The horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School murders sent parents to their knees and legislators to their computers. While parents and all concerned and mourning Americans sought understanding and comfort, designing lawmakers sought to take advantage of a tragedy for political ends. As usual.
President Obama spoke of the need to change our culture and restrict access to weapons. The president said:
Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children — all of them — safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?
I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.
In that vein, many commentators and gun control advocates pointed to the ease with which guns can be purchased in America. Many of them called for a more robust screening process, one that included mental health evaluations.
For example, in New Jersey, Assemblyman Joe Cryan proposed legislation to “ensure the mental stability of anyone authorized to purchase a firearm in New Jersey.”
“Newtown was a true eye opener for us,” said Cryan, as quoted by Politicker NJ. “Based on what we know about the alleged shooter at this point, mental health may have played a key factor in this tragedy. And this appears to be a common thread in many of the mass shootings we’ve seen in recent years. There’s been a significant outpouring of support from the public to make mental health screenings a part of the overall discussion on gun control. I think any legitimate effort to curb gun violence must include this important aspect.”
Read More at The New American . By Joe Wolverton, II, J.D..