The student newspaper of Nicholls State University

the nicholls worth

Letter to the editor


It is with some embarrassment that I find myself compelled to write this letter; I was shocked that an esteemed publication such as the Nicholls Worth might put its endorsement behind such an erroneous argument as last week’s editorial piece on mental illness.

While the main thrust of the editorial regarding mental illness was well intentioned it quickly lost its intended target and instead became a smear attack on exactly those people who need the most tenderness and nurturing support from our society: the mentally ill. While it is true that mental illness is wholly underdiagnosed and resources for support are lacking, to place misguided blame on this most vulnerable of groups does nothing except to strengthen the already strongly negative stigma associated with having such problems. By flatly blackballing a diverse and divergent group of afflicted individuals and associating them with mass murder it not only discourages those suffering from seeking help but further creates undue prejudice against a range of people whose only crime is not being “normal.” Would one use such disparate language about those suffering from cancer or AIDS? How is “mental” different from other “illness?” Then why use similar language for those who, by your own admission, are dealing with ailments beyond their control? If you were to substitute the words “black” or “latino” with the words “mental illness” in the editorial it would be deemed a hate piece not worthy of publication since the horrid days of Jim Crow.

Guns do kill. They are tools highly effective at what they were designed to do. Even strong pro-2nd Amendment constituents will admit that tighter background checks are needed for purchasing firearms; but to flatly say that “no one needs an AK-47 in their closet” is as tyrannical as it is ignorant. If our society is based on liberty then who better to ensure it than its responsible, law abiding citizenry? The country of Mexico has a total ban on the private ownership of firearms yet the recent narco-drug wars being played out make our own nation’s losses in ongoing wars pale in comparison. Blindly trust the government? Ask the Native Americans or Jews of Germany how that works out.

Micah Hebert
Government Major
Mass Communication Journalism Minor
(985) 258-8400
[email protected]

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The student newspaper of Nicholls State University
Letter to the editor