Gun Control Debate Should Center on Mental Health and Big Pharma, Not Guns and Ammo

Craig Bushon and Bob Price discuss mental health and the gun control debateSomewhere the debate on the gun control issue has taken a horribly wrong turn. Evidence shows that guns don't kill people. People with mental health issues who are taking psychotropic drugs use guns to kill people. We have a national health crisis in regards to how the mentally ill are treated in this country. We have schools and doctors that are working for "Big Pharma" dispensing mind altering drugs like they are candy. In nearly every single mass casualty shooting, drugs that contain warnings of side effects including suicidal tendencies and increased violence have been involved.

Last weekend, nearly two thousand people gathered on the north steps of the Capitol of Texas excercising their First Amendment right of free speech to protect their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. TexasGOPVote's Bob Price was there to cover the event. Before the event began, Price was interviewed by Austin Talk Show host Craig Bushon (CraigBushonShow.com) about the rally and the issue of mental health as it relates to gun violence.

Price told Bushon, "We feel that this is really an issue that needs to be shifted from the discussion of gun hardware to the shooter. The shooters, in almost all of these mass casualty situations, are people that are on psychotropic drugs or under some sort of psychiatric care, and that's really where the discussion needs to be."

"We need to shift the focus and get off of the hardware," Price continued. "If we can address the mental health issues that are really facing this country and get some help for these people, we could make a difference and save some people's lives and help the person who is disturbed in the first place."

Bushon responded, "I think you made a valuable point. We have a mental issue in this country. We have a high breakdown in our medical world, taking care of people who have mental issues, too many people on medications that are just allowing them to get things and expose themselves…the bottom line is we have a huge mental issue in this country that we're not dealing with."

Price will be providing more coverage of the event in Austin and the relationship of drugs and mental health to gun violence through additional posts on TexasGOPVote this week. See additional coverage of this event from Craig Bushon on his website.

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEW:

Craig Bushon: Folks, welcome back to the Craig Bushon Show. We're live at the State Capitol here in Austin, Texas. Today, as you know, is the big push. The Second Amendment is under attack in this country. Obviously there are a lot of people who are concerned about that, so you're seeing the Guns Across America, the rallies happening all across the United States. Right now with me is Bob Price. He's from TexasGOPVote, and welcome to the show. 

Bob Price: Thank you very much. It's a great opportunity for the people of Texas to get out and express their First Amendment right about protecting the Second Amendment. We are here today to support that issue and provide some coverage for that. We feel that this is really an issue that needs to be shifted from the discussion of gun hardware to the shooter. The shooters, in almost all of these mass casualty situations, are people that are on psychotropic drugs or under some sort of psychiatric care, and that's really where the discussion needs to be. Governor Perry said this week it takes a finger to pull the trigger, and in many cases, that finger is on the hand of someone who is not legally qualified to own a gun because of mental illness or some of the drugs they're taking. We need to shift the focus and get off of the hardware. The time it takes to shoot twenty rounds with two ten-round clips versus one twenty-round clip is about two seconds, so there's not a big difference in this hardware discussion. It's not going to save a single life. But if we can address the mental health issues that are really facing this country and get some help for these people, we could make a difference and save some people's lives and help the person who is disturbed in the first place.  

Craig Bushon: The fact of the matter is, semi-automatic, we're hearing a lot about semi-automatic. My thirty-eight special police edition Smith & Weston is a semi-automatic. It really just means how fast you can pull the trigger. There's a lot of bad information out there. The folks who look through their TV screens and computer screens are getting a lot of bad information about weapons, about guns. The bottom line is, I think you made a valuable point. We have a mental issue in this country. We have a high breakdown in our medical world, taking care of people who have mental issues, too many people on medications that are just allowing them to get things and expose themselves…the bottom line is we have a huge mental issue in this country that we're not dealing with. 

Bob Price: It really is an issue. You mentioned revolvers. If anybody has ever seen Jerry Miculek with Smith & Weston shooting competition, he can put twenty-four rounds of ammunition through a revolver in about the same time I can for a Springfield XD, so the hardware is not the issue, it's the person behind the gun, and that's really what we need to address. 

Craig Bushon: Well there you have it. Thank you Bob for coming on today. Make sure you check us out. We'll put a link up on Be First Media and also on CraigBushonShow.com, and I think Jerry Patterson is about to come on, so thank you so much. 

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As much of America holds a death grip on their guns, we should be asking why we are so dependent on the idea of protecting ourselves and from what?  We live in a post-9/11 society in which fear is bred 24 hours a day through television and media.  Other countries with similar social structures such as the UK don’t have this problem and don’t have guns in the hands of every man, woman and child.  Read more about Living in a Society of Fear and how we are at War with Ourselves at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten...

http://safetool.azurewebsites.net/brunnerk/

January 23, 2013, AUSTIN, TX – In response to the Newtown shootings, mother and mental health professional, Kirsten Brunner, created the S.A.F.E. risk assessment and reduction tool: http://safetool.azurewebsites.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/TheSAFEtool_V3.pdf She hopes that this PDF will assist parents and community members in recognizing at-risk situations, connecting troubled individuals with support, and creating a safe environment in homes, schools and businesses across the country.

Along with most of the nation, Ms. Brunner was emotionally moved and galvanized by the shootings in Newtown, CT. After wiping away her tears, she embarked on some deep introspection and exploration as to what she can do as a parent and a mental health professional to prevent this needless and horrifying violence. While many are focusing on gun control, mental health reform or increased security, Ms. Brunner’s focus is on the micro and individual level, in the form of community risk education and reduction. “I believe that it is time for all Americans to take responsibility for reaching out to those who are troubled in our community, and more importantly, in our own families,” Ms. Brunner explains. In addition, she argues that gun owners can, and must, do more to keep their weapons safe and secure, and out of the hands of incompetent individuals.

After collaborating with peers and graphic artists, Ms. Brunner created the S.A.F.E. tool in order to encourage individuals to 1) Survey Their Surroundings, 2) Assess for Risk, 3) Find Help, and 4) Eliminate Access to Weapons. Ms. Brunner envisions the S.A.F.E. poster hanging in the offices of pediatricians, school counselors, and church leaders. She encourages anyone who wants to utilize the poster to contact her directly.

Ms. Brunner recognizes that individuals who struggle with mental health issues are far more likely to be victims of violence, rather than perpetrators. She also recognizes that it may be difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate all acts of gun violence. Nevertheless, Ms. Brunner feels that if parents, neighbors, and community leaders took a more active role in surveying their surroundings and securing weapons when necessary, our society might be able to greatly decrease the hundreds of acts of gun violence that occur every week in our nation. Ms. Brunner argues that, “It not only takes a village to raise a child… it also takes a village to keep a child safe.”

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Kirsten Brunner, MA, LPC is a married mother of two boys (5 and 7 years old) in Austin, Texas. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor who has worked in the mental health field for over 15 years. She currently operates a private practice in which she works with clients of all ages, on a wide variety of issues. Before opening her practice, she worked in the corporate EAP field, consulting with managers, collaborating to prevent work-place violence and responding to onsite critical incidents.

 

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