My Opinion

Mass shootings and a mental health disgrace 

I don’t  understand the American obsession with guns or the logic that says I need a gun to protect myself … against someone else with a gun. Other parts of the world get along fine without a proliferation of arms. America seems to be affected by a mass paranoia aimed at fellow citizens and “the government,” which ironically are one and the same.   

I firmly believe that the Constitution does not and never did provide the right for every individual to carry a gun, nor prevent it for that matter, but in fact, speaks to only the formation of a militia and the necessity for its members in the context of the 18th century to carry guns. There is evidence to support that and also legal rulings in the past support it. 
But even that is not the issue as I see it. The PC response to every shooting tragedy is the same; control guns. While far more stringent background checks is desirable, as they say; guns don’t kill people, people kill people. So what is the real problem? It’s people is it not?

So how do we fix people and prevent them from becoming mass murders using a gun or any other means? Isn’t the answer, although perhaps not the means, quite clear? 

Something like the following appears to be on the right track. 

The next time you hear a politician chatter about gun control, ask him or her what they intend to do about the sick person on the other end of the gun. 

We all know how this plays out in Congress: a moment of silence on the House floor and a fraternal feeling of melancholy when the flag over the Capitol is lowered to half-staff. But that moment of silence will not heal the hearts of those who lost a loved one, and it will not stop the next tragedy. Here and now we need action; we need real change.

That’s why I’ve authored the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. The bill focuses resources and reform where they are most needed: to foster evidence-based care, fix the shortage of psychiatric hospital beds, empower patients and caregivers under HIPAA privacy laws, and help patients get treatment well before their illness spirals into crisis.  

WSJ OPINION. Mr. Murphy, a Republican, is a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania and a psychologist in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps.


2 replies »

  1. Call me simple minded, but I believe there is an easier solution to the problem that nobody seems to discuss. We have seen the solution work for other problems with similar root causes.

    Back in the 70’s and early 80’s people routinely ran naked through public sports arenas. They craved attention, and got plenty of it when the cameras focused on them for their 15 minutes of fame. The fad faded when the arenas denied them the attention by not showing them on camera.

    Many of these shooters are loners seeking to make a name for themselves. They want to go down in infamy. A law forbidding the publication of shooter identities might remove their sick incentive.


    • Like all things there are many issues in the gun debate and some I could counter and some I can’t in the above post. However with the Internet it is so easy to be come “famous” and it seems like a few of the mass shootings have been motivated by out doing the last sick guy. As much as I believe that withholding the publication of the shooter and taking the money away from the media that sensitize the shootings may help to reduce the copycat violence, I would have to side with the people screaming about their First Amendment rights. Thus is the balancing act that America deals with everyday. Which right trumps another right. One can said that civil rights trump First Amendment right to say what you want about another race. The other issue is we know that government cannot be trusted and they cannot manage a thing so do you trust them to tweak a Right? Just look at the tax code or Obamacare. I do believe you are right about law forbidding the publication may stop some of this madness but I could not support it for the same fear the many second amenders claim and have proof that will government stop? Only the NSA knows for sure.


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