Mental health should not trump gun control

By Carlos Solis |Staff Writer|

Three mass shootings have happened over the last two weeks on college campuses in Oregon, Arizona, and Texas. As if college wasn’t hard enough.
Chris Harper Mercer, the shooter at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, was a 26-year-old who was described as quiet, spiritual, and a loner who was dealing with mental issues, according to his mother.
“Shootings happen because mentally ill people, stupid people, will commit the crime no matter the weapon,” stated student Keith Rivas.
So is it fair to blame it on an issue of mental health? Mercer is just one example of a mass college shooter, but there seems to be a pattern that those who commit these evils are people dealing with internal issues that makes them act externally.
Guns don’t act by themselves, and the person behind the trigger should be someone responsible.
Do we need stricter control on gun rights? Absolutely.
We need a more intensive background check, especially in terms of checking for mental health issues
“The shooters look for college campus, because they know people are disarmed,” said Zachary Corrales, a CSUSB student and former military scout sniper.
Opinions regarding stricter gun control are black or white — you’re either for or against it.
In a perfect society, maybe we would not need guns.
However, it is understandable to want to protect yourself from potential harm.
There are ways to obtain firearms without going to a federal firearms licensed dealer. The deep web is a common place to illegally buy guns.
When trying to buy a gun in any state, you need to complete the Dealers Record of Sale form (DROS).
“The DROS form contains information about both the firearm buyer and the firearm itself (make, model, serial number, etc.) […] this information is used by the Department of Justice to run the criminal and mental history background check on the buyer and to register the handgun,” according to
I believe that anyone can commit crimes, whether they are mentally ill or not.
You never know how long it takes until a person is pushed past their limits.
Are prevention programs and training students to be prepared for shootings a potential solution?
CSUSB is one of many colleges with a mandatory active shooter program. The campus had an active shooter simulation last year.
They may help, but it seems we’re running out of options and time before another unpredictable college campus shooting.
Society should allow individuals to own firearms.
However, we need to know how to use them responsibly, and most importantly, keep them away from those who may want to cause fatal harm. We should all actively work together to prevent further atrocities from occurring.
Although I don’t own a gun, I imagine it is a powerful and safe feeling to be able to protect oneself, yet taking a life is just as powerful.
We can demand more laws about gun rights, background checks, prevention programs, and reduce the number of guns available to the public, but what we really need is to start working on being better people, to shape a better society, and understand that it is wrong to take another’s life.


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