The Gun Violence That Never Stops
Senseless killing, blamed on mental illness, as though somehow we in America must always be on the lookout for those who are deranged, depressed and angry at the world. It is true that mental illness is higher in the United States, with about an average of 10 percent in most countries and around 26.4 percent in the United States, which says there is a great deal more reason to be depressed and stressed out in this country. Perhaps that is because of all the guns we have, compared to everyone else or because most Americans have to work harder to make a living here, compared to other developed nations.
Whatever the reason why there is so much gun violence in the United States, it is high time we find ways to do more than just be on the lookout for those who are suffering, which sounds to me as though we must be paranoid of anyone who seems depressed or even angry and stressed out. Many times in my life, I have been depressed, angry and/or stressed out but I never felt the need to pick up a weapon and start taking it out on others. Many of us have difficult times in our lives and many of us suffer from daily life in the United States but most of us deal with it in different ways.
It is the idea told to us by gun advocates that we need to have more guns to combat gun violence, which to me sounds like malarkey. It is like someone saying that if we want to slow drunk driving, we just need to make alcohol more available to everyone. Making guns more available to more people will not control gun violence but will only give gun violence more opportunity to happen. The reason why there is more gun violence in the United States might have a little to do with our stressed out state of mind but it also has a lot to do with the number of guns we have, on the street and in homes.
It is also not true that making sure that good guys have guns available to them will slow the amount of gun violence. The man, who shot another man in a movie theater, allegedly because he threw popcorn at him after being confronted over his texting, was supposedly a good guy. He was a retired cop, a police captain no less. Good guys become bad guys when they lose control. Some good guys go out to have a good time in a bar, by having a few drinks and then something happens; someone makes them angry and they have had too much to drink and things get ugly. Suddenly, a good guy who was thought to be someone you could trust with a gun, becomes a bad guy who allowed himself to lose control over alcohol, and perhaps a bit of jealousy or maybe machismo or male ego, laced with alcohol and things go bad to worse.
Gun advocates like the NRA want to make it so that lawful abiding citizens can carry guns anywhere, even into bars where alcohol many times changes people and influences them to do things they normally would not do. The more guns and the more places that guns are allowed, makes it that much more likely gun violence will take place.
Gun advocates also want guns available on university campuses, reason being that if someone goes on a shooting rampage on a college campus, a good guy will be there to stop them. College age kids, well known to have parties with lots of drinking, and who are perhaps most likely untrained to use a gun, have no business with a gun on a school campus. Besides, most college campuses already have armed security on campus, within a few minutes of any incident.
The Second Amendment of our Constitution perhaps needs amended again; to reflect the modern age we live in. Keeping a gun in one’s nightstand or in a closet by law-abiding citizens is acceptable but more guns into more hands, while allowing more guns in more places, even places that serve alcohol, is just asking for trouble. Common sense should rule and the NRA needs to back off, if it cannot show clear evidence that allowing guns in bars makes sense.
Perhaps if we as a nation collectively work toward ending the stigmatization of mentally illness and begin to accept that mental illness is just as common and just as likely as physical illness, more of us would seek treatment when depression and stress overtakes our daily lives. The Affordable Care Act also helps pay for assistance for mental illness as it does medical, which should make it more affordable for many.
Still, this is just one of the many things we can do at least to slow the occurrences of gun violence in our nation. Stemming the flow of guns, especially certain types of guns, along with effective background checks and limits on the amount of ammunition a magazine clip can carry will also do a great deal to bring this nation closer to a more civilized society with less gun violence and deaths caused by that violence.
Then of course, we need to stop listening to the ravings of gun advocates, working to put more money into the hands of gun manufactures, who continue to push more guns onto us, into our bars, our schools and our lives, without even an ounce of rational. Of course, most importantly, we need our lawmakers, those who can make a difference, to stop listening to the gun lobby and start listening to us citizens, those whose lives are affected by gun violence.