Most readers will agree mental illness and easy access to guns do not mix. As a matter of fact, many times when mass shootings occur, authorities are quick to play the mental illness card as an overriding factor in tragic events.

But to make a heavily weighted conclusion that the formula is exclusive is to give neither gun ownership nor those suffering from mental illness fair assessment. Both deserve our attention.

Leonard Woolsey: 409-683-5207;

President & Publisher

(4) comments

Bailey Jones

I used to believe that guns were the problem. I still believe that guns are A problem - the love of guns for their own sake in this country strikes me as irrational. But the real issue in the US is mental health. And I don't mean the occasional crazy person who shoots up a school or playground. I mean the mental health of Average Joe America. Why is it that, in the greatest nation in history, 20,000 of us decide that life is unbearable and commit suicide each year? Why do we kill each other at a rate greater than comparable nations? I've come to the conclusion that these are cultural issues. We've created a culture where violence is the go to solution for every problem rather than a solution of last resort. Endless wars, the glorification of war and the implements of war, a legacy of horrific violence against people of color both at home and around the world, the shame of slavery and Indian genocide, the lynchings, the ethnic cleansing, the klan, the abuses of the police and Rangers, etc., as well as the empty consumerism and pursuit of wealth at the expense of others - these are all undercurrents of American culture - and the denial that they ever existed or that they affect today's world will surely come in a torrent as soon as I post this. The only way forward for America is the cultivation of compassion and empathy for ourselves and our fellows, regardless of race, wealth, religion or national identity. And unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon - we can't even admit that we have a problem (the problem is always those "other" people, never us, never our America).

George Croix

People don’t like to admit that the problem IS people, some of them.
Generally easier to blame things than actions.
Less confrontational....
ALL problems get solved by confronting and correcting the root cause.....
I hold out hope that someday we’ll start there, rather than skip around it....

Wayne Holt

My favorite quote on this topic--I agree with your conclusion-- to keep us normies humble:

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
~ Jiddu Krishnamurti

Dan Freeman

The correct reference is Yu Lu Jeff R. Temple: Dangerous weapons or dangerous people? The temporal associations between gun violence and mental health. Preventive Medicine 121(2019) 1-6.

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