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Control Yourself, Not The Guns

Taken from Bob Englehart, Hartford Journal

Taken from Bob Englehart, Hartford Journal

Samuel Burke, Reporter

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     To say the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was a tragedy is an understatement. No one so young should lose their life, especially in such a horrific way. However, no law abiding gun owner should lose their constitutional right. The public are going about stopping future tragedies in the wrong way. While most people choose to focus on gun control, the solution we should be focusing on is attention to mental health issues.

     The actual percentage of people with mental health issues has stayed the same over the decades, at about 18 percent. However, the number of people that have been diagnosed has gone up dramatically, according to The National Institute Of Mental Health. There are two main reasons for this: advancements in medicine and more belief that those who suffer can improve. With the invention of MRIs and doctors being more willing to test people, whereas in the 1950’s people were, according to “Mental Health Commitment Laws” from 2014, just thrown in prison, we are able to identify mental health issues and treat them. Key word there being “able.” Given that an MRI scan can cost up to $3,500, most school systems can’t afford to send every student that shows signs to get checked for an illness. So we need to put more funding towards schools, and the public in general, being able to get a MRI scan when they, their family, or employer think that they need one. If we do, we’ll be able to stop people from wanting to kill others, not just taking away their ability to carry out that desire.

     Another possible solution to the school’s safety issues would be to hire more armed personnel.According to the Department of Labor in a monthly newsletter you could solve the high unemployment issues of retired veterans, who have an unemployment rate of 4% as of January of 2018. Hiring these men and women would not only give them jobs, but put trained people who know how to protect in the field. These men and women have a discipline that a teacher won’t have. The teachers would take too long to train, and they would be more likely to become stressed under the pressure, while the veterans would be more likely to remain calm under pressure. And before anyone says it, no, more guns does not instantly equal more danger.

     When people want to talk about the possible success of gun control, they fairly talk about Australia. Since they banned guns in 1996 after an attack, they’ve had no mass shooting. However, the same can be said for a country that went down the opposite path: Switzerland. According to an article in The Business Article, the gun ownership rate in Switzerland is nearly one in two, less than the United States at two in three but with one crucial difference: training. From that same article, the last time that Switzerland had an armed conflict was in 1815 and the last time they had a mass shooting was in 2001. This can be credited to the fact that you can own a gun in Switzerland as young as 13 but the government requires regular training with them  to instill a sense of control and responsibility in the owner.

     To recap, one of the most armed countries with the lowest age requirement to own a gun is also the country that is statistically one of the safest. The issue isn’t guns, it’s the people who use them. And if we fund more mental health programs and make sure people who have guns are well trained, mass shootings, like they are for Switzerland, will be a thing of the past.

 

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Control Yourself, Not The Guns