Are Gun Laws and Gun Control Focused on the Right Issues?

Posted on: October 31st, 2014
With election time coming into play once again, gun laws and gun control are high on the conversation list in many states. Everyone wants to do something during this window of time and of course, heightens the awareness, pro and con, of the current gun laws. And since gun laws vary by state, this makes this an even greater discussion topic.

But are we really focusing on some of the right issues when it comes to gun control and gun laws? The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has stated that, “Suicide accounts for 61% of all firearm fatalities in the U.S. and 9 times out of 10 these are committed by a mentally ill person.” This may or may not be an alarming fact for you to hear, but regardless, it’s what their research shows. So what does this mean for laws and the ability to control deaths because of the use of firearms?

I think it is time we step back from the political rhetoric and the positioning people want to accomplish when they talk about gun laws and look at some of the real facts and issues around gun laws. If this is the largest area of deaths from the use of firearms, wouldn’t it make more sense to try and find ways to identify mental illness and then impose stricter laws around gun ownership and possession in this finite group that dominates in deaths?

Regulating gun ownership on a broad basis just doesn’t seem like a logical alternative given the research by the CDC. As an attorney, I think in terms of the right actions to solve particular issues or problems. Just like in my estate planning practice, we design estate plans to specifically address the individual needs of the individual or family. There is no “one-size fits all” approach…so why should there be when it comes to helping solve issues related to gun violence? It doesn’t make sense to me as an attorney…and might not make sense to you either.

I would rather see all the millions of dollars being spent to try and control firearms being spent on helping to identify mental illness issues before they turn into violence. For example, schools are a hot topic around gun control. While there is significantly increased security around detecting firearms in schools, what is being done on the other end to detect mental illness in the same students? Not much. It seems like we are trying to control the symptoms rather than the causes.

There is no question gun violence and certainly deaths using firearms is sad and unfortunate. I just believe we should rethink the issues leading up to the violence and invest more time and money in addressing the causes rather than the symptoms. We will never control firearms to the degree some politicians would like you to think we could. Outlaw them all…and the only ones that will find them will be the outlaws. This isn’t the solution to the real problem in my mind…focusing on the core issues of something like mental illness seems like a better place to start. What are your thoughts? Share your opinion as we can all learn from each other’s thinking…
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