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Stop Scapegoating people with psychiatric disabilities in gun control legislation
  • Petitioned Senator Graham and Senator Begich

This petition was delivered to:

Senator Graham and Senator Begich
U.S. Senate
Sen. Mark Begich
South Carolina
Sen. Lindsey Graham

Stop Scapegoating people with psychiatric disabilities in gun control legislation

    1. Petition by

      Self Advocates Now Empowered

Stop Scapegoating people with psychiatric disabilities!

People with psychiatric disabilities should not be scapegoated in the gun control debate. Mental illness has become the topic of intense scrutiny by our nation's policymakers because of a misplaced connection between mental health and violence. Legislating restrictions on people with psychiatric disabilities is an easy way to avoid the real issue: gun control. The NRA and its allies want to make the debate about limiting the rights of people with psychiatric disabilities in order to avoid the real and important issues surrounding gun control. 

If we, as a nation, want to get serious about ending gun violence policy makers need to work with us-mental health advocates, people with psychiatric disabilities, gun control advocates, civil rights advocates, and the disability community- to stop making mental health the issue and work together to develop robust gun control legislation.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • William Franklin,Jr HOMESTEAD, FL
      • 3 months ago

      People with mental illness need to be treated. We need to stop acting as if gun legislation is going to cure mental illness, or stop sick people fom killing one way or another.

    • Anita Kanitz STUTTGART, GERMANY
      • 3 months ago

      Make the change you want to see!

      A violent ex-tenant used his firearm against his girlfriend to make her afraid!

      Facts about violence and gun violence:

      The presence of a firearm in a home with domestic violence can transform an argument into

      homicide in a fraction of a second. Firearms

      and domestic violence are a lethal combination, for example

      injuring and killing women,children and bystanders

      every day in the United States.

      In one study of 25 high

      income countries, the United States

      represented just 32% of the female population

      but accounted for 84%of all female firearm homicides.

      A gun is the weapon most commonly

      used in domestic homicides. In fact, more than six times as many women are murdered by guns used by their current or former intimate partners

      than are killed by male strangers’ guns, knives

      or other weapons combined.

      332,014 people died from guns between 2000 and 2010 in the U.S.. That number is greater than

      the populations of U.S. cities such as St. Louis, Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati.

      31,328 people died from gun violence

      in 2010, or roughly 1 every 17 minutes.

      A gun in the home makes homicide three times more likely, suicide up to five times as

      likely, and accidental death four times higher than in nongun owning homes.

      Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide more than five times

      than in instances where there are no weapons, according to a recent study. In addition,

      abusers who possess guns tend to inflict the most severe abuse on their partners.

      Over 40 percent of guns sold in the U.S. are done so without a background check.

      Gun Violence & Women

      94% of female murder victims killed by men are killed by a man they

      knew. In other words, females are 16 times

      as likely to be killed by a male acquaintance than by a male

      stranger. In 2010, 1,017 women, almost three a day, were killed by their intimate


      In 2010, 52 percent of female homicide victims killed by men were shot and killed with a

      gun. Female intimate partners are more likely to be murdered with a firearm than all

      other means combined.

      Women suffering from domestic violence are eight times more likely to be killed if there

      are firearms in the home.

      The Facts on Women, Children and Gun Violence

      Handguns are more likely than rifles or shotguns to be used in homicides in which men

      kill women. In 2010, handguns were used in 70 percent of cases where

      men used firearms to kill women.

      In 1998, for every one woman who used a handgun to kill an intimate acquaintance in

      self defense, 83 women were murdered by an intimate acquaintance using a handgun.

      Access to firearms increases risk of intimate partner

      femicide more than five times


      Gun Violence & Children

      2694 children and teens died from guns in 2010. That’s a roughly equivalent to a

      Newtown massacre every three days.

      Between 1979 and 2010, more children and

      teens died from guns (119,079) than U.S. soldiers in the wars in Vietnam, Korea, Iraq

      and Afghanistan combined.

      In a study of 23 high income nations, 87 percent of children under age 15 killed by guns

      lived in the United States. The same study found that the gun homicide rate for teens

      and young adults in the U.S. ages 15-24 was 42.7 higher than in the other high income

      countries combined


      More than half of youth who commit suicide with a gun do so with one obtained from

      their home and more often than not, the gun belonged to a parent.

      In 2009 more 15-19 year olds died from gun violence than any other cause except

      motor vehicles.

      In 2010, 82 U.S. children under the age of fivedied from guns.

    • shela silverman LAS VEGAS, NM
      • 5 months ago

      the notion that persons with mental illness is the 'problem' is clearly NOT the issue--it is the plethora of guns that are available--particularly guns that are for combat and can be purchased anywhere---

    • Susan Rogers PHILADELPHIA, PA
      • 5 months ago

      I completely agree with the petition that the real issue is gun control. Although the prevalence of mental health conditions is about the same around the world, the “U.S. firearm homicide rate is 20 times higher than the combined rates of 22 countries that are our peers in wealth and population,” according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. That is because of the ease of acquiring firearms here. We need stronger gun control legislation for EVERYONE.

    • Jessica Tredway TOLEDO, OH
      • 6 months ago

      Most people with psychiatric issues are not violent.


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