WATCH: SilencerCo Highlights Competitive Shooter Who Uses Firearms to Cope with Mental Illness

Genevieve Jones says shooting helps to reduce her OCD. (Photo: SilencerCo)

The conversation surrounding firearms and mental health usually focuses on keeping firearms “out of the hands” of mentally ill individuals. After every mass murder involving a gun, pundits from both sides of the political aisle wax eloquent about the need for mental health resources, early warning systems, and “red flag” legislation.

But there’s another side to that conversation, one that receives far less media attention.

As part of their American Gun video series, SilencerCo just released a mini-documentary highlighting a woman who uses firearms and firearm training to deal with her mental health struggles.

“I’ve had OCD, and it has really dramatically affected my life, and shooting actually is something that really helps me,” Genevieve Jones says in the video. “It just quiets everything that’s going on in my mind.”

She describes her experience dealing with a panic disorder that landed her in a behavioral health center, and she credits her participation in firearm competitions as one of the things that pulled her out of what she describes as a “really dark place.”

“As soon as I started shooting again, it quieted my mind,” she says.

Jones also discusses a worry, shared by many in the pro-gun community, about the connection between gun confiscation and mental health reporting. This worry is especially prevalent among veterans who fear that a PTSD diagnosis will leave them ineligible to own firearms.

“It took me literally years to open up about my struggles with mental illness,” Jones says. “I was expecting everybody to say that my guns should be taken away and I should be afraid for talking about it.”

To help address this concern, Jones helped found Hold My Guns, a nonprofit that connects people who need their guns out of the house with voluntary, private off-site storage options.

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“If they are either going through a hard time or if they’re deploying or if you know grandkids are coming over to the house—it could be any scenario, but we are aimed at suicide prevention, and we want to raise awareness about mental health in the gun industry,” Jones explains.

She isn’t alone. Walk the Talk America, another pro-gun mental health nonprofit, seeks to connect suffering individuals with accurate, state-specific information about mental health and gun confiscation. In most states, people can seek help without consequences, and Walk the Talk America aims to raise awareness about that fact.

As Jones explains, most people with mental health problems aren’t dangerous, and they deserve to have their constitutional rights respected as well as access to every potential therapy.

“I’m not a danger to people, and I don’t think that many mentally ill people are a danger to people, and it would be really sad for them to miss out on something that could potentially help them as much as it helped me,” she says.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • etph December 12, 2021, 2:10 am

    I’m surprised and glad that this is possible. I always thought that if some people suspected that you had a mental disease or disorder they would quickly call the authorities. That would lead to gun confiscation, so I think most people would never admit that there’s anything wrong with them. Still, a mental illness or condition can be easily used and manipulated by the left to harm that person. I applaud her bravery because this can easily lead to complications.

  • Ed November 1, 2021, 11:41 pm

    This hits way too close to home.
    My wife has always been OCD and, until she was 48, she had not been diagnosed bipolar. All that changed after she was assaulted by a coworker at the hospital where she worked as a Respiratory Therapist.

    She spent the next 3 years crying, unable to even manage her medications, in a hospital 3 times and attempted to end her life 2 times and was finally diagnosed with PTSD, Uncontrolled Anxiety with Psychotic Episodes, Bi-Polar and OCD. The PTSD and anxiety were directly attribute to her 20 years as an RT and having to deal with the constant specter of death.

    As she finally started to heal, we decided it was time to get a gun for the house due to the increased crime in San Bernardino, CA. Add to that, the much reduced police force. (At one time, only 13 officers on day shift for a city of 200,000.)

    What helped to turn her around was shooting rifle starting in 2015. She was able to have something to focus on that was outside of her body and helped her to get outside of her mind. The joke about group therapy with a picture of 10 rounds inside the bullseye applies.

    I greatly appreciate this young ladies courage and willingness to come out of the shadows and speak for people like my wife.

    Much respect.

    Semper Fi from an old Marine.

  • DAVID INGRAM October 30, 2021, 4:08 pm

    Range time always chills me. A shame they’ll never put that in as a treatment. “Can I get a script for an hour of range time?”

  • Wayneo October 30, 2021, 12:10 am

    There are many degrees of mental illnesses and there are many different controls..This young lady has recognized her struggles. Bike rides, meds, therapist and gun competition. She has found her controls and that includes her protective dog.
    As long as she she stays in tuned to herself and those that surround her, watch and listen to her. I would trust her stability anytime. She’s so far ahead ahead mentally than some of my former relatives.
    God bless you young lady. You have a special Dad.

  • Steven L Howard October 29, 2021, 11:03 am

    As a mobile psychotherapist, making house calls on those so debilitated by SPMI (Serious and Persistent Mental Illness: psychotic, mood, personality, and thought disorders) that they could barely leave their homes, much less keep an appointment or get organized enough to pick up their own prescriptions. The mobile therapy model worked well, and I was able to keep people out of the hospital for years at a stretch, who previously were in and out of hospitals two or three times a year. My co-therapist, a great big sweet Lab/Rott mix, was a big help.
    My secret therapeutic tool, which I never told any of my more-than-liberal anti-gun colleagues, was a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. Clients just loved to plink in the living room or back yard if given the chance.

  • Eric October 29, 2021, 9:47 am

    Standards for involuntary civil commitment in most places include being a danger to yourself or others, and being unable to care for yourself.

    I haven’t ever heard of anyone going in on just an OCD diagnosis, but I sure could be wrong about that.

    Speaking personally, I’m often grumpy, but I’m just about always happy after a range day.

    If it’s working for Danielle, God bless. Interesting story!

  • Roger D October 29, 2021, 9:06 am

    Worked well for that mother in Newtown who’s son attended Sandy Hook. Didn’t it?

    • StevO October 29, 2021, 9:58 am

      So right about that. People with mental problems shouldn’t be near fire arms.

      • Greg November 4, 2021, 4:45 pm

        Being liberal is a mental illness.

  • Link Lackluster October 29, 2021, 7:23 am

    That concept didn’t help Chris Kyle. His “Gun Therapy” outreach recipient shot him dead at the range. I guess they had a bad session. Glad it’s working for this person.

  • Edwin Clements Parrish October 29, 2021, 6:08 am

    “OCD,” isn’t defined in the article. It is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Sufferers require great order and often exhibit compulsively repetitive behaviors. Disruption can lead to panic attacks. (I had to look it up. It was a compulsion. 😎)

  • duh duh October 29, 2021, 4:56 am

    Mentally ill people should NEVER have access to firearms. How utterly ridiculous! Using access to deadly weapons to work out your F’ing issues. It’s stuff like this that gives anti-gunners their talking points and on this, rightfully so!

    • Greg November 4, 2021, 4:49 pm

      Not only would I trust myself to be around this young lady way more than someone like yourself acting erratically on the internet, but I can guarantee she’s doing WAY more for firearm safety than you have done in your whole life. This young girl co-operates an organization to help struggling individuals by holding their firearms for them when they are struggling in life.

      You need to get ahold of yourself mentally and emotionally. Stat using your logic to guide your actions, not your “feelings”.

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