To the policeman from AZ, However, if Loughner had been committed for 72
hours as a threat back in October would that have changed what happened in
Emajor, Early on the sheriff stated that Loughner had made death threats
before. I am not aware of the sheriff having rescinded that claim, it just did
not appear in the media any later than the Monday after the shooting. I also
have not followed this story closely in the last week, but I have not seen the
sheriff state specifically that he mis-spoke on that issue. He may have
mis-spoken and he may have admitted it, but if so it has not been well
covered. While hind-sight is 20/20 the fact that a classmate of
Loughner claimed in emails to her friends last spring she feared for her life is
instructive. On the other hand she may be low on her tolerance of anyone who
acts outside a stringent social norm, and far too flippant in accusaing others
of being potential serial killers, and for all we know that lady had other
classmates she also claimed were on the verge of serial killing, but it is true
some people thought Loguhner was potentially dangerous.
Forcing health-care insurance providers to cover mental health care is not
neccesarily the solution. The problem is that society still often acts as if
there is something inherently wrong with those who have mental illnesses in ways
that it does not treat those who have physical illnesses.I am quite
hesitant to mention I have been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. My sister is
much more likely to mention her husband has diabetes than autism. On the other hand there were classmates of Loughner who said that they
expected him to come in with a gun. He had multiple altercations with the
campus police at Pima Community College, and had been expelled with the only
right to return related to his getting counseling.Loughner also had
twice entered plea bargains related to criminal actions. Whether
these issues would have prevented him from purchasing a gun is hard to say. Why
he was allowed two cahnces at the one-time exemption of inprisonment, and why
only some crimes automatically make it so you fail a background check are also
good questions. However since he had been charged with crimes, some background
check systems would have flagged him.
It is quite encoraging to read an assement of the Tucson massacre by someone who
is focused on the real issues it brings out instead of using it to bring up
issues that are not relevant. I would say this is the best
assesment of the massacre I have read so far. Most people in the past have used
it to address issues that are not related to it and other unwise actions. I especially appreciate Leavitt's discussion of de-institutionalizing
mental health patients. There have been far too many people who have tried to
present the end of the old mental hospital system as a uniform ill. The fact of
the matter is that in the mid-20th century many people were put in mental
hospitals for no good reason, many people were kept there far longer than it was
reasonable, and many people were lobotomized for no justifiable reason. Leavitt is also right that we have failed to adequately replace the old
system. However using this as a time to blame others is unwise.
Brother Chuck Schroeder | 10:57 a.m. Jan. 24, 2011:"I say
"NOW", ban all guns."You must have been real bummed
when the US Supreme Court ruled the 2nd Amendment applied to individual citizens
and not the state.Of course, Brother Schroeder, banning guns would
make it safer for the criminals who would still be packing.
Now that Olberman is the WORST person in the WORRRLLLDD we can now expect many
people to begin to show their anger their leader that taught them to HATE.
Thats where all the shootings come from, you nitwits, it's not conservatives.
The Constitution does NOT guarantee the right to defend yourself.The
2nd Amendment reads:"A well regulated Militia, being necessary
to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms,
shall not be infringed."Are you a member of a legitimate,
well-regulated Militia? National Guard? Then your paranoia is no excuse for
owning a handgun.Individuals should have a justifiable and socially
acceptable purpose for owning handguns.Member of a well-regulated
militia? OKMember of a well-regulated gun club? OKMember of a
well-regulated law enforcement squad? OKOtherwise, NO!
This man was known as a danger to society before the incident. He should have
been incarcerated in a mental institution. He was psychotic.
It would seem that many have already diagnosed the shooter in Tucson as mentally
incompetent. But no psychiatrist has, as far as I know. While his actions up
to this time frame might not be within the confines of what society calls
normal, it does not necessarily fall that the actions are caused by mental
illness. The perpetrator should be held fully accountable, but the judicial
process is slow and deliberate. We need to be patient and let justice take its
course.Remember the recent trial of Brian Mitchell in the Smart
kidnapping case? The State Hospital psychiatrist had declared Mitchell has
mentally incompetent, other psychiatrists disagreed. State courts would not let
a trial go forward due to mental illness issues, a federal court did. After
testimony from multiple psychiatrists, the jury deliberated and found Mitchell
was not mentally ill, but was competent and guilty of the charged crimes.As to the ability to stop these types of crimes, I would suggest that
had the perpetrator not had a handgun, he could have caused as much damage, or
perhaps more, by driving a vehicle into the crowd. Were one wants to do harm, a
way will be found.
