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Letter: Why are we only talking about guns, and not mental illness?

Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was under the impression that our national dialogue would not only focus on gun violence and gun control but also on mental illness. But while the debate over guns continues to stay a hot topic, the issue of mental illness has disappeared. Why is that?

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In the wake of the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I was under the impression that our national dialogue would not only focus on gun violence and gun control but also on mental illness. But while the debate over guns continues to stay a hot topic, the issue of mental illness has disappeared. Why is that?

Is it because journalists and commentators cannot sensationalize or politicize mental illness the way they can gun violence? Is it because our lawmakers will win more votes by shouting about guns rather than mental illness? Or is it because certain lawmakers understand the issues surrounding mental illness are so complex, they know they can't simply ban something and then claim victory?

Clark Roger Larsen

Tooele

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