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Depression and Firearms

Depression and Firearms

Depression is a terrible illness, and it is relatively arbitrary in who it will affect.  Young or old; rich or poor.  If there is antidote to this illness I haven’t found it yet, but I can tell you what I’ve done to try and mitigate it’s effects.

There are many reasons for someone to be depressed.  At any one time we could have multiple reasons and often these reasons are related.  With so many things happening in a modern life it’s surprising we aren’t all depressed all the time.   Chances are though, no matter who you look at – whether they are handsome; smart; wealthy; charismatic or active, they are fighting demons.


Some of the things you can look at in your life are;


  1. Friends – do you have a group of people with similar interests whom you like spending time with?
  2. Do you have an intimate relationship with an individual (or are you pursuing one)?
  3. Do you have a career or a job and therefore something to do for 8 hours a day?
  4. Are you educated and qualified to a level appropriate for your intelligence?
  5. Do you have a family whom you get along with?
  6. Are you industrialist or conscientious and interested in what they are doing?
  7. Do you have something recreational (but also social) in nature to do in your spare time? Do you do it regularly?
  8. Do you drink or do other drugs at a socially unacceptable level?
  9. Are you eating correctly? Do you eat something for breakfast?
  10. Are you waking up and going to bed at approximately the same time each day? Are you getting enough undisturbed sleep?


Everyone is probably going to have at least 1 of these things not in order – that’s life.  Two of the points can be mitigated by engaging in the sport of shooting – having a positive recreational activity to do in your spare time (7) with people whose company you enjoy (1).

I started competing in handgun shooting when I was 12 and continued into my mid 20’s.  The highlight of my week was always going to the club with my old man during the week – not because I particularly enjoyed air pistol (which was every Wednesday night) but because I enjoyed talking to my mates for about an hour or so after.  If was a very positive; responsible and enjoyable environment where I could shrug off whatever was bothering me at the time.

The benefits of being actively involved in some form of recreational sport is undisputed – those benefits being psychological and physiological.  I guarantee that if you’re actively involved in a shooting sport and around people who want the best for you, many aspects of your life will improve.  You will be a happier person.  A healthier person.  Your relationship with your partner and your family will improve.  Your friends will notice if your mood changes; if you aren’t sleeping well or eating properly or drinking too much, and you will be able to pick it in your friends too.


If you’re due to go for a shoot with your mates, make some time to go do it.  Maybe go visit one of the local clubs and see if it’s for you.  Ring that uncle who used to live in the bush and see if he knows anyone who may let you go shooting on their property.  Book that guided hunt or that long range shooting course you’ve had your eye on.  The more involved you become the better armed you’ll be to stave off the demons.


Zaine Beaton


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