Comments about ‘In our opinion: Keep the issues of gun violence and untreated mental illness separate’

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Published: Monday, June 10 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

A couple comments:

"It is unfortunate the White House has taken the bait...." Never let a crisis go to waste. Isn't that one of the golden rules of our Dear Leader? He has an agenda to destroy the 2nd Amendment. As a senator, he made the statement that he didn't believe people should be able to own guns. His agenda is clear: Destroy the Constitution.

Mental illness seems to have exploded in society, especially ever since big agriculture and the industrial food industry began dictating how our food is processed and produced. Add to that modern pollution and you get a chemical soup that is killing off brain cells. Then, add in the new DSM V with all sorts of imaginary illnesses and no wonder the majority of the population are considered mentally ill.

How about this: we go back to the same diet that prevailed in the 1800's. No processed foods loaded with artificial colors, flavors and preservatives, cut waaaaay back on sugar, get rid of harmful vegetable oils that come from poisonous plants, eat free range, grass fed meats and maybe people won't be so sick.

Just a thought.

Durham, NC

Pretty bold piece considering the repeat of the scenario in Santa Monica.... mentally ill person with a huge arsenal. I really don't understand how you can cleanly divide the issues, when the combination of the two has such clear and tragic results.

But what ever.... perhaps a few mass killings a year by a mentally deranged person is the price we are willing to pay for gun ownership. Arizona, Colorado, Sandy Hook. Now Santa Monica.

Evidently it is a price society is willing to pay to allow the mentally ill to own guns.

South Jordan, UT

So Deseret News editorial board, you who have advocated against greater taxes for public funding of critical services like mental health, you who have attacked President Obama and others for their efforts to increase medical and mental health coverage, you who continually demand "personal responsibility" over community--you are now lecturing us on how we don't do enough for mental health?


Bountiful, UT

Guns have been around for 500 years. Yet students taking bombs and guns to school to murder people is recent. What has changed?

For one, violent games and t.v. are now common ways for youth to spend their time. For another, it is now common for mothers with young children to send their children to daycare, instead of raising them themselves giving them the love and direction that mothers in years prior used to provide. All of this is a recipe for less well adjusted children.

Guns are not the problem. Take them away and misfits can and will find other tools to do what it is that people who are not well adjusted when it comes to violence do.

Problems are best solved by attacking the roots, not the symptoms.

Tooele, UT

Re: "I really don't understand how you can cleanly divide the issues . . . ."

Well, deranged people will sometimes drink, get drunk, and hurt others. So, since we can't cleanly divide the issues, we'll have to ban drinking by everyone.

Or, since the mentally ill sometimes drive and hurt people, including themselves, and, since we can't cleanly divide the issues, we must ban driving by all people.

Or, given that mentally ill people sometimes overdose on illicit drugs and and prescription medications, and since we can't cleanly divide the issues, banning drugs and medications entirely, for everyone, is the only intelligent solution.

I'm sure that, out of their overwhelming concern for human life and the mentally ill, ALL good liberals will quickly line up to support these initiatives.

American Fork, UT

No. You can't extract the gun violence aspect from these incidents.

Tooele, UT

Re: "No. You can't extract the gun violence aspect from these incidents."

Sure I can -- solve the mental illness issue, and there won't be a gun violence issue. It completely obviates the need to do violence to our Constitution.

See how easy that was?

And, BTW, if liberals believe these issues to be so inextricably entwined, how do they extract the mental health issues from drinking, driving, taking medications, and most other normal activities of life that could pose a danger to the deranged or those with whom they come in contact?

Are you really in favor of a total ban on drinking, driving, and taking medications?

Durham, NC

"Guns have been around for 500 years. Yet students taking bombs and guns to school to murder people is recent. What has changed?"

Completely untrue. A statement like was made a while ago, so I did a little research... and found numerous case of this going well back into the 1800s. In fact I found over 100 incidents in the 1800s from my quick search.

But that said, we seem to have an acceleration of events...and I do think those who have disconnective issues with reality are more likely to have issues given the prevalence of first person shooter games out there.

The resent news is been ever so ironical in that we want unlimited freedoms, but not the outcomes that come with that freedom. We want limited government, limited responsibility to one another... and yet wring out hands when events like these, or 9/11 occur and don't understand why these events were not stopped.

It should make for some interesting debates. Freedom versus responsibility.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I think I steel need a few more cat's around the house. But how many is enough.

Durham, NC

"Sure I can -- solve the mental illness issue, and there won't be a gun violence issue"

It's just that simple. Solve mental health issues.... much easier then banning those mentally ill from obtaining guns.

And there you go. It is settled.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Once again the DN has been drinking too much Kool-Tea.

Using this sort of illogic,

We should the "Keep the issues of DRUNK Driving and ALCOHOL separate".

Cause and Effect ARE most certainly related.

