Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 83

Thread: will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Question will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

    This has nothing to do with 2a but instead is about where do you personally see the line between a kid that needs safe gun handling experience/training, vs. a kid that maybe you don't think should actually be around guns at all.

    A couple days ago a kid that I know came to me asking if I would teach him safe gun handling and shooting skills; he knows that I have taught many kids this. I know the kid. I'll obscure details just a bit, but admit that he is 18-20, and has been diagnosed with a plethora of mental disorders over the years, starting with ADHD, PTSD, ODD, Bipolar, Aspbergers, and more. The latter two more serious diagnosis were made within just a couple of years. The kid has had prescribed psychotropic meds for a very long time, but prefers and has succeeded in remaining out of med compliance except for each time he's admitted into a lockdown psych ward for a week/ten days, which has happened each of the last 3 years that I'm aware of (and more historically; I just don't know the details).

    Most of his teenage years were spent in various "reform schools", some were total lockdown places (think API) and some not locked, but supervised in person every 15 minutes, 24/7. He has never been adjudicated for any of his crimes, but instead sent to "treatment" facilities for between months and a year, each.

    So he's on various forms of welfare since our federal government has declared him officially and permanently disabled due to his mental disorders.

    He tells me he is going to get a hand gun, and wants me to tell him where he can go shoot bunnies. And also where he can go shoot big game with his revolver. This from a kid that could never get the hang of the intricacies of the care and use of contact lenses.....

    He has a long history of self destructive behavior, and is presently recovering from the second occurrence of losing 100% of his belongings - twice in just the last year and a half.

    I could go on, but you must get the picture by now. I would worry greatly for the safety of this kid and those around him, if he owned a handgun. So I'm looking for a way out. Surely it must be illegal here in Alaska for him to walk into the gun store and get a very nice revolver and ammo for less than just one of his welfare checks (no need to save up for it). It is not illegal.

    I search more. It would be illegal in CA and some other states because of the lockdowns. Not here. Had he been adjudicated for his youthful Alaskan crimes he would not be legal to get a gun; but since he went to treatment instead of juvie there is no legal record.

    Know that this kid has not been determined to be incapacitated; he has the same rights to vote and own a gun as we do.

    Bottom line: I told the kid that even as much as I know and love teaching safe gun handling to kids, I have never done so except for kids in my own household and those of very close friends (so I know their guns are safe at home) - and I didn't feel comfortable helping to introduce a handgun into an uncontrolled, unsupervised household (that has no place to safely store the gun) that does contain small children.

    Would you teach this kid gun handling/safety? I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I did.

    Do you think this kid should have the right to own a gun here in Alaska? What in his history should disqualify him? The lockdowns? The lack of med compliance? Being judged permanently mentally disabled by the US govm't?

    Are you happy with our current laws about who should not be able to buy a gun today?

  2. #2

    Default

    Answers to your questions will be hard-earned. Your reluctance is understood.
    And yet, since he has come to you, helping to find the right path for a safe and healthy outcome is a challenge that may have unexpected rewards. Sticking to your 'bottom line' until, and if, you arrive at a responsible alternative seems prudent to me. At the same time, a concern is that he may well proceed w/o you with a resultant poor outcome.

    There are handicapped individuals that could never care for a horse, and yet are able to more than enjoy supervised rides. Just a thought, however remote to this more serious situation.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

  3. #3
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    1,135

    Default will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

    My nephew has aspergers. My brother has chosen to teach him how to shoot responsibly. However, he keeps all firearms in a safe that only he and I know the combo to. Also, the ammo is kept in a completely different safe where only the 2 of us know.

    His thought process, and I agree, is that even though the kid will likely never be allowed to have a firearm without direct supervision, at least the mystery of firearms is removed, and he'll be less likely to want to seek them out on his own unsupervised.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  4. #4
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

    Sounds like he has a well understood background. Better defined than Jerrod laughner down in AZ. That worked well for a lot of people.

    If the GOV can determine if someone is permanently disabled they should go all the way in cases like this and make a "judgement", and put it on their record in NICS. Nothing will stop him from buying one on here or the paper or AK list. Or stealing one from a friend or family.

    Also those meds in young people can cause issues. On meds or off them he could be a problem.

