Laws that limit access to firearms are a step in the right direction-that’s not all we need. Reigning guns isn’t about America not appreciating protection or the ability to defend oneself with maximum force against maximum force.

In lieu of the recent massacres of innocent civilians in Columbine, Aurora, Oak Creek, and most recently Sandy Hook- when we speak of “Gun Control” now, we’re speaking about trying to save live and protect our families from deranged folks with weapons.  Gun Control is a larger term and it’s going to take more than legislation to ensure gun control and safety in our communities. We have to address the problems that we’ve seen through the last few shootings and the issues of the shooters; mental health at the top of that list.

Mental health and wellness program in schools and counties must be added to our “gun control” measures. Here in New York we had two Psychiatric Centers, Letchworth and the Rockland Psychiatric Center- both were de-funded. We need programs in schools and communities for mental health promoting urban good- investments into these and not cuts.

We need lawmakers and groups like the NRA to get behind sensible reforms such as an assault weapons ban these are all steps in the right direction.There will be more gun violence in America, its inevitable, but we must prepare our communities to ensure that there isn’t another Sandy Hook, Oak Creek, Aurora, or Columbine.

This isn’t a liberal idea. It’s a realistic one. The following is clipped from a conversation I had with a politically right-leaning friend who asked for my thoughts on gun control. In light of the National Rifle Associations request to expand a national mentally-ill database so that we know who’s ill and where they are, I think this story is an increasingly important voice that you should take the time to read and understand.

“I absolutely agree with you about mental health programs. I think that is absolutely essential, and I come from this from a personal place, being personally affected by someone who is mentally ill.

Its a harsh reality out there…discouraging at times, but it makes me all that more determined to do something that will make some positive impact in the world

My brother used to be this AMAZING dynamic individual. He was Student Body President of his HS, voted to be most likely to succeed, an incredible personality and everyone who met him LOVED him.
When he moved to NY after graduating from UCLA, he had started becoming depressed because things had not been exactly panning out the way for him as he had hoped. He didn’t get accepted to film school, though he was damn near close and really struggled to find a job. To add to it all, he had a really difficult adjustment time in NY, and struggled getting along with my parents.

While I was living in MD, I came home after maybe 6 months, and was shocked to see my brother was no longer my brother. He was literally possessed, or so it seemed. His eyes lacked depth, and he had taken on some strange personality qualities. My brother had essentially died before my eyes, and he became unrecognizable. He was somewhat recently admitted into a mental hospital after he hit my parents and started becoming aggressive.

Thank God that he was able to get onto medication which has helped regulate him, and he acts more normal and less angry but it is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to go through, and makes it very hard for me to go home to be perfectly honest.

Its weird reading it again, but you’re right, it makes a point of the importance of mental health programs. We were so fortunate that my brother received the care he needed, especially as my parents didn’t do something about it sooner because they didn’t have the money to get him help.
They had to call the police after my brother hit my dad. My dad had to get stitches, and then he was admitted and received care for about 2 months. The doctors really felt for my parents situation, and did everything they could to help him.
Now hes back at home, but we’re so grateful because he has bi- weekly sessions, and a cab even picks him up for his sessions.
My mom crys sometimes and says how grateful that she is to the taxpayers of NY for allowing him to receive this kind of care, otherwise, who knows what could have happened.”

Moved, I felt the need to share this story with you. Black, white, brown, and yellow-mentally ill people are our families  friends, and apart of our society. Through proper aid and help they can be helped- tragedy’s like Sandy Hook can be avoided. Those diamonds in the sky can still have a chance at life, liberty, and the pursuit of a greater tomorrow.

Politics is not the answer to gun control, but policy must play a strong part in the solutions.  Comprehensive legislation can help limit access for folks that have mental health issues or may be a little unstable. Legislation can immediately regulate extended magazines and assault weapons- we don’t use them to hunt deer and there’s no need for them in self-defense (unless your on a war-zone) so lets chop them. Additionally, legislation can help establish and fund mental health programs for Americans. Instead of taking ridiculous stances just to protect what they think is a fleeing gun culture, groups such as the NRA can help fund these programs and show they care about American life.

Contrary to Rush Limbaugh’s belief, “They all are liberals, if they are mentally disturbed” this is not a problem of the left or the right. It’s an American problem and we must deal with it as such.

We need a national discussion that doesn’t die down and we need lawmakers from the Right and Left to respond better than they did during the 1989 Stockton shootout which left a few children dead and resulted in the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban- a heavily riddled piece of legislation. 

Take a stand for our children-our future. After all, if you protect guns and say you’re protecting your family, but can’t protect your children….What family are you protecting?

Marv

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