31 July 2011
Gun Control and Mental Illness
In the United States, our society is increasingly faced with situations that further enhance the idea that guns, particularly in the hands of the wrong people, are responsible for a great deal of harm. Aside from the problem of criminals obtaining guns we now are dealing with gun control and how it applies to the mentally ill. Many Americans pose an argument against gun control, claiming that their rights override the constant danger and threats posed by weapons. There has been an on going debate about gun control, but it is no longer valid especially as more violent deaths occur. Whether or not the guns are legal or illegal is irrelevant; the main point is gun control should be a top priority, but society does not need more gun laws put in the books. Our government needs to take a proactive approach on the mental-healthcare crisis that is gripping the nation. The end result is more Americans seeing more violent events caused by guns in the hands of wrong people. The shooting spree at Virginia Tech that resulted in the deaths of 33 students and faculty members has revived a recurring debate about gun control in the United States. Some suggest making a longer waiting period and deeper background check to purchase a gun would reduce the amount of violence with guns. However, I find the tragedy at Virginia tech and similar events at Columbine, Tucson and other school shootings to be alarming. I do not believe that the massacre perpetrated by the mentally ill student Cho Seung Hui should result in the passage of new gun laws or change in other states’ policies regarding the purchase of guns. In the report of review panel one of the key findings was “Cho purchased two guns in violation of federal law. The fact in 2005 Cho had been judged to be danger to himself and ordered to outpatient treatment made him ineligible to purchase a gun under federal law” (67). This is why...