Readers’ forum: Gun control for the mentally ill


After reading the Gun Control section in the newspaper on Sept. 24, I completely agree with what CNN stated about how not all deaths involving guns are the same, and “far too often assumptions surrounding the details of tragedies such as the one in Washington are made, and well-intentioned stances fall apart when additional facts come to light.” We must understand what actually happened before we draw conclusions.

Aaron Alexis had mental problems yet still had a gun. There are many mental diseases and disorders, and one type of disease may differ from another in severity. However, how are people like Alexis able to carry guns if they have a mental illness?

The definition of mental illness is “any psychiatric disorder that causes untypical behavior.” People with mental illnesses sometimes do “untypical” things. Wouldn’t it be wise to make it harder for them to obtain a gun?

Some of these people pose a threat to themselves and others — such was the case at the Washington Navy Yard. In order to prevent such an event again, what measures must be taken for mentally ill people? Can they carry guns?

It depends on the severity of the illness and whether these individuals pose a threat to themselves and others. In Alexis’ case, he had paranoia and anger problems. These could have affected his decision to “go off” on those at the Washington Navy Yard, killing innocent people.

Alexis’ mental illness lead to untypical behaviors. Untypical behaviors lead to anger. Anger leads to murder. Guns should be regulated to the mentally ill in order to keep our country safe from incidents like this.

Blaise Hill
Las Vegas

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