Friday, January 14, 2011

It's not the mentality, it's the metality

In an article discussing the likelihood that the recent horrors in Tucson will result in any meaningful change in the rancorous political dialogue in the U.S., Roy Peter Clark, a leading journalism expert at the Poynter Institute is quoted as believing that "the shootings represent a broken mental-health system that continues to be largely ignored even while spree killers with serious mental illnesses strike with harrowing regularity".

While I agree that our mental health system is in dire need of reform, Mr. Clark is barking up the wrong tree. America's world class murder rate is not the result of having more mentally ill people than other countries. It is the result of having more very lethal guns. Passing laws that would prevent mentally ill people from getting their hands on semiautomatic weapons and massive ammo clips would cost far more and take decades longer to achieve than for the Supreme Court to admit that the section of the Second Amendment to the Constitution that reads, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State..." is not there merely as an anachronistic place-holder. How is it that the so-called "strict constructionists", such as Justices Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Alito seem to turn all squishy when it comes to the right to bear arms?

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