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Mental health, not guns, is the issue


Date published: 1/9/2013

Mental health, not guns, is the issue

The first thing I wish to do is commend Gov. McDonnell for showing leadership in the face of daunting emotional reaction to the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.

There are members of both the U.S. Congress and state legislatures who, in keeping with a certain political party's goals of eroding our constitutional rights, are trying to not let a good crisis go to waste, and are attempting to ramrod legislation that will serve no useful purpose, unless it addresses the real issue--mental health--and how it is reported.

What happened in Connecticut is indeed a tragedy, but there are laws on the books that make it illegal or difficult for those with mental health issues to possess firearms. The problem is the reporting of such mental health issues to the authorities who conduct background checks on people trying to purchase firearms. This process must be fixed!

There are laws against an unauthorized person from carrying a firearm on school property. These laws have have had no success in preventing such tragedies from happening. They have served no purpose other than to create unprotected killing fields.

My message to those people is this: We tried it your way and your way does not work. Let's try something that has shown will work. Let staff, teachers, and, in the case of a college, students carry firearms to give them a fighting chance at survival or preventing another tragedy.

Pete Ewing

Ruther Glen