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Readers: Reduce Gun Violence Via Mental Health Access

January 2, 2013 Crime, Sunday Poll No Comments

Last week readers voted on a timely but controversial topic: reducing gun violence.

Q: What can/should be done to reduce gun violence? (Up to 3)

  1. Address access to mental health services 66 [24%]
  2. Ban some types of guns but protect the 2nd amendment 62 [22.55%]
  3. Regulate access to ammunition 48 [17.45%]
  4. Allow concealed-carry everywhere 20 [7.27%]
  5. Ban all guns 19 [6.91%]
  6. Require licensed gun owners to prove guns are stored locked up 19 [6.91%]
  7. Censor violent TV shows & video games 13 [4.73%]
  8. Fortify schools and workplaces 10 [3.64%]
  9. Allow open-carry everywhere 9 [3.27%]
  10. Other: 5 [1.82%]
  11. Unsure/no answer 4 [1.45%]

The legislators who push guns are the very same ones that cut access to mental heath services. You can’t have it both ways, access to mental health treatment must be at least as easy as access to a gun.

In researching this I learned something about the intent of 2nd Amendment from former Chief Justice Warren E Burger:

We see that the need for a state militia was the predicate of the “right” guaranteed; in short, it was declared “necessary” in order to have a state military force to protect the security of the state. That Second Amendment clause must be read as though the word “because” was the opening word of the guarantee. Today, of course, the “state militia” serves a very different purpose. A huge national defense establishment has taken over the role of the militia of 200 years ago.

Some have exploited these ancient concerns, blurring sporting guns — rifles, shotguns and even machine pistols — with all firearms, including what are now called “Saturday night specials.” There is, of course, a great difference between sporting guns and handguns. Some regulation of handguns has long been accepted as imperative; laws relating to “concealed weapons” are common. That we may be “over-regulated” in some areas of life has never held us back from more regulation of automobiles, airplanes, motorboats and “concealed weapons.”  (Source — full piece highly recommended) 

I don’t know the answer to reducing gun violence but the NRA’s solution of more guns everywhere isn’t the type of society I want to live in.

— Steve Patterson



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