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November 16, 2018

3/21/2018 12:26:00 PM
Guns and bullets mean tears and heartaches

In the letter from Mr. Ginn and in the Citizen’s View (March 14), both correspondents assign the causation of mass killings to people with mental health issues rather than guns.
The Reagan administration initiated the closure and defunding of many psychiatric institutions, believing that many formally institutionalized patients could be treated in outpatient facilities in conjunction with newly de-veloped pharmacological drugs.
Reagan’s and subsequent administrations have failed to adequately fund and staff these facilities. As a result, many regions, including our own and, unforgivably, the Veterans Health system, now experience significantly inadequate mental health facilities.
Additionally, Congress, togeth-er with the Gun Lobby, has consistently failed to address or block the issue of nationally registered comprehensive back-ground checks together with a waiting period prior to gun purchases. These deficiencies result in guns being obtained by those inadequately screened, reported and treated for their mental health issues prior to a gun purchase.
Given these deficiencies and the lack of will to address them, does it not make sense to remove from the market place those particular weapons (regardless of acronyms or classification) and the modifications that enable multiple rounds to be fired in a short period of time? I had questioned the reason for their availability and ownership given their lack of suitability for both self-defense and hunting, however neither correspondent responded apart from mentioning the Second Amendment.
It is no “hyperbole’” that with each new report of further mass shootings (often of school children), I together with many fellow citizens experience the author’s “emotion laden” periods. There are the requisite flower and candle memorials, our flag at half mast, prayer meetings and politicians expressing regret and sympathy with most hoping the news will be eclipsed before they have to do anything,
Given the failure to address any of these issues, we await the inevitability of the next tragedy.
Donald Barford







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