We all see the headlines about school massacres, along with the devastating tolls they take on communities nation-wide. The suffering extends to not only the families of the victims, but to the families of those who commit these treacherous acts of violence. Most of the time, evidence of future violence are often present far before the outburst of violence. Also, the behavior is often a plea for help, often because the individual has no other option or simply doesn’t know how to seek the appropriate help. My point in all of this is simple. A majority of people believe that banning guns will solve all of their problems and make the world a better place. Waiving our second amendment right must be the answer right? Wrong. Taking away our second amendment right will only fuel the fire behind an already existent black-market. Everyone wants to blame guns when the problem is far more sophisticated. Ever since deinstitutionalization in the 1960s, there have not been enough services to meet the needs of those who suffer from mental illness. Since then, funding has decreased, institutions and mental health centers have closed, and employees working in the field are underpaid and overworked. What happens when a person suffering from mental illness goes to the emergency room to be treated? They are often turned away or treated poorly while they are waiting to be treated for their symptoms or referred to a psychiatric care center. Some can even wait for days before there is an available bed at a psychiatric hospital. There are even parts of the country such as the Midwest where people have to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest psychiatric center. I’m not defending the people who have committed these massacres, I’m only stating that funding for mental health should be increased. In return, this would open up more centers to treat these individuals and provide more training for psychiatrists and other mental health professionals. Providing education to people nation-wide could also raise awareness and help identify negative behaviors or warning signs that something is wrong. My advice is this: call your local representative and let them know that funding for mental health should be increased. It is power in numbers that will ensure our world changes for the better.