In 2015, Alison Parker and Adam Ward were fatally wounded in a gun attack by an enraged shooter while on assignment on live television (Daily News, 2015). The incident sparked outrage among a cross-section of viewers and other interested stakeholders with an increased call to tighten or eliminate gun ownership in the United States. According to Waldman (2015), the 2nd Amendment of the United States` constitution upholds the unequivocal right of the citizens to hold and keep arms privately.
Yet unfortunate incidents such as the Parker and Ward shooting have also resulted in calls to immediately waive this right given the increasing rates of gun violence witnessed across the country in recent times. This paper will argue that the right to bear Arms by any citizen must be upheld and that other measures ought to be taken to prevent the prevailing gun violence in the United States.
According to Ross (2018), at least one in every five Americans suffers from mental illness at any point in time during the calendar year. Aa a result, incidents of gun violence such as shootings at elementary schools are often the first port of call when assigning blame for the occurrence of such acts of extreme violence. However, Ross (2018) argues that this perception is not entirely true as victims of mental illness are less likely to indulge in gun violence when compared to healthy individuals according to statistical research.
The correlation between gun violence and mental illness lies more prevalently in instances of suicide as such patients are more likely to fatally injure themselves than they are to attack the others according to Ross (2018). In this regard, the most common method of suicide by mental health patients is through self-inflicted gunshot injuries. Consequently, victims of mental illness should have restricted access to guns and ammunition mainly to prevent them from harming themselves and not others according to Ross (2018).
However, the fact that mental illness patients are unlikely to harm others does not absent them from active involvement in instance of gun violence. According to Ross (2018), such patients are more likely to be killed each year by the police due to the threat they pose while carrying weapons when compared to individuals of sound mind. In this regard, mental illness does not necessarily portend a threat to others but rather increases the likely hood of gun violence to such patients either by their own hand, or from other quarters such as the police force.
According to Ross (2018), certain type of mental illness such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) predisposes individual sufferers to higher levels of aggression that may result in gun violence.
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