President Trump calls it a “mental issue,” but it is much more than that. The Columbine School shooting marked the start of an era filled with gun violence, an era filled with innocent lives being taken, due to the carelessness of shooters. But this carelessness isn’t something to blame the suspects for. It’s something to question authorities about.
From the movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, to the Orlando night club shooting, the act of gun violence has been prevalent in our nation. In many of these acts, the shooters were said to have mental illnesses; this is a connecting force, and possibly a solution to the issue of gun violence and gun control.
In the most recent case, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 26 people were killed in a mass church shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Hills, east of San Antonio, TX.
According to CNN, 4% of the lives in this town were taken through this violent act. This is a sad fact, which could have been prevented through one solution: proper gun control. While mental issues aren’t something to be swept under a rug and left unattended, this is more than a mental issue. People who are considered to have mental issues should seek or be provided with help; however, they shouldn’t have access to a gun in the first place. According to mysanantonio.com, “President Trump says the mass shooting at a Texas church is the result of a ‘mental health problem at the highest level.’ He added that ‘this isn’t a guns situation’.”
But this is very much a gun situation. This is about lowering the shooting rate in the U.S. by keeping guns out of the reach of those who are dealing with a mental illness. It’s also about getting people with mental illnesses the help they need. This is not saying that people with mental illnesses are irresponsible; it’s saying that sometimes they cannot control what they do, and they do not understand what they are doing it or why they are doing it. And it would be helpful if they didn’t have a deadly weapon in their possession, for their well-being, as well as the well-being of those around them.
State officials also said that Devin Patrick Kelley, the suspect in the Sutherland Hills shooting, “didn’t have license to carry a gun.” This is another issue: people without a license having access to a gun. While in some instances, this cannot be controlled, the law can still attempt to do something to control it. There have been too many instances of innocent lives being taken in settings thought of as safe, for the government to just sit around and do nothing about it.
In conclusion, gun control laws need to be reviewed and replaced with more effective laws, because until this happens, gun violence will continue to be a big threat to our nation.