The tangle of gun control and mental health

Kalina Boshkovska, Staff Writer

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Lately, many have noticed how guns have caused great havoc in our nation. The recent shooting in Florida was the event that opened everyone’s eyes to the the truth behind gun violence. After over 18 casualties occurring in less than three months, there have been many conversations surrounding how mental health affects the abuse guns. “Being someone who has mental health issues, I know that sometimes I do things, like breaking a glass, where I don’t realize what I’m doing until it’s too late,” stated Jane Doe*.  Everyone has different views, with some believing that mental health should be no excuse to do something as horrid as shooting up a school, and some believe that it is unacceptable to do such an act, however mental health plays a great role in people’s thought process and actions and should be treated. What happened in Florida, and what has been happening in the past three months is absolutely unexplainable, however the mental health aspect can be explained.

Students and adults alike who experience mental health problems such as depression or anxiety, often experience stronger negative emotions than most. This could be reason why many do something they will regret in the spur of the moment without realizing it. According to the website, “since the Virginia Tech shooting, mental health records on file in NICS [The National Instant Criminal Background Check System] have doubled.” This means that more and more people have been diagnosed after a shooting has occurred. While all of that is said, the Sandy Hook Promise website also stated, “only 4% of gun violence crimes are caused by a person with a mental illness.” So, mental health is not entirely the reason for why these ‘casualties’ happen.

Mental health plays a great role in people’s actions. “I believe that sometimes people can get caught in their own head and feel trapped, and they hear these voices provoking them to do something bad, and when you’re in such a bad state… you listen” said Michael Ford. Mental health is very common today, which is why most can agree that we need better background checks to make sure that a person handling and keeping a gun is stable enough to do so, regardless of whether they plan to use it or not. We should not let these events become normal, and we should still be shocked to hear news like this. Hopefully things will improve soon, and we won’t have to worry about these sorts of events.


* Names have been changed due to privacy reasons

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