Tuesday, December 18, 2012
The real issue in my mind is more and better control of people with serious mental issues. Most people with mental problems are not violent. However, there are a few that do and we need more and better protection from them and for them.
I am old enough to remember when President Reagan shut down the mental hospitals back in 1986 in an effort to control the federal budget. Mental hospitals were painted as torture chambers and places not fit for human occupancy in order to sell this to the public. The media bought it hook line and sinker as did the public.
I can think of no instance where people were shot in wholesale manner by anyone who was not dealing with mental issues. Additionally, shootings like what we all have seen in recent times were very rare before 1986 when mental hospitals were up and running to accomodate those with mental issues.
President Reagan was shot by a citizen with mental issues. Just think of all the instances recently involving people with mental issues and the consequences of not keeping them in a safe haven and controlled environment.
In every instance shootings of people by people with mental issues were thought out in well planned detail. Parents of the people who did these horrible acts were at the end of their rope on what to do and very few options to deal with their children who carried out these unthinkable acts.
I can remember when you could see advertisements for war surplus guns of all makes and kinds in comic books, Sports Afield, and other magazines for as little as $10 each. President Kennedy was shot by a mentally unstable person with just such a gun. The reaction was to shut down mail order gun sales of cheap guns and not deal with the mental health aspects of this terrible acts.
Today, we have the media in lock-step trying to get more and tougher gun control laws on the books as a result of the Sandy Hook School shootings. I would offer we need more and better mental health laws and facilities in this country. Right now the only place most cities and counties have are jails and prisons for these folks. This is a very costly environment and it does nothing to address the problems of mental health confinement needs. The mother of the young man who did the killings was at her wits end on how to deal with her son.
Posted by Paul Alldredge at 12:36 PM