Stronger gun laws: Schools still at risk

Chief executives of some of the United States’ best-known companies sent a letter to Senate leaders on Thursday, invoking stronger gun laws, including the expansion of background checks to all firearms sales.

Heads of nearly 150 companies, including Levi Strauss, Twitter, and Uber, signed the letter stating that inaction on gun violence is “simply unacceptable”.

The letter further urges the enactment of bills already introduced in the House of Representatives, showing the unified stand of the business community on the gun debate.

Which brings us to the matter of consideration – how are schools kept safe from gun violence? What are the additional measures being imposed?

According to data from the US Naval Postgraduate School, there were 94 school gun violence incidents in 2018 — a record high since 1970, which is as far back as the data goes, and 59 percent higher than the previous record of 59 in 2006.

Paul Gionfriddo, the president of an advocacy group called Mental Health America is not impressed by the United States President’s remarks. Proposals such as red flag laws, gun confiscation and tighter and stronger gun laws have been thrown around as solutions but it is the president’s remarks about bringing back the mental institutions that will house the mentally ill that has caught the attention of everyone.

Stronger gun laws cannot solve mental health issues

Gionfriddo argued stronger gun laws are outdated and could not be helpful in solving the current mental health issues in the country. In fact, part of the reason that this reduction was introduced is that they realized that was not the solution.

There has been growing concern about the mental health welfare of the citizens in the past few years. In August, for example, tragedies of mass shootings struck the nation, leaving everyone engulfed in a cloud of sadness and confusion. These events have increased the conversation around what should be done to combat the growing number of mass shootings in the US.

Mental health of the US nation linked to reduced bed capacity

The reduction of the number of bed spaces meant to house the mentally ill from the highs of 550,000 beds during the 1950s to around 38,000 as of the latest available data from the first quarter of 2016. This number has caught the president’s attention where he is quoted as saying:

We don’t have those institutions anymore and people can’t get the proper care.

John Snook, however, seemed to agree partly with the president about the effect that the reduction of the beds capacity for these institutions may have contributed to the current sad state of the nation’s mental health. He was also quick to point out that the president’s rhetoric surrounding the mental health issue was not helping with the solution.

Tracing the root cause of gun-toting mentality

The White House staff members are looking for ways to incorporate Trump’s suggestions about mental health issues with other issues earlier suggested into policies. The policies address the growing gun violence in the country.

Gun ownership in the United States is rooted in the Second Amendment of the Constitution:

A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.