There’s an epidemic sweeping our nation right now. Some might even call it an attack on the core of what makes our county great–our safety, our security and the freedom to learn and live without fear. After so many mass shootings in malls, schools and public spaces, an outcry has risen to stop and prevent these events from happening. And rightfully so!
We’ve Got The Wrong Enemy
If there’s one thing our government should do, it’s protect our citizens but in the midst of these tragedies it appears we have set our sights on the wrong enemy–Gun Control. Removing constitutionally guaranteed rights will not have an effect on the true source of this problem. We are living with a drug problem, not a gun problem.
According to the sister-in-law of Nikolas Cruz’s mother, the 19-year-old shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School had a history of emotional difficulties and depression and was taking medication, as reported by NPR in a February 14th article. While it’s still too early to tell for sure the extent that Cruz’s use of, or side effects from, medication played in his actions that day, there is a growing number of cases involving suspects and assailants who are prescribed psychiatric drugs.
It’s the same story from 2017’s Las Vegas mass shooting. According to CNN in October 2017, “The drug Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was prescribed, Valium, is a benzodiazepine documented by several studies to cause violence, aggression, homicidal ideation and suicide risk or attempts. New court records obtained by CNN indicate Paddock had been prescribed the drug as far back as 2013.”
Research Points To The Real Problem
While there have been thousands of acts of violence and shootings that have not been correlated to the use of psychiatric drugs, the Citizen’s Commission on Human Right International notes there is research showing, “There have been 65 high profile acts of senseless violence, including mass school shootings, mass stabbings, and even the intentional crashing of a commercial airplane, committed by individuals taking or withdrawing from psychiatric drugs, resulting in 357 dead and 336 wounded.”
This is clearly an exploding problem and we’re completely missing the point of where it’s coming from. Countless protests and news reports have emerged with the message of removing certain types of guns and gun accessories from the market without ever holding the manufacturer’s of these mind and emotion altering drugs accountable for their side effects.
What Can We Do Now?
It’s time to rise up and take aim with a unified American voice at the drug manufacturers who are profiting daily from these psychiatric drugs and to hold them accountable. Just look at what has come to light with the opioid crisis where drug makers were incentivizing doctors to prescribe more and higher doses of their drugs to patients. Don’t be deceived, these companies have their shareholders and financial bottom lines in mind more than doing the RIGHT thing for the public good.
It’s time to take in to account the drug use of individuals who are attempting to buy guns as part of the background check system. Simply removing the gun from the legal marketplace will do nothing to address the heart of the problem here. If a person is on one of these drugs, they need additional screening before being allowed to purchase a weapon or possibly denial.
This is not simply a gun problem, it’s a drug problem. An individual under the influence of these drugs’ side effects could take a vehicle and cause as much if not more damage as with a handgun. Should we ban the sell of vehicles? It’s time to go to the source of the problem and hold these psychiatric drug manufacturers responsible for the carnage being caused in part by their products.