Mental illness – the leading cause of school shootings


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By SOREN LUTHER

The Mirror reporter

With the terrifying awareness of the many tragic school shootings that have taken place, people are beginning to take a side on gun control. Some support the idea that teachers should be given guns while others support different means of safety in schools. Instead of giving guns to teachers, mental health and other factors should be looked at and considered in order to reduce the unfortunate gun violence that has been occurring too often.

Adding wood to a fire will only make it burn stronger. Adding more weapons to an already unsteady environment will only cause more destruction. When digging deeper in this controversial topic, it is clear what the true issue is. The issue isn’t coming from the guns themselves but from the people who hold those weapons.

Although people with mental illness shouldn’t be cast out or ignored, certain regulations and rules must be put into place in order to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous people. According to Psychiatry Online, “Gun laws focusing on people with mental illness or with a psychiatric diagnosis can effectively prevent mass shootings.”

In order to drive, a person with epilepsy must be seizure free for “three months, with a doctor’s recommendation,” according to the Epilepsy Foundation. Why is it that someone with a physical health condition, such as epilepsy, must abide by certain rules in order to ensure the well-being of everyone, yet someone with a mental illness can obtain a gun legally and put themselves and others in a life-threatening situation?

Although “A licensed gun dealer is required under federal law to run potential buyers through the criminal background check system,” according to CNN Politics, people who have not been diagnosed with a mental illness and people buying guns from unlicensed gun dealers and illegal sources will still be able to get their hands on weapons.

Finding the cure for mental illness should be an utmost priority in today’s world, especially since “Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life,” according to the National Alliance on Mental Health. There are ways in which mental illness can be combatted, ranging from increasing people’s awareness of what a mental illness is and how to cope with it to decrease the stigma that is often associated with mental illnesses.

If we want senseless school shootings to stop, we must first stop mental illness. We must first open up to the people, no different than you and I, who are going through bad times. We must offer our hand for them to take so that the tragedy will stop and the good will blossom. Take action.