Could Ammosexuals Have Paranoid Personality Disorder?

Is it possible that those obsessed with firearms suffer from Paranoid Personality Disorder?

An ammosexual is not a responsible gun owner. There are millions of men and women in this country who are responsible gun owners. People like my friend, Manny, who owns firearms, or my husband, who was a gun collector. Responsible gun owners overwhelmingly support universal background checks, while ammosexuals see any change to current gun laws as some sort of conspiracy. This article is not about responsible gun owners.

If you have engaged with an ammosexual online, odds are, you have experienced confusion, frustration, and perhaps, fear. Fear for your own safety, and the safety for the ammosexual and his or her family. I know many people who have braved the internet in support of stricter gun legislation, only to find themselves at the receiving end of rape and death threats, threats against their families, even threats against babies and children. The screenshot to the left is of a threat sent to Chad McDonald, a writer and activist. This all begs the question: Could ammosexuals suffer from Paranoid Personality Disorder?

The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) is the book used by mental health professionals when diagnosing any mental illness or personality disorder. This is where I began my search for an explanation of ammosexuals and their behavior. Several entries caught my attention, but Paranoid Personality Disorder best matched the experiences so many of us have had when dealing with ammosexuals. From the DSM:

PPD (Paranoid Personality Disorder) is a DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition), diagnosis assigned to individuals who have a pervasive, persistent, and enduring mistrust of others, and a profoundly cynical view of others and the world (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

A pervasive, persistent, and enduring mistrust of others. When ammosexuals are confronted with the fact that no one is trying to overturn the Second Amendment, they don’t believe it. Any change to any gun laws is an attack on their rights; nothing you say or do will change their mind. Some of the criteria for PPD includes a belief others are lying without any proof, interpreting benign remarks as attacks, and holding grudges.(source)

But does this explain the violence? Look at that screenshot again. Mr. Marchus, an ammosexual, immediately begins threatening Chad McDonald’s infant when confronted with a view different than his own. Here another of Mr. Marchus’s comments:

Does Mr. Marchus seem stable, or does he seem violent? You could argue the “lol” on the comment about Chad’s baby, combined with the smiley face at the end of the comment above, indicate some sort of sociopathic disorder, and you might be right. However, violence can be part of Paranoid Personality Disorder. From No Bullying.com:

The main symptoms of PPD are not merely that they do not like people, but that they do not trust anyone They do not trust facts. They do not confide in anyone. They dwell abnormally long on past problems with people and may plot revenge. They do not accept what anyone tells them. They are incredibly jealous and easily hurt. They do not accept any form of criticism. They are always in the right and woe betide anyone who tells them otherwise.

Sometimes people with PPD can turn violent. They think they are just protecting themselves, but this is small comfort to anyone at the receiving end of such an attack. Anyone living with a person suffering from PPD must be able to defend themselves, have a place to run to if necessary and be vigilant for signs of impending violence, advises Dr. Stuart C. Yudovsky, author of Fatal Flaws: Navigating Destructive Relationships With People With Disorders of Personality and Character (American Psychiatric Association; 2007.)

After any mass shooting, there is an inevitable backlash against the mentally ill. Those who attack mental illness often have no idea that statistically, mentally ill people are far more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators. There is a difference, however, between mental illness and personality disorders, like PPD:

Unlike clinical syndromes, personality disorders have a life-long pattern. People with personality disorders are more likely to develop a number of clinical syndromes, such as depression, anxiety, and misuse disorder.

Furthermore, the symptoms of clinical syndromes are increased with the comorbidity of a personality disorder, and for this reason, they can be seen as risk factors for the development of clinical syndromes.

Clinical syndromes are thought to have a later onset than personality disorders, and both psychological and medical treatments are effective in the treatment of clinical syndromes in contrast to personality disorders, where the symptoms associated with the disorders are treated, and not the disorder itself. (source)

Is it possible that some ammosexuals may have Paranoid Personality Disorder? Given how distrusting they are, how easily they believe that any idea of saner gun legislation is an attempt to take all the guns, and how quickly they turn to violent language, it is a definite possibility. 

There is a satirical joke about how the people who hate better gun laws the most probably couldn’t pass a background check. Learning what I have about PPD, and having my life threatened by quite a few ammosexuals, I wonder if that joke isn’t closer to the truth than many of us would like to believe. Could the men who threaten the brave women of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America with rape and murder on a daily basis suffer from PPD? Or Mr. Marchus, the man who threatened to shoot Chad McDonald, and threatened the life of an infant? Or the man who, a few years ago, sent me a message on social media, telling me he was coming to my house to shoot and kill my entire family? 

Perhaps it’s not the depressed, or the anxious, or the schizophrenic we need to fear. Perhaps it’s the ammosexuals.

Reprinted (and slightly edited) from Poking at Snakes.




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