Letter: We need to get to the root cause of mental illness that led to shooting

The following is a letter to the editor submitted to the newspaper by a reader. It does not necessarily reflect the views of the Echo Press. To submit a letter, send it to or Echo Press, P.O. Box 549, Alexandria, MN 56308.

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To the editor:

About the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, I think we need to get to the root cause of mental illness that drives tragedies like this. The shooter was an 18-year-old high school student with what seems to be a rudderless family life. There are no indications that his father was in his life; his mother struggles with drugs; his grandparents were likely trying the best they could to raise him. He really had the cards stacked against him. Why can't we take steps to address how he (and other teens) get to this point and help them?

My teen years were many decades ago. My buddies and I were all raised with hunting as part of our lives. We all had ready access to weapons, but never considered taking the drastic steps this young man did. Our country needs to address how to raise young people with a well-formed conscience, understanding right from wrong, and being able to make good decisions about how their actions affect the lives of all who are around them.

What many are proposing with increased gun control is taking a constitutionally-protected right for every U.S. citizen (in the Second Amendment) and making it a government-granted privilege (and subject to abuse by whatever political party is in power). This is not what our founding fathers intended. They included the amendment to allow us to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government that takes away our rights. These same founding fathers included the phrase, "All men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

They understood what is necessary to preserve these rights and provided the means of protecting these rights in our Constitution for both themselves and future generations.


Mike Sponsler
Alexandria, MN

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