Talking about guns might get more readers, but it doesn't really address the issue. The real issue here is mental illness and a society that has failed to help a troubled young man and paid for that failure with the lives of innocent people. We might want to paint James Holmes as a monster, but I think it's unlikely that someone lives their lives completely normal until they get access to a gun. It takes a deeply disturbed individual to go on a shooting spree. Mr. Holmes actually did seek the care of a psychologist, but unfortunately this wasn't enough to prevent the harm he inflicted.
The real problem is that our society generally views mental illness as a personal weakness instead of a problem to address. Further, those affected by mental illness may not have the means or opportunity to et the care they need to prevent this kind of tragedy. Our societal instinct is to shun people and cut them off from society, to pretend the problem doesn't exist by ignoring it. Look at what happened with the gun range as told by this very article. If someone calls a gun range and sounds "bizarre, guttural, freakish at best", then merely blocking that person is not the answer, and obviously was not the best answer in retrospect. But, if the gun range owner had called the authorities, they would be more likely to treat the person as a criminal rather than as someone who needed help to prevent drastic and tragic actions.
So, the discussion we need to have is: how do we as a society start addressing mental illness rather than ignoring it? How do we get to a point where someone showing signs of trouble doesn't get mocked or shunned, thereby likely making the situation worse? Once we figure out the answer to that question, then we begin to have a proper discussion on the role of guns in our society.
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