Mental illness and gun control

Firearms for sale at a Houston gun show. (Via Wikipedia)
Firearms for sale at a Houston gun show. / Via Wikipedia

MONTGOMERY VILLAGE, MD, July 15, 2014 – The National Institutes of Health estimates that over ¼ of persons 18 years and older in the US suffer from some type of mental health disorder. The World Health Organization indicates that this is the highest percentage in the world. Even though the statistics may be somewhat biased because mental health issues are likely reported more frequently in the United States than elsewhere, it is still an alarming number.

The issue becomes even more concerning when you combine the mental health problem with the wide availability of fire arms. There are currently about 270 million firearms in the United States, and they are relatively easy to acquire.

The NRA and the irrational cult of fire arms in our country has contributed to not allowing background checks to be implemented for people wanting to purchase fire arms.

In some regions in the US, any type of control or limitation on the right of citizens to purchase, possess and use fire arms means political suicide for any politician. While many of the rights addressed in our Constitution have been interpreted and made more current, the Second Amendment seems to have reverted to frontier days. Some states have greatly liberalized their gun control laws to allow the open bearing of fire arms and even their use when the bearer “feels threatened”.

For the last couple of years, mass murders attributed to a person with some type of mental illness have become too common. We all listen and move on to less “ho-hum” news. News about the latest i-phone delayed release generally rates more time in the news than the latest mass shooting. While this is alarming, the fact that our government doesn’t appear to be concerned to find some type of solution is even more dismaying.

The analogy of the requirement for people to own and use a motor vehicle and a fire arm has been repeated by many, but it is less and less impacting to the public. Especially to those that don’t want any limitations on fire arm ownership.

Most logical thinkers believed after the massacre at Sandy Hook that courageous politicians would address the gun control debacle. They also had thought the same after Virginia Tech., Columbine, and the other 70 mass shootings in the last three decades. These shooting were perpetrated mostly by people that obtained their fire arms legally. Obviously under very lenient requirements.

Returning to the motor vehicle analogy, doesn’t it make sense to have a sight test to get a license? Proper eye sight is required to drive a vehicle.

Doesn’t it make sense to require a background check on whether a prospective owner of a fire arm to reveal if he is not suffering from a mental disease?

If a person is required to have insurance to drive a motor vehicle, doesn’t it make sense to require insurance coverage for gun owners?

Are there driver’s licenses “shows” where one can get a driver’s license without any requirements, only by paying a fee? If not, why are there gun shows where people can get fire arms by just paying its price?

Maybe we are all affected by mental disease when we don’t see how illogical the legal status of fire arms ownership is in our country today. No wonder foreigners just shake their heads when they read about mass shootings in the US and the fact that we don’t have the political will to do anything about it.

Read my article about how we can establish a rational gun control system in the US.

Mario Salazar, the 21st Century Pacifist, continues to tilt at the gun control windmill. He is available in Twitter (@chibcharus), Google+ and FaceBook (Mario Salazar).


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  • Carolina Shooter

    Wow…seems like someone needs to talk about what they know and leave the rationalization of the 2A to people who understand it. What part of a right did you not understand when you wrote this piece?
    Driving a car is a privilege. The RIGHT to bear arms is exactly what it says….a right. The only thing you got right in this article is the spelling of your name.

    • 21st Century Pacifist

      When one’s right affects other people negatively, then it is time to think how we can modify that “right”. Basing a whole “right” structure on words written almost 250 years ago when our country and the whole world was very different, is not logical.

      • ramrodd

        your push for gun control affects millions negatively

        • 21st Century Pacifist

          Do you have to register your car? Do you have to get a driver’s license and prove that you are able to drive?
          What are gun owners afraid of? We live in a free country of laws and with our rights come responsibilities.
          I think owning a gun is unnecessary and barbaric in the 21st century. Many in this country feel the same way, but we are not going to break the law to get what we want.
          The free access to guns affect a lot more people than requiring gun owners to go through background checks and registering their guns. You don’t get kill for doing that.

          • ramrodd

            so now you are pushing gun registration – just like any good communist

            your idea is is guns in the hands of the government…..only

            keep ignoring the history of Democide – 270 million butchered by governments in the last century..

            you are more than likely just another mouthpiece for the current regime

          • 21st Century Pacifist

            So you believe that our goverment wants to kill us all?
            If you read history you will probably know that all the acts of genocide were committed by extremist from both sides, mostly the right. Hitler killed six million Jews and caused the death of over 20 million more, mostly Russians.

          • ramrodd

            stop putting words in my mouth and understand least acknowledge it!!

            extremist is a word abused by people like you….some would say that you are an extremist..

            Communists and Socialists are the murdering type – again you show your ignorance……



            Now you are FLAT OUT lying………

          • 21st Century Pacifist

            Read behind the lines. The NAZI party was a socialist as the Bolsheviks were the majority. I can call myself Superman and you a reasonable person, but are we?
            The Nazy party was the darling of all right wing factions prior and during WW2. Read up who the supporters were. Henry Ford, Errol Flyn, Charles Lindbergh and other right wingers..
            I know of the massacres that Communists committed, I don’t support them. I think they should have the right of expression as long as they do it lawfully. What’s with the caps? Your ancestors massacred hundreds of thousands of Native Americans by direct action or inaction. Should you be denied your civil rights?
            You sound like a McCarthyst during the 50s. Is there a commie behind every rock?

