Archive for April 26th, 2013

26
Apr
13

gun violence

guns 2Gun Violence in America

by Bonnie Young

Last week saw the defeat of all the proposed national legislation for gun control.  It was a battle well-fought and won. Our President, on the other hand, saw it as a disgrace.

Many people question my stance on gun laws and gun control because, after all, guns are the reason my son is in prison. It is really quite simple. None of the proposed gun legislation would have stopped the young man from committing the crimes that caused my son’s incarceration. None of the proposed gun legislation would have prevented Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, or Virginia Tech. Not one.

The other reality is this: although we are greatly affected emotionally by sudden violent attacks, more people die everyday from prescription drugs (about 270 per day), 25,580 people died from traffic accidents in 2012, and an estimated 98,000 people die every year from medical malpractice-related issues. The difference? No one focuses on the greatest issues or causes of death in the United States, only the most dramatic.

The other reality? Criminals always have a way to get a gun. Changing laws concerning gun control will not change the ability of a criminal to get a gun. Let’s take a look at the recent murder of Tom Clements, the Director of Prisons in Colorado. The man accused of his death, the death of another man and eventual demise of himself, was a former offender. He did not purchase a weapon. Yet he had one. It was not his access or lack of access that brought about this crime. It was the mental instability of this former offender, exacerbated by 8 years of solitary confinement and torture that lead to the crimes he committed.

Let’s look at Virginia Tech. The young man responsible for those deaths used two hand guns in the shooting. H e was also mentally unsound and had been in and out of treatment since junior high. He had also recently ceased taking Paxal, an antidepressant, which has severe side effects and can increase a patient’s propensity to violence and suicide.

We need to address mental health. We need to address family violence. We need to support families who are dealing with these issues that lead to profound acts of violence. This will make a difference… not gun legislation.

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Bonnie Young is a minister in Colorado, and passionate about this and related issues. Her son was caught up in a sensational crime and as a juvenile he was railroaded into prison for 68 years. She has website, “FreeJonny,” which I encourage you to visit.

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Groove of the Day 

Listen to Vampire Weekend performing “Giving Up the Gun”