Need to deal with guns and mental health

Published Jan 30, 2013 at 12:01 am (Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 10:37 am)

Those who state we should increase mental health services rather than control the possession of rapid-fire weapons, including Tim Murphy, our representative in Congress, are presenting a false choice. As a gun owner and also as an advocate for mental health services, I firmly state that we should do both.

We should increase mental health services, because a decent society helps those with mental health problems for the sake of helping them. However, we should not buy into the fantasy that increasing mental health services will stop the tragic massacres we have experienced. Only by prohibiting possession of rapid-fire weapons by those other than military and law enforcement personnel will we do that.

The only countries other than the United States where private individuals own military type weapons are all Third World countries. Anyone with even a passing familiarity with world events knows how that works out for those unfortunate enough to live in those countries.

When the U.S. Constitution was written, a typical firearm was a musket that had one shot and took a minute to reload. Weapons are commonly available now that have as their only purpose the swift killing of human beings. They have no place in our homes or on our streets. If we have to amend the Constitution to reflect this, so be it. Let’s get started.

Herb Caponi

Upper St. Clair

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