December 01, 2023

Letter to the Editor: Let’s fix it

The Newton Daily News covered the meeting with Senator Rozenboom and Representative Dunwell where they met with the public thanks to The League of Women Voters of Jasper County.

Our representatives in the current legislature certainly know their stuff about guns — that’s for sure. Guns are good; guns are freedom! Guns are necessary for Iowans to own and possess. It certainly is possible that the report in the Newton Daily News left out what our representatives may have said about the necessity of having guns, and if so I apologize in advance.

However, to the best of my knowledge, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder do not shoot people. These are mental dysfunctions that exist in our society, usually with those sitting in jail because they have nowhere else to go. A mental disorder doesn’t shoot someone — a gun does. One can’t make a mental disorder disappear — it just doesn’t go poof and it’s no longer. On the other hand, one can make a gun disappear; and in fact, one’s life in this State is not changed one bit if it does. All of a sudden your job doesn’t disappear because you don’t have a gun; you’re not discharged from your fraternal organization if you don’t have a gun; although you probably will be discharged or asked to leave if you’re schizophrenic or suffering from some other mental dysfunction.

The same can be said for video games. I’ve never heard of a video game killing someone. Maybe I’m incorrect, but it doesn’t seem feasible to me that you will kill someone sitting in front of a computer screen or on your cell phone playing a game. Won’t happen. Video games simply don’t kill people, guns do. Video games are not going away either. In order for video games to go away, it would seem to me the legislature would have to ban computers and cell phones altogether. Doesn’t seem likely. What does one need most in today’s society — a cell phone or a gun?

So what we have here, according to our elected representatives, are mental disorders, video games, and guns. However, only one of these three items can possibly be got rid of and can you guess which one? It is not mental illness and it is not video games.

That only leaves one possibility. So these statements by our representatives to the effect that guns don’t kill people, mental illness or video games kill people, should go in the trash bin with all the other nonsense that comes out of their mouths.

Richard E. H. Phelps II