Letters to the Editor: Are guns the secondary problem to mental health?

Gabriel Grogg, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Changing The Rules

Many people argue that laws made to restrict certain people from purchasing guns is unconstitutional, but the people who would be prevented from purchasing guns are the people most likely to hurt, or even kill someone, with a firearm in a non self-defense situation. Those without the proper training in how to safely handle a gun, people who are mentally unstable and individuals with a history of violent crimes such as assault, domestic abuse and substance abuse. Yes, United States citizens have the constitutional right to own firearms, but it’s also our constitutional right to be safe. With the increase of recent years in the development of deadly weapons and technology, would it not be sensible to update the rules for the times? At the time at which the Bill of Rights was written, humans were limited to muskets, as far as handheld and re-fireable weapons were concerned. Muskets could only shoot one shot at a time but was still good protection wise. Now, we have drones and automatic weapons that can hold hundreds of rounds. It’s not the same thing?

Who are you that you need such extreme weapons to defend your home? Now, most of the people who would purchase these kinds of firearms purchase them just for recreational purposes and never use them to hurt anyone. That’s not the case for everyone.

Humanity has to move as slow as our slowest members of society. A lot of people can drive just fine without restrictions on how fast you can go, but a small handful of people were reckless and now we have to restrict speeds to keep those few irresponsible people from hurting everyone else. Some may argue that we can’t change the second amendment. Yes, we can. It’s called an amendment. They’ve been changed before.

Lily Heym, Freshman


Mental Illness Is A Role

I believe that kids are, and should be changing the way people look at gun laws. I have guns at home that are in reach of children, and the only thing that keeps my brothers from getting into them is my parents door. I don’t think that kids should be able to have guns, especially kids with mental illnesses. There’s also the possibility that he could’ve been bullied through school, which caused him to have depression or issues, which is a mental illness.

But to take your anger or sadness out on another person, plus taking their life is cruel in itself. If someone has a problem, or is being bullied, or is just sad, then don’t make it worse, just leave them alone or tell someone about it. I believe that preventing this by having teachers, (counselors) meet with students, and talk through problems, could solve the issue.

Mackenzy Lauster, Freshman


Everyone Had A Role To Play In This Incident

In my personal opinion, in the case of the Florida school shooting, everyone had a role to play in this incident. For this 19-year-old kid, it was easy for him to obtain the firearms. His foster parents did not watch him enough to know he was so troubled that he would enter a school armed.

The Police were to blame because the Resource Officer for the Florida school did not do what he could have done to prevent this from happening. As for the general public, as some news sites and articles have said, the gunman sent out images to at least one of his former classmates about two years earlier. The student did not tell authorities about this issue until after the incident took place. He could have stopped this young man from killing 17 high school students at a school.

In a situation such as this, it is hard to determine who is in the right and who is in the wrong, that is why I think everyone that was remotely involved and knew about the troubled kid with guns prior to the incident is to blame. The 19-year-old obviously was mentally unstable, but I believe that is no excuse for what he did. I think people just need to be stricter when dealing with an issue of this magnitude.

The gun laws should be stricter so troubled kids such as the gunman in Florida does not get his hands on a gun. The parents need to be stricter and keep tabs on their children. The Police must be stricter and do everything they can to prevent things like school shootings. Also, the public needs to speak up and tell authorities when they see a threatening image. It truly is tragic what happened in Florida.

Cooper Ragan, Freshman


Banning Semi-Automatic Weapons Won’t Stop Mass Shootings

The statement, “Banning semi-automatic weapons won’t stop mass shootings.”, is rather obvious. If anything, being an item, idea, or ideology is prohibited, that “thing” will still exist and be used. However, while current generations have lived to see the before and after of such a hypothetical prohibition may be anxious and feel obligated to continue with usage of the “thing”, regardless of the law, it is the future generations that will be spared this temptation.

A semi-automatic or fully automatic firearm will always be the optimal tool to execute an act of terrorism like a mass shooting. If access to such tools were to become more inconvenient, potential perpetrators will be less likely to act on their destructive impulses, due to it now being more difficult to indulge.

Making something illegal will not eradicate it. However, the justification and safeguard of having such a vicious, harmful tool be easily accessible will only raise demand and impulsive behavior. The logic to this argument is under the presumption that banning something serves the function of completely stopping it, which is rather impossible.

A perfect example of something being prohibited that decreased impulsive behavior was the legislation of making texting while driving illegal. Obviously, this did not stop everyone from texting and driving, but the authority and consequences that were now added to the act helped shape the mental model into people’s minds that texting while driving is not acceptable.

Parker LaRiviere, Senior


The American Mental Health Epidemic

It’s no secret that gun control is an extremely controversial topic in America, mainly due to firearms being a gigantic part of American culture. Banning semi-automatic firearms will not solve our problems, mainly because firearms are not the only way to hurt people. It’s obvious that poor mental health is the main factor in the recent tragedies, not the weapon they were carried out with.

If there was to be a ban set in place, people could still buy and keep semi-automatics illegally. However, let’s say someone could not get their hands on a semi-automatic. Theoretically, they will find another way to hurt people because they’re desperate (for example: handguns, knives, cars, bombs, etc.).

Japan has some of the world’s strictest gun laws, with some of the requirements being an all-day class, a written exam, at least 95% accuracy in a shooting range test, a professional mental health evaluation, an extensive background check, and every 3 years they must repeat these steps to own their firearms. Sure, we can see this keeps gun deaths down, but will it stop mass murderers? No, and we see this in our world today. Recently there was a mass stabbing in Japan, with 19 dead and 25 injured.

Even with these extremely strict gun laws in place, we still see mass murders occur. So what is going to prevent a disturbed person from entering our school and stabbing people or shooting people with a handgun? Are we going to ban knives? It’s definitely a slippery slope, but it needs to be talked about. How are we going to prevent unstable people from taking innocent lives? Are we going to ban all firearms and knives? The only way we can combat tragedies like this from happening is to make sure weapons stay out of unstable hands.

Kate Patrick, Freshman