Dear President Obama,
The fundamental argument that you make and wish to believe is that the majority of Americans supported new gun control legislation. You were very misinformed about these statistics. The one thing that the majority of Americans do support is the much overlooked aspect of the recent cases of gun violence during your term. That common factor is not the gun, but the mentally ill person who had it. Changing gun laws would not prevent these people from getting a gun just like it does not deter criminals in your hometown Chicago from getting guns and having the highest gun related deaths in the nation.
Sandy Hook was a tragedy, but the greater tragedy would be to pursue legislation that does not address the root cause of all of these events and that is the failure of proper care and identification of the mentally ill in America. Again if you want to do something that will help reduce these types of events clear your eyes and focus not on the gun but on the people who committed these acts and the common mental health issues they all possess.
A focus on overhauling our mental health program would be a valid and necessary step towards addressing the cause of these acts, rather than attempting to eliminate the tool used. There is a mental health crisis in America and these mass killings all by mentally ill people should make that point crystal clear. It is also our moral obligation to care for the mentally ill and to protect the general population from mentally ill people who can do harm to others.
The issue sir is not the gun although that seemed an easy way to do something in response to the tragedies it would not stop future acts of violence by the mentally ill and would only serve to infringe upon the constitutional rights of law abiding sane Americans.
If you look deep into each of the cases you cannot ignore the perpetrators were all mentally ill, and the crimes committed and the manner in which they were done, would only be committed by a person with serious mental health needs that have not been properly treated due to the very poor and severely underfunded and limited mental health treatment for people with these lifelong health issues that require lifelong treatment. The time has come to re-evaluate the mental healthcare in our nation and work on increasing access of care, long term inpatient care and funding for adequate personnel to treat these people and prevent them from harming others.
The reason the legislation failed is because the majority of Americans’ identified the issue as a mental health crisis and not a gun crisis, thereby recognizing the legislation was more of a symbolic act than legislation that would have a genuine impact upon the root cause of these acts of violence.