It won’t help

Recently I read an article on CNN’s website written by Jen Christensen; “How the violent mentally ill buy guns”.

The article does a great job discussing the real issues in gun purchasing and ownership.

The article was sparked as a result of the latest horrific incident involving firearms and a mentally ill adult, Gerald Hume, in which he legally purchased firearms at federally licensed gun dealers, including Walmart. The article describes Mr. Hume as a “known schizophrenic who hears voices and requires treatment”. It was later discovered he murdered his mother in gruesome fashion with those firearms.

The article goes on to discuss Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at VA-Tech. He bought the firearms from a federally licensed dealer, passing background checks, even though a judge had apparently declared Cho mentally ill a year prior to the incident. Virginia failed to send that information to the federal system so his name would have been flagged.

The most important aspect of the article that is discussed is the lapses in reporting of the mentally ill.

The article references the GAO Investigation and its author Ms. Carol Cha. Cha states “Most states made little to no progress with their reporting,”

This article is one of the best Mental Health related articles I’ve seen in the ‘argument against/for gun control’. Often the letters that come out are about high capacity magazines, assault weapons, etc. Did you know that 72 percent of homicides in the United States is committed with hand guns?

On some level, whether regardless of where you stand on the gun control issue, you have to ask yourself, are more laws, more bans, more legislation in general targeting the right people and the right problems? In my opinion, there needs to be a larger focus on the criminal elements within the United States, more pressure and pursuance of them.

But more so, staying on track with the gun control issue, there needs to be more efficient reporting and more effective background checking done in regards to individuals who should be flagged as mentally ill and unable to legally purchase firearms. At the base of all these discussions about firearms still stands the issue of Mental Health. This issue is not going away any time soon so the sooner the government addresses it, the sooner we can start seeing possible reductions in these horrific incidents related to firearm homicides.

Wesley Hickok


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom