Speaking Out for People with Mental Illness

Dr. Robert Young at the 2015 GRPC. (Photo: Kevin Adams)
[Editor's Note: The following is a speech delivered by DRGO's Dr. Robert Young to the 2015 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Phoenix, Arizona September 27.] It has appeared that almost all mass murderers have some kind of mental illness.  Only about half of them are known to have had treatment.  Mass murder victims are actually just a fraction of a percent of victims overall, so objectively it is not the main problem of people killing people.  But since there is a lot of attention to mental...

The 30th Annual GRPC Wrap-up

Phoenix was hot last weekend, but it’s a dry heat.  And nobody at the three-day Gun Rights Policy Conference cared anyway, because all eyes were on pro-gun rights luminaries such as Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb, Dave Kopp of the Arizona Citizens Defense League, D. Allen Youngman from the Defense Small Arms Advisory Council, rock star lawyer Alan Gura, Rashad Gray from the National African-American Gun Association, John R. Lott, Jr., and Breitbart.com columnist AWR Hawkin...

The Anti-Gun Culture

Protesters marching with the social activist group CREDO along with other concerned citizens descend on the offices of the NRA's (National Rifle Association)Capitol Hill lobbiest's office demanding the pro-gun lobby stand down in reaction to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School December 17, 2012, in Washington, DC.    A leading Democratic senator launched a bid Sunday to ban assault weapons in the wake of the latest deadly US school shooting, announcing that she will put a bill before Congress on January 3.Dianne Feinstein, the influential chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said she believed President Barack Obama would support her legislation, also aimed at outlawing magazines carrying more than 10 bullets. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards        (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Thinking about gun culture led me to ponder its converse, which isn’t commonly mentioned.  Is there an “anti-gun culture”? Again, “culture” comes from the idea of “cultivating” things, including human achievements, and understanding and appreciating them.  It refers particularly to the customs and attitudes that characterize a particular social group.   The term applies to people who value certain traditions, skills and accomplishments (say, those who appreciate firearms).  But do people ...

The 30th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference

I attended my first Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) in 1994.  I admired the chutzpah of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Alan Gottlieb in setting that year’s annual pro-gun rights confab in San Francisco, the heart of gun-grabbing coastal California.  It was the same year that Doctors for Responsible Gun Ownership came to life, and the year I realized that as long as Americans cared enough about their civil rights to fly or drive hundreds of miles to meet like-minded people and learn ho...

Gun Culture

The concept of a “gun culture” is an interesting notion.  The phrase is frequently used, most often negatively by anti-gun activists but it’s also been adopted as a positive description of values by many gun owners.  What is it, and what does “culture” have to do with guns? First of all, there is certainly not a monolithic “gun culture”, because people appreciate firearms from a number of perspectives.  We may be interested in different kinds of sport; that may be some form of target shoo...