On The Soapbox - Let's Talk About The REAL Issue

It's already started.

The folks against further gun control are talking about the recent Texas stabbings at Lone Star College. Their comments are along the lines of, "So, where's the demand to outlaw knives now?"

The folks for further gun control are also talking about the stabbings but with a different view. "Fourteen stabbed but none dead, imagine if he'd had a gun?"

The folks against further gun control make the argument that, if someone is determined to wreak havoc and cause injury, they'll find a way even with further gun restrictions.

Those folks are correct. Someone can use a knife, a car, a baseball bat or a chain and hurt a lot of people. Unfortunately, guns are just a much more effective way to kill a lot of people in a short period of time than those other methods.

What keeps getting lost in this huge, often vicious debate, is that it's not the guns, it's not the knives, it's not the baseball bats that are to blame for these mass actions.

It's Seriously Mentally Ill people who are responsible, right? They are the ones seeking out the weapons and attacking others.

Actually, that's not even true. We're to blame. We're to blame because care for these folks is criminally underfunded and underutilized and we sit back and let this situation happen.

We don't want to raise taxes to provide medical care. We don't put in place checks to prevent medical care over-billing and inefficiency so medical costs keep rising to the point where many can't afford it.

We attach a huge stigma to people with mental illness in our society so that they and their families are ashamed to ask for help. Or, even admit to themselves that there's a problem.

I know this is completely naive, but wouldn't we all be better off  if the millions upon millions of dollars being spent to lobby for and against further gun control were instead funneled to providing mental health care?

I also know that this will never happen because we've let the issue get too big to handle. It's easier to attack others with opposing views than to actually attack the problem.


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