Listen Carefully For A Cry For Help


Luke Galloway, Reporter

Due to the recent mass shootings in both Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, there is once again a cry for gun control and mental health assistance in America. Both shooters, age 18 went to extreme lengths to carry out their equally horrible crimes. 18-year-old Payton Gendron drove nearly 200 miles to Buffalo from his hometown Conklin, NY to commit this racially-motivated crime. Then there’s Salvador Ramos who according to his family dealt with extreme mental health issues and opened fire on an elementary school in Uvalde, TX killing 19 children, 2 teachers, and eventually his own grandmother. Crazy and out-of-the-blue tragedies like these have Americans asking big questions such as “When are we going to make a change?” and  “How can we prevent these mass shootings?”

Not only does America have a gun control issue, but it also has a true mental health crisis. The United States has an issue with letting guns fall into the wrong hands, but all the mass shootings can’t be just blamed on guns because the core problem is the ‘wrong hands’ into which those guns fall. A common phrase in the gun world we live in is “a gun doesn’t shoot itself’,”  which is very accurate and true but, at the same time, we as a country can definitely limit that access.

People have the right to own guns, but there really should be stricter rules about which firearms are not only practical but legal to own.

Not everyone needs a fully-automated rifle just to have it.

People who struggle with mental health know that when you fall into a dark space, you lose control of your sense of morality; in the case of the shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, that is what happened. Someone who has evil intentions will find a way to get a weapon.

As a country, our officials need to look at this on a two-sided scale and realize the danger of severe mental health troubles. Gun restrictions will only limit the safe access to guns but once it becomes more difficult, those with evil intentions and a twisted mindset will go to extreme lengths to possess them. For America to return to proper, common sense understanding of gun control, it is vital that we teach all young Americans proper use of firearms at a young age, so that method stays with them. 

In the democratic society in which we live, you never want to see a single group of people or a specific thing be singled out, but you especially don’t want any unnecessary violence. 

It’s imperative that as a whole this country makes a change and takes mental health problems more seriously. If you see signs of someone who displays attributes of depression or mental illness, it’s important to communicate with them and make sure they aren’t feeling deep darkness or an urge to do anything violent. It’s equally as important that everyone understands how to help people dealing with mental health problems because you can be the difference in preventing a major catastrophe.

Just noticing these issues in someone and talking to them about them can make such a big impact because, for all you know, you could be the first and only person to ask them. At the same time, we as a country shouldn’t have to live in fear for our loved ones and ourselves on a daily basis because of the guns that have fallen into the wrong hands.

All in all, as a whole nation we must do our job to restrict gun laws to rightful owners and understand the true mental health crisis going on today and how to support those in that category.