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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My heart goes out to the author of this article. I am sure she feels alone but
my guess is many many mothers feel the same way. Shame on insurance companies
for severely limiting mental illness treatment. Shame on our governor for not
allocating a heck of a lot more monies for treatment for mental illness,
especially since we have a surplice this year. As a mental health provider we
work with limited budgets and limited options. Unfortunately, most mental ill
end up in the jails and prisons where mental health medications are to expensive
to treat these people with. In a state where 'families are forever'
why in the world do we tolerate such lax gun laws??? Seems to me the all mighty
powerful NRA has everyone turning a blind eye to increased gun violence. I dont
Very well written...very well expressed in speaking in her own behalf as well as
in the behalf of others. I'm afraid our society will still choose denial
and pointing the finger elsewhere instead of really addressing all the problems
which interact in one way or another with us all and affect all of us most
significantly. "I am Adam Lanzas mother"..you could not have addressed
this issue any better. Thank you.
The key word here in this article and in everyone of the comments is MONEY. We all know we have a problem. We all know it should and can be helped to some
degree. BUT, WHERE is the money to pay for those programs going to come from?
WHO is going to pay the piper for those programs?Democrats say fund it,
Republicans refuse to pony up the funds to help anyone. No new taxes!!What
most folks won't discuss is the cost is borne each and every day in one way
or another. If we don't pay it through mental health, we pay it through
building jails and hiring guards.It's the same with schools.
Republicans want to destroy public schools so their charter schools can make
some corporation money so we have kids that are not given what they need to have
to read, do math or sustain themselves financially. Hence, they turn to crime
and once again instead of funding education to enable kids to be self
sustaining. We have to pay what is needed to help our children be successful.
Not only intellectually and health wise but with work ethics and habits.
I am the mother of a 35 year old autistic son. He has never been violent and I
cannot imagine what as a mother it is like for you and your other children. My
son does lack social skills and he does not understand social queues. Mentally
he is in many ways 8 years old. That did not stop him from being sent to State
prison. Prisons are the only solution society offers. Developmental centers are
all closed or closing. Prison can only teach these young boys and men more bad
behavior. Punishment is no substitute for treatment. Prison does not offer any
treatment. I will pray for you and your son and your family. My heart goes out
Mental illness is a challenging issue.Jesus ministered to those
"possessed with devils", the mentally ill, as well as the physically
disabled.What is the LDS Church doing about mental illness? We hear
about the Church's humanitarian assistance (they never fail to advertise
it), but we hear nothing about their facilities, hospitals, care centers, and
programs for those afflicted with mental illness.I wonder why not?
Is it because such Church programs do not exist, and do not bring as much
The Government fix a problem? Come on give me a break. It's funny that we
look toward "someone else" needs to fix this problem, especially the
Government. I guess we look toward the experts and even they don't have a
total grip on it. I have no answer, I'll admit to that. We will never
truly know what these people are thinking before they "snap" (if that is
what we call it). It's not like they are going to record something or do
a "breaking news" story just before they do something.
The wild and uninformed speculation about the "mental illness" of the
shooter is very bad. I have a son that has shown most of the behaviors described
in the article. He is getting much better, and I pray the Michael in the article
will also improve. However, the point is that my son or Michael may have
problems, but the probability of either becoming a serial shooter is remote,
perhaps as remote as that of a "normal" child. No progress will be made
if any kid who is odd, or has problems fitting in is stigmatized by special
"mental health" treatment mandated by a government agency.
As a society, we need to identify those with mental conditions that may lead to
violence and both provide and insist on treatment by qualified providers.
Further, we need to consider legislation that requires people to report threats
of violence to authorities that they become aware of. Perhaps, this kind of
legislation would change conversations to avoid making any threats of violence,
setting a better example of how we should treat one another.
And let's try this comment again, too:For Latter-day Saints,
let us recall the reality that Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Restoration, and
his wife Emma, an Elect Lady, had a child who suffered from mental illness.
