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In the wake of the tragic New Town massacre, handgun rights are at the forefront of politics, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution being readily challenged by politicians, celebrities and anti-gun activists. However, the questions posed are:

Do guns cause violent acts?

Should America be looking to promote gun safety and challenge mental health regulations that allow legal and illegal firearms to fall into the hands of those that are mentally ill?

Are there more precautions that should be instituted by state and local governments to ensure that background checks red flag people suffering from mental disorders?

As a sea of questions surrounds the headline gripping tragedies involving recent violent acts, should Americans delve deeper into the source of this violence instead of assuming abolishment is the only solution?

This automatically poses the age-old question: Do guns kill people, or do people kill people? While the events of New Town are related to a young adult, mentally ill and disturbed with delusions, many people wonder if more stringent mental health regulations could have prevented this tragedy.

The very same week that New Town’s tragedy ripped into the hearts of Americans nationwide, China suffered a similar tragedy. In central China, a man entered an elementary school and stabbed 22 children and one adult. While none of the stabbings resulted in deaths, China has also experienced their unfortunate share of stabbing-related school attacks. In fact, in 2010 a man entered a Chinese kindergarten class and stabbed 28 children, a security guard and two adults.

Obviously,what these unfortunate stories have in common is one theme: mental illness. No mentally stable person enters a school and brings harm to innocent children.

While gun control advocates are touting stricter gun bans and more stringent regulations, statistics do confirm that the U.S. has the highest rate of gun ownership, per capita, in the entire world. Averaging nearly 88 gun owners out of 100 people, studies show that gun violence is not necessary linked to gun ownership. In fact, the Central American country of Honduras reports an astonishing 68.42 firearm deaths per 100,0000 people, although their gun ownership rate is a mere 6.2 per 100 people.

This poses an additional question: Is gun ownership linked to violence or is society’s acceptance of violence linked to gun bloodshed? While most violent crimes involve readily available weapons – albeit it legal or illegal – if more gun safety precautions were exercised, perhaps the debate to abolish the Second Amendment would be culled and gun control activists would be satisfied, while still adhering to the guidelines set forth by our country’s forefathers.

Many local state and government programs offer gun safety advice, including information about trigger locks, personalized locks, lockboxes, firearm locking devices, cable locks and gun vaults or safes.

In fact, the U.S. currently has approximately 20,000 different gun laws and restrictions on the books, as cited by former President Ronald Reagan just 11 weeks after an assassination attempt that nearly took his life. President Reagan understood that gun violence is not necessarily related to gun ownership, but due to the mental illness that surrounds certain people, including those that may suffer from paranoid delusions. In fact, John Hinckley, Jr., the man responsible for the assassination attempt, was suffering from mental illness and was motivated, by his own claims, to be influenced by his obsession with the movie “Taxi Driver.”

In conclusion, perhaps there is a better answer to reducing gun violence, instead of making the rash decision to ban guns or institute more gun restrictions. Whatever the final solution, politicians, celebrities and lobbyists should not have the only say in whether the Second Amendment will remain part of our time honored Constitution. In fact, the American people – as the government was designed “for the people, by the people” – should have an equal say in determining the direction of our country and the rights of our citizens.

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