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By Patricia D. Netzley

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38 O n the morning of September 6, 2011, thirty-two-year-old Eduardo Sencion left the Carson City, Nevada, house where he lived with family members and drove to the parking lot of a local shopping center. He parked his minivan across three spaces—attracting the attention of at least one person who nearly confronted him about it—and stayed there for several minutes before driving out of the lot. Approximately thirty minutes later he was again spotted in the lot, parked in a different area. m. he entered a neighboring lot belonging to an International House of Pancakes (IHOP) restaurant.

Nonetheless, she had supported his interest in guns and often took him to a shooting range. All of these pieces of information fueled arguments over whether Lanza’s mother, a mental illness, poor social skills, a violent video game, bullying, or the prevalence of guns in the home were to blame for the shooting. In addition to all of the typical arguments about what might have caused this terrible tragedy, some people began to suggest that if staff members at the elementary school had been armed, they could have stopped the attack before lives were lost.

Increasing the Database Some laws have attempted to broaden this definition, so that the threat is not necessarily imminent. For example, in March 2013 New York enacted a law that would require mental health professionals to report to the state any patients that they believe might be capable of harming others, so that the state can revoke the gun license of such people and seize their guns. Many of the state’s psychologists have spoken out against this requirement. ”47 Others argue that the law criminalizes mental illness, while correctly noting that the mentally ill are statistically no more likely to commit a violent crime than the rest of the population.

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Can Gun Control Reduce Violence? by Patricia D. Netzley

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