Saturday, November 22, 2014

gun laws We do need some firearm restrictions

Posted on Jan. 24, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

I am writing in reply to the opinion of Donald H. Pound (“No more government intrusion on rights of gun owners,” Jan. 13 People’s Forum).

I agree that law-abiding gun owners have a strong right to possess and use a weapon.

I also agree that guns don’t kill people; people kill people, and if certain types of guns are restricted, criminals will still get guns because they don’t purchase them legally.

But I think that laws restricting semi-automatic military-type weapons should be restored.

I also think that everyone who buys a gun at a gun show or from individuals should undergo a government background check just like buyers at gun stores.

I also think something must be done to strengthen the screening and availability of affordable mental health care and upgrading its importance in this country.

I have first-hand experience with mental health treatment and discovery. Mental health professionals deal with privacy restraints and if people do get help, it can cost $150 for 15 minutes with a psychiatrist.

Help is very expensive.

We need to remove the stigma of mental health illness, educate people on how to spot it and get someone who exhibits an illness on the radar.

Those with mental illnesses do not harm others any more frequently than “normal people.”

Last but not least, Mr. Pound gives several examples of gun owners protecting themselves or others, but I will bet that none of these people used an AR-15-style rapid-fire weapon to accomplish it.

Richard Lay

Goshen