Do Not Bother With Gun Control: Promote Mental Wellness in Response to Sandy Hook Shootings
I am starting this petition as a citizen concerned with the troubling trend of assumed mentally ill persons acting out in ways to harm either themselves or others, as in the most recent school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. I have heard many bitter responses in regards to the use of guns and proposals for stricter gun control, but the fact remains that “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” Though this quote can seem to be overused, the message that it aims to teach still rings true. I believe that our goal should not be one of waging war on gun laws and rights. This only further polarizes the people of this great country and promotes conflict between those who oppose and those who agree. A consensus on such an issue, as with all important issues, will be very difficult to achieve.
Why not then perceive the issue from a different (and undoubtedly commonsensical) view?
We need to promote the mental wellness of our American citizens and especially cater to the mental wellness of our youth. There needs to be absolute clarity in the distinctions between right and wrong— a wholly impossible task for those who are not of their “right” mind.
When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informs us that “studies report that about 25% of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50% of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime”*, it is a call to action. The appropriate response would be to nurture the mental wellness of our general public. We can do this by making mental health a priority in this country. We should facilitate promotion of this idea and make such resources more widely available.
Although I agree that it is not the explicit responsibility of our government to provide such resources, it is the moral responsibility of each individual in a government position to care for the well-being of those that they aim to serve. It cannot be denied that this solution both sidesteps the conflicting opinions of gun control and offers an alternative that is beneficial to all. If the problem of responsibility is something that you still contend with, it might do well to remember that it was not the explicit responsibility of those brilliant American thinkers who wrote the Constitution of the United States to do so. They did so, nevertheless, out of a love for our people and with the belief that doing so would be for the greater good. My intentions with this petition are the same.
After all, if we are all free to be in the pursuit of happiness, is that not synonymous to a common pursuit of well-being?
Thank you for your time.
Vanessa M. Gonzalez
(Please visit this site for more information on the CDC’s views on why monitoring mental illness is important and for facts on the prevalence of mental illness in our society.)