Gun Control vs. Mental Health

Gun Control vs. Mental Health

Yesterday’s senseless murders in Virginia, the killing of two journalists hits home, especially hard. When I first began writing updates, I kept thinking what if it was me?

I’ve been a journalist close to 40 years now, and I’ve pretty much seen it all but until recently gun control and mental health were not used in the same breath. My first glimpse into the world of journalism and reporting was a triple homicide. Guns were not used, but the killer slipped a box of dynamite into the basement of a home, which lifted the home off its foundation; the percussion killing three of the four residents.

Perhaps we should be talking about dynamite control vs. mental health.

A Louisiana police officer was recently killed (shooting) after his cousin went on a killing spree, using a knife. Should we be talking about knife control vs. mental health?

Can you see the common factor here? This is a mental health issue. The choice of weapon seems to vary widely.

I have always been and will always be a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. The right to bear arms in the country was founded by men much wiser than those now leading this country. These same wise men were much more in tune with the needs of a country than any special interest group of today. While I support the 2nd Amendment, I do not like guns, but am smart enough to know that it is the person pulling the trigger that has a problem.

In my opinion, anyone who blatantly kills another human being has mental health issues. For instance, there are those that have an issue with drinking and driving, yet they continue to get behind the steering wheel of a car. This is a serious problem in our country, and yes, it is a mental health issue. Surprisingly, we don’t hear the special interest groups clamoring for driver license control. We should.

Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton spoke at length about the need for greater gun control, as well as universal background checks. At the same time, presidential candidate Donald Trump said, “This isn't a gun problem, this is a mental problem. It is not a question of the laws, it's really the people."

For me, it all comes down to this quick and easy thought. When you outlaw (control) guns, only outlaws will have guns. Think about it, there is no question that a person who destroys another person’s life is seriously mentally ill.

I am curious about your thoughts on gun control vs. mental health.

Posted by Ralph C. Jensen on Aug 31, 2015


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