Letter to My Representatives on the NRA, Gun Violence, and Mental Health

We are much more likely to be the victims of a violent crime than the perpetrators.

Source: ASAN Statement on Gun Violence Prevention Following Parkland Mass Shooting | Autistic Self Advocacy Network

The NRA is a deeply racist and ableist organization. They want us peeking through the blinds at each other instead of watching the republic. They and their paid collaborators (you) shift the narrative from what we know is the problem (too many guns) to mental health.

Demonizing autistic & mentally ill folks in the wake of shootings demonstrates a lack (or refusal) of systems thinking. This just feeds the guns, fear, & resentment feedback loops. It scapegoats the powerless instead of confronting structural problems.

The notion that autistic people categorically lack empathy is a myth, a pernicious and dangerous myth uncritically and thoughtlessly encouraged by the President of the United States of America. It is not autistic people who lack empathy. “Empathy is not an autistic problem, it’s a human problem, it’s a deficit in imagination.” No group in America demonstrates less cognitive, emotional, and compassionate empathy than those who support President Trump. There’s no greater a deficit in imagination to be found in America than in the ranks of Trumpism. Autistic people are not the population to be wary of.

Autism and mental illness aren’t the danger. Gun proliferation stoked by a racist organization is the danger. White supremacy and its narratives of entitlement and resentment are the danger. Toxic masculinity is the danger. Pluralism-rejecting Christo-fascism is the danger. Structural sexism, racism, ableism, & childism are the danger. Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy. That is the danger. That is the illness.

You erode equal protection for disabled & neurodivergent people when you make us the targets instead of the real threats. Seemingly, the GOP will do anything to excuse white violence and propagate guns, including criminalize, incarcerate, and abuse disabled and neurodivergent people.

You incite violence against us and threaten our freedom. Stop.

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