23) Writing Process Reflection [Reflection]: Please write a reflection that communicates your processes of writing your Room for Debate assignment and your One-Semester Memoir.
Room for Debate
I collaborated with Kylie White and Courtney Huff to compose our room for debate piece. I extended an offer to these two classmates because I knew gun control was a topic that we’d collectively enjoy writing together.
I believe we were in class when I texted the girls and asked if they’d like to collaborate on this piece. After two failed attempts at meeting up at DCCC, Kylie set up a google docs page so we could write together via the internet. We had previously written blog posts that could potentially be used for this assignment. Courtney composed the majority of the piece. Kylie researched source materials and the citations. I edited and reworded Courtney’s previously written work and composed a few original sections.
I think we bumped heads when it came to opinions about mandatory mental health screenings. I refuted the idea with the fact that the majority of individuals who suffer from mental illness do not commit mass shootings. I also asked how they’d feel about disarming our American soldiers who risked their lives overseas to protect our freedoms, while throwing in the fact that the mandatory screenings would infringe on our fourth amendment rights.
Truth be told, I do not own a firearm, where as my coauthors do. I have no intention of purchasing a firearm, nor am I against the ownership of firearms. I support the second amendment, one hundred percent. My issue with the fight for mandatory mental health screenings stems from my own personal situation. In 2001, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. When people say that they want mandatory mental health screenings to determine who can and cannot themselves and their families with a firearm, I feel as if I am viewed as being less human. I believe that there is an unfair and biased stigma that comes with people who share my diagnosis. I am not my diagnosis. It’s not fair to compartmentalize a population of people who share diagnosis based on the violent gun related actions of a very small minority. That mentality isn’t any different than claiming that all Muslims are evil because of the actions of terrorists. All gay people have AIDS. All black people are lazy criminals that abuse the welfare system. All white people are wealthy oppressors. All Native American Indians are drunken gamblers. All Hispanic people are illegal aliens. All Asian people are good at math and own dry cleaning businesses. All people who live with a mental illness aren’t competent enough to own a firearm. These are insulting broad generalizations. Even though I choose not to own a firearm, I still believe that my right to bear arms should not be taken from me. If mandatory mental health screenings were to become a reality, the law may be made retroactive, and many people may be forced to under go mental health screenings. Many responsible gun owners who have no violent history may lose their right to protect themselves and their families based on the opinion of a doctor. I think this proposition is very dangerous, more dangerous than the threat of school shooters. A public that is unable to protect itself is open season to any force that deems to inflict harm upon it.
Over all, the three of us were a great team and I enjoyed working together with my classmates. I feel like I owe it to them to be honest about my position on mandatory mental health screenings, because before this writing process reflection, I was not.