Autism Does Not Cause Shootings, Autism Does Not Cause Shootings, Autism Does Not Cause Shootings….
Smooth move, CBS, CNN, NBC and other outlets. By putting autism in the headlines of the news concerning the Oregon Shooter’s mother, you have inexorably spread fear and hate against people with autism, like me. Your penchant for bodice-ripping headlines has made me even more hateful towards you. I am feared and hated as ever, especially now, that I have been linked to a man who killed ten people, including himself. Here’s a twist: I would have been shot for admitting I am a Christian, too! So what do I do? Where do I go for help and assurance that I am not going to get killed or run out of town a la Frankenstein’s monster?
First of all, I must say this: Autism is not linked to violence. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/12/16/aspergers-autism-not-linked-to-violence-experts reports this fact. As a matter of fact, it is more likely that I would be the victim of crime, not the criminal. Here is an article about the continued stigmatization of autism, perpetuating the likelihood of being murdered for my autism. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelle-sutton/autism-stigma-and-murder_b_5211817.html
This brings me to another point: Do you think because I am autistic, I am going to go get a gun and shoot people? I hat guns. I know that is an unpopular opinion among my peers, especially among fellow Republicans, but I am just absolutely frightened that we have to invite an instrument of death into our houses in order to feel any sort of power over our situations. Do you think I want to involve an instrument of death and harm in my everyday life? I am not going to deny you your right to self-defense, but I am not going to be made to wield death because I am feeling a little cowardly. Even as I go about this world mostly alone, I am constantly reinforcing my bravery to live in a world which is afraid of me.
In case you haven’t noticed, there is one thing I must admit: I am the only autistic my age that I know. That troubles me. I feel so alone in all this. All the people who seem to understand me are on the internet, and most of them seem far away. This troubles me, because the distance makes me feel all alone in this world. I know that is not the case, but there are no people here with autism to dispel my loneliness that I know of. This also makes me fear for my safety.
Do I have to pick up a gun and show that I will not use it for you to believe I am not a danger to society? To end the fear of neurotypical people because I am different from them? Being feared like this is shameful, it is discriminatory, it is the textbook definition of prejudice. I’m sorry, I did not know I had to cower in the corner to appease it.
But if you want my opinion on the subject of shootings and autism, read the title again, and again, and again…until you believe it.