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Letter: Overlooked details: Mental health issues need to be looked at before gun laws

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  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 28, 2012 1:35 p.m.

    Christian 24-7. Criminals will probably not instantly turn over their guns. But most law abiding people will turn in their assault firearms if there is a law and a legal process for doing so, especially if they are compensated for doing it. Several cities have been doing this for some years now with considerable success. As for the criminals, if caught they will be convicted. And assuming the law makes possession of an assault weapon a felony, and felons are forever prevented from obtaining any firearms this will overtime reduce the numbers of firearms in the hands of those that should not possess them.

    There is no perfect solution to this problem, but to do nothing, or to do something that is cost prohibited, is sheer folly when you consider the slaughter that is going on. You know in the recent elementary school shooting, the owner had guns legally, but her unbalanced son took them and killed 26 people. If there had been a law banning assault weapons, and program to take them out of service, the shooter may well have not had access. Preventing weapon access is the most certain way to prevent mass killings.

  • Alfred Ogden, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 11:16 p.m.

    @Open Minded Mormon:
    "Why do they not support my right to keep and bare Never gas, Blood agents and other Chemical Weapons?"

    Because those things are not 'arms.'

    @The Real Maverick:
    "I have an idea, instead of repubs focus on defending gun rights, why don't they focus on the repeal of the Patriot Act?"

    Here's another idea... Repeal Obama's amnesty for illegals act... Oh, wait! it wasn't even an act.

    "Speaking of kicking the can down the road, why didn't the Bush Administration ever pass through health care reform?"

    Because nobody wanted it.

    @Mike in Cedar City:
    "Assault weapons and their ammunition clips must be made illegal."

    They can't be made illegal... As 'arms' they are authorized by the 2nd Amendment.

    @Christian 24-7:
    "These are great reasons to keep the power of government limited."

    Good much with that. Government leaders are learning slowly but surely, that the power of the federal government is unlimited.

    "If we give government too much power, a strong leader could seize it and use for the harm of all."

    It's happened. He's been in the White House for four years and recently acquired four more.

  • wrz Ogden, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 10:34 p.m.

    @Mike in Cedar City:
    @Mental health is clearly involved in some violence..."

    I can't see where mental health (illness) is involved in any violence. What's more likely involved is some kid (and it doesn't have to be a kid) who's otherwise normal gets really mad for some reason and he gets a gun and goes on a rampage. What needs to happen is for people with guns to make sure that the guns are secured if they have kids that tend to get angry... and that includes almost all human beings.

    Notice that females never, or hardly ever, go on shooting rampages. Perhaps its a case of hormones.

    "Assault weapons and their ammunition clips must be made illegal."

    In which case the weapon will just get renamed to something else. Or the attacker will simply get several non assault weapons for his rampage.

    @Open Minded Mormon:
    "Why do they not support my right to keep and bare Never gas, Blood agents and other Chemical Weapons?"

    Because they are not arms... They're gas.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 27, 2012 10:36 a.m.

    Do you really think that criminals will just come sell their guns because the government offers them a few bucks for them and tells them they should?

    I have worked with troubled teens, and have subsequently seen some of them make the news for their criminal activities. There is no way those on the paths of crime are going to come give up those guns. They will use them to steal if they need more money rather than give them up for a few bucks and that feeling of being law-abiding.

    Rounding up all the semi-automatics is a fantasy, unless we want out military to go house to house violating the 4th amendment searching for them. That sounds like a Nazi tactic to me.

    I prefer uphold all the bill of rights. I prefer the constitutional freedoms I have now, even with the risks.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 6:54 p.m.

    Yeah... let's look at mental health issues, before we look at gun laws...

    Meanwhile, 2 firemen are murdered by a guy using a bushmaster.

    Meanwhile, two other firemen are wounded by the same coward.

    Yeah...Let's look at mental health issues...

    After all, guns don't kill people, mental health issues kill people.

    Right?

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 4:42 p.m.

    "God bless America, Please! Before we lose our way and our freedom"

    Yuck. Few things worry me like someone equating God's blessing with their own personal viewpoint. It's a dangerous viewpoint.

    "Dems won't put forth any idea on dealing with the mentally ill, because they consider mentally ill behavior to be normal. This is why they fear guns"

    If I were Christian, I would take strident exception to you using that term in your screen name. The last few posts have included some very un-Christian statements.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 4:33 p.m.

    airnut:

    Cute to slam the GOP for not fixing the mental illness of the world, but calling all republicans mentally ill is a cheap shot. I suppose next you will tell us they all crap their pants too. (My favorite caller ever to the RL show in the early 90's said that one, back when Rush was still funny.)

    Turn about is fair play. Where are all the demo ideas on dealing with the mentally ill?

    Dems are too busy protecting their right to consume their violent and porn entertainment, redefining families in an attempt to normalize the abhorrent behavior of many adults, dumbing down schools to make everyone equally inadequately educated in the name of fairness, protecting the "privacy" of those who should actually be outed for the protection of society, and contributing to the entitlement mentality which is eroding our society.

