Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bonus Letter to Senator McCain!

Mr. McCain Believes in “No Restrictions” on Gun Ownership

In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, America’s leaders continue to fail the people. First, they fail the fallen by speaking at a time when no words can provide solace. When they could just show up and grieve with the students and faculty, America’s world bleeders defend the right to carry weapons. They suggest dangerous people can suddenly explode, which Mr. Cho Seung-Hui obviously did. Yet, records indicate over a year ago Cho was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility as he was a danger to himself and others. A month ago that same man purchased a handgun.

Do you recall any other mentally ill shooters? Summer of 2005 John McCain’s home state of Arizona had one in a WalMart parking lot north of Phoenix. Ed Lui, a schizophrenic patient shot dead two teens retrieving carts. The news never reported on how Mr. Lui got his gun. However his managed care company has a track record of denying patient’s psychiatric medications.

The issues run much deeper than one horrific school shooting. Access to handguns today is very different than when our leaders crafted the Second Amendment. With a muzzle loader how many people could Mr. Cho have taken out? I believe the Bill of Rights guarantees every citizen the right to purchase, own and shoot a muzzle loader. My brother in law hunts with one every year and enjoys the challenge. Are modern day hunters too lazy to get their next meal with firearms used by our original stock? Do they need automatic weapons that fire multiple rounds, each in less than a second?

Care for the mentally ill is the other systemic issue. Employers and the government frequently restrict coverage for mental health diseases, providing less benefits and discouraging the use of certain resources, like inpatient mental health facilities. Arizona contracted out care for their mentally ill, much like the President wishes to do with Medicare and Medicaid. The East Valley Tribune, a Mesa, Arizona newspaper, did a special report on the state’s private mental health care provider and the rash of lawsuits against ValueOptions.

To be clear, Senator McCain is happy for 47 million to be without health insurance as he has done little substantive on this issue. Estimates show some 2 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia. With no restrictions, these 2 million Americans can purchase deadly weapons, capable of killing even police officers. Such an incident also happened in Mr. McCain’s home state.

The point is not to make the mentally ill look like dangerous lunatics. Statistics show the mentally ill more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Nearly one third of people killed by police officers in North America appeared to be in some form of mental health crisis.

Mr. McCain’s recently stated position on weapons clearly supports the Republican mantra of “you are on your own”. Doesn't it just make you feel hopeful, knowing every American can and should own weapons in RepublicanWorld?

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