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Tighter gun control legislation won't be enough 

I, too, may like to see more gun control legislation to combat violent crime, even though the correlation between the two is rather weak. We see countries like Switzerland and Israel, for example, which have proportionally more gun owner households than the U.S., with a homicide rate a small fraction of ours. In our country, the 10 states with the highest homicide rates and the 10 weakest gun control states have only one state in common.

Other factors are at work, certainly culture being one. Sociologists say that our society has evolved to become the most individualistic in history: most lonely, least community oriented, least friends per person, weakest family ties, etc., factors implicated in many of the mass shooters. Studies also show that a society with as great a disparity of wealth as ours has more crime, social problems, and mental illness than most societies.

America’s diet of junk food, drugs, and alcohol also contributes to our violence and “mental illness.” For example, one study found that 10 percent of caucasian children who take psyche drugs (Ritalin, Prozac, etc.), lack enough enzyme Cytochrome P450 2D6 to fully metabolize these drugs. The result is a buildup of toxins that increase homicidal and suicidal tendencies in these children, and 25 percent of our children are on prescription drugs.

Closing a few loopholes in gun control laws may be OK, but done by itself, I’m afraid, will accomplish little.

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

-- Gerald Manata - Paso Robles

Readers Poll

How do you feel about the availability of mental health services in SLO County? 

  • There is not enough access, and there needs to be more.
  • There is access but only for those with a lot of money.
  • Most people should be able to afford it if they knew how to find it.
  • People need to learn to get over their issues themselves.

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