Repressive governments always are afraid of popular retribution but that is not
the case here. The Tucson gunman is an admirer of both Adolf Hitler
and Karl Marx apparently, based on his top ten reading list published to
YouTube, and reported recently in the Washington Post. He appears to favor
repressive governments, then, rather than opposing them. Hitler too was once
just such a political revolutionary as this man appears to be.We
need to be less naive. Hitler, for example, arranged the burning of the
Reichstag in order to blame his political opponents for the deed.
While Utah's Constitutionalist's whine about this more, "Obama's Birth
Certificate to Stay a Secret for Now", and not gun control, this happens.
Two St. Petersburg police officers were fatally shot this morning, and a U.S.
Marshal was shot. The U.S. Marshal's office had initially sought the help of
St. Petersburg police in serving a warrant to a person on three felony charges,
including aggravated battery, police said. The shooting occurred about 7 a.m.
Investigators had sought the suspect for a while; today, a woman at the home
said he was in the attic. Investigators went to the attic and he fired at them
and they fired back, police said. Dozens of police cars are at the scene.
School officials locked down three nearby schools: Thurgood Fundamental Middle
School about 8:30 a.m. and Lakeview Fundamental and Jamerson elementary schools.
Tampa police have contributed SWAT members, a tank and an explosives team. I say "NOW", ban all guns.Like it or not, that's
my new view.
There is no preventing another Tucson - such will continue to happen with
increasing frequency because we are a gun saturated society with people in it
stretched to the breaking point mentally - and mental illness has a lower
priority. All we can hope for is that one of our loved ones is not a victim and
prepare philsophically for the possibility.
Mr. Leavitt makes many valid points and I applaud him on this article. It would
certainly help if people were more responsible.I think it is
important for peoprle to be able to have guns but I think that there should be
mandatory training for anyone with a permit.Some purport that if
there were more guns around this would solve the problem, yet in Arizona all
that is required to carry a weapon is a pulse and there were not people there to
take down the attacker with more gunfire. The one person who did come running
with gun drawn was pointing it at an innocent bystander who had helped take the
gun from the shooter.I think it is a very bad idea for people not
trained to think they can do a policemans job. Recipe for disaster.Japan Sweden and Canada have poeple get shot with guns as well. Canada will
allow handguns if the owner is a member of a gun club. Canada had 200 people
get shot with guns last year and they were the highest out of those 3
countries.USA had 9000 people get shot. There must be a reason for
Oh great, Michael is now on the Deseret News Editorial Advisory board. Another
member of the Establishment/War party there to be sure we get the proper news.
Uh, Deseret News, don't align yourselves with people like this.Now,
to this story. Michael, it's not the Federal Government's job to prevent events
like this from happening. None of their databases would have prevented this. I
don't want to live in the police state where such controls are in place as to
prevent these things from happening.My safety is my responsibility.
Leavitt, good article.The constitution makes clear that we have a
constitutional right to protect ourselves.Do it.
Very thoughtful piece Governor Leavitt. Thanks for sharing your insights. There
is a lot of wisdom in your words.
HIPPA is running amok, and like a comet, its tail of hospitals, and other
humanitarian agencies won't tell you how seriously injured your son is when you
call from out of town. Authoritarian boneheads who hold this information see
this as a power stunt vs the misery of the grieved. Enough!Alas,
even Michael Leavitt's recommendations will foster little results. Dealing with
variables in math is sure, but in humans . . .? Forget it.
And after we prevent all future violent acts by mentally ill individuals we can
work on stopping lightning and tornadoes.Unless we are willing to
completely revoke all free will we cannot prevent people from doing evil.
random acts though tragic will occur in our society ast they do in all others.
