In the event of a mass shooting, we get mad. We assign blame. We demand change. Some feel there are too many guns in our society while others believe a lack of guns at locations make them easy targets.
Maybe, after we separate ourselves from the raw emotions of the situation we can actually listen and have an open dialogue about the issue, while protecting and respecting people’s rights. It seems that both sides over-simplify the problem and draw a hard line in their beliefs. Yet compromise and finding middle ground is not impossible.
We must recognize the status quo is untenable and understand we have an inherent, constitutional right to own guns in the United States to protect ourselves.
We should keep guns away from the mentally ill and do a better job of providing treatment. We need to permit the courts to issue gun violence restraining orders where family members or people close to an individual can petition the court. This keeps guns temporarily away from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others while granting due process.
We need to help school districts better protect their campuses. Each district is different and needs to determine their own path, but the state should help be available when resources are limited.
It is clear that evil lives within the soul of these shooters and the true blame lies with no one but the shooter. Guns themselves are not the problem, yet our right to gun ownership does not acquit gun owners of guilt. It is time for change, but not change for change itself. Rather than attacking the rights of responsible gun owners, we should hold them up as models and hold others to those standards. While there is no one solution to eradicating gun violence, we do have the power to save lives.
State Representative Mike Henne’s office is located at 77 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43215. Phone (614) 644-8051, Fax (614) 719-3590.