THE BLOG
05/30/2013 11:33 am ET | Updated Jul 30, 2013

'NRA Psychosis' Should Be Classified as a Legitimate Mental Disorder

The latest version of the American Psychological Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders -- DSM-5 -- has been released. Regarded as the "bible of psychiatry" and a must-read for hypochondriacs, the DSM-5 includes diagnoses for newly recognized disorders including: binge eating (had Chris Christie delayed the lap-band surgery, it might have been covered by insurance), sex addiction (fantastic news for philanderers who weren't seeing results with the explanation "it meant nothing, and it'll never happen again") and hoarding (although watching television about hoarding is still considered totally normal).

Conspicuously absent from the DSM-5: NRA psychosis, an epidemic sweeping the nation that involves misinterpreting the Second Amendment and compulsively buying guns with the intent to form a militia and overthrow a tyrannical government via armed rebellion.

Unlike regular psychosis, which the National Library of Medicine defines as "a loss of contact with reality that usually includes: false beliefs (delusions)... and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations)," NRA psychosis isn't as amusing as sitting next to a guy on the subway having a conversation with Harvey the Rabbit. This is largely on account of NRA psychosis always involving guns (as well as fear, ignorance, and anger).

And while recognized mental disorders can unfortunately involve a stigma leading to suffering in silence, no one with NRA psychosis seems to be in the proverbial closet. Those afflicted gleefully display their mental illness, likely because they're oblivious, but perhaps because the Second Amendment is so perfect that it also offers them psychiatric advice. Within the NRA bubble, NRA psychosis is actually a celebrated and trendy mental disorder.

Time to Form a Posse:

A poll released by Farleigh Dickinson University earlier this month found that 44 percent of Republican respondents believe an "armed revolution might be necessary in the next few years." And what might an armed citizens' rebellion against a government with a defense base budget of $527 billion look like? I can only assume it might entail the following five step plan:

1) Round up the boys from the bowling team and form an ad hoc posse/militia (I prefer 'posse,' but I'm not on the team).
2) Select a posse name that absolutely includes the word 'liberty,' and a minimum of one oxymoron -- an example for consideration: Louts of Liberty for Conservative Eruditeness.
3) Pack the pickup truck full of guns, ammunition, McRib sandwiches, and Mountain Dew.
4) Plot a road trip to storm the Capitol and map the most direct route to Washington using only dirt roads.
5) Either commence the revolution, or pass the time by shooting beer bottles from the back porch while anxiously awaiting the government to turn tyrannical (*Remember to remove the McRibs from the pickup truck if the beer bottle shooting lasts more than four hours).

The only hiccup I can foresee in such a plan is the aforementioned defense budget that features line items such as drones, tanks, battleships, and nuclear weapons. Granted, I enjoy a good posse as much as the next guy, and can appreciate that, in many instances, all the nuclear weapons in the world are no match for a well regulated posse. But it might be wise to at least entertain the possibility that, should a tyrannical government come knocking in the middle of the night, you could be obliterated by a drone before you can utter "honey, pass me the high-capacity magazine, I have to go save the neighborhood."

Delusions of Grandeur:

The perniciousness of NRA psychosis ultimately has little to do with traditional NRA antics like those on display at their annual convention -- which could have easily been mistaken for a Christopher Guest mockumentary -- earlier this month. Some noteworthy highlights:

  • Sales of pink guns and bras that double as a gun holsters
  • A three-year-old girl receiving a lifetime NRA membership as a birthday present (literally the gift that keeps on giving, because once she's old enough to understand that her grandfather chose an NRA membership over a pony, he's going to have to spring for a lifetime membership to the therapist of her choice).
  • Glenn Beck's speech, where he mellifluously declared, "The only difference between your mom and sister getting raped, and them walking home unmolested, is a gun."
  • And Rick Perry's introduction video, which may have answered the question weighing on everyone's mind: "If my governor can't kill an egg with a Bushmaster, how in the God's name is he qualified to legislate?"

All of the above, while certainly a special kind of lunacy needing a DSM-5 classification, is merely quirky when compared to NRA psychosis. The problem with NRA psychosis is the delusion that the Second Amendment protects from tyranny, that as long as everyone has a gun, and is able to buy more guns to protect those guns, everything's cool.

Be Afraid... Be Very Afraid:

Gun owners with even a semblance of rational thought have been overshadowed within the gun debate by the louder, extremist, NRA psychosis fringe that has abandoned the notion of responsible gun ownership for a radical, more profitable mission: be very afraid, buy more guns, and prepare to revolt against impending tyranny.

Sadly, while those suffering from NRA psychosis have been preoccupied with the Second Amendment, they've failed to notice the actual erosion of amendments in the Bill of Rights. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the National Defense Authorization Act, and New York's Stop and Frisk Policy are all in effect, while the 2nd Amendment remains unchanged.

But those issues aren't as sexy as an armed revolution, nor do they generate gun sales, so it is in the NRA's best interest that their members remain ignorant, and their NRA psychosis goes undiagnosed. Now might be the appropriate time for NRA members suffering from NRA psychosis to feel duped, gullible, and used -- pawns to advance the organization's agenda of increasing gun sales.

In time, the background checks supported by 90 percent of Americans will be expanded. And if Congress wishes to retain a shred of their 90 percent incumbent reelection rate, they will take a recess from servilely and submissively placating lobbyists to place the interests of the American people at the forefront. As a result, background checks won't be part of a tepid, uninspired bill like the one that recently failed. Rather, they will be comprehensive and methodical, excluding -- among other criteria -- those with a history of violent crime and certain mental illnesses from purchasing guns.

And when that day comes, NRA psychosis sufferers will realize the very organization they support gave them a mental disorder. And consequently, they won't be able to buy any more guns.

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