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Gun ban is not the answer

January 20, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

To the Editor,

The reason I am writing today is that I see a threat to our freedoms in the wake of the Connecticut school shootings. To me it is evident that the focus is misplaced and directed at legitimate gun ownership. I say this because some in Congress want to pass laws that would ban firearms. The president wants to use executive orders to bypass Congress.

With the school rampage tragedy, the point is that this person could have just as easily walked into that school or boarded a school bus using a knife or stun gun and a backpack full of gasoline and created the same lethal scenario. While some might say the fact is that he used a high capacity firearm is what matters, this is not a suitable argument when it should be obvious that we want to deal with all forms of violence against innocents not just firearm related acts. Realistically if guns were banned there are many ways a mentally unstable person could create mass killings. We know that bombs, cars, airplanes, public transportation, heavy equipment, trucks, trains and countless other avenues are all potential weapons for a mentally disturbed psychotic person. Access to these is not hard to obtain by a person who is so inclined. So ask yourself if a gun ban would address any of these other means available to a mentally ill person. The answer is no it will not.

The NRA president was crucified by the media and others for suggesting security personnel in all schools. Ask yourself what means would give the most assurance that our children would be safer the next day in school and we would see that his recommendation makes sense. In spite of all the negative publicity that the NRA president faced, several cities did just what he recommended for their schools because it works.

The best solution is dealing with the mental health issues that our society and law makers have ignored. Too often in recent cases of murders and attempted murders in public places, there were people that recognized a history of serious problems with the mentally ill person. Some of them failed to act or had no legal means to act to prevent the tragedies. This is a long time problem that began with the closing of mental health facilities. This lack of resources has left spouses and parents with little or no resources as they try to deal with a person with serious mental issues. If our government had addressed the need for more extensive mental health care it is very possible that Adam Lanza's mother and those from the school tragedy and even Adam Lanza himself would all be alive today. Why not make all medicine or treatment for mental issues show on background checks? Responsible citizens should not lose their freedoms. Gun free zones just mean that criminals will have the upper hand. I will not vote for any elected officials who support generalized bans blanketing all citizens.

James E. Jenkins RN

Weirton

 
 

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