by JASMINE ELSHAMY Photo & Video Editor
When an ex-NAVY seal died in a shooting by a war veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, more light was shed on the issue of gun rights for people with mental health and how this country treats veterans with PTSD.
Chris Kyle, the author of the best-selling novel “American Sniper,” and Chad Littlefield, 35, also a veteran, were gunned down on Saturday, February 2 while shooting for fun at a Texas gun range. Eddie Ray Routh, 25, a former Marine who told police last year he was suffering from post traumatic stress, was held on a capital murder warrant.
Shay Isham, a lawyer appointed to represent him, said his client spent roughly the past two years in and out of Veteran Affairs medical facilities for treatment of mental issues. Authorities said Kyle often took veterans with PTSD to the gun range as a way of bonding with and mentoring them.
I was unaware that bringing people with a serious mental issue to a place with and for guns and the shooting of them, which tends to, you know, give the power to murder someone, was okay.
“Guns being given to the mentally ill? Really? There are no words left in my mind that could possibly think of one reason why this might be an even slightly decent idea,” says sophomore Dom Collura.
Oh, here’s a reason! Going to gun ranges relieve stress, so having one’s stress, which was basically caused by watching the death of men and women around them due to these handy-dandy little machines, relieved by reminders of their stress is just brilliant.
There had been attempts in the area of justice and law to help keep veterans with PTSD away from guns, and it was actually initiated by and pushed for by a Republican, which is a complete surprise because they almost never come up with any valid or decent ideas. But of course, because it was a Republican, the politician then wanted to withdraw the bill.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn had been all for and then against an amendment to block the Department of Veteran Affairs from automatically entering the names of veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” to handle their finances from having their names entered into a national background check system, thereby blocking them from gun ownership.
Instead, the Oklahoma physician wanted those case decided by a judge rather than a federal agency, unless those veterans had been “found by a judicial authority to be a danger to themselves or to others.”
New York Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer pushed back, arguing that “you should not have a gun” whether “you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm.”
See, Democrats! Gotta love the presence of brain cells.
Our friends over at the National Rifle Association support reforms that would make it tougher for mentally ill people to get guns. Of course you do, National Rifle Association. Of course you do.
“There should just be better treatment for these veterans. It isn’t fair that their experiences are so often overlooked,” says senior Sam Cicatello.