As the gun policy debate continues in the aftermath of several mass shootings in the United States, it is vital that mental health and background check reforms are implemented to minimize gun violence in America.
To improve mental health care in the U.S., officials should reform health insurance to alleviate the cost of receiving mental health care and increase access for those who need it. And more programs, such as free clinics, are needed to make health care more widespread. Mental health care reforms are necessary to prevent citizens from harming themselves or others and to provide help to those who need it before their mental health deteriorates to such low levels.
In addition, background checks must cover citizens who not only go out to purchase guns, but also those who own guns at all. Current background checks provide loopholes for gun purchasers, which can result in at-risk individuals falling through the cracks, so background check reform is crucial for effective gun regulation.
As public discourse about gun laws moves forward, it is important to implement practical changes that can reduce gun violence, prevent at-risk individuals from obtaining guns and improve mental health care to identify and help troubled people.