Following his nephew’s suicide, actor, pistol owner and self-described Second Amendment supporter, Tom Arnold pleaded for gun control in an essay that he penned on Thursday. The essay was published by the Hollywood Reporter.
Tom Arnold’s nephew, Spencer, committed suicide after he shot himself following an argument with his girlfriend on May 2.
He was kicked out of the Army when he previously attempted suicide and became unsafe around weapons because he was chronically depressed.
“He was able to get a concealed weapon permit from the state of Iowa and buy five guns. Like me, Spencer was a substance abuser. He refused my offer for help with that as well as his mental illness, so I was very concerned. Last fall, when I saw on Facebook that he had joined a crazy, racist, neo-Nazi (I’m Jewish, as is my mom) gun group and videotaped himself showing off, drunkenly shooting his assault rifle and calling President Obama the N-word, I headed to the airport to go see him.
I don’t think Spencer was a racist. I think he joined that group because he was tired of feeling small. He wanted to be a part of something dangerous and cool. Most of my family agreed I’d overreacted. And this was America, so Spencer got to keep his guns whether I liked it or not. Whether he was healthy or not.”
Spencer Arnold then grabbed one of the “five loaded guns on his nightstand” and shot himself in the head.
Following his nephew’s death, Tom Arnold joined the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to protect “vets and people with mental illnesses who can legally purchase guns” and “my 3-year-old boy and 7-month-old girl when they grow up and I’m not here,” Arnold wrote.
“No guns for the mentally ill until they are treated. No guns for domestic abusers, violent felons or people on the terrorist watch list, and background checks for everybody,” he wrote.
Tom Arnold has been learning about guns since five years old and used to take part in NRA gun safety programs since the 1960’s, but says, it was a “much different NRA than we have today.”
Tom recounted his days he went hunting with his grandfather as he group up in rural Iowa, saying that gun owners would then put their guns away at the end of the season.
Arnold also mentioned that some people see guns as a gift from God and those people are “insane.”
“[Guns] represent liberty to some people, and the Constitution itself. Some even equate guns to religion. A gift to Americans directly from God himself. That sounds crazy to me. It should be on the gun test: If you truly believe your metal tool/explosive device is a gift from above, then you should be deemed insane and unfit to legally own a gun,” Arnold said.