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The New Journal Gun MapNew City, NY — Two homes listed on the interactive map of legal gun owners published by The Journal News have been broken into in the last week.

The most recent burglary happened on Wednesday when a man returned home to find someone had broken into his home and made off with jewelry and two safes. One of those safes contained two handguns and two handgun permits. This comes less than a week after a family in White Plains, NY had their home broken into by thieves who also made off with some jewelry and tried breaking into a gun safe.

Both of these homes were listed on an interactive map that contained the names, addresses and home locations of thousands of pistol permit holders licensed in Westchester and Rockland counties, New York. This very controversial map was compiled and published by The Journal News on Dec 23.

Police say that there is no correlation between the map and the two break-ins, stating that they feel the houses were targeted at random. “The burglary is still under investigation, and there are no facts to support this correlation at this time,” Clarkstown Sgt. Joanne Fratianni said in a statement. “If the investigation develops further information, it will be released accordingly.”

Of course this truly could be a coincidence, as there were thousands of  homes listed on the map. I have no idea what the odds are of two homes being listed on that map being broke into within a week of each other, and I don’t feel like working out the math.

Targeted or not, these burglaries add more credence to the belief held by critics of the map who felt the map did nothing but endanger law-abiding citizens by giving criminals a handy tool. NY State Senator Greg Ball called the map a public safety nightmare, as did the head of the White Plains Police Benevolent Association. “The Journal News printed a virtual treasure map for criminals,” Robert Riley said. “It lets the bad guys know who is vulnerable, due to not having a gun permit, and where to go if they wanted a gun.”

Shortly after The Journal News posted the map, stating it did so to let neighbors know were guns were in their neighborhoods (*cough* bullshit *cough*) they began receiving threats and even had the tables turned by blogger Christopher Fountain, who posted names and addresses of some of The Journal News staff. This prompted the paper to hire armed guards for protection, much to the delight of people who love pointing at perceived hypocrisy.

I’m not going to go on a rant regarding the average American and their love of imposing knee-jerk solutions to issues that plague our country, at least not right now. But I will say that all of these supposed solutions to recent shootings (gun control! censor violent media!) will never solve the core issue, the issue that doesn’t have an easy villain; mental illness and how it is not dealt with in the U.S.

The common thread that connects most mass killings (no matter what weapon was used) is the mental health of the person that commits the crime.I fail to see how any of the current solutions being proposed, by people usually pushing some kind of agenda, will stop a mentally ill person from wanting to lash out at the people they are angry with. If you were to remove every gun on this planet, some time shortly after I will be publishing a story about a mentally unstable person blowing up a day care.

If people really want to help stop shootings like the one in Sandy Hook, then how about we start talking about how families can affordably treat a family member with mental illness. While your on that subject, start talking about how you can involuntarily commit a mentally ill person who hasn’t shown they are a danger to themselves or others, without violating their civil rights. No one talks about this stuff because they don’t have the one thing people love; an easy answer.

I’ve always felt that one thing we could do to help is to educate. I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, I was taught many things that turned out to be worthless in the real world and not given some basic tools that I could have applied toalmost every facet of my life. Things like finances and mental health, both of which are very big, ongoing issues that continue to have a negative impact on our country.

The average American household indebted to credit cards is $15,422 in credit card debt.Would that number be any lower had anyone in these households, from a young age, been required to take finance classes alongside Math and English? Classes that educated children on budgets, banking, loans, credit, investing and all the things attached to those subjects that the average American obviously does not fully understand.

And along those same lines, what about teaching kids about mental illness?  Mental illness is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada. An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. That’s 52 million people, or 1 out of 4 adults. Would some of the stigma and shame associated with mental illness be removed if people knew what it was from a young age, and knew the various forms and various treatments? Would the number of school shootings, homeless, and suicides eventually drop?

I don’t know the answers, of course, but I fail to see how this could hurt. It’s not a quick and easy solution Americans love, but I think that it would be far more effective way to stop a mentally ill person from killing children than putting more laws in place that hinder legally purchasing a firearm.

Ok, so I lied about the rant.

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