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Due to the horrific happenings of a few weeks ago in Florida, once again we find ourselves, along with the rest of the world community screaming for mor gun control in our nation. Everyone has opinions and I must say have a right to those opinions. I will just take one moment to state how this writer feels about others' opinions. Firstly many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for those of us priviledged enough to be a ciitizen of this nation and I will fight just as strongly for all of those rights they fought so desperately to afford us. It is also my opinion that listening politely to the opinions of others could possibly bring solutions to the problems at hand.
Now, what follows is this great grandma's personal opinion. Take it for what it is: the heartfelt feelings of an older woman with no legal degree, just simply 65 years of living and loving others. I am not a crackpot, although at times I may seem to be and the Good LORD knows I am not even a smidgen close to being perfect, so please bear with me while I get this off my chest.
From what I have gathered from news reports, there were erors made prior to the massacre in Florida. For starters, it is my understanding that the all powerful FBI had information on the young man who committed the atrocities, and did not follow up or even try to speak to the offender. Also, I have been given to understand that his psychiatrist was aware of his voletile mind set and refused to repor it because of the dreaded HIPA Laws. Forgive me on this last failure to report because having been an outpatient psychiatric secretary for several years and a mental health patiient for even more years than that, I have always been told by my care givers that if I show signs of suicidal or homicidal ideation, I will be reported to the authorities for my own and the public's protection. I DO hold the mental health community a lot of the responsibility for this getting to this point if what I understand is true.
There has also been some blame placed on the shoulders of students who knew the shooter but were afraid of him because none of them reported his mind set. This grandma's heart screams out at this one because even though they are considered "young adults", they are still children at heart and get scared. Also, if the FBI and the menntal health community set an example of failure to report, how can anyone expect a "young adult" to trust those in charge of the system already in place to follow through on their reports?
To my way of thinking it isn't the gun laws that need strengthening but those who are supposed to be enforcing those laws. As for the mental health issues, I DO see why people like me who have some emotional issues should not have guns or access to guns. (We do have guns in our home, but all have trigger locks, fiiring pins removed andallamo is locked away and I know not where that is.) I have access, BUT how would I use them? I suppose as a ball bat. The thought or opinion I have on the mentalhealth restrictions is this: The powers that be do need to correct what I consider tobe a big flaw in the wording of that one. I believe that they should not limit mental illness to a simple background check, but to an entire battery of relevant testing psychiatrically. Also those doing the backgound checks need to be more observant and possibly critical and make their errors on the side of the innocent public than the indidual's right to keep and bare arms.
Also, I would urge the concerned public to stay calm when these things happen (although they should never have happened to begin with). I know easier said than done, but we need to keep cool heads while officials do their investigating and wait to hear the facts, ALL of the facts.
So, I hope that my opinions have not offended anyone. That is nor was it my intention. Plus I hoped to come off a bit cooler headed than some and offer maybe one good suggestion. Now, a penny for your thoughts.