Monday, January 7, 2013

Is this country in the midst of a gun crisis, or a mental health crisis?

I doubt anyone would come out and say, "Had the shooter been limited to a gun that took longer to load, and needed more frequent reloading, or better yet just used some other type of murder weapon, things wouldn't have turned out as bad".  Yet what other message are we to infer from currently proposed approaches to the problem?

Mental illness is the driving force in any killing rampage.  A weapon is merely an instrument.

Even if these schemes resulted in less lethal killing sprees (highly doubtful), I don't want less lethal killing sprees, I want the killing sprees to end!

If sacrificing rights is necessary, then let's at least choose rights to jettison that actually are contributing to the problem.

A case in recent years, that dragged on for years, centered in my local area, but receiving news coverage worldwide (I'm not being more specific because I am sick of hearing about it, I'm sure you are sick of hearing about it, and I'm sure you know exactly what I am referring to) was prolonged in the courts over the question of whether the perpetrator could be forcibly medicated.

It would seem that the mentally ill have somehow acquired the "right" to refuse treatment.  An absolute right, no less, if even a man in custody for his wrongful acts is still entitled to it, and can use the fact that he is not being treated to postpone the day when he has to answer for his actions.

The time to treat mental illness is before the anti-social actions begin.  Failure to do so is packing our penal facilities, draining the resources of government and private aid programs, filling our streets with the homeless, and putting children at grave danger.  The objections of the mentally ill person, or his family (if he is a minor), must be weighed against the consequences of allowing them to refuse.

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