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America’s Worst All-Time Failure: Guns and the Mentally ill (Opinion)

There has been no greater systemic failure in the United States of America than the failure to recognize the deadly connection between guns and the mentally ill.

Instead of addressing this correlation properly, the country as a whole decided a battle between conservatives and liberals over owning guns was the direction to take. While in recent years there has been a focus on mental illness and guns, not one single leader has emerged who could seriously implement a sweeping, nationwide change that would perhaps forever change how guns are sold, issued and regulated.

Future generations will look back on history and be dumbfounded at the static grip the gun industry spearheaded by political lobbyists and long-term Senators and Congressmen, had on the entire country. While certain states are now making some changes regarding semi-automatic and automatic weapons, the issue of how legal and mental health professionals should properly address guns in the hands of the mentally ill, is still far from resolved.

The individual politicians, civic leaders, corporate leaders, mental health professionals, lobbyists, extreme gun advocates including individual citizens, and many others could be “outed” in lists completed by artificial intelligence programs that produce them in mere seconds. Mayors, governors and U.S. Presidents should also be held accountable, their names on lists of powerful individuals who had the ability to make a change, but tragically chose not to.

Even in cases where authorities and mental health professionals knew a severely mentally ill person owned guns including semi-automatic weapons, the guns were not removed and the individual was allowed to remain in society. Even when the mentally ill person stated verbally and in writing they wanted to shoot and kill a lot of people, the individual was allowed to remain in society and to continue to own guns including semi-automatic weapons. Because laws are now written to better protect the accused or potential criminals, authorities fear lawsuits or losing in courts if they take action.

If a prosecutor loses a case, that’s a point against them on their performance record. Rather than risk losing, many of them make the decision not to take a case. This is the way the entire American system of business and government is structured. Employees, workers, civil servants, elected officials all are measured on a performance point system. If you are a worker with a wife and three children and live paycheck to paycheck, are you going to risk being wrong? Perhaps not, because you and your family come first.

American society pays for the political and corporate system it has in place, and those who die in mass shootings are by society and government as a whole considered collateral damage. It’s the price we pay for “freedom.”

There are millions of severely mentally ill people living on the streets and in homes in America. In most cases when they seek help the “system” processes them and then releases them. It cost thousands of dollars a day to medically care for an individual in an American medical facility. Healthcare is the largest and most profitable industry in America, and the lack of regulation is a result of political lobbyists and Senators and Congressmen in Washington, D.C.

In order to change the current, severely flawed system, profound changes would have to occur. One of those changes would be to limit the terms of Senators and Congressmen to 4 years with no possibility of re-election. America should stop enabling life-long career politicians. There will be no good change when bad seeds are allowed to remain and continue to grow.

The next change that should occur: stop lifetime U.S. Supreme Court appointments. U.S. Supreme Court Justices should be limited to 8 year terms with no possibility of reappointment. Change in appointees can bring freshly needed laws to benefit and protect the public. Stagnate, rule until you die Justices is not the way to continue.

The American people should vote for U.S. Supreme Court Justices and their appointments by U.S. Presidents should be halted.

There should be a federal law that when any individual presents themselves to mental health professionals with undeniable information that the individual feels the need to kill a lot of people using guns, that individual should be committed to a mental health facility and not allowed to leave until a team of qualified people determine otherwise. This should be a law that cannot be overturned by individual states. Perhaps it needs a U.S. Constitutional Amendment to make it so.

America needs to stop the fight between conservatives and liberals over the legalization of guns.

We now know, for certain, it’s not the guns it’s the mentally ill people who own or obtain guns. If they do not have access to guns they can do other things just as or perhaps more dangerous, to get their point across. Their “point” is a cry for help, and the American system, the American people, have failed them.

America needs to fix the mental health system and address dangerous people properly and with urgency. Do not be afraid to confine a person who makes mass shooting threats. Step-up and do what you know is right, and deal with it in the legal system if it escalates to that.

More than anything else before it, America needs to now address and resolve the deadly issue of guns in the hands of the mentally ill. Most if not all of them really do not want to take that path. Some of them reach out for help by warning law enforcement and mental health professionals – and others such as friends, acquaintances and even on social media. Anyone who has knowledge of death threats against others, has a moral obligation to do the right thing. Otherwise, you could be considered an accomplice by proxy. You didn’t pull the trigger but you had prior, ample knowledge it could happen.

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