Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gun control or insuring Mental Health


The tragic event in Aurora CO has spurred many debates about gun control. They are wide and varied as always. Well of course I have my thoughts on the subject.

So we have gun control already in this country, that’s nothing new. Let me say that personally I do not care for guns, do not own one, and will more than likely never own one. They take very little thought to kill with. I am all for very strict control of such weapons. I also feel that it is very important that assault rifles are banned for the public sell and use. There is no reason for a private citizen to own a full automatic assault rifle. These are weapons of war, not protect.

With all that said, I do not believe for one minute that guns kill people. If you lay a gun on the table it will continue to lay there, unmoving until the end of days. It will not shoot those that walk by, just as a knife cannot stable someone of its own will. A weapon does not kill someone; a person kills someone WITH a weapon.

The focus really does not need to be on gun control. It needs to be on what we can do to help prevent people reaching the point where they feel the need to commit mass murder. There is something fundamentally wrong with a society that sees the issue as gun control, not the mental issues that plagues the individuals who commit these acts. Because all the gun control in the world will not stop an individual who is set on causing harm.

As a person who was survived the Atlanta bombing at the lesbian bar The Otherside, I can tell you it was not the bomb’s fault that I and many others were injured. It was the fault of one Eric Rudolph who believed he was acting on the wishes of his god and religion. Mr. Rudolph then felt the need to bomb an abortion clinic. What made things even more horrific is that his bombs where designed in stages. The first was to trigger damage on the intended targets. The second were designed to cause damage and death to the rescue teams that responded to the first bombs. This was a methodically planned attack on people, just as James Holmes planned his attack.

So here we have two different people using to different methods of destruction. Yet what is not being resolved is the cause of these attacks; the mental instability of individuals who commit such acts. But then again mental illness is something our country does not like to deal with. It has such a stigma attached to it that we try so hard to avoid it. Well that avoidance is coming back to haunt us.

It is time to start stepping up and taking responsibility for our actions and inactions. It is time we start watching those we love and getting them help when needed. It is time that the ill be healed so all can live a peaceful long life. 
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