Guns vs. severe mental problems: Ideologies don't make people right, and guns don't make them killers

From "Gun Ban Won't Stop Another Sandy Hook Massacre: Let's Have the Hard Conversation":
Does anybody really think the guns Nancy Lanza kept in their Newtown, Conn., house all on their own attracted her son to launch a murderous rampage that claimed the lives of 20 small children and seven adults? Such simplistic nonsense.
What if the answers aren't that simple?
Consider that last year in Norway, a nation with a tight gun-control and licensing program, Anders Breivik methodically gunned down 69 people, mostly teenagers, on the island of Utoya. Again, this didn't happen in the United States of America, where 311 million people own an estimated 200 million guns. It happened in orderly, gun-sparse Norway, where living by the rules is the modern-day path to Valhalla.
What if gun control is the wrong conversation for us to be having?
What if we dealt instead with the harder-to-comprehend realities that affected Adam Lanza's life -- the fact that he lived virtually locked up in a basement room playing violent video games over and over, hypnotized by war. Or that he kept to himself, couldn't look others in the eye, reacted without emotion. Or that he had cut his father out of his life, refused to see him after his parents divorced, when his father began dating another woman. Or that he was consumed with anger because his mother was going to have him committed for treatment.
Instead of more gun control, shouldn't we be talking about where to set the bar when it comes to forcing an individual into treatment –- and whether those caring for people with mental-health issues have enough resources available to head off potential crises? The state of Connecticut didn't do much to help Nancy Lanza. It's a state that makes involuntary treatment difficult because it leans strongly toward supporting the civil liberties of individuals. Let's talk a little more about that.
In his address in Newtown [the Sunday after,] President Obama promised a grieving community "meaningful action ... regardless of the politics."But if enacting more restrictive gun laws is the action he has in mind, it leaves a mountain to climb in light of the Second Amendment and its principle. And more important than that, more gun laws aren't going to prevent another Sandy Hook massacre.
That is from "Gun Ban Won't Stop Another Sandy Hook Massacre: Let's Have the Hard Conversation," by Nancy Smith. See more at: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/gun-ban-wont-stop-another-sandy-hook-m...? Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859. via sunshinestatenews.com

The problem is not guns, while there are some things to be addressed where guns are concerned. There are too many guns too easily available to the dangerous, it could be argued. But worse are such things as loopholes in the ability to sell and buy guns between private individuals with pretty much no oversight or checking. That is unseemly, but also quite easy to fix (does not require a gun control act, for goodness sake).
No, the problem is not one that requires further gun legislation. We can see from such despicable efforts like the government's own Fast and Furious disaster that regulations are only so good as the people we have enforcing them. And fools who are encouraging such a route as Fast and Furious gunrunning program included the President of the United States. Shameful.
It's proof that he may be the victor in a popular vote, but is far from being a man above a most unattractive, elitist deception that guns are a threat, not sick or criminal people. The last thing elitists who desire power want are an armed population. No matter how comfortable and apathetic citizens are, we should not let anyone forget that tyranny is potentially never more than a generation away.
I don't want to be a part of the generation who lays the carpet out for tyranny here in America by moving farther toward a no-guns population. Stiff gun controls work in comparably powerless and rather homogenous and passive Sweden, Finland and elsewhere. It won't work for us.
The problem is, as Nancy Smith argues, and I've felt and argued for some time: some people are very, very broken, as Adam Lanza was, as best as can be seen, and cannot be allowed around guns. The problem, too, those who are too preoccupied to face those things that afflict broken people, including the current "false prophet" of the downtrodden, the President of the United States with his anti-gun rhetoric that completely avoids the issue of severe mental illness. In my view that is crass, cynical political gamesmanship and nothing about the rights or benefits of men. Until those with the second problem can be adult enough to address the first problem, this will be a discussion that will give me deep, deep dismay at the ignorance and shallowness of the many.

- jR
(revised for clarity, Oct 6, 2013)







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