Shooting massacres in our country are beginning to be the norm. We are becoming less and less shocked to hear the breaking news bulletins. So far, three in a month! People claim they are fed up? But what are they willing to do about it?
All three shootings have two things in common: Guns and mental illness.
While there are no easy fixes for either, mental illness is much harder to deal with than guns. But there are a few things we can do. A good start would be universal background checks to purchase a gun and a clause in existing laws that pose sanctions against mental health professionals who do not report a person with a significant mental health problem that they know is potentially violent. The German Wings Airline pilot this past March comes to mind because several mental health professionals knew he was unfit to fly. I’m aware this incident did not happen in the USA but it could.
I have written here before about how funding for treating mental illness has been cut drastically. A person suffering from mental illness can’t get help, even if they knew where to go. Everybody knows where to go buy a gun but few know where to go to get mental health help. Families are the first to know if a relative is mentally ill. They need to know where to take their loved one for help.
I can hear it now, “there she goes again, wanting the government to spend more money on the needy.” Nope, my solution is for the National Rifle Association (NRA) fund this program. Instead of spending their advertising dollars on instilling fear to promote more gun purchases and acquire more member dues, they should promote a public service announcement on where to get mental health treatment. They should do it to show good faith that the NRA acknowledges that some times guns are used in the wrong way. The NRA’s role in liberalizing carrying and buying guns is certainly not the solution to gun violence. The NRA has been responsible for this gun ownership issue getting out of hand through fear mongering. Just like BP had to clean up the oil mess on the Gulf that they caused, the NRA should have to clean up their mess. They can afford it and IF they were to do something that magnanimous, even I might become a member. Nah.
What I do want is for guns to be used for what they were intended for; protecting your home and property and shooting animals to feed your family. I also don’t see the need to own a gun bigger and more powerful than it would take to accomplish the above.
There is only one group of people who are more powerful than the NRA. There is only one group that politicians will pay more attention to than the NRA if their voices are loud enough. That group is the citizens of this country. We saw in South Carolina how fast the process can move if people yell loud enough.
As I see it, we can start right here in Georgia by demanding the repeal of the recently enacted Guns Everywhere Law. That law is just wrong on many counts. I am going to start practicing what I preach. If I am in an establishment and I see someone carrying a gun in a place that I typically should feel safe, I will walk out. If someone enters my church wearing a gun (other than Sheriff Bittick), I will walk out. If I go to a movie theater and see someone with a gun, I won’t walk out, I’ll run out. It’s called voting with your feet (or wallet). We put pressure on business, business puts pressure on the Governor, and if enough people participate, we may get a sensible “carry” law in Georgia as early as 2016 when the legislature meets.
I know I have really gone over the line now with our conservative readers. I know it is against the law to mention “guns” and “NRA” in any constructive manner. I am fully aware that the mere mention of the word “gun” makes the brains of some explode, and normal, reasonable people are transformed into a raging bull. “You ain’t gonna take my guns!” This is a reaction to the brainwashing by the National Rifle Association. Hear this! NOBODY IS TRYING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS! Regardless of what the NRA says, OBAMA IS NOT TRYING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS! I DON’T WANT TO TAKE YOUR GUNS! I just don’t think crazy people should have guns. If you fall in that category, I’m sorry I offended you.