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License to Shoot



One of the common narratives I've encountered resulting from the most recent shooting in America is that we need to better fund our mental healthcare system, as the lynchpin to prevention of gun rights, along with the additional ideas of toxic masculinity and cultural norms as addressed in the North Coast Journal.

As a future social worker, I can emphatically state that yes, we do need the funding. But I don't believe this will prevent gun violence in America. And from a professional standpoint, I don't agree, either. If you ask Harvard Business School, magically solving all cases of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression, would only reduced violent crime by 4 percent nationally. According to a 2016 report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the amount of deaths (more than 33,000 per year) due to gun violence was equal to that from car accidents.

If guns have the same potential for harm as getting behind a wheel, why don't we treat them the same? The written and practical exams a person needs to pass in order to drive should have a counterpart in gun ownership. From a legal perspective, Californians can file for a firearm restraining order. I suggest that this be an automatic clause to any granted order, which is in alignment with the 2013 Summit at Johns Hopkins on Reducing Gun Violence in America.

Nicole Calvino, Eureka

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