The real problem is a mental health problem
I have read all the letters regarding so-called gun control with amusement. Since the tragic incident in Connecticut, where once again a mentally deranged individual murdered so many innocent victims, the media has been alive with the old refrains that we need more restrictive gun legislation.
At the same time there is scant mention of the appalling lack of mental health care in this nation.
Somehow we lost our direction several decades ago when some perhaps well-meaning lawyers filed suits to grant mentally ill patients the right to remain ill.
What was lost was the right of the rest of society to be free of the results of turning these unfortunate folks loose on the rest of us.
Ask anyone who has struggled to get mental health help for themselves or a loved one and they will surely tell you it is nearly impossible to do. Health care providers have their hands tied by the courts, especially if the patient is not willing to be treated.
Ask yourself how a mentally ill person can make a logical and informed decision in the first place. You only need to look to many of the so-called homeless pushing their shopping carts or scrounging through dumpsters to see the result of having a mentally ill person determine for himself if he should be treated.
Most mentally ill people are not a danger to others, but rather more often to themselves.
However there are certainly those few who are the exception, and we all know of them as the crazed mass killers in the news.
There are more than 20,000 gun laws and regulations on the books. Most are thoughtful and well-intentioned. Among them are laws requiring states to report those mentally ill indiividuals who should be prohibited from owning a firearm to the FBI. But alas, many states either neglect or simply refuse to comply.
All gun laws aside, it is a well-known fact that the vast majority of firearms of all kinds used in crimes are stolen, as was the case in the Connecticut shooting.
What good is a law banning the legal sale of any particular firearm going to have when a criminal (mentally ill or not) simply has to steal one?
All the media hype over banning this or that gun has simply served to mask the real problems the country faces.
Does anyone hear any news coverage of the real national problems we face, such as finding solutions to the most devastating economic crisis we have faced since the Great Depression?
Of course not, just more political grandstanding.
Where is the call to improve the mental health system, which is the real root cause of the gun violence issue.
Sane people don’t go out and shoot innocent people.