Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Connecticut Massacre

There is a veritable fracas going on in the social media over the massacre in Connecticut. People saying we need more guns, fewer guns, better mental health care, remarking that a lot of the mass murderers wouldn't qualify as being mentally ill, etc.

Then I read this article by Liza Long:

I think you should read it before you read the rest of what I say.

Mental health has long been the stepchild of medical care. For a long time, physical care was covered at 80%, but mental care at 50%. And I don't know if that is still an issue in some places. In addition, mental health visits are limited, in my plan, to 40 a year, or less than once a week. I think this is very common, and totally OK for a person who has a disease treatable with meds + talk therapy, but totally inadequate for someone like Liza Long's son. It could be that he and others like him need residential care for the rest of their lives, to keep them from ending up as Adam Lanza did, although I have also heard that Lanza was not diagnosable as a psychopath. So the question is just where do individual liberties and the duty to protect the innocent intersect? A person cannot be held against their will for more than 3 days without abundant, incontrovertible evidence that they are a danger to themselves or to others. Where do you draw that line? I hear a lot of people arguing vociferously about mental health care, and gun laws, but it just ain't so simple!

Then there is the issue of gun laws. It should be apparent that what we have isn't working. Decent, honorable people don't want their guns taken away from them, but according to Mother Jones, the vast majority of recent massacres were conducted with legally purchased weapons. The following article makes a lot of sense to me, and don't take the first sentence as being indicative of what the article is about:

And now, I will go back to trying to forget (as if I could) what happened. :-(