Mental Illness or Human Nature?

Caroline Aguilar, Writer

It was a normal Sunday morning at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, when 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley killed 26 people ranging from an unborn child to a 77-year-old senior citizen, and wounded another 20 people. Because of this, many people think that gun control in Texas should be regulated.

“I feel like the type of guns these people are using when they’re doing these massive shootings, aren’t necessary for your basic protection,” English teacher Shana Thompson said. “If the guns that people are able to buy are restricted, these things wouldn’t happen.”

Gun control in Texas is not very limited. The gun Kelley used to kill was a AR-556 rifle, and anyone who isn’t a minor without parental permission, or committed a felony within five years of release or parole, may own or purchase a firearm. The shooter could not have had a mental illness, as President Donald Trump has stated, because all humans have a trigger in our brains that bring out the aggressiveness in us.

“The hypothalamic attack region (in the brain) controls defensive-aggressive behavior,” scientist Douglas Fields said in an interview with National Geographic. “If scientists stimulate these neurons with an electrode, an animal will instantly become aggressive and attack a test animal in the cage.”

All people have tendencies to do things, and unfortunately some people have tendencies to do things such as shooting a church and killing 26 people. There are many incidents in today’s society that happen because of the “aggressive behavior” deep down within us. The shooter had no logical reason to go to a holy sanctuary and kill these innocent people.

“Men have different brains than women, which comes from our different roles during evolution, when the brain was formed,” Fields said. “Men had a role of being aggressive, which makes no sense for a woman because a woman was not endowed with the physical strength of a man, who probably outweighs her.”

Aggressive violence, such as what happened at the First Baptist Church, is natural human instincts that we all have, and are triggered with certain things that occur.  The fact that Kelley had troubles with his ex mother-in-law could have triggered his natural human instinct.

“Just like animals, we kill other people sometimes just for the hell of it, or even if it’s for a reason people kill just like animals,” senior Jose Portillo said. “It’s what we are after all.”