    What about at archery? That's awfully therapeutic for many people.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    My nephew has aspergers. My brother has chosen to teach him how to shoot responsibly. However, he keeps all firearms in a safe that only he and I know the combo to. Also, the ammo is kept in a completely different safe where only the 2 of us know.

    His thought process, and I agree, is that even though the kid will likely never be allowed to have a firearm without direct supervision, at least the mystery of firearms is removed, and he'll be less likely to want to seek them out on his own unsupervised.
    Great plan your brother has. If the kid I'm talking about lived in my household I would have done the same.

    On a related note I read that the DSM-5 will de-emphasize (somehow) Aspbergers, compared to today's DSM-IV (DSM is the shrink's bible). If that were well known I wonder how that news would be accepted by a public that recently had experience with an Aspberger-troubled shooter.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Circle, AK.
    Posts
    616

    Default

    gun safety and target shooting can be taught with a red ryder bb gun which is pretty harmless if everybody wears safety glasses
    I once held the yardstick of anothers perfection, I threw it down and carved my own................

  7. #7
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction AK
    Posts
    4,056

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    My nephew has aspergers. My brother has chosen to teach him how to shoot responsibly. However, he keeps all firearms in a safe that only he and I know the combo to. Also, the ammo is kept in a completely different safe where only the 2 of us know.

    His thought process, and I agree, is that even though the kid will likely never be allowed to have a firearm without direct supervision, at least the mystery of firearms is removed, and he'll be less likely to want to seek them out on his own unsupervised.
    I took that route with my son (admittedly not particularly that disabled) that I'd let him see my guns any time he wanted, as long as I was with him. No need to sneak around and mess with guns behind my back. No mystery, just another dangerous tool in the home. Same rule applies to the matches, the blow torch, the circular saw and the drill press.

    I can only hope that this young man has someone who can intervene as I'm not sure buying a gun and figuring it out on his own is gonna work out.
    Different folks have differing levels of impairment and ability, but he certainly sounds like someone who probably shouldn't be able to purchase one- hopefully he has someone in his life to help him figure that out.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  8. #8
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Talkeetna
    Posts
    5,714

    Default

    I was thinking archery myself. You can fulfill the desire to practice marksmanship and to hunt through archery and still reduce the risk to himself and the public.

    I wouldn't teach this kid handgun skills based on your description.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  9. #9
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,218

    Default

    Speaking to the OP; this is a difficult situation with difficult answers. I understand your not posting it in the 2A thread, but it is very germane to the subject. Medical science has a long way to go toward finding adequate treatment, let alone a cure for individuals as you describe. In the meantime, we struggle to do the best we can to help them overcome their illness, short of simply locking them up and treating them like animals for their entire lives. It's a very serious problem in our country, one which receives far too little attention, largely due to the fact that most people in our society are so insecure and self absorbed that they typically choose to turn a blind eye to such challenges... Regardless, IMO, it seems quite clear that such a person as you describe should not be allowed to possess a firearm, and our social structure and associated laws should be corrected to address this. To be clear; simply passing a few laws is not the answer, we need to address the manner in which we interact and care for one another as a society. Refusing to address our health/social issues as a society, advocating anarchy and adopting a policy of barricading ourselves within "hardened targets" to defend ourselves and our children against crazy people with guns, not only does not make us a healthier society, it screams out that we are a very unhealthy and failing society.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  10. #10
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    1,135

    Default will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

    I know this sounds kind of messed up, and I might get flamed here, but...

    Since he's now a legal adult, is his situation one that someone has eyes on him all the time? If this is the case, as soon as he slips up on something minor (a threat, etc), maybe get the system involved so that he can be adjudicated as an adult. At least in this case, he'd fail an NICS.

    I know this is not a perfect answer... Maybe not even a good one, but it may work.

    I'm concerned about my nephew, I hope that someday he will mature enough to enjoy firearms safely, but at the same time, if he doesn't, I'll do whatever I can to keep one out of his unsupervised hands.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  11. #11
    Member ak_cowboy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: will You teach a kid with mental disorders how to shoot?

    Start with archery and pellet guns.
    You said you wouldn't be able to sleep at night if he had a gun, so I think you made the right choice.

    sent from my igloo

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,925

    Default

    FM its been pointed out but as someone who has done my share of archery both personally and professionaly I would at least have to agree with others and say consider that route as well..

