I am not in favor of guns in any form. My husband, however, is not of like mind although we do agree that automatic weapons should be banned.
One of the subjects that has come to light in this debate was brought up by the president. That is, that the mentally ill should not be allowed to own guns. In its largest overview I fully agree with this. The problem is that most persons who commit violence because of mental illness are not identified as mentally ill until after the violence has occurred and persons who recognize their mental illness and seek treatment for it are far less likely to be violent.
For myself, I have a form of depression which is fairly rare. It is chronic and is considered treatment resistant. This means most if not all medications do nothing for me.
If I chose not to reveal my mental illness, how would the government find out? They could not get it from my medical records because those are private. They could not get a court order to look at my records because they would have to get a court order for the medical records of every person applying for a gun permit.
If mental illness is to be a criteria for denying gun purchase, then so should illnesses which cause motor functional deterioration such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's Disease, Lupus and so many others because someone with one of these illnesses might shoot a gun by accident because of loss of muscle use or sudden contraction of muscles. But if the president suggested that these be limiting criteria for gun purchase the hue and cry would be loud enough to cause deafness.
I believe that there should be responsible limitations in the right to bear arms, but I believe that this issue should be well debated by all sides and a reasonable compromise adopted.
Linda J Kinkead
Submitted by Virtual Newsroom