Their youngest son David Hyrum, born five months after Joseph’s martyrdom,
was struck down by it in his early 20’s. His symptoms today might be
diagnosed as schizophrenia, which today we know onsets for males during young
adulthood. David Hyrum Smith ended up living out the last 30 years of his life
in an asylum for the insane in Elgin, Illinois, near Chicago. Read more about
his life at Wikipedia.We must recognize that mental illness exists
and is no different than physical illness – one is of the body, the other
of the brain. De-stigmatization of it must occur also. During Mental Illness
Awareness Week this past October I read that 25% of the population will struggle
with mental illness, at some time in their lives; ranging from things like
schizophrenia all the way to ADHD. Based on friends and family in my life,
this number appears to be accurate. Why must this be such a silent
Let's try to post this a 2nd time: Here's a story closer
to home than Connecticut. Any of you recall the stabbing death just last month
of Zita Guodis, age 58, by her bi-polar 36-year-old daughter that occurred at
their rental home in Cottonwood Heights? Do you recall that the mother had
begged a local judge for "help". He suggested a protective order, which
she said would not work. She was right! The daughter, Airida, told
investigators that she’d gone off her medication, and that when she did,
“bad things” would happen. And, imagine this, there were no guns
involved, yet murder still occurred. How much longer should
families have to struggle with members who need mental health treatment, but
won’t or can’t obtain it?
Like in Australia, have the government buy up all Military type, large clip type
assault rifles and clips out there at market value and impose jail time
thereaftrer for owning one. I have owned guns all my life, hunted nearly
everywhere, and a life membger of the NRA, this thing has gotten out of hand.
Let hand guns alone. They are needed for self protection.As for the
mentally ill this also has gotten out of control. We need answers, however, I
doubt in this liberal sociiety it can happen. Killings will continue to plague
our nation because we are poorly led.
@Mr. BeanThe real scenario: A skilled person, with training and a CWP,
pulls his or her weapon and ends the situation. We trust these teachers with our
children everyday, but refuse to give them the tools to be effective. I have
absolutely no problem with a teacher or administrater that has past a background
check and been trained to handle a gun, carrying at school. Every time I see a
DARE vehicle when I drop off my son, I know that One person is there to protect
him. "Gun Free Zones" results in only criminals having guns. People who
kill other people like this look for the path of least resistance. If they
believe that there are people in the building with weapons to stop them, they
will not go in. They are cowards. You sure don't see them running into a
police station with guns blaring.
Unfortunately we dismantled our adult long term care mental institutions years
ago as being anachronisms of unenlightened treatment. We replaced them with
mind and mood control drugs and group homes. All we have left are jails and
prisons. But as the article points out there is a growing number of adults who
can not be controlled by drugs or therapy or are too dangerous for group homes.
We must admit our mistake and build new facilities that will house these people
and take away the need to declare them criminals. No one should have to bare
the burden of caring for these adults in fear and worry alone. This is one area
where conservatives and liberals can find common ground.
Perhaps an even more fundamental issue is the mayhem and destruction caused by
unnecessary, wildly dangerous toxic molecules called, as a group,
“Psychotropic Medication”.These drug-addled, Genome Disrupted
brains respond to neurotransmitters in literally lethal ways, brains whose
impusivity thresholds are lowered far more than alcohol can lower them, people
whose ability to examine and evaluate their thoughts and impulses have been
severely damaged by the poisonous drugs they have been given DO kill people.
I personally believe that some of the problem with society happens when folks
leave the X-Box, the Wii and other game consoles to become the baby-sitter. I
have been in homes where kids sit in front of a screen indiscriminately killing
people with all sorts of weapons. They become dispassionate about other people,
and pulling the trigger on a real person becomes as easy as disposing of the
imaginary people on screen. That is why in our home such games have been a
strict no-no. I went to one home where my son was sat playing such a game with
the son in the family. I asked the parent not to allow him to play that game
when in their home. I went by another time, and found my son playing the same
game. He no longer visits that home.Add to the above the wanton
killing that happens in our movies and TV shows, and you have a sure-fire way of
anaesthetising the human feelings of those in society who are prone to fits of
depression or mental illness. "It's okay on the screen, so it's
okay for me," becomes their norm.
