Autism & Asperger's Syndrome Expert Forum
Asperger's Syndrome and Gun Owner
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Asperger's Syndrome and Gun Owner

I have aspersers syndrome and own may a guns, I keep a pistol and shotgun loaded at all times for self defense and home defense; I also own a M4 semi-auto only rifle. Aspersers, got nothing to do with this mass shooting that has occurred recently, or being crazy. In fact one of my few interests that preoccupies me in though and time is self defense and home defense in a god forbidden situation; to do everything in my power to avoid the use of lethal force. My goal is to deter,  avoid, and restrain  myself with-in reason before lethal force is the only choice left. I don’t what people to think that I am dangerous, I what to talk to a doctor but what do I say when he ask what I like to do?
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Asperger's syndrome is not a disorder that specifically makes someone more inclined toward violence.  It is, however, a learning disorder and individuals with Asperger's may have a more difficult time learning how to handle stressful situations in an appropriate manner.  There are a couple of important things to understand for someone in your situation or for anyone who has firearms in the home and an individual with disabilities who might potentially access them.  One, having firearms in the home drastically increases the likelihood of firearm related injury or death.  The owning, use of, or access to firearms is not a safe hobby or practice for anyone with an autism-spectrum disorder.  I understand that many people enjoy the sporting use of firearms but the recent tragedy highlights horrible, horrible risk that exists.  In good conscience, I can only recommend that you remove all firearms from your household.  The second thing to understand is that this does not need to be your hobby.  There are safer alternatives. I strongly recommend that you seek regular counseling and therapy with a professional who has experience helping people diagnosed with Asperger's.  Finding a new, safer outlet and means of exploring your interests is something that you can achieve and would be a worthy goal to be working toward in ongoing counseling.  I urge you to take this seriously, to let others know that you have firearms in the house, to have the firearms removed from your home, and to work toward a healthier and safer hobby.
4 Comments
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Do you even own a firearm, can you give me some numbers that back up you claims you have made.
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Do you have any sources of information or prescribe some case law in to this matter?
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My suggestion is, at best, a very simple one, but probably the most effective way to lessen the potential fear others may have of you simply because you're "different" (I say that in a nice way, I don't want you to think I'm being rude!).
You shouldn't be worrying about whether or not to ask your doctor about it. As an owner of one or more firearms, you should follow all the basic rules of firearm safety....
1. Never keep your guns loaded when they are not being used immediately. This will severely lessen the chance of an accidental shot.
2. Keep your guns locked. By this I mean get the trigger locks AND a locked box, carry case, or gun cabinet. Make sure ALL of your guns are locked up when not in use.
3. MAKE SURE THE SAFETY IS ALWAYS ON! :) Emphasis on that one.
4. Keep your firearms manuals near your guns. This includes everything from the little weird booklets they sometimes include with purchases all the way to the hunter's regulation books, federal firearms regulation books, etc.
5. Keep your ammunition separated from your guns. As in, don't put a box of ammunition in the same case as the gun locked in there, unless transporting in order to hunt or target shoot, etc.
6. If you absolutely MUST keep a weapon out of lock and near you, for your own safety concerns, try to find non-lethal ammunition for it. Well, know that any projectile from a gun can kill, given the right range and circumstance, but not all of them are guaranteed to. Try cotton blanks, or perhaps a small game pellet rifle (around the 1,000 fps range is usually rated for hunting small game but uses only a large spring or sometimes compressed air to propel a pellet which has no shell, casing, powder, primer, etc.). Although any of these can, and have, killed people, they're far less likely to cause fatalities, yet the sheer pain and surprise from recieving a blow from them would scare most would-be attackers into fleeing.

Now I don't write any of this to say something obvious or act as if you didn't know it already, but you DID mention that you keep loaded guns in your home. I have nothing against guns, but really my opinion is that they should never be kept loaded outside of your own hands.
Sometimes, people just get scared because they don't understand what another person's condition means, or how mild or severe it is. Having Asperger's DOES NOT mean you're stupid, ignorant, violent, irrational, inconsiderate, thoughtless, careless, dangerous, or homicidal. Judging by your concerns, you seem to be fully and capably aware of what guns do, and you also have the presence of mind to understand that others may not like the fact that you have them. That alone makes me believe that you honestly have no reason to get rid of your guns. You sound like a responsible and mature person who is trying to ease other people's fears related to your condition, and by extension, the fact that you own firearms.
Sadly, there will always be somebody who does not agree with this. Not my viewpoint, not yours, and sometimes not with any ownership of firearms by anyone. And truly, there is nothing you can do to appease these people. They will always think that you are incapable, just because you have Asperger's and they consider it some form of blindly self-centered psychosis with a mix of idiocy and incompetence....which is not usually the case.
Anyway, the best I can say is just to be extra-safe with your guns, and make sure that YOU are the ONLY ONE with keys to your locks! Label the keys if necessary, color-code perhaps. If anyone tries to say something, tell them what you told us-you don't WANT to go shoot anyone, but you DO want to protect yourself should you need to.
Last but not least, if they still don't like it, smile and tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine, and walk off with a grin on your face. :)
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Jason C Bourret, Ph.D., BCBA-DBlank
The New England Center for Children
Southborough, MA
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