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Gun Violence Kills Everyone's Mental Health

Photo by Elisa Ventur on Unsplash

The combined population of California and Texas is about 70 million people. The population of Japan is about 125 million people. In 2021, Japan had about 260 homicides. The number of homicides in California and Texas that year was 4,134.

What’s the difference between Japan and America? Easy math - Japan has very strict gun and ammunition controls, and the USA has very loose restrictions. America makes it very easy for anyone to get a gun, including individuals who are sending clear signals that they are a threat to commit gun violence.

More often than not family members, school authorities, or the police are aware of the people who are threatening the public. The “red flags” abound but legally nothing can be done to stop these individuals before they commit gun violence. Nothing is done because there has been no violent act committed. Then the person goes out and shoots up a school, grocery store, Walmart, or nightclub.

If violence-prone individuals could not get a gun, the violence may never happen. If they could be detained for making violent threats and/or engaging in violent behavior, the system would have a chance to engage with them, before they went literally ballistic.

In more civilized countries, the reaction to gun violence is to turn to the government to find ways to reduce the threat. In America, the reaction too often is to make it easier to acquire guns. Our “rugged individualism” is how we solve our “individual” problems. Asking for help, especially from an “authority” is treated with contempt.

It’s tragic. It’s ridiculous! It must stop. The only difference between the amount of gun violence in the USA and in the many other thriving democracies is the easy access to guns.

Although I am a seasoned social worker with enough experience to fill at least one book, I know that better mental health programs, though important, will not solve this problem. Making it harder to get guns will.

People who make violent threats need to be taken seriously at all times. If they continue, appropriate measures by the authorities need to be taken to protect the public.

To make us all safer, not just anyone that can hold a gun should be allowed to have a gun. Until “rightful” guns are harder to get, those who want to hunt people can always count on a misguided interpretation of America’s second amendment to keep the killing season on humanity wide open.

America can do better than this.

We must find a compromise between safety and liberty. We must find a way to give our children back their childhood by making schools safe and nurturing again.

Please support rules, regulations, and laws that enhance gun safety.

Kenneth J. Orlich

St. Joseph


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