It’s A Mental Health Issue!

Yes it is!

I started this blog two years ago! The issue was the same, just different victims. I never published it.  Too many other opinions out there.  The story gets old.  Nobody listens to the other side anyway.

So two years later, here we are again.  Many times in between, there have been mass shootings: the latest in a high school, seventeen people killed.  Now we have a different president and Republicans control the House and Senate. After the last shooting they said “Now is not the time to talk about gun regulations.” Ok.  We don’t want some kind of “knee jerk reaction” to this latest blood bath. Instead, the president says that we have a “serious mental illness issue”.

This is what I wrote two years ago:  I’m so tired of hearing about it;  the fear, the anger, the belief that our rights are being violated.  I’m tired of reading headlines that accuse anyone who tries to curb the use of guns as being some kind of anti-God.

Who are we, as a people?  Who are we that we believe that holding a gun makes us stronger? And we blast anyone who tries to claim otherwise.  You are wanting to protect yourself and your family.  I get that!  Don’t we all?  Why is it that owning a gun seems to be your only answer?

Call me naive.  I was an elementary school principal.  I worked hard to protect the people in my building, every day.  Nearly every day, I dealt with an angry parent, or student, or teacher.  I worked to de-escalate the anger.  I never, ever felt the need for a gun to do that. Yet, recently, I had lunch with an old acquaintance who is working with an elementary school to arm at least one person in each hallway. What?  He wants to protect the children from another potential Sandy Hook massacre.  I get that!  But…the argument that more guns will make us all safer just has me shaking.

I don’t want to walk into an elementary school (or any place for that matter) and wonder who all has a gun and whether they’re sane enough to be carrying it.  I don’t want to worry every single time someone gets agitated that they’re going to pull out their pistol to resolve the dispute.  This acquaintance said “Oh no, people would be trained on how and when to use their gun.”  Well, where is that law right now?  We can’t even accept the idea of a background check without feeling somehow violated.

Headlines, this morning, indicate that President Obama has, single handedly, increased gun sales.  Why is that?  Are we afraid we wouldn’t pass a background check?  I’m not stupid.  I watch the news everyday.  I see the number of news stories related to gun violence.  I know that guns are, right now, in the hands of people who should not have a gun.  I also know that laws are no guarantee that people will not find a way to break them.  But to think that we shouldn’t have a law because someone is sure to break it seems like the lamest form of reasoning I’ve ever heard.  We should all want our government to work to protect us.  We have accepted laws related to driver’s licenses, speed limits, legal age to drink alcohol.  Why is no one screaming about this as some kind of violation of our freedoms?  And, why aren’t we screaming out that these laws are just useless because there are people who drive without a license, speed down the highway, and drink illegally?  Yet, we, somehow believe that by instituting background checks on gun ownership is the first step down a slippery slope to taking away our 2nd amendment right to bear arms. What?

Now, with this latest carnage, the outcry is to at least make the sale of assault weapons illegal.  Can we at least get the semi-automatic guns off the streets?  Last summer, one person turned his semi-automatic guns into rapid fire automatic guns with something called a bump stock. This guy was able to kill over 50 people from a hotel window.  Legislation was proposed to at least stop the sale of the bump stock to limit the ability to make fully automatic weapons.  This legislation hasn’t been passed yet.  Now, the latest shooter was 19 years old.  He had been visited many times by police, had been seen shooting guns randomly outside his back door, had been expelled from high school, was being seen regularly by psych teams but was still able to LEGALLY buy weapons! What?

And so we then blame the FBI for not following up on a tip instead of blaming our weak systems and our overt protection of the second amendment.

What is happening to us?  What is happening to this country? I, for one, believe it’s true. Our mental health needs to be checked at the door.

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