NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
In a letter to the Editor published Feb. 17, 2013, B. Tindel stated, “Not one person has mentioned the mentally ill,” in reference to the gun safety debate.
However, on Jan. 16, 2013, President Obama announced 23 executive actions regarding gun safety and 4 of these addressed the mental health issues. The full list can easily be found online. Additionally, a bipartisan bill, The Mental Health First Aid Act of 2013, was introduced last month by 6 Democrats and 3 Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
If we are to develop a comprehensive plan to address escalating gun violence in our country, I believe that we all need to be well informed and wary of extreme statements such as “not one person has mentioned the mentally ill” or “they’re going to take all of our guns away.”
This is a complicated issue that involves many issues (including mental health, violent video games, combat-style weapons, background checks, gun show loopholes and more), but I believe that we must try. Special interest groups will likely try to cloud the issues but Americans are smart enough to figure this out.