Letter to the Editor: Mental healthcare and gun legislation

To the Editor:

With the astounding total of 18 school shootings in the past 45 days, that means that every 2.5 days a child is either killed or injured at school with a gun. This is not acceptable. We as a country need to start investing real money into accessible mental healthcare. Right now in the state of Iowa the police, corrections officers and sheriffs are given the unfair task of being not only a peace officer, but a mental healthcare provider. This is not what these men and women were trained to do, and it is unfair to our police officers.

We need mental healthcare reform throughout the nation. We need access to counselors,  psychiatric nurse practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical workers who are specifically trained to help those individuals suffering with mental disease and distress.

As far as guns are concerned, the Founding Fathers did not have any idea of the firepower that would be available in 2018. When the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791, the fastest musket on the market took approximately 20 to 30 seconds to load before it could be fired. The accuracy on these muskets was poor,  in comparison to what an individual has access to today. What would our Founding Fathers say? Would they weep for the mothers and fathers that had lost children in school shootings?

Children have the right to feel safe at school. To my esteemed representatives and senators PLEASE do something to help the lack of mental healthcare available in Northeast Iowa. Please also consider that semi-automatic guns, such as the AR-15, that were created for the sole purpose of killing human beings, should be banned for use by the general public. In the end the question remains: Are your Second Amendment Rights more important than my child’s life?


Kristin Kopperud-Stinn


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