The common thread that seems to run through at least three of these mass
killings is a lack of father in the home. In Blankenship's book,
Fatherless America, he talks about the "built-in" respect that young men
have for older males. I think this is especially needful with boys that have
mental health issues. Our country's crisis is the breakdown of the family
and what we really need are fathers that stay with their wives and biological
to hostage in sandy. a generation or more ago, in the context of generations of
abuse and maltreatment, the courts began asserting constitutional protections
for institutionalized person, gazillions were set free and entry requirements
skyrocketed. These rules are very dysfunctional, but people have rights. it
might work better were there were delivery/monitoring facilities available, and
mental health is not a preferred budget item, but I think it would be a public
good -- something we all would benefit from. Since people kill people, etc.,
what else can we do implement mental health standards. we've seen
demonstrated that there's a problem. talk it up. we're the people.
this shouldn't be a partisan impaired effort.
In the county I live in, you practically have to commit a crime to get help, and
since 'counsellors' are not licensed by the state, what they get is
anyone's guess. I got more help in AA than from most counsellors i've
seen. Having said that, we've got to go with what we've got.
essentially, not much of a delivery system --. what i'm trying to say is
that since gun control will be so divisive, there's a better chance of
getting 'something' by building and funding mental health delivery --
publicly and privately. It's multiple apollo 13 on steroids and we have a
problem. Mostly what we need is to remember how to give a helping hand.
distrust and antagonism have become our most important product.
@JoeBlow:"They may get access to a gun, but it wont be my gun."If you leave it in the safe and never get it out, I'd say
you'd be right. In which case why have a gun in the first place?It's easy to leave a gun unattended for a few moments. That's all
it might take.I know a guy who was headed out the door to go
hunting. He had to go potty before he left for the forest so he set his gun
down on the couch for a few seconds. His very young son went over to it to
investigate and in the process accidentally pulled the trigger. Bang! The
bullet went through the couch, wall, and lodged in the fence outside. Luckily
no one was hurt.The gun is always locked tight in a safe while not
To Bomar, there was a lot of incorrect information early on. The 20 children and
6 women were all shot multiple times, 3-11 times each. Lanza used a handgun to
kill himself. The shotgun was in the trunk of his mother's car; he drove
her car to the school after shooting his mother 4 times in the head.NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Adam Lanza used a semiautomatic Bushmaster .223 rifle during
his rampage through Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday, firing dozens of
high-velocity rounds as he killed 20 children and six adults, authorities said
Sunday.Lanza, 20, carried "many high-capacity clips" for the
lightweight military-style rifle, Lt. Paul Vance, a spokesman for the
Connecticut State Police, told The Huffington Post in an email. Two handguns and
a shotgun were also recovered at the scene.
@Bomar:"If one of those teachers or administrators had a gun the
situation would have been far different.Could be, but here's
how I visualize that scenario... The gun would need to be locked up for fear
that some student would find and use it. And if it were locked up, I can see
the teacher fumbling in his/her desk drawer or purse for the key, all the while
bullets are flying, some perhaps even hitting hem/her. Or everyone would forget
where they put it with teacher turnover, etc.
Let me also add that if you cannot find a way to keep your guns from getting
into the hands of "determined" children, then you have no business
owning guns in the first place.Gun ownership carries with it, a
responsibility. People need to consider what that entails before purchasing a
firearm.I bought the safe before I bought the guns.
For us Latter-day Saints, let us be aware of the reality that Joseph Smith, the
Prophet of the Restoration, and his wife Emma, an Elect Lady, had a child who
suffered from mental illness. Their youngest son David Hyrum, born five months
after Joseph’s martyrdom, grew up free from its stranglehold, but was
struck down by it in his early 20’s. His symptoms would today be
diagnosed as schizophrenia, which today we know onsets for many during young
adulthood. David Hyrum Smith ended up living out the last 30 years of his life
in an asylum for the insane near Chicago. We must recognize that
mental illness exists and is no different than physical illness.
De-stigmatization of it must occur also. During Mental Illness Awareness Week
this past October I read that 25% of the population will struggle with mental
illness, at some time in their lives; ranging from things like schizophrenia all
the way to ADHD. Based on friends and family in my life, this number appears
to be accurate. Why must this be such a silent struggle?
"There are very few times that a determined child can't get access to a
gun regardless of how well it's locked up."Most kids I know
can open a drawer with ease. I have yet to see one who could pick a safe.They may get access to a gun, but it wont be my gun.
I think #Leopard is on to something. The disintegration of the traditional
American Family is certainly part of the overall issue as it seems that each
time there is a shooting . . . a broken or dysfunctional home is part of the
perpetrator's background; but the MSM won't talk about that because
they're agenda is focused on guns.
