Lawmakers across the land are in reactive mode as opposed to being proactive. This time in response to the Newtown shooting in Conneticut. The mentally ill are in the crosshairs once again. People are gnashing their teeth about their neighbors who have been treated for a mental illness having access to guns. WHY?
According to a December article in the New York Times mentally ill people account for only 4% of all violent crime. 4%! That means so called "normal" folks are killing and raping citizens 96% of the time. Facts, not myth. The perception is that people with serious mental illnesses are violent, when in fact, they are 2 1/2 times more prone to be attacked than the rest of the population. The media hypes up a crime exponentially if they discover that the perpetrator has ever been treated for a mental illness.
The real fact is the civilian population has the police and military outgunned 79 to 1. According to the magazine Mother Jones civilians own 310 million guns as opposed to the military 3 million and 1 million in the hands of law enforcement. New laws aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of people who have been treated for mental illness is not going to curb this nations gun violence. In case lawmakers haven't figured it out, most people who resort to gun violence don't go down to their local gun shop and register their weapons. They usually either get them on the street or break into a house and steal them.
There are literally millions of people who have been treated for a mental illness who hunt or have a firearm for home protection that would never think of harming another human being for any nefarious reason. You just don't see them splattered all over your TV screens, therefore I guess the media and "normal" folks don't think that they exist.
Having a gun dealer check a customer for previous treatment for mental illness assuming that would suggest a potential for violence makes about as much sense as having a car dealer running a background check to see if a customer has been treated for alcoholism because they might get drunk and kill someone with their car. The gun lobby has made it possible for our society to be flooded with weapons. If lawmakers want to pass a new law to curb gun violence they should make sure bullets are $300 each! Since lawmakers control budgets, they should be a little more proactive and make sure funds for mental illness treatment and research are made more available.