Get rid of the guns of mass destruction

The Gazette Opinion Staff
Published: February 18 2013 | 11:38 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 11:37 am in

Since the horrific killings at Sandy Hook, there has been much talk about keeping guns out of the hands of the “mentally ill.” Who are the mentally ill?

Is it the individual who saw a psychiatrist one time because he or she felt depressed after a major loss? Is it the citizen who has been diagnosed as having an organically based mental illness such as schizophrenia who is in a supervised living arrangement? The veteran returning from Iraq or Afghanistan with PTSD? The 11 percent of Americans or the 4 percent of adolescents (age 12 to 17) who have taken an antidepressant drug, according to the CDC? Is it the adolescent who is described as “odd” by peers, but has no mental health history?

The point is, how can we begin to define the mentally ill? They are all of us, at some time in our lives. We can never control all people and all human behavior. The only thing we can control are the guns.

Get rid of the guns of mass destruction, just like all other modernized countries have done. Only then will we see a reduction in the mass murders we have seen.

Marcia Swift

Cedar Rapids

 

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