I have seen it suggested in various forums that perhaps we are focusing on the wrong aspect of the gun-control debate. Instead of putting the firearm in the crosshairs, let’s look at the people who are using them. A greatly disproportionate number of those involved in the mass shootings of recent times have had a history of mental illness. Almost without exception, most have been on mind-controlling prescription medications. Many of those who would have been institutionalized decades ago are now placed on medication and returned to mainstream society. I would tend to believe that as funding for mental health facilities and treatment has been slashed, the incidence of such senseless violence has increased dramatically.
Although I have never been fond of the military M-16 look-alike assault weapons, to blame such weapons for the recent tragedy is asinine. We have to look no farther than our neighbor to the south, Mexico, and see how well that nation’s strict gun control curbs gun related violence. In a similar vein, on the same day as the Connecticut shooting, 22 students and one teacher were violently stabbed and slashed in a Chinese school, even though there was little media attention here.
Another political witch hunt demonizing guns is not the answer to controlling the propensity for violent behavior in today’s society. While many would not agree, I believe that we would be better served to focus on which individuals are qualified to own firearms rather than which firearms millions of other law abiding citizens may or may not own.
Larry M. Jones is a retired Navy commander and aviator who raises cattle and hay in the Brock/Lazy Bend part of Parker County. Direct comments to email@example.com.