With each mass shooting in our nation it seems the same response often comes from those on the right: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Sad, but they often place blame with the shooter being troubled, deranged, having mental health issues or in crisis.

So, in the midst of a global pandemic that may see us lose tens of thousands of Americans, columnist Jim Fossel’s biggest worry (April 5) seems to be Gov. Mills’ initial decision to declare gun shops as non-essential business during this time.

I just read that compared to last year, for the month of March (the start of the pandemic), federal crisis line calls are up 891 percent. Yes, that is not a typo, an 891 percent increase in calls to a federal mental health crisis line seeking help.

Now understand that I’m not anti-gun. I’m anti-idiots owning guns, which differs from mental health. I’ve never heard of a doctor making a diagnosis of idiocy. So, given the whole premise of the argument by the right that mental health issues play so predominantly in gun violence, is this really the time for Mr. Fossel to play politics?

Don’t worry – the Second Amendment right is still there. I can remember the days when you couldn’t buy liquor on a Sunday, but that didn’t mean anyone had taken away your right to drink. Don’t worry – pour yourself a nice strong one and it will all be over soon!

Did I mention 891 percent?

John Gregg


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