Everything Else

Men and Mental Health In The U.S.

Another mass shooting and another man behind the trigger…

It’s time men in the U.S. take mental health more seriously. We don’t yet know the man’s motives. We may never find out. But regardless of his motives, it is, to me, the very definition of mental illness if you can attack innocent, unsuspecting people.

We need to change the narative about masculinity in such a way that makes it acceptable for men to reach out for help. There needs to be less of a stigma surrounding depression and it needs to be easier to get help from a professional.

As the situation develops and we (hopefully) gain a better understanding of the background, the reasons, etc, I think it will become clear that there were warnings of mental illness and/or depression leading up to the event.

The calls for increased gun control are inevitable. We already know the man had a lot of firearms, which in itself is no crime. But it certainly makes such acts easier. It’s also my understanding that he was somewhat wealthy and it is possible he legally owned a fully automatic weapon, something that is very expensive—upwards of $10,000 in many cases. Having a fully automatic weapon also increases the ease and destructiveness of such an act. But at the end of the day, it’s the mental illness that is the ultimate enabler/cause, not the weapons. This man could have done just as much damage with any number of other weapons.

Gun culture in the U.S. is a unique thing and it is increasingly becoming a very complicated, convoluted, nuanced thing that is slowly changing over time. The gun culture I grew up in was largely rural, utilitarian, and respectful of the inherent risk surrounding firearms. With increased urbanization, decreased utility, and decreased respect for the destructive nature of firearms, it’s becoming more difficult to defend gun rights as they currently exist.