A Project for Better Journalism chapter
Viewpoint

Focus on Mental Health, Not Gun Control

In the wake of several mass shootings, many people are questioning their safety everywhere they go. We have seen an increase in school shootings all across the world. They were never a problem, but as we move forward in time they have become a “trend” almost. The debate if it’s due to flexible gun laws or health issues is another story. Many people choose to throw the blame on the Second Amendment because it’s what the government can control. They refuse to blame it on the well-being of the suspect. I believe that it has nothing to do with our freedom, but with the things people deal with on a regular basis without the help they need. No one knows why people are moved to perform such actions, but we also aren’t asking those questions. As a business that provides these guns to the public, it is their responsibility to control what comes in and out of their store. If you want to sell things like high capacity magazines, that is your choice. I agree that pretty much anyone can buy anything. We have the freedom to do so, given to us by the government. What the government doesn’t give the community is the proper treatment to help the mentally ill. Making our gun laws strict will do nothing but make it a little more difficult for them to purchase the firearms. The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This meaning that without guns we have no form of protection for ourselves. We would be forced to lean on a government that only cares about themselves. The second amendment describes our personal right to Militia as “well regulated,” and “necessary for a free state.” Who’s responsibility is it to regulate it? The government could easily set up non-profitable mental health outreaches to its outside community, but it would much rather strip us from our rights. In the White House “gun laws” are a hard topic to make decisions on. The government didn’t start talking about it until after the Newton Tragedy. Even now, it’s a topic that’s not discussed much. According to New York Times, “Representative John A. Yarmuth, a moderate Democrat from Kentucky, said he had been ‘largely silent on the issue of gun violence over the past six years,’  adding, “I am now as sorry for that as I am for what happened to the families who lost so much in this most recent, but sadly not isolated, tragedy.” It’s being portrayed that the shootings and the debate on gun control is being put on the back burner. It is a difficult topic but not talking about it won’t save the lives of those committing the crime and the victims of the crime. As a United Nation, it is our job to watch out for each other. There have been several cases where the suspect was crying out for help, and because no one spoke up, he did the unthinkable. Many school shootings, or shootings in general, end in a suicidal action. This alone shows the mental state of those doing the hurting. Oliver Markus Malloy, writer of Inside The Mind of an Introvert states, “In America, people with pre-existing mental health issues have access to firearms but not healthcare. Thanks, Republicans!” We should be taking care of OUR people, FOR the people.

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