    (hint: The GOP is doing the opposite of these things in an attempt to diminish the effects of mental frailty and prevent full blown mentally ill behavior)

    Dems won't put forth any idea on dealing with the mentally ill, because they consider mentally ill behavior to be normal. This is why they fear guns.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:59 p.m.

    There's plenty of mental illness going around...

    Take for instance the GOP's insane inability to address it or offer any solutions for it...
    other than to MORE guns...and in Schools!

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    Lost in DC,
    "It's easier to pass more meaningless gun laws than to deal with mental health issues - that's why the dems are all over the gun laws."

    Brave words. And written without a hint of irony considering the typical conservative solution of More Guns! is equally lazy and ineffective. As is their non-existent health care solutions, but now I'm digressing.

    I'm guessing that the newfound conservative interest in solving mental health issues remains purely hypothetical. What have republicans done to address them? If effective treatment and prevention included the dreaded spending of taxpayer dollars, would you be all for it or just quietly shelve the whole idea and mumble about private party solutions that don't exist?

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:42 p.m.

    Actually Christian 24-7 we could take automatic weapons out of general circulation. We went off the Gold Standard years ago and the government bought gold coinage, and gold certificates. We could use the same approach with assault weapons, and it would cost a whole lot less that employing armed guards ad infinitum in all of our schools.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:27 p.m.

    These letter is a common example of a diversion. Mental health is clearly involved in some violence, but even more often there is no record of mental illness before the crime is committed, or more often there is criminal gun activity with no mental illness. We should not be distracted. We can walk and chew gum at the same time. Assault weapons and their ammunition clips must be made illegal. We should not be waiting for some amorphous undefined Mental Health study before we act to effectively deal with the immediate problem.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:14 p.m.

    The Real Maverick
    Orem, UT
    There's no reason why semi-automatic guns should be on the market. No reason whatsoever.

    #2 We're going to need a lot more than a few semi-autos to defend ourselves against the government. We're going to need drones, helicopters, tanks, subs, aircraft carriers, and nukes. So when will an aircraft carrier become available to the free market? We need to defend ourselves against the government, right?

    Repubs, you've been called out. I want answers! Because all I'm seeing so far are lame arguments for gun control.

    9:16 a.m. Dec. 26, 2012

    =============

    Agreed!

    BTW - As for those who insist this is 2nd amendment issue to keep and bare arms...

    Why do they not support my right to keep and bare Never gas, Blood agents and other Chemical Waepons?
    Where are they when I want to keep viles of Anthrax, Typhoid, and Boubonic plauge in my basement or garage?

    Assault weapons should fall into these BANNED weapons to common citizens.
    Why?
    Because they not for defense measures, for one reason.

    Second, if they ever get in the wrong hands - can cause MASS killing,
    just like assault weapons -- that's why.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:03 p.m.

    What would you recommend we do about the mental health issues in our country? I think single-payer healthcare, including mental health care, might help. But if you have another idea, I would like to hear it.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 2:02 p.m.

    @ Open Minded Mormon "Their "solution" wouldn't have done a thing to save movie goers in Colorado or Firemen in New York."

    Which new law will protect the Firemen in New York? You let a convicted killer back on the street, a felon who for him is illegal to own any weapon, and he does this.

    In Chicago, there have been 446 school age children shot and killed so far this year. Yet,Cook County and the city of Chicago have separately banned the possession of "assault weapons", and of magazines that can hold more than 10 or 12 rounds of ammunition respectively. 62 of the deaths were attacks like Conn. Why no mention by the press or liberal groups crying out for a ban on assault weapons? Oh, that's right they already have the ban. See how well it works.

    As for Colorado, it is illegal to discharge any weapon in the city limits. The key factor of Virginia Tech, Conn., and Colorado Aurora and Columbine, shootings, they were posted "Gun Free Zones".

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    'It's easier to pass more meaningless gun laws than to deal with mental health issues - that's why the dems are all over the gun laws."

    As if repubs aren't notorious for focusing on ridiculous or insignificant stories while ignoring the big issues? The same party which attacked Romney's religion, Newt's adulteries, Obama's birth certificate, etc.

    I have an idea, instead of repubs focus on defending gun rights, why don't they focus on the repeal of the Patriot Act? If they really hate the thought that semi-autos become more regulated/banned, shouldn't they REALLY despise the Patriot Act?

    Speaking of kicking the can down the road, why didn't the Bush Administration ever pass through health care reform? It's not as if they didn't have enough time to do so. Did they really need a third term to finally pass meaningful health reform?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 12:20 p.m.

    It's easier to pass more meaningless gun laws than to deal with mental health issues - that's why the dems are all over the gun laws. They can say they did something about it, but again, what they will do will be wrong, just like Obamacare and how it is failing to keep healthcare costs down or dudd-frank and how it has failed to end too-big-to-fail.

