Norton Seeks Gun Control, Mental Health Treatment

Posted on January 30, 2013 by

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For many people, seeing the 2012 year come to an end was a much needed relief. The year was plagued with tragedies, including two mass shootings that shook the nation.

The first happened on July 20, 2012 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado. A lone gunman dressed in tactical gear threw tear gas into the crowd and opened fire with multiple weapons, killing 12 and injuring 58.

The second, and more recent, tragedy occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adult staff members before taking his own life.

Both of these unthinkable acts of malevolence were the direct result of mentally damaged individuals who had easy access to weapons.

In order to avoid these tragedies in the future, our country has to do two things–first, crack down on gun control. Second, we need to reach out to these people who clearly need psychological help and give them the help they need.

Gun violence has always been prevalent in America.

We can look back to the second amendment and see how our self-delusion started. It states that citizens have the right to bear arms. This document was written during a time of war, the revolutionary war, a war which was fought mainly by civilians. Simply put, now the amendment is irrelevant since we are in a time of peace, at least on the home front.

So, why do we need guns? Self-defense? So would it automatically be OK if someone in the movie theater pulled out a gun and shot back in self-defense? No, because without guns in the first place, there would be very few situations where that level of extreme self-defense would be necessary. On top of that, American citizens shouldn’t have to bring guns to a movie theater out of fear.

America is not going to solve its gun problem overnight. In the meantime, we should focus our efforts on reaching out to people who could potentially take advantage of the relative ease in which guns can be acquired in our country.

James Holmes, the man behind the massacre in the cinema, is currently going through trial in court. His defense attorneys have argued that Holmes has a ‘diminished capacity’ or inability “to make adequately considered decisions”.

In other words, he was insane, and this is supposed to justify why he opened fire into a crowded movie theater full of innocent people.

Hearing that someone has a ‘diminished capacity’ is certainly a lot easier to swallow when it is not used in a court of law as their main defense for such a heinous crime. The problem here is that  Holmes could have been reached and given the help he deserves.

Instead of wasting time considering the ‘what ifs’, we should look ahead and see what we can do in the future to prevent these crimes.

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