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LETTER: Labeling people is poor policy

To the Editor:

I disagree with Ingrid Kizen's letter to the editor of Feb. 21, "Gun control needed across nation."

Labeling people as mentally ill, and creating a national list of those labeled, is an abuse of human rights and dignity. Allowing a group of professionals (or is it just anybody?), to criminalize someone "suspected" of mental illness and to place them on a national list is reminiscent of Nazi terror. If you will remember, the Nazis first made lists of people who were different, including the mentally ill, and then tortured and murdered them.

Unconstitutional laws in this country were exposed and changed in the last century freeing people who had been labeled and committed to institutions for the mentally ill. It was shown that a bureaucracy of professionals and well-meaning people illegally labeled and institutionalized (or imprisoned) people different from themselves for their own gain. Some of the people institutionalized were tortured, experimented upon with surgery and drugs, and some were killed.

There are people who believe that all problems can be solved by making laws to control behavior. There is always a group of people given authority over that law and those that break it. Look at history: always that group of people with authority over others breaks the law, too. Making more laws and delegating more power is not the solution to controlling dangerous behavior.

The current trend in instruction has failed to teach people right from wrong. Instead it has taught that right and wrong are relative, dependent on the person, tradition, or inclination of a person or group of people. It has also taught that a government separate from us, a bureaucracy, has the job of policing behavior and providing politically correct solutions. We are not to become personally responsible and involved in other's lives to help them.

I suggest the real problem here is not one of gun control, or control of the "mentally" ill, but a problem of knowing what is good and evil. All of us have the ability to break the law. All of us have the ability to overcome behavior that breaks the law. We must be taught that there is good and evil, and that there is right and wrong. We must do what is good and right.

There is a perfect law that overshadows all of mankind's laws: the fulfillment of all the Law is to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind, and to love thy neighbor as thyself." This perfect law gives us a solution to lawless behavior, if we submit to the truth that Jesus Christ has shown us in the Bible.

If we love our neighbors, then we will become personally involved in their lives, especially those that have the most need. We will help those that are ignorant, lonely, in pain, in fear, or sick. We will personally sacrifice our time, money, and possessions to share love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, and faith with the lost, even to those labeled "mentally ill." We will not need to fund another bureaucracy that will take freedom away from people, but we will work to make free those that are in bondage. If those in bondage are made free from their pain and illness by Jesus' love, then they won't act out violently towards the innocent.

This is how the Law of Love works.

John G. Richey

Star Prairie