by Hassan Mirza

As a resident of central Ohio, I am saddened by the loss of our fellow Westerville Police officers who were killed in a line of duty recently. I am also saddened of the seventeen victims of the Parkland shooting. In both situations I commend our fellow officers putting themselves in harm’s way to protect civilians in need.

These two incidents only paint a piece of the larger picture. Violence has become more of an issue than ever before. In the past individuals were more responsible with their weaponry, however, specifically in more recent times, people have now become untrustworthy. It is a sad an unfortunate reality of the rapidly change pace of our country.

Normally one would say that firearms are the main source of the issue – in which they do play a small percentage of. However, I do believe that the issue is the increasing number of individuals with mental illness. It is no secret that mental illness is on the rise, progressively worsening with the younger generations. This could be attributed to differing reasons – declining economic prosperity, parental neglect, social media usage, etc.

So how can we solve that problem? Simple solution – implement a system of accessible healthcare for all. Many of these issues could have been avoided if the United States implemented an accessible healthcare policy guaranteeing healthcare for every citizen. We are not prioritizing mental illness in our healthcare system thus making many people run untreated and undiagnosed. Detrimental as this sounds, it only gets worse. Because with all the mentally unfit individuals running around, they are not receiving the care they need to function in society thus making them prone to such violence as a result of being untreated.

The Scandinavian countries have implemented a system of healthcare for all its citizens. As a result, you have decreased crime and increased prosperity providing a greater middle class associated with income and wealth equality. This is the type of balance United States needs to adopt to ensure prosperity.

I love my community and country, but I love it too much to remain the way it is currently. Officer Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli, thank you for your services to the Westerville community. You will be greatly missed. And thank you officers of the Parkland police force for your excellent work on detaining the suspect thus preventing further harm potentially done to the Parkland community.

Let not their sacrifices go in vain, we need a reformation in our healthcare system.

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