Texas Gun Control vs. Mental Health Debate

In the Texas United States, the society has increasingly faced with various situations that have brought the notion that guns, especially in the hands of wrong individuals are responsible for the harm experienced in the society. Therefore, apart from the issue of criminals having guns, the residents of Texas are dealing with the issue of gun control and its relationship to the mental illness (Bourns, William, and Wesley, 150). Most of the people in Texas have posed an argument against gun control by the government claiming that their individual rights supersede the constant danger and the threats that are posed by the weapons. However, the government in relation to the recent incident of gun firing at a Church in Texas, that the gunman had some mental illness. Therefore, there has been constant debate about the issue of gun control and mental health problems as violent deaths occur in Texas.

The question of whether the push for gun control in Texas will reduce crime rates in the region has been exposed. Most of the peoples backed with some politicians have claimed that the law allowing the possession of a gun in the state has caused the violent deaths of many people. It is revealed that the gunman in Texas known as Devin P. Kelly 26 years old should have been prevented already from accessing firearms due to the domestic violence conviction against him. Thus, it was found that while servicing in the Air force was charged against two cases in 2012 through the court-martial for assaulting the wife and also breaking his infant Stepson’s Skull.

However, the Air force did not forward his identity to the national instant Criminal Background Check system. Therefore, based on this information the people believe that gun control is the factor that should be dealt with to reduce death issues. Mr. Devin should not be allowed to poses a gun based on the threat factor that he might render to the public. However, contrary to the issue raised by the people in Texas, President Trump responds from Tokyo citing the issue of mental health and nothing more. “I think that mental health is your problem here,” Mr. Trump told reporters at a news conference in Japan, the first stop on his 12-day overseas trip. Based on preliminary reports, the gunman in Sutherland Springs, Tex., was a “very deranged individual,” he said. “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries.”(New York Times, para 3)

Therefore, based on this information, there is the issue of mental health that the society seems to forget could be the possible cause of violent death of people. For example, the case of Devin armed with a military-style rifle mowed down parishioners at a small-town in Texas killing about 26 people and also injuring many people. Therefore, the confusion lies in the solution to the issue of gun firing on whether to exercise gun control or go the mental way and involve the psychiatrists. On the other hand, the society believes that the government should actually control the ownership of gun since it will establish a society where only responsible people are the one to holding the guns. The capabilities of the issue being caused by some elements of mental health do not ring through the minds of many. The people in Texas believe that the cause of the violent shooting is caused by easy access to guns in the society. These could be a scapegoat for the responsibility of the government in protecting the people by enforcing restrictions on accessing guns. The police and other military personnel should be the ones being allowed to have guns as opposed to the current law where everyone can follow the process and access a gun or any other weapons since they protect the people (Goss, 304).

According to Cecilia Munoz, the former president Obama domestic policy advisor asked a very interesting question based on the controversy that exists in the case of the church shooting in Texas. “If this is a mental health problem, it begs the question of why we let people with mental health problems have access to firearms,” said Cecilia Muñoz (New York Times, para 13). She understands that it very challenging to find out an individual with a mental illness serious to make them a risk and thus worthy of involvement in the background check system. Therefore, according to Cecilia, it is very difficult to draw a line but it is integral to draw a line. However, many people have argued that targeting mentally ill people in Texas in an extensive way could possibly affect millions of people with mental problem who doesn’t pose threat to the people of Texas and other states. Most of the people believe that drawing a line for the mentally disturbed people could not solve the problem.

 In support of the reasoning, Jeffrey Swanson found that a study conducted on serious mental illness found that the patients could not use a gun to harm others compared to the rest of the population. He continued to state that President Trump’s statement and opinion to the incident at a church in Texas is a dodge to shun a gun control debate. He declares that rather focusing on the mental health, the legislatures should focus on violent history as a means of better predictions of the gun violence. “We don’t have to tolerate this,” he said. “We can live in a less violent society.” (New York Times para 15) It is imperative that the ball is still handed to the issue of the gun control system. The role of the politician is worth of notice due to the fact that blaming all the violent shooting to mental illness is rather skeptical. The crimes rates experienced in Texas could actually defend the fact that a mentally ill person could not take a Machine gun riffle and select a church as the target (Spitzer, 576). Therefore, it is important to check on other solutions compared to blaming and placing focus on the mentally ill people in the society.


The debate on the issue of gun control and mental illness to the solution of violent shootings experienced in Texas has raised a lot of factors. The shooting at a church in Texas by a 26-year-old man identified as Devin leading to the death and injury of many people. Many people, for example, President Trump relates the incident to mental illness as opposed to the gun control policy raised by people in Texas. Moreover, the debate has brought in controversial issues raised through a political framework. Research has shown that a mentally ill individual is less likely to use a gun to harm people in the society.

Work cited

Bourns, William, and Wesley D. Wright. “A study of church vulnerability to violence: Implications for law enforcement.” Journal of criminal justice 32.2 (2004): 151-157.

Goss, Kristin A. Disarmed: The missing movement for gun control in America. Princeton University Press, 2010.

Spitzer, Robert J. Politics of gun control. Routledge, 2015.

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