The ongoing gun control debate has several different aspects, but is currently mostly defined by overheated political rhetoric in the aftermath of ongoing gun violence atrocities. As a mental trainer and hypnotherapist who has been in private practice for 13 years I have had the honor to closely observe the mental happenings of thousands of people and reached the careful conclusion, that where it concerns gun violence, we need to focus on identifying those with violent mental instabilities, rather than trying to control gun ownership, a constitutional right.
Because I offer hypnosis as a tool for change, you’ll want to understand that I am typically a ‘last resort.’ By the time a person contacts me, they are faced with major challenges which have become debilitating to their functioning and they typically feel they have already tried everything else. They are at a loss, have reached their limit, and are getting in touch with me in hopes that my services will assist them in gaining control over some aspect of their life or psyche.
This is no different for the Clay Shooting athletes that started contacting me for help about 4 years ago. The obvious difference being they are packing a high powered shot gun. Yep, in their truck parked outside my window, is a rack with one or more shot guns, which they have typically paid somewhere between $10,000 and $50,000 for. Moreover, many are traveling to Clay Shooting Competitions or to a winter southern home where they can practice their precision shooting till their heart is content, so they need and usually have cases and cases of shot gun shells.
In short, guys with guns and plenty of ammo come to my office all the time for mental help!
Am I scared? No, not even close! Why would I be?
Over the years, I have observed and worked with many levels of mental capacity and functioning. Having worked with several thousand people who readily admitted to needing mental help, I would venture to say, even in spite of their need for mental tweaking, 99% have fallen into what I would consider a ‘normal’ range of mental health. Only 2 or 3 stand out in my mind as ‘abnormal’ or mentally unstable to the point that I was concerned about their motives or my safety, and they were not Clay Shooters.
What is even more intriguing is when I step back and look at a bigger picture for Clay Shooters. These gun packing, ammo carrying fellows are faced with the same life challenges as the rest of us… they get in disagreements with their spouses, in-laws, siblings, parents, children, colleagues and neighbors; they get cut off on the highway and experience road rage; they get reprimanded at work; or as a boss they have employees that need to be laid off due to lying or stealing; and they too lose millions of dollars in the stock market or feel short changed by the system.
And competitively these shotgun shooters put even more stress on their plate. Because they are competing athletes, they willingly put themselves in situations where anger can be enflamed. Here are just a few stressors that Competing Clay Shooters willingly face: thousands of dollars have been invested in their skill building and equipment which causes them to have a lot riding on their performance; they have arch enemies and equal rivals who have beat them out of trophies; they face judges that make bad calls that cost them a win; they get partnered up with squad mates that talk too loud, rudely interfere, or have anger issues, cursing, throwing used shells and fist pumping the air; they can be in freezing temperatures, soaking wet from rain, mud up to their knees; their $50,000 gun can break in the middle of a shot; and they can get into disagreements with their competition after watching them lie or cheat. Their pride and egos are on the line, all while carrying a shotgun and hundreds of shells.
Clay Shooters are faced with all this and yet they are not killing each other. It doesn’t even cross their mind! Because killing isn’t about whether one owns or carries a gun, killing is about a person’s mental state.
Gun control will not stop killing because those inclined to kill will find a way to do so… their psyche will come up with a motive, it will make a plan and it will find the means to carry it out. Our only hope for prevention is to be able to identify this small percentage of the population and provide the help or restrictions necessary to keep us safe and them under close observation. This debate should be about developing a failsafe process that identifies people with a propensity for violence to keep guns away from them and not about blanket gun control.