Mental health perspective for gun control debates

The tragic shooting in Las Vegas has added more fuel to the fire of the gun control debate.

The shooter managed to sneak an arsenal of weapons up to the 32nd floor of a hotel and fire on those below, likely by disassembling the guns.

A common argument against gun control would be that citizens with guns will defend themselves, but that proved to be difficult and ineffective in Las Vegas. Proponents for gun control will likely call for more regulations, including the outlawing of bump stocks for rifles. Yet what both sides should be focusing on is mental health.

According to GunLawsByState.com, open carry is legal in the state of Nevada with a license, as well as storing a handgun in a vehicle as long as its visible. In the crowd of 22,000, it’s likely that there were armed civilians down below. However, attempting to shoot at someone firing from the 32nd floor of a hotel would be extremely difficult or impossible.

Why not implement more gun control? The fault largely remains on mental health, as well as security in the hotel. The shooter was able to sneak an arsenal up to the room likely by disassembling the firearms, showing that crazy, but determined people will find ways to acquire and sneak guns by any means. Given the extent to what crazy people will go to, there is still room for sensible regulation that centers around mental health.

Surprisingly, the shooter managed to pass a background check. There should be more checks that center specifically around mental state, even going so far as to have a list of the medications a registered gun owner is on. A noticeable trend among mass shooters in the United States (and elsewhere) is that they battle mental illness or are on some medication that causes mental issues. Also worth noting is that social and economic problems cause a majority of gun-related deaths.

Despite having some of the strictest gun laws in the U.S., Chicago has a high number of gun-related homicides. Is gun control really the issue? Major cities like New York, Los Angeles, and so on have rougher areas where people are not as well off. Economic and social hardship contribute to the high number of murders, not to mention that in cities like Chicago, guns are brought in from other states that have different laws. Having sensible laws regulating firearms is necessary, as it is even mentioned in the Constitution that well-regulated militias are subject to regulation.

While gun control is necessary to have in place to an extent, it is more important to focus on mental issues as well as economic and social problems.

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  1. Open carry WITHOUT a LICENSE is legal in 30 states, including the state of Nevada. Learn more at OpenCarry.org. And carry on!

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