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We all need to wake up to the fact that we're not a "perfect nation"! Too many of us might have questionable mental "quirks" ... we might be either bias and/or prejudiced because of color, race and/or religion and that might never change! And, as long as there remain “bullies” among us, then guns need to be in a safe/secure location where they're not accessible except to their owners who — when they want to go hunting — can go to that location where they can "check out" their gun for the day. (Isn't the reason anyone wants a gun is to be able to go hunting for something that can be eaten, right?)

It wasn't until 1964 that Nobel Prize winner in chemistry Dr. Rachel Carson's book, “Silent Spring,” woke the world up to the dire effects of chemicals ... telling us that “insecticides can be linked to mental disease.” She writes that “landscapers can experience an 'episode of mania' linked to the chemical 'dieldrin' they're using.” (Unfortunately, there already were a few landscapers in prison who had committed horrific crimes prior to the publication of her book. Even more unfortunate is the fact that they are still serving time because our judicial system refuses to consider any newly discovered mitigating circumstances after sentencing.)

Experts estimate that 16 percent of Americans have a permanent mental illness. Since pharmaceutical drugs became available, thousands have been either temporarily and/or permanently affected by their serious side-effects. (If we would check the side effects of some of the medications we're now taking, we might be surprised! The possible side effects of taking a drug along with another can sometimes be detrimental.)

Also, the reaction to a traumatic experience can temporarily affect a person's mental state and the person may very well react unfavorably, as some readers are well aware of happening! Yes, counseling can often help, as we well know.

Although there are many who believe that the "right to bear arms" for the purpose of defending ourselves is a guaranteed right, then keep in mind that back at that time, there was no local police department that could be contacted by phone nor the National Guard to turn to if we were under attack!

Be aware that people in Japan are rarely killed by gunfire — not since World War II ended — because guns were banned there.

Joyce Hackett Smith-Moore

Auburn

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