  13. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default archery doesn't work in this case

    Thanks for the constructive answers. Some of my thoughts:

    Ray, I agree that if the govm't can declare permanent mental disability, they should have taken a direct stance on gun-ownership for him. Also you and a few after you suggest archery; wonderful suggestion, but it isn't my call. The kid says he's buying a gun and the government money will arrive 4 days from today (each first of month) that can make it happen for him.

    Hodgeman, about someone in his life to help understand why his fit with guns might not be right, that is a sensitive topic. More so than with most kids that age, he responds badly to direction from old people. No one can tell him what to do. And the home he is in is fairly toxic and dysfunctional. Little to no support structure. But definitely a step up from the series of homeless shelters he's been in lately.

    Doug, I agree, and my description although accurate, is understated. More details would have let a few people possibly identify the exact individual (Alaska is a small place, people wise) and I couldn't that happen.

    Akheloce, catching him at his next screwup would certainly work if a person were concentrating on that, but it would certainly lock the barn door well after cows are gone.

    Again, if he were mine I would definitely go archery and possibly bb gun, but that isn't an option I can implement in this situation.

  14. #14
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks Area
    Posts
    7,274

    Default

    If it were me, I would ask myself this. Could I justify doing so knowing his background, and heaven forbid something went south. What would I say to the police when they came knocking and ask why and what would I say to my wife when all we own could be at risk due to a wrongful death lawsuit.

    While I would want to help, I would have to soul search for the right answer.

    I'm with Bear, I believe I would steer him towards archery. I love the sport and it just does not have as much risk in this case. Mentor ship and skills could still be taught.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"
    Founding Member
    http://www.residenthuntersofalaska.org/

  15. #15

    Default

    One thing is certain, FamilyMan - you are suddenly in a situation that is on the cutting edge of current debate and with a potentially ominous impending deadline.
    You possibly need help on this. I may have someone whom can speak somewhat to that and will ask ......... PM enroute.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knopfler

  16. #16
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Tanana Valley AK
    Posts
    7,218

    Default

    FM, the immediate burning question here is is this young man likely to be a threat to other people if he possess a firearm?
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  17. #17
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Wrangell
    Posts
    7,601

    Default

    If not 21 the handgun is out for him buying it. I would look and see if maybe the airsoft guns would make him happy. Archery and pellet guns can be deadly. As a young kid lost a friend to a slingshot.The under developed kid that shot him did not see a difference in the 10 cent slingshot that came with a pack of BB's powered by a rubber band and the then new wrist rocket that shot steelies and marbles.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  18. #18
    Member danattherock's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    5,608

    Default

    Teach him how to fish.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,587

    Default

    I find it interesting that so many people are suggesting to teach this person archery. If, as some (most) here claim: "It's the person, not the tool.) They this person should be allowed to have a dull spoon. To suggest that archery would somehow be better, be safer, or do less damage than a firearm IF the kid goes all Columbine, is to support the very idea that AR15's and magazine capacities should be banned because they do more harm than another type of weapon (e.g. as a bow and arrow).

    And no, I wouldn't teach him to shoot, and I wouldn't let him be around my family. Days after the Newtown shooting, I read op ed articles from people with children who have asbergers or some other mental illness saying that they hope this event won't cause a stigma. There SHOULD be a stigma against mental illness. In my day, we made fun of "retards." Now we use it to say it's not the shooter's fault he killed 20 people; "He had an illness."

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default burning question

    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    FM, the immediate burning question here is is this young man likely to be a threat to other people if he possess a firearm?
    What a to-the-point question. Thanks i.

    I thought the answer to the question so easy I almost answered it quickly with two little words - then I realized maybe it's not so simple:

    ---> You're asking me? How would I know? Never in my life have I ever personally deemed a person to be a threat enough to call the law on them - what qualifies me to answer that question? Familiarity with that kid's history, treatments, and problems? Should we take a vote from me and all of his former teachers, school staff, and a smattering of personnel from social service organizations that also know all the facts I've shared? Does that help understand how little the police would care to hear from me right now? No matter what I decided, who cares? No, really, who? The police wouldn't much care; there is nothing/zero/zip/nada that is reportable.

    OK, I said I held myself back from my two word reply.... but I'm only human i..... so here is the short answer as to whether I believe he is likely to be a threat to himself/others, if allowed to be in possession of a gun:

    Hell Yes!

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •