A Viable Solution for Gun Control

The gun control debate has been an interminable one, only now showing a viable solution. Many have been arguing over whether the problem is that we live in a “gun culture” or a “culture of violence”. However, guns aren’t going and killing people on their own, and not every person who owns a gun is a completely despicable human being who is going to use their gun to kill or harm others. The problem lies somewhere else, in that people who are being allowed to buy guns aren’t all mentally healthy and so far that has not been a requirement of buying such a deadly weapon. Putting mental health stability on the checklist for acquiring a gun would minimize the violent outbreaks where guns are involved, and most likely satisfy the majority of the American people on this issue.

Shootings have taken place in a relatively regular occurrence in recent times. The shooting at the movie theatre in Colorado, the Newtown elementary school massacre, and most recently the shooting on the Navy Yard in Washington by Aaron Alexis. Later it was shown that Alexis was struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a disease that affects the entire psychological being of a person. When afflicted by PTSD, the biochemical make-up of a person’s brain is changed and most lead to clinical depression, paranoia, and stress. Now why would anyone want to put a gun in someone’s hands when their brain is that unstable?

Another example of a mentally ill gunman was in the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, where Seung-Hui Cho was a known patient of anxiety disorders. However, because gun laws had not been expanded to encompass the mental health of a gun owner, he was able to buy guns and use them to kill 32 people and wound 17, after which he took his own life.

The law that will most effectively solve gun control, will be one limiting gun ownership to mentally healthy and stable people, and until that is passed by Congress there will be no definite road to the end of this long fought debate.

Reframing the gun control debate: Is mental health the next focus?

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