In the Tucson shooting, Mr. Leavitt's 5th point is probably most applicable as
the holder of the event Representative Gifford made no provision for security
and none was provided for the event by local law enforcment either from the city
or the county. It may be true that a shooting would have still occurred, but it
is also true a ounce of prevention and security was and should have been
It may take a village to raise a child, but homicidal maniacs always act in a
complete vacuum. When one of these things happens we wring our hands and click
our tongues but are quick to note these were the actions of a madman; better
health care including mental health care would not have prevented this.
Certainly the political climate or gun crazed culture or a non stop diet of
hideously violent video games and movies had nothing to do with it. We're fine
with writing the loughners of the world as lone wolf lunatics, as long as we
don't have to do anything else about it.
As a retired law enforcement officer, I agree with Mr. Leavitt's report, but
what he recommeded ommitts some important items:1. Many states have
laws permitting the emergency, 72 hour commitment of those who are in danger of
injuring themselves or others. In this case the shooter was previously obsrved
by law enforcement officials to exhibit these tendencies, but nothing was done.
Many law officers are hesitant to act for a number of reasons, but they should
be trained and held accountable to do their job.2. I also agree that in
today's society, those who qualify and who have a desire should exercise their
2nd amendment rights, but in this case, it would not have made any difference to
the first victim, but quite possibly some of the others could have been saved if
there was appropriate action taken.
Leavitt is right about HIPPA. But, report your neighbor as being mental, and
you get sued and lose everything you have.
Seems like its so easy and of course politically correct to point out the flaws
of individuals who do crimes against our society. If we had just been more
diligent in our recognition of faults and weakness we could have prevented the
crime. My question is, If we knew the name and address of every
such person in the U.S., what would we do with it. Would we assign watchers
24/7 to observe and control the individual?While the conservatives
tell us that words dont cause an individual to do bad things, why does it seem
like individuals are just following the instructional advise of the conservative
pundits.One of the greatest propaganda theme is the notion of
personal responsibility. Conservatives fervently push the idea that a person is
responsible for himself and must take the responsibility for making any desired
changes in his world. In most if not all cases the person has acted
on his own. He took the responsibility of doing it himself instead of asking
society or government for help.
I am not sure that these recommendations would have made much of a difference in
the case of Jared Loughner. He hadn't committed any prior acts of violence or
publicly made any threats, so on what basis could he have been accused of being
mentally ill or prevented from owning a firearm? He was socially awkward, but
many people are who never end up harming themselves or others. Mr.
Leavitt is concerned with the decline in mental health care services. As a
respected member of a conservative administration, perhaps he should speak to
Arizona Republican governor Jan Brewer, who (after the Tucson shootings)
proposed $36 million in state budgets cuts for mental health services.
Concerning the report (Report to the President on Issues Raised by the Virginia
Tech Tragedy)I would assert the following in an attempt to help with
quelling of violent killings on campus and other regions around the USA.After hearing and seeing the footage of the killings in Russia's Beslan, North
Ossetiaat, an auditorium filled with over 1000 people and the deaths of more
than 300, 187 being children for no reason except "may I suggest" they
may have been Christian, I have concluded these findings.The #1 reason
innocent people are killed in a violent escapade is the following.#1 Fort
Hood------- 13 dead 21 wounded. No one armed with protection and required to
have no loaded firearms.#2 Columbine School------13 killed No one armed
with protection since the school is a "no arms on campus" regulated
school.#3 Omaha Nebraska mall---9 deaths, no protection.2nd
Amendment. People, arm yourselves. It is you right. Don't be as the others
fallen. Without protection from the cowards who prey on the masses who aren't
allowed to carry. Petition your Mayor and your Legislator to allow citizens to
carry and protect themselves and you.
"Fourth, it is critical to get people with mental illness the services they
need. Meeting the challenge of adequate and appropriate community integration of
people with mental illness requires effective coordination of community service
providers who are sensitive to the interests of safety, privacy and provision of
care."Or we could force insurance companies to cover mental
health issues along with physical health. Instead of dumping them into
overburden underfunded government programs.