How are so many people with a mental illness getting firearms? Why are so many people that need help not getting it?
There was a move back in the Reagan days where physiatrists thought people with mental health issues could be monitored with meds and possibly at a neighborhood clinic. This treatment alternative would save money and allow states to close facilities. I understand how the department of mental health works; I was a director of security in a large state hospital. I witnessed some of the clients get overly medicated and let out into the city without any monitoring.
My question is how do we keep guns from a person that has a problem? We really can’t. Not all mental illness is easy to spot, especially with the way guns can be purchased. We as a nation will never be able to control who acquires a gun unless we become a nation under martial law. This would mean that no one could own a firearm except those in police work or the military. Even that would not guarantee people couldn’t get guns.
I feel outraged that our children are being shot while in school. Almost every time these tragedies happen, it’s a person with a mental health problem that did the shooting. In addition, there were no steps taken when there were signs that something tragic was about to happen. So what do we hear as a solution? More gun control! Do we want to make it unlawful for a person with a family member that could have a mental illness to own a gun? That would open up Pandora’s Box. I don’t know how we can stop bad people from getting guns without harming good people and their right to own a firearm. I don’t believe that making it harder for people to own a gun will change anything.
Look at Chicago. One of the cities with a comprehensive gun control ruling, yet it leads the country in homicides. Then again Tennessee has been voted a dangerous place to live along with other Southern states. This might sound silly but I believe that gun control should start with the family. Take control of our own firearm. Make sure that if a family member has a problem you take action to assure that they don’t have a chance to get a gun to harm themselves or anyone else. It seems that the most basic way to help with this type of violence is to keep aware of your own family, make it your duty to ensure that those in your family that have shown signs of unusual behavior get help. Addressing this might stop a tragedy. Notify the authorities if you hear or know of a potential problem with a person that could get their hands on a gun. Be safe not sorry.
We as a country need to step back and take a hard long look at where we are going with our children. We seem to have become negligent in the raising of our kids and let them fall into the world of the Internet where games have become reality. Start talking and spending time with them. Maybe this could stop some of the violence.
By: Jim Doyle, owner of Madison Security Group