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It’s Not About Guns, It’s About Mental Health

Guns, El american

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[Leer en español]

These are sad days for this great nation. Seeing the images of the children and teachers killed in Texas is deeply moving. The mass shootings that have occurred in recent weeks should unite us to find the real causes of these tragedies and try to prevent another massacre.

A person who has decided to commit a massacre is willing to transgress the most important rule of a society. It is wishful thinking that a future murderer will stop his plan because by buying guns, he would violate a much lesser rule than the one he has already decided to break — killing. The perpetrator cares little about obtaining the gun illegally.

Imposing strong laws restricting the carrying of guns will not stop someone who has planned a crime. Instead, what it will do is leave the population that follows the rules and does not commit crimes unarmed, and that is a serious problem. Almost all massacres of this type occur in places where the entry of weapons is prohibited and therefore the murderer knows that he will have a range of time to commit his crime, what happens if that effect expands to an entire country?

Criminals, who don’t mind buying guns illegally, will be able to commit crimes with the peace of mind that all the good guys are unarmed and no one is going to stop them. Something that people do not usually reflect on is the number of violent events that are stopped every year thanks to the presence of someone armed to stop the murderer.

Instead of looking to disarm the good, rule-following population, we should be asking ourselves what is wrong with the young people in this country that they completely lose empathy, how can we help in the schools, how can we identify strange behavior at the right time, what public policies could help a greater degree of emotional and psychological health. We must get to the real cause of the tragedy, otherwise we not only do nothing, but we make the situation worse by leaving good citizens unarmed.

Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editor-in-chief of El American. Economist. Podcaster. Political and economic analysis of America. Colombian exile in the United States // Vanessa Vallejo. Co-editora en jefe de El American. Economista. Podcaster. Análisis político y económico de América. Colombiana exiliada en EE. UU.

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