Trump’s right, this is a mental health issue
President Trump’s suggestion that the tragedy in Texas is a mental health issue rather than a gun issue deserves more than an arrogant dismissal by gun control proponents.
There are roughly 90 million gun owners in the U.S. who responsibly own firearms of all kinds. They didn’t harm anybody on Sunday, and indeed one of those citizens courageously grabbed his own rifle and opened fire on the killer, causing him to drop his rifle and flee the scene.
We have tried numerous restrictive gun control measures, and none has lived up to sales pitches about preventing violence. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton noted that the killer violated existing Texas law by committing murder and causing mayhem.
As Paxton observed, “I would rather arm law-abiding citizens and make sure that they could prevent this from happening as opposed to trying to pass laws that would prevent law-abiding citizens from having guns.”
That’s a refreshing perspective from the chief law enforcement officer in Texas. He obviously understands that trying the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome, is unproductive and irresponsible.
It is time to take a different tack, rather than offering up the same old gun prohibition agenda. We haven’t accomplished anything by eroding the rights of millions of American citizens while treating the Second Amendment as a second-class right or, worse still, a government-regulated privilege.
No firearm, even a so-called assault weapon, has a brain to hate with or a finger to pull its own trigger. A mentally deranged mass murderer can just as easily use a truck, as just happened in New York, or a pressure cooker bomb, as was used in Boston, to cause mass casualties.
The president is right; this is a mental health issue that we have neglected and must address.
Demonizing modern sporting rifles by calling them “weapons of war” only polarizes the debate and ultimately solves nothing.
Alan M. Gottlieb is founder of the Second Amendment Foundation and chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.