About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

For Anonymous

I saw in email that you had responded to one of my posts. Since the email did not say which post you were responding to, I thought I would respond here.

Anonymous said...
Most mentally retarded and mentally ill people are not in the least dangerous.I think the chances are slim that you would ever be attacked and hurt by one, my friend.

Mostly I would agree with you. That is certainly what I learned in every psychopathology class I've ever taken and for the most part, my experience has born that out. However, I like viewing mentally retarded or mentally ill people just as I would "normal" people. That is to say that ANYONE, mentally ill or retarded or not can have the capacity to be violent.

I have worked with mentally ill people and addicts in groups and I currently work as a caregiver in a home for developmentally disabled adults and have seen quite a bit of violence. Both of the women I care for have attacked staff before. One, a mentally retarded schizophrenic who is also bi-polar, threw a staff member through a plate glass window, permanently disabeling her. She got another staff person on the ground and stompped her face, breaking several bones. Another time she burned down the house she was living in. For the most part, this lady was a delight to be with and I enjoyed her a great deal, but she did have a tendency toward violence and I went to work many days wondering if I would get the crap beat out of me that day. She eventually had to be removed from the house when she attacked her roommate. In our company, my boss has been beaten up by other clients many, many times. And I had a friend who was murdered by a schizophrenic lady. I also have a friend who I have known for most of my life who is mentally ill. He raped and murdered a 5 year old little girl. So I wouldn't want people to believe that mentally challenged people are never violent, just that they, like anyone else, can be. Neither do I want people to fear mentally retarded or mentally ill people. My appraoch with them is as it is with the rest of the poplulation - to not fear them or distrust them utnil the individual gives me a reason to. Anyone, mentally challenged or not can be wonderful human beings, or they can be violent. To me it seems that with any population it is more of an individual thing than something that can be pinned on a catagory of people.


Bar Bar A said...

Excellent point, Amber. Like you said, even people who do not have a disability, addiction or mentall illness, etc. can "snap". I grew up with a mentally retarded friend who was usually very sweet, but when she got mad she was violent and surprisingly strong.

And not long ago I was at the car was and a mentally disabled man (he had his mother with him) came over to me and licked my face! It was disgusting! She pulled him away but he continued to make lewd comments at me the whole time I was waiting for my car (I would have left if my car were available).

All this to say - I agree, all humans have the capability to be nice or nasty.

Gary Means said...

Annonymous seemed to be both condescending and presumptuous. His or her response really rankled. I guess that's because I've known you for years and I've watched the way you've handled these dangerous situations. I also know that you refrain from making sweeping generalizations about any group of people.

Amber said...

Yes, one of my pet peeves is when someone posts anonymously, doesn't take the time to get to know me, reads ONE thing I've said and takes it out of context and then makes assumptions and gives advice based on those assumptions. Oh well, it happens.