Jan 162013
 

The other day Frank and I took Dante (more like Frank and Dante took me) to the shooting range. We wanted to do something together before Dante goes back to college in a few days. Dante wants to get into law enforcement (like most of the menfolk on Frank’s side of the family). Frank’s side of the family likes guns for sport. For hunting, but not too much hunting. For protection, but mostly for sport. Frank has the concealed and carry license. It is good to be comfortable with your gun if you hold that license.

At any rate, we went. My first time. It was enjoyable. I was clearly the rookie. I could see how it could become an enjoyable hobby, albeit expensive.

It brings me to examining what is going on in our country with the scramble to change the gun control laws in our country. Right now, I see people moving out of emotion, following the recent elementary school shooting. I find it strange that so much focus is on the gun, and so little on the mental health.

It’s sexier to focus on guns. Easier.

To focus on the emotional state of the young man, the way the system fails people over and over… is much less appealing. Much less emotionally charged. Most people have no answer regarding the mentally ill, but are able to scrounge one up – or pick a “side” at least – when it comes to guns. I’m not concerned with mentally sound adults having firearms in their homes. I am concerned about some of the violent, mentally ill people in our community – guns or no guns.

I don’t really know the answer to any of this. I just know that right now, at this time, may not be the the exact moment to make a decision. I personally would much rather  see the focus turned on the mentally ill than on the weapon of choice they use to kill themselves or other people. For every one of these mass-killings, there are many more where a person kills a wife, child, mother, father, sibling, self, or others on a smaller scale. It isn’t always with a gun. It’s with hands, household objects. Whatever they can attain. It doesn’t make headlines. Same problem, different stage, setting and weapon.

  5 Responses to “Gun Control… So Sexy”

Comments (5)
  1. Guns certainly are sexier to talk about. Mental health care is such a junior field — it wasn’t that long ago that women were put on bed rest for “hysteria.”

    I would disagree with some of the talk out there that mental illness is always to blame, regardless of the stage, setting and weapon. If that were true, no one would be convicted of a violent crime.

    My husband and I both have well managed mental health issues. Treatment is half art, half science, and that isn’t something legislation is particularly good at. Plus, I hate the idea of my drivers license saying I need glasses to drive, and I’m too crazy to have a gun! (And I don’t even want one!!)

    The saddest thing of all to me is that I see a lot of yelling and I don’t think anything is actually going to change. I fear that people are going to move on with the media cycle.

  2. I think it’s that mental health care is such an insurmountable issue – so complicated and fraught with nuances and red tape – state health care, insurance, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals – that it seems so much easier to focus on the guns.
    I personally (super liberal) don’t think guns should be banned – but I have yet to have anyone make a RATIONAL argument as to why civilians need military style weapons that can kill massive amounts of people in short order. What is the purpose?

  3. Agreed.

    Although my dad had an interesting point that hadn’t occurred to me — the military is trained on guns like this, so it’s a known quantity for some people that want to own a gun but the military is their only gun experience.

    We have a potato gun, but I’ve never felt like ruining a potato to try it.

  4. Good points. More food for thought. I’ve listened to callers argue the right to have the military-style weapons, but nothing sits (comfortably) with me.

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