Thea Davis, pastor at Restore Community Church, left, addresses a crowd of protestors before a march April 16, 2023, in Kansas City, Missouri, to bring attention to the shooting of Ralph Yarl, 16, who was shot when he went to the wrong Kansas City house to pick up his brothers. Credit: Susan Pfannmuller / The Kansas City Star via AP

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I am writing in response to mzuki2u who wrote a comment published in the April 26 BDN .COMments section about the man who allegedly shot and killed his parents and their friends and then went on to shoot at others on the highway who were injured. This writer is correct that people with mental health conditions are stigmatized and are often avoided, shamed and dismissed.

This person writes that, as a society, we need to start viewing people with mental illness like we view and act toward people with illnesses such as cancer or heart disease. The writer ends by saying, “Please stop blaming guns, we have a mental health crisis in our country, and it deserves our attention.”

I agree that our country has a mental health crisis and that it deserves our attention. But just recently there were  at least three publicized shootings — all directed at innocent people who had mistakenly gone to the wrong door, driveway, and car. I believe these shooters reacted irrationally and without thinking and probably from fear (enhanced by the gun makers).

These shooters had a gun handy, and they shot without thinking of the consequences. Let’s admit that we are all on a continuum of mental health and we all have moments of irrationality and/or emotional distress and act out in adverse ways. The fact that America has more guns than people makes it more and more likely that when a usually “sane” or “normal” person is scared, angry, etc., and they own a gun, they will use it to take out whomever is the source of their distress.

Karen Jo Young