I went to UCSB and was saddened when I read about the recent killings. No one deserves to be the victim of senseless slaughter. In reading Mckinley Krongaus’ op-ed piece, she places the blame for Mr. Rodger’s actions on gun culture, but completely ignores this nation’s 45-year-old failed policy on deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. She argues the founding fathers could not have conceived the future existence of semi-auto guns and would never have allowed civilians to own such weapons. I’ve heard this argument before, and it woefully underestimates our forefathers who lived during the Industrial Revolution and who clearly knew technology would advance rapidly in this nation. To assume they believed future citizens should be hobbled with archaic means to defend themselves is inconceivable. She also says since Australia banned civilian ownership of semi-auto guns, they have had zero mass shootings. However, in Australia, the police have the ability to forcibly transport an individual to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation if a physician calls for it. That’s exactly what didn’t happen here. In 1967, Governor Reagan acceded to the demands of the ACLU and changed California’s mental health laws while simultaneously shuttering the state’s mental hospitals. The ACLU sues any state that tries to strengthen its ability to involuntarily commit the mentally ill for treatment. They also sue any police department that detains anyone with mental illness unless they can prove the individual was acting or about to act violently. Is it any wonder the sheriffs were reluctant to detain Mr. Rodger? To Elliott Rodger, his guns, his knives and his car were merely a means to a twisted, irrational end. You can ban guns, but you can’t ban mental illness.
Rob Armstrong is a UCSB alumnus
This is a Daily Nexus online exclusive.
Repeat after me: it is not the guns. It is not the guns. It is not the guns. The ability to drive around and spray 50 bullets while driving had nothing to do this crime. The ability to purchase 50 clips of 10 bullets each had nothing to do with this crime. Having easy access to guns that allow killing of many people in an instant is of no concern here. Move on.
In 2001 or 2002, UCSB student Atias drove his car into a crowd of students. He claimed he was the angel of death. In NY, unbalanced people push others off subway platforms, into trafffic or streets. Google it. Every mass shooting on the news seems to be by someone that would have almost certainly have been institutionalized prior to 1970. Using the Isla Vista tragedy as an “anti-gun” agenda item is terribly misleading to everyone. The problem is people who are unbalanced; they don’t take their meds. Their parents don’t know what to do and cannot institutionalize them. Its time… Read more »