Following his nephew’s recent suicide, actor Tom Arnold has written a scathing essay calling for stringent gun control.
Arnold’s nephew, named Spencer, was discharged from the Army following a suicide attempt. Though diagnosed as chronically-depressed, Arnold says his nephew was still able to get an Iowa concealed weapons permit and purchase five guns, one of which he used to kill himself.
Spencer also had a history of substance abuse, and had joined a neo-Nazi group, where he posted to Facebook videos of himself shooting guns and threatening President Obama.
Now, Arnold — who is a gun owner himself and a supporter of the 2nd Amendment — blames the National Rifle Association (NRA) for “not doing enough” to allow loopholes to be closed. He says the NRA has bullied Congress into inaction on comprehensive gun control legislation.
Here’s the thing. Gun control is not the answer. I feel for Mr. Arnold, and it is very sad that his nephew is now no longer with us, but someone with a history of mental illness and suicidal tendencies is going to find a way to off themselves no matter what. Yes, guns provide a more immediate means by which to commit suicide, but any number of weapons could be used, not to mention pills, jumping in front of a train, etc.
I think the real issue here — and one that Mr. Arnold seems to have not yet considered — is the failure of the “system.”
Why was this mentally ill man allowed to go fully unsupervised, despite past suicide attempts and known drug abuse? Why did Mr. Arnold himself not intervene sooner?
I’m certainly not wanting to speak ill of the dead here, or to point fingers after the fact, but this knee-jerk reaction, once again putting the blame on the thousands of law-abiding, hard-working, God-fearing citizens in this country is simply unfair and, quite frankly, downright irresponsible.
My Two Cents
by Peter P. Gaseoustania