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Monday, December 17, 2012

Violence in the USA

Due to recent events in Newtown, CT, I will try and choose my words carefully.  All I have been hearing from the pundits on the left and right are what we are accustomed to hearing, the extremes as usual as it pertains to each party.  From the left I hear mainly the need for tighter gun control, or event he possibility of a ban of some sort, creating the illusion that some magical force will come and remove weapons from houses across the USA, houses in which law abiding citizens purchased and legally own and operate their weapons with the responsibility that comes along with living under our constitution.  To imagine that firearms will be confiscated from owners homes is as much fantasy as "THE HOBBIT" which opened in theaters this past weekend.  What reality would bestow upon us is the knowledge that if we confiscate, or try to confiscate firearms form law abiding citizens, it could certainly, in the long run, lead to violence that would far exceed that of what is seen, or has been seen in recent mass shootings from Arizona to Connecticut. 

The following is all hypothetical, again, most likely the far extremes in both cases, but this is what I am constantly bombarded with from all the lemmings bee-bopping along with the left and right.

First of all, the purchase of the firearm was and has been the right of the citizen, to try and take it from them is not just infringing on their rights, but removing from their ownership an item that they legally purchased and own.  Ownership is key here, because the items I have purchased legally on the open market regardless of whether it is electronics, furniture, motor vehicles, a house, or food, these items I own, I have placed my hard earned money into acquiring these things, and I be damned if anyone (lest it be God, or Jesus in the flesh), shall take these things from me if I personally have not violated a specific law that we are governed by.  Now, laws can change, I understand that, and if the law becomes one that we must give up our firearms, then I expect that it will take more than local law enforcement to enforce and seize all legally owned weapons.  This most likely means that the National Guard will be involved, which would make sense, but I hate to see the confrontation between gun owners, the National Guard, and other law enforcement agencies, it truly could be a civil war, that is how passionate some gun owners are - giving up their firearms would literally be over their dead bodies, being pried from their cold dead hands. 

On the other hand, we want to argue for the rights of citizens to bare arms, that is fine and dandy, but I guarantee if an individual is of sound mind to own a firearm today, that doesn't mean they are of sound mind to own one tomorrow.  Anyone who owns a gun can become a loose canon at anytime, regardless of their past, regardless of if they have a squeaky clean background check prior to purchasing the firearm.  It only takes one stressful situation for someone to snap, for an otherwise sane individual to fall off the deep end.  To become unstable, to fall so far down that all they feel they have left is to unleash a barrage of hate and violence at the most innocent and defenseless of individuals.  Defenseless is the key here, everyone has heard this statement before, it is about gunfights, don't be the one who shows up with a knife, what the hell good is that gonna do ya?

Mental health is at the core of this problem, the health care community needs to do more and be aggressive when addressing possible homicidal and suicidal individuals within our society.  There was a homicide in my hometown over a year ago, it was known the guy had a history of mental illness, he even recently had a hospital visit and was examined and interviewed by the psychiatric services at a local hospital.  Eventually he was discharged, now, I do not know the reasoning for his discharge, why the decision was made, or the guy's demeanor, judgment, or mood at the time this all occurred, but some licensed physician gave him the clearance to return to society.  Then he promptly stabbed his wife/fianc√©/live in girlfriend numerous times all while their little child was in the house.  Now, can't necessarily blame the medical provider for this, but it leaves us wondering how, after recently being hospitalized, this guy made it back into society, especially with a history of violence and mental health illnesses.  How can we be certain someone who is bipolar or schizophrenic will not go off their meds and become a ticking time-bomb, how can we prevent, or deter individuals with mental health illness from taking legally purchased firearms from sane law abiding citizens and using them for evil.  You can't, this is an impossible task, and treating mental illness is not like treating a heart attack, or a stroke, or a broken arm, there is no special imaging that is going to lead you to your diagnosis and drive your treatment, it is all based off taking a history and completing a physical exam to include a mental status evaluation.  This is not all conclusive however, it is simply a game of chance, and each provider most likely prays that when he leaves that individual who two weeks ago had homicidal ideations walk out the front doors of the hospital, he doesn't return n a body bag after acquiring a firearm and killing dozens of defenseless people.

This is such a monumental task, gun control, violence, mental health, that it would be simple to throw together a law quickly and pass it to try and resolve an issue that is ongoing and truly not resolvable with any one certain idea or discussion.  Multiple discussions on each topic briefly mentioned need to be hashed out, thoughtfully, diligently, and thoroughly if there will ever be a true movement that the entire nation can agree upon.  But there will never be a solution, there is simply too many variables to this equation for an answer to be found, for a permanent solution to be etched into law.  This will not be the last school shooting, but it certainly can be the last with such a significant amount of lethality and innocence lost.

Just remember...
Don't be the guy who shows up with a knife, to a gun fight......

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