Friday, March 15, 2013

Let's ban mental illness not guns

I may be the lone liberal on this issue and have debated even mentioning my opinion to family, friends or here, where I stand. Yes, what happened at the elementary school in CT., was extremely troubling and sad. Since then I have tried to avoid the news for many reasons, mainly, it’s just too emotional to watch. Lately I’ve been a little disappointed with the progressive news and not for the reasons most conservatives would like to think. Most conservative media, as usual in my opinion, is way out on the edge on a hysterical limb. Conservatives continue their blame, name calling, and criticism of democrats and Obama. This unfortunate tragedy is not the time for political gain. On the other hand, the progressive media continues doing the same for political purposes, making the NRA its target. Truly there is need for more modern discussions on weapons but we also have an obligation to our Constitution which is our country, freedom and the very essence of our democracy. Both progressive and conservative citizens can both agree on love for our freedom and the protection of our Constitution. In the Constitution, the second amendment states, the right to keep and bear arms: is the enumerated right that people have a personal right to own arms for individual use, and a collective right to bear arms in a militia. In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.

For every step a nation takes away from disarming its citizens, history has proven time and time again, that we take one step closer to a dictatorship. Let’s also be reasonable as well, Obama and the Democratic Party or the Republican Party of today, is not the potential dictatorship and we should move on from the usual petty labeling. Without the protection of our second amendment we should worry though, of the leaders of tomorrow. As far as any gun control, instead of banning, we should however consider strong regulations and stricter ways of owning guns. We should consider more mental illness background checks on individuals and their families. Instead of the constant attention on gun control why aren’t we as a people considering better treatments for the mentally ill. Recently in an article for Thinkprogress, the question being asked, "Is it easier for Americans to access gun than mental health services?" At the beginning of 2012 there was national outrage in the media about mental health cuts. Try goggling mental health cuts and you can see for yourself, articles naming states after states that have received cuts in mental health services. Now that a major tragedy has happened that leaves little doubt of the mental illness of the individual, we concern ourselves mainly with gun control. In America is there still anyone not taking a pill for one slight mental illness or another; major depression, bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, stress disorders, etc., the list goes on. With or without gun controls how much longer can we ignore the growing epidemic of what are being considered as common mental illnesses. I’d like to propose a question to my fellow liberal and progressive citizens of this country, what would we do in a situation without guns in a country that may one day be even more controlled by either the Koch brothers or anyone similar? Would you think multi billionaires with access to own an arsenal of weapons denied to the general public and an agenda to make the majority of the public submit to their doctrines, would not use those weapons against the people? Then, in that hypothetical situation, you would have true ingredients for a dictatorship. All I say is let’s not give into panic mode or political agendas that we ignore a greater risk, and that is a society too overly medicated.
Sabrina Samone, TMP
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