In a society where guns are highly prevalent and the right to own them is constitutionally protected, solving a public health crisis that claims 35,000 lives every year (two-thirds by their own hand) is like a jigsaw puzzle. There are many causes of the problem, and many parts to an effective solution. Merely pointing the finger at “mental illness” will not solve this puzzle.
It is unfortunate that Republican lawmakers are using a rather heavy-handed regulatory tool — the Congressional Review Act — to repeal the gun restriction rule, rather than modifying it to reflect what the evidence tells us about mentally ill persons and violence risk. But, at this point, opposing repeal of a bad regulation in the hope of getting something better in the future is too much to expect of someone who cares more about science than politics. The outgoing Democratic administration dealt their friends a bad hand: The original rule was misguided and Congress is right to repeal it.
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