my thoughts on Newtown.
As more facts come out, it seems that Adam Lanza was about to be involuntarily committed by his mother, she believed him to be a danger. He targeted the school because his mother volunteered there and he thought she loved the kids more than him. To me, this speaks of needing better mental health procedures.
I have a few friends who have troubled kids and have to fight tooth and nail for any help. This seems to be a mental health/health care system issue more than a gun issue. Lanza broke multiple laws, so if there were more laws, why would he obey them? And the argument that the guns shouldn’t be there, people shouldn’t be allowed to buy them…not sure that would work in reality. You are not "allowed" to buy heroin, but people do. Same with many other things. I think saying that gun laws and laws ALONE will stop mentally ill or evil people from doing evil things is ignoring human nature and what’s already going on.
Angry, troubled people will get what they want, be it drugs, guns or anything else. I’m afraid that focusing on gun laws ALONE will just allow things like this to happen again in the future because it ignores the underlying mental health issues. Our health care system is broken in many ways, especially in mental health. I know from experience with friends and family that these issues are often swept under the rug or looked at with rose colored glasses with a naive hope that things will get better on their own.
You hear of women trying to get protection from abusive husbands only to be told that nothing can be done until "something happens." Then something happens: they kill their wives.
You hear of women suffering from post partum depression and fathers desperately trying to get help only to be told that "it’s just a phase" and then something happens: the women hurt or kill their children.
You hear of mothers begging the health care system and courts for help with their troubled kids only to be told that nothing can be done until "something happens." Then "something" happens. Like Newton.
Mental illness is NOT a stigma or something families should have to be ashamed of. A family member would not have to fight in the court system to get a loved one help for cancer or diabetes.
Why so with mental illness?
It’s time for mental health issues and health care issues to be brought into the spotlight.
With that said, does this mean I think any and all guns should be allowed to be bought and sold? Of course not. Just as you can’t go out and buy a military grade vehicle, you shouldn’t be allowed to buy military grade semi automatic long guns. Handguns are another story. Hunting guns as well.
Think about it. We can pass as many laws as we want to but a troubled person WILL find their way around them. If Lanza’s mother didn’t have guns in the home, would he have built a pipe bomb or a truck bomb like McVeigh in OK City?
I also agree that there should be strict background checks for all gun ownership. If people had to go through the background checks and process that I went through to adopt a child in order to buy a gun….that might work!
Should they be licensed? Of course. Should the owner have to demonstrate competence? Yes, just as you do before getting a drivers license.
But, the sad truth is, even with all these safeguards evil people and troubled people will find ways around them.
Yes, let’s talk about gun control.
But let’s also talk about the underlying stigma and ignorance of mental illness.