Letter to the Editor: Let’s prevent gun murder

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Dear Editor:

I’ve heard the suspect in the recent SPU shootings was a student at Edmonds Homeschool Resource Center, now known as Edmonds Heights, where my children have attended school since fall of 2003. The shooter’s two years older than my oldest daughter. They went to school together.

I have to ask: how many more kids have to die before people start taking proactive steps to reduce gun violence? Unlike cars, a gun’s sole purpose is violence.

In my opinion, our state can implement a two-step solution.

Many domestic mass shooters are mentally unstable. Therefore, every gun owner should be required to pass a mental health background check. There’s support for this in Washington’s Family Law. Currently, CPS can remove children from their parent’s home, if their mental instability creates a danger to their children.

Law enforcement and the military both require mental health background checks before a soldier or police officer is allowed to access weapon arsenals. Our police and military understand the threat the mentally unstable can pose, if allowed access to firearms. They require mental health background checks…we should too.

As a society, we’ve recognized the danger of a motor vehicle. Before someone is allowed firearm ownership, they should be required to pass a safety and proficiency test, just like when driving a car. Also, soldiers and police are required to pass safety and proficiency tests, before they’re allowed to carry guns. Gun owners should be required to pass similar tests.

If we want to stop gun violence, the solution is to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally unstable and those without training. If these common sense checks and balances had been in place a decade ago, how many children would have been saved?

Respectfully,
Bob Lewis

 

11 COMMENTS

  1. If this would work why do many of the states with this toughest gun laws have such a high crime rate? Here you have a father who writes about his child went to school with this killer and was there any signs about his obvious mental illness then? We need mental institutions. There currently is no place to put these killers in their early stages of illness, parents have tried to find a place knowing they are not right. I grew up in the 1960s my father had tons of guns, so did most every family, we never had anything like this. Examine what was different then to now. Discipline ? Family values? If it isn’t a gun maybe it would be a knife..oh that has happened too. You could outlaw everything but if your mentally unstable they will find a way.

  2. Here’s another idea: Let’s come together as a society to offer help to people in crisis and/or mental instability before they turn to violence.

  3. While we do need to do all we can to help those who are unstable, we still need to cut WAY back on easy access to guns. Further, every gun in America should be registered and traceable. We have to license our cars; why not guns?

  4. Who is going to do a Mental Health Background check on the Mental Health Background checkers??

    …just sayin’

  5. Mental health issues like the rest of health care information are protected issues, as D Williams states above who will check the checker, a VA like bureaucracy?

    My firearms are already registered with Edmond’s PD and I went through a background check before I could obtain them.

    I remember when we closed the WA St Mental Hospital in Tacoma and released the crazies on the citizens and police. We live with those consequences today. Madness and criminals are not going away and they will acquire firearms when they want them just like drugs, knifes, cars or anything else they want and they live and roam among us.. The good news is the 2nd Amendment allows me & you to carry a weapon to protect ourselves and families from thugs and madness. When you call 911 the 1st res-ponders will be there in time to document the crime. Arm & train yourself and protect yourself, family and community.

    The young man who stopped the murder by madness @ SPU and the man who died slowing the madness in Vegas where armed and trained law abiding citizens. Madness and thugs are cowards who attack the weak. Do not be weak! The police are rarely there in time unless an armed, or unarmed heroic, responsible citizen slows or ends the initial madness!

  6. Why not a mental health background check? Why shouldn’t you be genetically screened before getting health insurance? Why shouldn’t my employer know if I’ve been in rehab? Maybe we could deny drivers licenses to people in AA?

    Protecting health related information is one of our most jealously guarded privacy rights because of the *horrendous* potential for misuse.

    With all the stigma against seeking mental health care in our country as it is, you’d further discourage people from seeking help because this would just be another way that seeking help could be used against them.

    So you’re saying that if we’ll just surrender an essential privacy right and discourage people in need from seeking care, we can feel safe that crazy people can’t legally buy guns… because the prohibition against buying guns has worked so well to keep them out of the hands of minors and felons?

    Is that your argument?

  7. Civilised people don’t kill each other. The United States is the killingest country in the world. Civilised nations take care of their most vulnerable….. Before deregulation. we had many, many facilities to take care of these people with mental health problems…..and places for them to live…..and by the way, 80 percent of the people we have incarcerated in the United States need treatment for their medical addictions…Addiction in ALL forms is the number ONE public healthroblem in the Unied States……this is a FACT
    So., between mental health and addiction., this is where we should be focusing our money and resources…….We have become like RUSSIA before glasnost…..Big military complex…..NO infrastructure….
    For all you people out there packing., it is a FACT that most people are SHOT by someone they know………so choose your friends carefully

  8. I bet most people would be for mental institutions re surging . Addiction started with oxy cotin then continued with heroin. I’ll bet most of us now have in our own families addicts or our friends families. Which is why there are sooooo many breakins and theft. We absolutely need clinics to help them and continuing treatment. My money I would gladly want spent there.

  9. There has NEVER been a gun, car, knife, frying pan or baseball bat that woke up on it’s own and killed. All require an unbalanced person to kill.

    We’ve had multiple citizens killed in the streets of Edmonds this year, by cars. Should those drivers have been forced to pass a mental health check, before given a license to drive?

    Be a responsible citizen, pay attention while driving, obey existing laws and be a responsible parent.

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