Unhappy with gun debate in U.S.

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 24, 2014 

The very day of the shooting at Seattle Pacific University, your newspaper printed a letter from a writer who made the familiar argument that mental illness, not gun ownership, is the cause of gun violence. He didn't want us to compare the U.S. with England or Australia which, in recent years, have taken affirmative steps to curb gun violence by enacting what I believe to be reasonable gun control legislation. Such ironic timing. Since then, a high school student in Oregon was shot and killed at school by a fellow student. The news has reported today that 74 children have been killed in school shooting-related incidents since Sandy Hook. In spite of the writer's assertion that our circumstances bare no worthy similarities to those of other countries, I do agree with the point on mental illness. In fact, I believe we have a national mental illness. And the main symptom is the delusion that we can continue to make and sell more guns and put them into the hands of more people without exacting the same consequences that repeat month after month, year after year. We have no greater incidence of mental illness in this country than anywhere else. Yet we have more people in prison, more guns and more gun violence than any other advanced nation. The NRA controls the gun debates and the decision making process. Yet we continue to allow the slaughter of our children? That's mental illness defined.

Ken Chovil

Bellingham

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