Letters to the Editor

Shootings: Guns are scapegoat for mental illness

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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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News Tribune editorial page editor Matt Misterek explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Recently CNN quoted Peter Ambler of the Giffords organization as stating: “It’s not mental illness, it’s hate and guns.”

I’m not sure, but I don’t believe hating something so much that one chooses to kill is an example of sound mental health.

Gun control zealots want to vilify all firearms and the hundreds of millions of people who own them. The overwhelming majority of these owners are law-abiding citizens who would never consider harming others, except for self defense.

In all the recent mass shootings, the mental health of the killer has been a factor. Yes, a firearm was used, but it was only a dangerous tool due to its use by an unbalanced person.

Mental illness, whether in the form of hate, intolerance, victimization, substance abuse or organic, is at the heart of this violence. But treating mental illness requires courage from all people involved with the individual – and of course, money.

It’s cheaper and easier to blame the existence of firearms and those who support the rights of owners. But the real problem of untreated mental illness still exists, and gets worse.

Ron Vietz, Edgewood

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