Let’s try to comprehend what I believe is a simple proposition, which is that fighting mental health issues and seeking to legislate meaningful laws restricting gun ownership are not mutually exclusive.
I touched on that in an earlier blog post in the wake of the shooting rampage in Allen, Texas, this past weekend; eight people were shot to death before an Allen police officer killed the loon who opened fire with an AR-15.
I salute the officer’s swift response. I also want to offer a comment on “competing” solutions being offered by leading politicians.
One of them, Democratic President Biden wants Congress to ban AR-15s outright; he wants Congress to enact universal background checks on those seeking to buy a firearm; and he wants Congress to increase the minimum age to buy a gun from 18 to 21 years.
Is the president dismissing the need to deal forthrightly with mental health concerns? Of course not!
The other is Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott who wants to concentrate on mental health research while shoving gun control proposals to the back burner.
Is the governor saying “hell no!” to any legislation? I didn’t hear him say that.
Let me state once more: These two approaches can be handled simultaneously. We need not ignore one while working exclusively on the other.
The issue continues, in my mind at least, to be the easy access to guns. The Allen mall shooter reportedly was discharged from the Army because of “mental health issues.” Why, then, was he allowed to reportedly own an AR-15, a high-capacity semi-automatic rifle capable of killing a lot of human beings in a matter of seconds?
If you have seen an AR-15 up close you might need to know that the weapon is eerily similar to an M-16, the rifle we were issued when we reported for duty in Vietnam. They are weapons of war.
Furthermore, there is nothing in President Biden’s priority list that contradicts the Second Amendment’s guarantee for citizens to “keep and bear arms.” He just wants to be sure that those of us who obey the law and who aren’t pre-disposed to harming other human beings don’t have access to these weapons.
What in the name of humanity is wrong with that?