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

On the one hand we can decide to try to improve health care for people suffering from mental illnesses, and make that treatment more accessible.

On the other hand, we can take steps to prevent guns from falling into the hands of criminals and mentally ill people who may pose a risk to themselves or others due to their condition.

These are not mutually exclusive options; this is not an "either-or" scenario. If the goal is to decrease gun violence, then shouldn't we treat both the symptoms and the underlying causes?

Frank Blankenship
Gainesville, FL

Stop making a scapegoat for national violence out of people in the mental health system! We get 3 statistics, 46 %, 26 %, and 06 %, pertaining to the numbers of people, in the National Institute of Mental Health estimation, that have diagnosable "mental illnesses"--whatever that means. Given those statistics, it's a long leap from almost half the population to one person in twenty. Such a dragnet is obviously much too wide. Massive acts of violence are not a symptom of any "mental disorder" in the DSM. Murder is a crime; murder is not an illness. The Insanity Defense is a bad one that should be stricken from the books. People need to be held accountable for their actions even when they behave in a foolish or irresponsible fashion. The Insanity Defense, very much like the federal background check system, only serves to persecute completely innocent people. We've had enough persecutions. now let's get back to the business of prosecuting the guilty.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I agree... they are both issues, but separate issues IMO.

Guns aren't the only weapons that should be kept out of the hands of the mentally ill. And I don't know that the Government is capable of keeping them out of the hands of the mentally ill. It's not possible for the Government to know the mental status of all it's citizens at all times. We should be relying on the FAMILY to keep deadly weapons of all kinds out of the hands of their family members who are mentally unstable.

It's in their own interest (in both recent cases the mentally ill person killed their family before turning on the rest of society). So if you don't want them to kill you first... don't give mentally ill family members access to deadly weapons!

The Government can't do it. WE have to do it. We know our children, spouse, parents. The Government doesn't know their status (it could change day-to-day). Keep guns and ALL deadly weapons out of the hands of mentally ill family members. DON'T WAIT for the government to do it!

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

RE: Frank Blankenship

While mental illness may contribute to only a small fraction of total murders, mental illness is indisputably relevant to a large subset of gun violence - namely, self-inflicted gun violence.

Mental illness (severe depression) is obviously one of the two nearly-universal factors in the more than 15,000 annual gun suicides in the U.S. (the other common factor being the presence of a gun).

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

RE: 2bits

I agree that we shouldn't abdicate all responsibility to the government, and I also think that we should be wary the government overstepping its bounds. However, I think the government does have a role to play.

The 2nd Amendment includes the term "well-regulated". Well-regulated meant "prepared", "well-trained" or "educated" at the time the Constitution was written. This suggests to me that the government has some responsibility to ensure that gun owners are properly trained.

To that end, I would suggest that it would be reasonable for the government to require gun owners to attend gun safety course at regular intervals (say, every six years or so). The safety courses could cover topics such as proper gun storage, conflict resolution, and recognizing severe depression and suicide warning signs.

Mandatory gun safety trainings will lead to a well-regulated community of gun owners, and help ensure that gun owners are better-equipped with the information necessary to prevent gun violence.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Why is "mental illness" led gun rampages to prevalent here in the USA? Why don't other countries experience similar violent crime rates? Are their peoples less prone to mental illness than our own? Why? Is it something in the water? Or is it the ease of obtaining guns without any background checks or regulation?

Everett, 00

Tooele, UT


You've made two comments already about this,
and in both - you referred to a total 100% ban of all guns to all citizens.

Please site anywhere in the article this total ban of all guns was referred.

All-or-Nothingism such as this is just another perfect example of hysterical extremism.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Fender Bender,
I didn't say the Government should have "no role" in it, I just said they can be addressed as separate issues, and will be hard for the Government to address sufficiently on their own. Government obviously have a role in it. For one... they need to give the families the laws they need to help control their mentally ill family members.

It SHOULD be illegal for mentally ill people to have deadly weapons (but not just guns). A parent needs to be able to call for help (ie police) if their mentally ill son has a gun. But they also need to call for help if he's headed to the school with a machete, club, or a bomb. When people focus only on guns... they exposes their real agenda.

The "Well regulated militia" argument has already been decided by the Supreme Court, and they didn't agree with you. They already ruled that Washington DC couldn't restrict gun ownership to military, police, etc.

Government absolutely has a role in BOTH of these issues. Separately and together. But some people are trying to use it as an excuse to restrict all legal gun ownership.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "UtahBlueDevil" if you look at the data on guns, the problem isn't the guns, but the mental illness. It is paranoia like yours that must be overcome so that we can address the mental health problems that the mass murders have.

To "Open Minded Mormon" Drunk Driving and Alcohol are related, however, you should look at Alchololism and Drunk driving as separate issues. The world has shown us that if you take away the guns, the mentally ill and criminals will just find new ways of kiling people.

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