Sunday, May 25, 2014

Mental Illness & Gun Control

Once again, we see murder and tragic deaths, this time in Santa Barbara, California as a young killer, Elliott Rodger, with a history of mental illness was able to legally buy guns and commit mass murder.   Though this Blogger is a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment that protects our right to buy and own guns, I do believe it is time for national legislation that would prevent those being treated for mental illness and or who are on mind altering drugs, from legally buying guns.   This issue is about mental illness not banning a particular gun type. 

In this case, 22 year old, Elliott Rodger, was receiving treatment for mental illness, since he was 8 years old.   Drugs were prescribed; but whether Rodger was taking them or not is the question.   Rodger's divorced parents did the right thing calling the police to report their son when they thought there was a problem.   None of this prevented Elliott Rodger from legally buying three regular guns (not assault rifles) in the last year that he used to murder and or wound several people.  This happened in California that already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.  However, three of the deaths in Rodger's rampage were caused by stab wounds, not gun fire, which demonstrates that the bigger issue is properly dealing with mental illness.   

Clearly, there should be a national registry of people being treated for mental illness.  Anyone on that registry should not be permitted to legally buy guns.  This is just common sense.  However, anyone who thinks this will solve the problem is delusional.   A determined mentally deranged person will either buy guns illegally and or use other means of killing if that is their goal.  It is apparently easy to build a bomb from household items.  In this particular case, Rodger's killed three of his victims by stabbing them to death. 

It is virtually impossible to ban all the items that could be used to commit mass murder.   The real issue is making sure that people with serious mental illness are receiving treatment and supervision.   And, in the most severe cases, these people must be placed in mental institutions to prevent this type of tragedy in the future.   The rights of the insane cannot be used as an excuse to prevent common sense actions designed to protect society. 

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