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Letter: Guns and mental illness

Published: Friday, Jan. 25, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

To the Editor: Let’s move beyond simply focusing on the mentally ill individual and recognize that the human species has a streak of mental illness deeply embedded. Doubt it? Think of lynching, drone strikes that kill many to “get” a few, torture through the ages (always with strong defenders), humiliating people through social media and so forth.

So, perhaps we each need to look at ourselves and then at our culture and cultures of the world to see if we can understand our collective “mental illness” as we seek to lower the rate at which we murder each other – “the beam in our own eye.” As long as we stay blind to this, we will not move on as human beings.

Easy access to fast-killing, powerful guns and ammo for starters makes no sense under any excuse if we want to discourage mass killings. Those with mental illness can see violence as a legitimate solution to danger, and the level of lethal devices available mark the level that the violence can reach (gas, bio weapons, assault weapons, handguns, knives – on down the line to fists).

Let us broaden our search and know that there is no one answer, only ongoing effort to know ourselves, know what we hope for in our world, and continue to seek and test ideas that will lead us in that direction.

Sue ChurchSt. Charles

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