• Andree DeCastro

Gun control?

The mass shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida is a very tragic event, much as other mass shooting events that have occurred in the past. My condolences go out to the victims' family members and friends. As I scroll through social media and see posts on Instagram about the shooting, I observe the comments. I posted a comment about having a more strict gun law in Florida. To my surprise I had many people comment back saying that Florida does have strict gun laws. People really need to educate themselves. Here is a link from CNN that discusses Florida's gun laws :

Now I know you have the liberals arguing for gun control to protect the safety of citizens and the conservatives arguing for no gun control because it goes against our freedom as Americans to defend ourselves. I am a very relative, and empathic individual, so I can see where both sides stem from. Sometimes it is important for people to put down their biases and allow rationalization to speak for itself. There is obviously something wrong with the system here and there needs to be a solution. Unfortunately rationalization does not exist in Congress.

So what are other ways both liberals and conservatives can prevent such tragedies without the whole debate of gun control?

My personal opinion is that mental health should be more recognized in schools in states where guns can be easily accessed. I feel this will help prevent such tragedies from occurring. I visited Stoneman Douglas High School's website and I noticed that they have no mental health services offered at their school. If public schools were mandated to acquire mental health services from third party providers, then I believe these tragedies can be prevented. Not just homicidal tragedies but also tragedies of suicide and abuse. If you visit Stoneman Douglas High School's website this message appears:

Seems like now they are utilizing counselors, what about before this incident?

At the mental health clinic I work at, we provide mental health services in schools and I can definitely say I have probably prevented a few students from going forth and committing suicide. As a therapist we are required to report if a patient states that they are feeling suicidal, homicidal or experiencing abuse. In my clinical experience thus far, I have had a couple of experiences where students expressed homicidal tendencies such as drawing bullet targets on students in a class picture or talking about hating another student so much that they want to hurt them. Homicidal tendencies are rare in individuals and are most likely carried out in individuals who are deeply disturbed. These deeply disturbed individuals tend to be disturbed from life circumstances, such as a broken down family, bullying at school, and no knowledge of where to seek mental health help. The disturbance can also be caused by many other factors such as neurological problems and severe depression.

Bottom line is that we need more counselors and therapists. We need to supply these deeply disturbed individuals who suffer from malaise and homicidal tendencies with counselors who are full of sagacity. This will help bring these individuals to a more rationalized state of mind. I would say implement mental health programs into the schools of states that have easy access to guns. This would be considered a added preventative measure to help ensure the safety of our children in this country.

What do you guys think about this idea? Leave a comment.


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