Federal Way Mirror


Failed gun control bill was only a political bandage | Letters

April 20, 2013 · Updated 2:01 PM

OMG! The latest bill dealing with so-called gun control has failed in the Senate.

It will not be long before we begin to hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the supporters of this bill and others. I would not be surprised if we did not see something in this paper very shortly in that respect.

I do not mean to seem unmoved or unfeeling by these tragedies that have affected the people in Newtown, Conn., or other such events.

Unfortunately, the fact is that this bill was nothing more than a political bandage with appropriate smoke and mirrors from Washington, D.C. This bill would have done nothing to save one child in Connecticut. This bill would have done nothing to stop any of the tragedies we have seen over the last decade. This bill was a pathetic joke by some politicians to placate gun control advocates and their supporters.

Some gun control supporters will say, “but at least this is a beginning.” The question begs to be answered: a beginning of what?

The last time I checked, a beginning is usually followed by an end. So if this is a beginning, then what is the end game? This is a phrase I would be careful using around people who support the Second Amendment. These folks may interrupt this statement as not a beginning but the "first step" to a very slippery slope that may lead to further infringement on the Second Amendment.

Control of who can or cannot obtain guns is a very viable point that must be considered. But what about the mental health aspects of these tragedies? There have been a number of tragic events dealing with guns over the last decade. These events had two things in common. The first was that a gun was used, and even if a background check had been done, it would have made no difference. But second, we are finding that the perpetrators of these events all had mental health issues.

The shooter in Colorado had been diagnosed as a person with homicidal tendencies, and his psychiatrist had even gone so far as to state that he was a danger to himself and others. When these facts were reported to police, his access badge to the school was revoked. I’m sure that made everybody feel safer.

If someone is drunk or mentally impaired, are they allowed to drive a motor vehicle? Absolutely not. We have laws to protect us from these people. But if the same person that is mentally impaired has a gun, or tries to obtain a gun, we have done very little to protect ourselves from this person. Is this OK?  I think not.

We would not allow a drunk to drive a car. Why do we do nothing to stop someone who is mentally incapacitated from obtaining firearms from any source?

The point I’m trying to make is simply that one badly written bill is not going to stop what I believe is our national tragedy. We have heard nothing from our elected officials in Washington, D.C., or Olympia. We have heard no dialogue or discussion dealing with the issue of mental health and guns.

I do not have any of the answers to this question, but I do believe that if we had as much serious dialogue and discussion on the subject of people with mental health issues and their ability to acquire guns, then I feel that we would have taken a serious step in the right direction.

You might say that this was even a "beginning."

Court Fraley, Federal Way


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