As a medical doctor and retired health officer, Dr. Marc J. Yacht is alarmed by the rising number of gun-related deaths sweeping the country.
"In 2011 there were a total of 31,940 people killed by guns," said Yacht in his latest blog. "These sobering statistics suggest that guns are simply too dangerous in the hands of the untrained, depressed, seriously mentally ill and criminals."
Yacht suggests a twofold approach to the problem.
"No one should be able to purchase any firearm without an extensive background check. No one should be able to purchase a firearm without gun safety training. Firearms should only be purchased from authorized gun dealers. Every firearm should be registered. No clip should hold more than seven rounds, and military style weapons should be banned from the public," said Yacht.
At the same time, he believes the nation must address the dearth of mental health care services that might deter a deranged individual from picking up a weapon.
"The refunding and reopening of a comprehensive network of state mental health hospitals and evaluation centers will accomplish much to reduce the number of dangerously mentally ill that walk our streets today," he said. "Assuring medications and outpatient mental health services to the less seriously ill will curb sociopathic behavior responsible for terrible incidents that have become too common in America."
To read more on the topic, see Yacht's blogs: