Comments about ‘'I am Adam Lanza's mother': Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness’

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Published: Monday, Dec. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

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Vincentown, NJ

I grew up with a violent brother who was handicapped and had brain damage from insufficient oxygen at birth. It's a terrible way to live with a chronically violent and very strong family member. He's had social services his whole life, but what really made a difference was his church involvement which became essential since he chose to live far away from family.

They made sure he had food, took him to stores, found him work, invited him to bowling night and to be part of a bowling team, gave him a reason to get out of bed every day for their daily meetings. It's really transformed him - and now that he's 50 he's found peace and a relationship. We would have never imagine that this was all possible.

West Jordan, UT

Unfortunately the issue of guns in America has eclipsed the issues of mental health and violence in society. If you look at the high profile shootings that have occurred in the Salt Lake area such as the attack on the genealogy library and the shooting at KSL you would see that they were committed by people suffering with mental illnesses who had slipped through the cracks. Someone in an earlier comment mentioned that if guns weren't available they would find another way to commit crimes against others. True. In the early 1900s in Utah a man blew up a schoolhouse. In a British newspaper a couple of years ago I read a statistic that said people were more likely to be the victim of a violent crime in Britain than in the US even though we have more guns. The danger in Britain is knives. So should they have stricter knife control laws?Knives and guns are tools and tools can be improvised. The violence that is so prevalent in the media, television, movies and video games is inspiring fragile minds to commit these heinous acts and more restrictive gun laws will not cure that.

slc, utah

when we had a shooting in scotland all those years ago, it became mandatory for all schools to be secured. you cannot enter a school or college building without security, whether it is a man standing there looking at id (college/university)any schools up to the age of 18 are locked down and can only be entered once a person has been identified and cleared to enter. these provisions were done within days in some cases but all done within a short period of time right across the uk.

Lehi, UT

SOrry Calif granny, but trying to lay this one on the evil Regan Republicans is outright deception. It was the US Supreme Court that closed mental hospitals. Patients in those facilities have rights, and if they don't want to be committed to living there, and haven't committed any crimes, there's virtually noting that can be done to keep any mentally ill patient in one of those facilities.

Blame the emptying of our nations mental hospitals not on heartless Reagan Republicans, but on Liberals at the ACLU who didn't have the wisdom or foresight to see the damage they were causing to those previously cared for in such facilities and to society as a whole.

Redwood Valley, CA

It is a very tough dilemma. We want to protect our community and citizens, but at what cost? Being mentally ill does not make you automatically dangerous. Even having the typical traits of a mass murderer (male, single, Caucasian, intelligent, loner, disgruntled) doesn't make a person a mass murderer. We can't just institutionalize mentally ill just because we may suspect they'll be dangerous any more than we should have interned Japanese American citizens during World War II. We've done away with most mental institutions because they were ineffective, inhumane and essentially violated people’s civil rights. Stigmatizing mentally ill as dangerous will not help. However, prevention and treatment can help; but it can only be done voluntarily, unless the person proves he or she is dangerous. And then the question arises: how long do you force treatment beyond when they are a danger to themselves or others? Until the episode is over? Indefinitely? Forcing treatment or institutionalization on someone because we think someone could become dangerous or have the potential to be dangerous is not only morally wrong but largely ineffective.

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