Today, there was an officer near Virginia Tech who was shot and killed by a gunman while hours later, there was another dead body near VT. As we all know, Virginia Tech was the college where the deadliest one man massacre in the US took place. In regards to the recent shooting, it’s hard to ignore the massacre that took place in 2007 and see what we learned from it. What did we learn? A few things. For one, multiple clips are bad. That was the biggest issue and states like Utah ignore that lesson. But the issue about gun control is an issue that has been done to death, but there is one issue that everyone ignores. The advocates at the NRA ignore it, the people who are for gun control ignore it, everyone ignores it and it may be the single most important topic in gun control: Mental Health.
In a society where killing sprees are common, it’s surprising that the issue of mental health is never brought on the table. Seung-Hui Cho was someone who was considered insane. His psychological profile spans from threats, to counselors who viewed him as a threat to the public. Then four years later, a guy named Jared Loughner went on a shooting spree. What was the difference? Surprisingly not a lot. Both used a 9x19mm round, both were semi-auto-pistols, both had no intention of living, but more importantly, both bought guns legally, both passed a background check and both were insane. Now it’s kind of contradicting what gun advocates say. They say that guns should only be in the hands of law-abiding citizens and yet when I propose the idea of a sturdier background check, they are not too thrilled with that idea. But when we live in a society where civilians can have guns, then it’s important to make sure that guns do not end up in the hands of people who are mentally unstable or willing to use the weapon to hurt the innocent. The most important similarity between Loughner and Seung-Hui is that both had warning signs of their instability and yet they both passed a background check to get a concealed weapon that neither should have had in possession.