I have heard friends and politicians respond to the latest gun massacres with statements about the need to keep guns out of the hands of those with mental illness and about the need for better mental health care. Certainly there is a need for better mental health care. But this is a distraction.
People with mental illness, on the whole, are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of gun violence, and they are no more (probably less) prone to violence than the general population. Nations with incidence of mental illness similar to ours have far less incidence of gun violence. The elephant in the room is the easy availability of guns in our society, fueled by a gun culture promoted by the gun industry for its financial interests. That industry has created a false god which tells us the more guns, the more security.
The opposite is true.
We can argue about the intent and interpretation of the Second Amendment, but at the very least we should be able to agree that weapons of war should not be available to citizens and there should be at least the level of accountability for gun ownership and use as there is for car ownership and use. We have tried the gun culture way. That is not working. To those who say it’s not guns that kill, I suggest we try those measures they say won’t fix the problem and see who is right.