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A man embraces a young boy as they look at a memorial in front of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic church in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 16, 2012. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)
A man embraces a young boy as they look at a memorial in front of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic church in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 16, 2012. (LUCAS JACKSON/REUTERS)

Expats debate: Does a mental-health strategy need to be part of Obama’s guns task force? Add to ...

I heard an interesting question asked on the radio while driving into work today. The announcer was talking about how we have stickers in our windows and signs on our front lawns that indicate our house has a home security system as a way to deter criminals. They then posed the question: Would you put a sign on your lawn saying "this is a gun-free zone" and feel at ease?

I certainly don't have the answer to all this, but I think it's a much larger issue than scooping up all the guns off the street. We need to figure out what is driving these (mostly) young males to commit such crimes. How did they fall through the cracks? And how can we ensure that psychological resources are readily available to intervene before things like the events of Friday ever happen.

Derek Congram, archaeologist in Honolulu, Hawaii, originally from Ontario:

One can only hope that out of such tragedy comes reason: that we can counter the argument of those who believe irrationally that their right to own and use lethal weapons trumps the security and lives of children.

We've already seen that gun ownership rights outweigh the right to security of adults or even high school students (think of mass shootings in recent years in the U.S. and the lack of legislative response).

And perhaps mental health welfare will also get greater consideration as a result.

Both in Colorado and Connecticut it is plain to see that beyond the very complex factors of culture and society that contribute to mass gun killings, mental health and the availability of guns are major components of this tragic national phenomenon.

These contributions have been edited and condensed.

 

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