General Question

flutherother's avatar

Is it advisable for someone who is bipolar to keep a loaded gun in the house?

Asked by flutherother (31064points) November 28th, 2014

They person in question, who must remain anonymous, has already tried to take their own life twice during periods of depression.

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22 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

It’s a bad idea for anyone to keep a loaded gun in the house, and worse for someone who is bipolar. Depression and despair are implicit in bipolar; it is not far from there to suicidal impulses and the handiness of a gun is a pretty rapid way to commit suicide without any way to change one’s mind in the midst of the act.

Coloma's avatar

Haha…you can’t be serious!
Hey…it’s their life to take if they think it the wise thing to do.
I don’t believe in mollycoddling suicidal people, if they want to check out, let them.

dxs's avatar

I don’t think it’s a good idea. There are other means of defense instead of guns.
@Coloma When my emotions get to me, I do things I wish I hadn’t done.

Pachy's avatar

With all due respect, I don’t think it’s even advisable to feel the need to ask such a question. Loaded or not, a gun in the house is dangerous enough for a mentally stable person—but in the hands of a depressive…OMG, it defies all logic!

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I think you know the answer to this question @flutherother. It’s absolutely not a good idea. What you can do about it is another question entirely.

Obviously being concerned about a person who has proven themselves to be suicidal and has mental health issues is not mollycoddling. The person may not be capable of rational thought while experiencing some form of mental health crisis. They are ill.

flutherother's avatar

My own view is that even people in perfect health shouldn’t keep a gun at home. I was just curious as to what you all might think. It was a real situation and it didn’t end well. It wasn’t anyone very close to me. They were a professional couple both very intelligent well off and comfortable. Now he is on his own.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I concur with your opening sentence. Sometimes even the most intelligent of people do irrational things. Like allowing a gun to be in the house with a person with mental health problems. What a sad situation.

Coloma's avatar

I think their are plenty of responsible gun owners, but yes, keeping weapons around a known depressive is playing with fire…arms, literally. The responsible gun owners I know all keep their weapons in a safe. At the very least the weapons should be under lock and key with the keys safely hidden. That’s the double edged sword of guns, keep them around for protection and end up having to protect family from them.

jerv's avatar

While I am generally in favor of the right to bear arms, I feel that certain things should result in that right being taken away from you; that it’s a right reserved solely for properly trained law-abiding citizens of sound mind.

Those with a history of violent crime are not “law abiding”, so should not have weapons, period.

Those who have a loaded gun laying around (as opposed to in a quick action gun safe) are not “properly trained. They are an accident waiting to happen…. though that accident will most likely happen to a child rather than the idiot who left the gun out.

Lastly, and most relevant to this question, those with histories of suicide attempts are most assuredly not “of sound mind”. Therefore, I’m not even sure if it’s a good idea for this person to have sharp instruments (silverware, scissors…) in the house, and they definitely shouldn’t have any sort of firearms.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Never keep a gun loaded, period. That is so fucking nuts. For anyone.

prairierose's avatar

No, anyone with a mental illness should not have access to guns, Adam Lanza comes to mind, enough said.

FutureMemory's avatar

Horrible idea.

FutureMemory's avatar

@prairierose Speaking of Adam Lanza…I get so angry when I see this pic of him. I mean come on, does this look like a sane person? He should have been locked in a padded room years before he did what he did.

prairierose's avatar

@FutureMemory Indeed, could no one tell that this person had some major problems, the “evil” is expressed in the eyes!!!

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why not? If they are hell bent on ending it, they WILL find a way to do it, rope and a rafter, tube from the tailpipe, belt on a doorknob, a sharp knife and a steaming tub of water…..if you think barring them of their 2nd Amendment right will stop them from leaving this planet if they truly wish…..

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Why not? Apart from simply making death as difficult as possible to achieve, they might decide to take someone else with them. Yes, they can do that with a knife or some other weapons, but a gun makes it easier. If I knew someone was suicidal, I would be cautious about leaving pills or other tools around them they could use to harm themselves.

osoraro's avatar

Nobody should keep guns loaded, and nobody should have guns outside a gun locker.

seekingwolf's avatar

I have a very long, severe history of depression. I take meds though and do fine. If I’m off of my meds, I get suicidal. That being said, I have sought medical attention during those times in a way that does NOT impact my medical record, so there is no record of me being suicidal ever.

That being said, my family owns guns and someday, I plan to own a few guns, namely a shotgun and a rifle. Because of my depression, I will NOT own a handgun. I wouldn’t want to make it easier for me to commit suicide. However, I want a shotgun and a rifle so I could protect my house and shoot interferring animals as needed (I am from the country and will live there again.)

Some people say that I shouldn’t own a gun because I have depression. Well, all I can say is, what are you going to do about it? I can get it through a private sale/family transfer and unlike with a handgun, I don’t need a permit. So yeah, come at me.

I would be a little bit more worried about people who have untreated mental illness and want to hurt others. Trust me, I’m the last of your worries.

seekingwolf's avatar

BTW, I wouldn’t keep a loaded gun, ever. Guns yes, loaded, no. That’s just bad sense. My father stores ammo COMPLETELY separately from his guns. If someone broke in and took the gun, well they wouldn’t be able to find the ammo, sucks for them.

If you are worried about protection, keep ammo in the same room with the gun but not right next to it and in a place where you would know where to find it and could get at it. But don’t have a loaded gun just sitting there.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t know why no one is worried about him being homicidal? Saying someone can and their own life if they feel like it is one thing. This guy is bipolar, which who knows in his manic state that he might turn his sadness outward in anger at others. Or, even during a depression. I am in no way saying bipolar people are homocidal maniacs in general, I am only saying, that we should consider that if he is unstable (I have no idea how unstable this person is) that it possibly is not only about endangering his own life, but also the life of others.

You might know the story of former VA Governor Deeds. His son had been diagnosed bipolar I believe, I am not sure if that was a misdiagnosis though, or possibly he had additional diagnosis. His was in his early 20’s if I remember the story right, when he was going very downhill again and his dad took him to the ER to get him committed for a few days, and the ER sent him home. Either that night or within a couple of days (I don’t remember the timeline) his son stabbed his father and then ran off and killed himself with a gun. I wonder how the Governor feels about having kept guns in their home.

When I worked in a psych hospital we had quite a few people with severe psychiatric problems who owned guns. They were poor, lived in the ghetto, and felt they needed guns to protect themselves. Unfortunately, mental illness can be part of poverty, and poverty can also lead to unsafe living conditions. Add in I was in a part of the country where guns are heralded as a fabulous thing and part of American pride. Certainly, you don’t have to be poor to be mentally ill or own a gun, we know that, and it is outlined in my story above about the Governor and his family, but my only point is poor urban areas tend to have more danger of violence in general.

gailcalled's avatar

Billy Collins: Another Reason Why I Don’t Keep a Gun in the House. Sometimes the trigger doesn’t need to be much.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

The short answer is no, especially if they’re unmedicated, or if they have a history like the person you described. But as others have said, no guns should be loaded while kept inside, no matter who owns them.

@seekingwolf My best friend committed suicide with a rifle. Harder, maybe, but definitely not impossible. I’m glad to hear, though, that you won’t keep your guns loaded.

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