Ever since Sandy Hook, gun reform talk comes up in every political conversation and since we are at the beginning of a legislative cycle, every politician across the board is pledging to do something to cut down gun violence.
But in the end, very little is going to be done that will actually work to stop another Sandy Hook. It's going to be a lot of talk but little substantive action.
Why do I think that?
First of all, no matter what the people think or pundits say, Republicans are not going to pass anything that resembles gun control. Even as the tv plays in the background, the House GOP is simply saying they aren't going to work on it until the Senate passes something. Even if something gets passed in the Senate, it won't go through the house again without amendments. And once again we will be held up in bill purgatory.
BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER.
Why? Because MOST mass murderers obtain their guns through legal methods. By this I mean, they get them from someone who bought them legally. The shooter in Sandy Hook took his mother's guns. The ex-con in Ohio had someone else buy them. Very seldom do we here about these murderers having an illlegal gun bought under the counter. Unless you have a mind reader machine, that can read someone's mind at the time they purchase a gun, you can't tell if someone is buying a gun for hunting or protection or whether they are buying a gun for someone else. Look, I'm not a gun advocate but I don't believe tougher laws will stop these incidents. Restricting possession of assault weapons most likely would limit injuries and/or fatalities, but it won't stop someone who sets out to kill.
So all this gun reform, although it has the best of intentions, is just talk because it makes for good political conversation. However, it is out of touch with reality so it is more of a diversion.
Same goes for this video game argument. This argument came out after Columbine since those shooters played a lot of violent video games. It's not really a valid argument though.
Someone pointed out that other countries like Japan play these violent video games with the same fervor and they don't have the same violence in their country because of strict access to guns.
There are millions of people who either play or have played violent video games but don't go out and kill people. And there are plenty of people who kill people who don't play a lot of violent video games.
How about talking about the violence on TV? As first generation TV viewer I must have witnessed at least a million acts of violence on TV, maybe more. TV desensitizes people way more than violent video games but no one is talking about taking responsibility for the violence on TV and at movies.
And what can be done about it? What will be done about it? Nothing is the answer to both those questions because unless America is willing to come together and stop buying/watching violent programming, corporate America is going to keep putting it out there. And unless you start censoring programming for violent content, it's going to stay in our face every day.
The truth is that we are responsible for these killings because we don't want to deal with the mental health issues that contribute to it. This is not a new issue. Anyone who works in this arena or has had to deal with it, knows that it is an uphill battle at best.
However, nothing is going to change in this area either. Why? Because to change it requires money. And a)you are not going to get Republicans to go along with funding mental health programs. For instances, in my state, the Governor wants to cut taxes because our economy is doing so well. An alternative would be to take that money and improve the consistently underfunded mental health services in our state. But that's not how they think. Because today's GOP believes government is bad and corporations are good.
And if by a pure miracle you got the funding, then you would be limited by lack of programs and 20th century facilities. Remember corporate America only acts when there is money on the table. There hasn't been money on the table in a long time, if ever, in this field.
And then if you had the funding and you had the facilities, most people can't afford it and most insurance doesn't cover it or does so with a low limit. Honestly, about the only thing that could be done constructively, is change how insurance companies deal with mental health issues. If we could get insurance companies to cover all illnesses by removing the mental label, then more people would be able to access the resources. The resources that are underfunded, and limited inavailability.
Now if you can figure out a way to interest Corporate America in investing in mental health issues something might change. But Corporate America is only interested in things that make lots of money. So they won't be rushing to the table.
These mental health checks are laughable. Why? Because as a law abiding citizen, who has never been to a shrink or been treated for something like depression, I can go out and buy the gun, pass the reviews, and then walk out the door and start shooting people. And there is nothing in this world that can stop that. Nothing unless a mind reading machine but Corporate America hasn't invented that yet.