Letter: Gun debate does disservice in equating mental illness to crime

February 8, 2013 

A letter written by Mark Johnson, Kennewick, "More Americans killed by knives or beatings than with guns," on Jan. 22 illustrates an alarming trend in the current arms control debate, equating the mentally ill with criminals.

Johnson asked, "Why do people always want to do something about the tools the shooter uses rather than the criminals and mentally ill people who are committing these crimes? Disarming law-abiding citizens will only make easy prey for the criminals."

To state that the mentally ill are committing these crimes is like stating that law-abiding citizens are committing these crimes. The mentally ill are law-abiding citizens. They should never be thought of as criminals.

The fact that the courts already upheld the infringement on the Second Amendment rights (and others) of some law-abiding citizens, the mentally ill, means that it has already been recognized and approved by all of us (none of us wants to see the mentally ill packing firearms), that the Second Amendment can be, has been and will continue to be infringed upon by the government for the safety of the public.

DAVID CHRISTENSEN, Kennewick

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