Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lost in the Battle

It is almost the end of January. It is time for me to address the Sandy Hook tragedy that took the country by agonizing surprise in December. After all the speculation of who the shooter was, and photos of parents and kids who were forever changed, we are in the middle of a huge battle over guns in our country. The nation is extremely divided on this lone issue and it will likely get the l;ion's share of the public attention.It is fact that more kids die in this country from car accidents and many hundreds of thousands of children die from abuse every year. The later of these causes is at epidemic proportions. Yet we do nothing to prevent this from happening. Then there is the issue of the mentally ill in our society. All of the shootings have been attributed to some mental illness on the part of the shooters. So do we need to keep all people who have ever been treated for a mental illness from legally owning a gun? How do we track this without violating HIPPA. So many questions. One thing that has not been discussed is the fact that most if not all of the shooters were suicidal at the time of their assaults. those of us in the "business" know that a great way to commit suicide is death by cop, which is forcing an officers hand. Making them shoot you. What chance would a shooter who tried to kill several hundred people have to live in  a gun battle? What is behind the decision to take a life, even if it is your own? Suicide is very preventable according to experts in preventative medicine. These same experts agree that funding is not the issue keeping people from seeking help. It is the stigma of being seen as mentally ill. So logically, making it impossible for a person who has ever been treated for mental illness from legally owning a gun would add to that stigma. So back to the  current debate over guns in America. Will making assault weapons and mega clips stop gun violence? Some of the most restrictive gun laws in this country are in Chicago which has the highest death by homicide using guns than anywhere else. Guess not. Will universal background checks and agovernment data base of gun owners keep this from happening? Criminals who get guns, I don't think get them legally for the most part.  Fast and Furious showed the black market gun trade in the US. I have no great insight into these issues only to say that until children are regarded as precious and valued, and until those precious kids are taught the value of any life and of living a life of respect and dignity for each other,all of the laws we pass are just to make us feel better in my opinion.

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