    Typical dem response - fall down and break your arm and they will bandage your knee and proclaim (with the lap-dog media carrying the cry) "LOOK, we FIXED it!"

  • Anti Bush-Obama Washington, DC
    Dec. 26, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    I find it ironic that the people who want gun control are those same people that walk around with armed security guards. Shouldn't they set an example by not having armed security?

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:59 a.m.

    While you libs are having your rail on the right party, please remember that there are nut cases throughout our society. It is as likely that there are pathologically mental people in government leadership positions, as it is likely that they are big business leaders, maybe even more likely. This is not new. It was a concern of our founding fathers. It is why we have the bill of rights, checks and balances, and separation of power. Power fuels mental illness, or as it was more poetically said, "Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely." The phrase 'the power went to his head' may actually suggest that power breeds mental illness.

    These are great reasons to keep the power of government limited. If we give government too much power, a strong leader could seize it and use for the harm of all.

    Okay, now you can go back to your illusion that if the government would just control everything and everyone (except you, of course), life would be great.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    A 2009 survey by Republican pollster Frank Luntz found 85 percent of all gun owners and 69 percent of NRA members supporting mandatory background checks at gun shows. Though the NRA has opposed efforts to prevent anyone on the FBI's terrorist watch list from purchasing a gun, 86 percent of gun owners and 82 percent of NRA members said that those on the list should be banned from purchasing guns.

    A CBS/New York Times poll in January 2011 found 63 percent of respondents favoring a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, almost unchanged from the 67 percent that favored such a ban in March 2000 (and even a majority of gun owners favored an assault weapons ban). A detailed CNN poll on guns in 2008 found two-thirds of Americans believing the Second Amendment guaranteed an individual right to own guns, but also found 86 percent supporting waiting periods, 79 percent supporting registration of guns with local government, and 51 percent even supporting limits on the number of guns a person can own, an idea that is rarely suggested anywhere.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    There are many aspects with this tragedy. The mental illness, the access to weapons, and a gun free zone that makes a school an easy target, and violent entertainment in our culture.

    Seems to me that we are not about to change any of those as a society. First amendment preachers will never let the violent entertainment be curtailed. Schools continue to hold our cherished children unprotected and thus as the prime target for any extremist to lash out at society. Mental illness is protected by hippa privacy laws. There is a huge cultural push to normalize mental illness to the point that we do nothing to protect society from those who are mentally ill. We are too busy protecting their free access violent entertainment to fuel their insanity and giving them free access our children. That is the area we are most out of sync with reality.

    With those other issues un-addressed, there is EVERY REASON to have semi-automatic weapons available and LEGAL. They are already out there. You can't take them back. The only real protection requires legal ownership of the same weapons the criminal nut cases, already have.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 26, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    And yet, here we have the NRA and their riduculous answer to the problem by suggesting putting guns in each and every school, and arming the teachers!

    Theyr "solution" wouldn't have done a thing to save movie goers in Colorado or Firemen in New York.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 9:16 a.m.

    There's no reason why semi-automatic guns should be on the market. No reason whatsoever.

    Also, what's odd, is the repub argument that I'm seeing so prevalent today in that we need guns to defend ourselves against the government. 2 thoughts:

    #1 Where were these folks when the Patriot Act was passed? Oh yeah, too busy drinking the kool-aid, living in fear from "terrorists," and cheering on their repub President. If freedom was really what these folks want and cheered for, then why aren't they calling for a repeal of it today? If we want to protect ourselves against the evil government forget about assault rifles! Lets start on a simple matter, GET RID OF ILLEGAL SPYING! Repeal the Patriot Act!

    #2 We're going to need a lot more than a few semi-autos to defend ourselves against the government. We're going to need drones, helicopters, tanks, subs, aircraft carriers, and nukes. So when will an aircraft carrier become available to the free market? We need to defend ourselves against the government, right?

    Repubs, you've been called out. I want answers! Because all I'm seeing so far are lame arguments for gun control.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    Perhaps we need to look at all sides of the issue equally and at the same time. They are all interrelated. Like a Gordian Knot.

    Unraveling it all will require an enormous amount of effort. It will also mean that extremists on both sides need to sit down and shut up to allow more sensible people to do the work that is needed.

  • Zac Ogden, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    Does anyone remember "spare the rod, spoil the child"? I wonder if this played a part, in these days of: purple markers instead of red, for grading papers (because red is too hostile a color for our kids); getting rid of swing sets and other playground torture devices (because ooohh my kid skinned his knee and now I am going to sue); we are not going to keep score at our game today; my five year old isn't sitting down to read this Shakespeare play, well we should probably put him on meds.

    We have taken away, and find new ways to take, any consequences that are supposed to happen to our kids, based on their actions, taking away their some of their most vital life learning lessons.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 26, 2012 5:06 a.m.

    Good argument. His mother being a law abiding citizen wouldn't have had an assault rifle at all if it were more restricted or illegal.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 26, 2012 3:35 a.m.

    Oddly enough, you are making a strong argument for not having any guns in the house to begin with.