Letters to the editor on gun rights, care for mentally ill

01/28/2013 12:00 AM

01/25/2013 6:28 PM

Stand ground and protect liberties

Regarding Davis Merritt’s commentary “Time for 2nd Amendment absolutism is gone” (Jan. 22 Opinion): Many Americans are willing to give up their liberties and rights and allow their government to do all things for them. Those who blindly follow and parrot the progressive (socialist) agenda now flowing throughout our country have a rude awakening coming.

The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

Merritt stated: “Gun-rights advocates are correct in saying that history’s most ruthless dictators consistently have tried ‘to take away the guns.’ But it is also true that the dictators moved first to silence dissent by curbing free expression.” He added that “they sometimes briefly succeeded at both.”

I find the use of the words “tried” and “briefly” disingenuous and most likely purposefully misleading. One only has to examine history to know the truth. In the 20th century alone, millions of men, women and children were murdered as a result of being disarmed by their governments.

Our Constitution was written to protect all peoples of the United States from extremism from all sides – left, right and in between. However, the only way it will work is for all individuals to personally stand our ground and not be taken in by those who desire to dismantle our great nation by taking away the freedoms and liberties it was founded upon.

MICHAEL CRABTREE

Wichita

Give up right?

Without getting into the Second Amendment and its intent, and without getting into the arguments that if you outlaw guns, only outlaws would have guns, and all of the other arguments – just what would you give up if there were a possibility that some of the new laws could prevent some innocent victims from being killed?

Would you support universal background checks with 14-day waiting periods? There is a chance an individual who was trying to buy one for the purpose of doing violence would come to his senses if he had to wait for two weeks.

Could you support a ban on assault rifles if it would save lives? Some of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School would be alive today if the shooter hadn’t had a gun with a high-capacity magazine. Banning these guns and magazines would not have prevented this awful tragedy, but it would have saved the lives of some of these precious children, one of whom was hit with 11 bullets.

Ask yourself this question: Would I give up this right if it would save the life of a child? There is a good chance it would.

WAYNE POWERS

Derby

Rebuild system

Sadly, we are responsible for our failure to provide mental health services to those young men involved in the mass killings. More than a century ago, our country was deeply involved in eugenic sterilization. This was mostly in state hospitals for the retarded and mentally ill and was involuntary. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld state laws mandating eugenic sterilization in 1927 (Buck v. Bell).

When Adolf Hitler promulgated similar legislation to protect racial purity, which grew into the Holocaust, American revulsion turned against our own eugenic laws. In 1942, the same Supreme Court rejected Oklahoma’s eugenic sterilization law, reversing its previous ruling.

Understandably, public anger became directed toward state hospital and public mental health authorities. Gradually, our private and public mental health facilities withered and essentially vanished.

Now, considering our long-standing distrust, what can we do for seriously ill and murderous young mental patients? We must look back and recognize our misdirected attachment to eugenics and its enormous injury to our country and moral values. Then we must start to rebuild a system to identify those hopelessly impaired by mental illness and provide treatment, both inpatient and outpatient.

RICHARD GILMARTIN

Wichita

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