          • ramrodd

            National Socialist German Workers Party….you cannot escape the truth…

            You so quickly brush away million murdered by communists..
            and of course all of you haters of the USA bring up native americans..

            its time for you to again educate yourself – so many tribes warred upon each other, they murdered and enslaved women and children as they also fought against the Aztecs and so many others…….

  • Troy Scott

    Well first of all if someone would write a Background Check Bill it would probably pass with flying colors. The fact is that there has never been a background check bill voted on. The so call Public Safety and Second Amendment Protection Act was not just about background checks. It got completely stupid. Contrary to what part of the bill said it did create gun registration. It just made it illegal to compile the data into a single data base. You also could not go anywhere, even walking, without having your gun unloaded, locked, cased, and separated from the ammo. Basically making all carry permits worthless. It spent billions that we don’t have to spend and then read the last two sections. It would PAY anti gun lobbyist to go to Washington! The exact wrong people wrote the bill. If you want a bill to pass it needs to be written by someone that at least knows a little about guns. Then only cover background checks. The first draft was even crazier. It let Eric Holder put any price he wanted on a background check. At least they found enough common sense to scratch this. Write a background check bill and don’t try to sneak in other gun control wordage. Too many cooks spoil the soup!

  • Mattbr1234

    Try asking for background checks without also using it as a mandatory Gun Registration. I mean if the purpose is truly to just see if a person can legally buy a weapon why the registration. Why do you need the SN off the gun.

    • 21st Century Pacifist

      Why are you afraid of gun registration?

      • Mattbr1234

        Not afraid of it. Just don’t trust liberals not to abuse it some of my weapons are registered. The 2 issued are also.

        Remember the newspaper that posted this information online?

        Yet if the point is to only keep weapons out of the hands of those that can’t legally own them why do you need the S/N of those that can legally own them?

        So why do you want it???

        • 21st Century Pacifist

          How many guns have you lost because liberals abused their power?
          I think it would be great if gun information was available to all. Also if all guns involved in a crime could be traced to their owners. Gun owners should be responsible for any crimes committed due to their negligence, just like any other right we have in our society. Rights come with responsibilities.

          • Mattbr1234

            Yes and Gun safety is a priority with me. Kids shot gun at 6 not for any macho reason but so they knew they weren’t toys.

            Haven’t lost any yet to liberals but after seeing how Obama changes laws to fit his agenda that was a warning to all.

            After you disarm all the scum of Chicago gang areas I might consider something but any law I would support would have to be iron clad and executive order proof.

            Then again until the Mental healthcare system is corrected expanded background checks won’t help. Fix the current system first.

          • 21st Century Pacifist

            It is impossible to disarm the gangs without some rational gun control. Right wingers don’t believe in mental health, they think is just another excuse for people not to do what they want, basically continue the corporations dictatorship. Are you aware that you are being used? The arms manufacturers and dealers don’t really care about your welfare, they just want you to be afraid and continue buying guns.

  • ramrodd

    CDN monitors their posts – free speech is non existent online..

    • 21st Century Pacifist

      If you refrain from personal insults and don’t include links, you are welcome to say whatever you want.

      • ramrodd

        it took you 22 days to answer this – please be straight

        • 21st Century Pacifist

          BTW, I don’t censure this site. We have moderators that look for things that are inappropriate in the comments. Again, if you refrain from insults and don’t include links, you can say anything you want, I do.
          Sorry, I have too many other interests, but should have looked at the comments before.
          It is funny, I don’t need a gun for self defense, instead I use common sense. I believe that those that carry guns are more likely to use them even when it isn’t necessary or wise. I grew up from my fascination with guns. Seeing thousands of people dead in combat did it.

          • ramrodd

            common sense, reasonable are al CODE WORDS for gun grabbers..

            fascination is your word…..hang a GUN FREE SIGN ON YOUR HOME!!

          • 21st Century Pacifist

            No, common sense is not being afraid of unrealistic possibilities. I am not afraid of street crime, foreign invaders, feral animals, oppressive government, zombies and alien invaders. Ergo, I don’;t need a gun. You may believe in all or some of these, so you want a gun or three of two dozen. I don’t know your circumcstances, but I hope you don’t shoot someone just because you think he/she is threatening. For this purpose, society would be better off if you are sane. This is all those of us with “common sense” would want.
            I don’t want your guns.
            I have a sign in my home that reads “Protected by a security system and cameras”.

          • ramrodd

            your words: feral animals, zombies and you add oppressive govt..
            how silly you are….in your attempted use of the code words of ‘common sense’

            please describe insanity, your definition of course!!
            this should be choice!!

          • 21st Century Pacifist

            Believing in things that are not there, like God, a good right winger and a grown up gun fanatic. Or do you want the one that keeps on going around and around: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Like sticking with XVIII century ideas in the XXI century.

  • Joy

    I am with you 100%….background checks should be required and whatever steps are necessary to create this should be put in place!! Too many crazies carrying weapons!! JMO

  • Rob Edwards

    I think people with irrational fears of firearms have a type of mental illness.

    • 21st Century Pacifist

      It is irrational not to have fear of firearms. They are made for one reason only, to kill and maim. I am very familiar with fire arms. Have probably fired more different weapons than the average person. I am still afraid of them.