I see no mention of a father. Are the three kids siblings or half-siblings? At
the risk of being non-PC here, I think this is part of the pattern that is
seldom if ever brought to light by the media. I do mean to condemn
this lady, but what choices has she made that has led to his child's
behaviour? I am a little old fashioned too. Has this youngster ever been
spanked? Sadly enough, a sudden surprise swat or two to the butt can go a long
way to heading off this kind of behaviour down the road.Choices
bring consequences. As we are often reminded, we can make choices but we cannot
choose the inevitable results. They are often times predictable.
Here's a story closer to home than Connecticut. Any of you recall the
stabbing death just last month of Zita Guodis, age 58, by her bi-polar
36-year-old daughter that occurred at their rental home in Cottonwood Heights?
Do you recall that the mother had begged a local judge for "help". He
suggested a protective order, which she said would not work. She was right!
The daughter, Airida, told investigators that she’d gone off her
medication, and that when she did, “bad things” would happen. And,
imagine this, there were no guns involved, yet murder still occurred. How much longer should families have to struggle with members who need mental
health treatment, but won’t or can’t obtain it?
re:BomarLanza, 20, fired a Bushmaster .223 semiautomatic rifle to kill
many of the 20 children and six adults at the school Friday, Connecticut State
Police Lt. J. Paul Vance said.
@Darrel:@Alfred"We don't arrest people for having
strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"Stroke
victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are more
inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to use
them.=========================I absolutely agree with
you, however, the point was to help these individuals. Teach them proper coping
skills, give them medication they need. We as a society need to lose the stigma
that exists with mental illness. We fear what we don't understand, and
most people don't understand something as simple as depression.We feel like we are forced to wait until something bad happens before we can
treat it. We give flu shots to prevent the flu, we wash our hands
to prevent the spread of illness, we encourage people to get an annual physical,
why not encourage everyone to see a psychiatrist for a mental check up yearly?
I can guarantee that Adam Lanzas had problems going back way farther than a
This article is so true. Having a son with mental health problems and never
getting the help needed has torn our family apart. He now lives on the street
or in homeless shelters. Only hope is for divine intervention on his behalf as
all other interventions have failed. Mental illness is so misunderstood and
there are really no good options especially when that child is now and adult.
I really appreciate this woman's story. It is very heart wrenching.It's not that I take any issue with her experience but somewhat
with her analysis. With Lanza he was a deeply troubled individual
yes, but he was also very introverted, the opposite of her son. Klebold and
Harris shared some of these same attributes somewhat but in their case two
deeply troubled souls in this large school "found" each other and
created a sick relationship.We need to be careful with boys and the
internet and boys and video games. I have even enjoyed video games at times in
my life I confess. But I think this is not a good activity/outlet overall. I
think boys need to be doing sports, engaged in artistic pursuits, engaged in the
outdoors, engaged in hard work and engaged in service. And playing wii sports
is much different than doing some of these extremely violent video games.
Combine anti-social behavior, deep alienation, obsession with the Internet/video
games and trouble is more likely to brew. It is not a cure all what I'm
suggesting but just simply bettering the odds.
It's always easy to blame the tool instead of the problem. Did anyone
propose banning airplanes after the Twin Towers were hit? If this kid had
poured gasoline down the school chimney, would we be talking about banning fuel?
We need to start talking about the root cause, and the root cause is the
perpetrator, not the tool. Is that too hard to figure out?
I hear about these cases frequently, but society is still reluctant to use the
"hot stove" rule. No matter how gifted or retarded or atypical a person
is, they will only touch a hot stove one time--maybe twice if they're
really slow. But they won't do it repeatedly unless they're fully
psychotic, because it burns every single time. It doesn't care what you
say or what you think--it just burns. If people got that kind of reaction from
their environment, then regardless of the availability of sophisticated
so-called therapy, their behavior would change. But we're too civilized
for that, right? Or are we just too willing to complicate the obvious instead
of doing something logical?
Part III saw the results of the abuse on my brothers body when we visited
him. He didn't deserve what he got, but we had no way of being able to
afford a better care facility, nor could we have him at home.Can you
imagine putting your 12 year old boy in a State Hospital? Is that humane? But
that was what my parent's choice was. Now instead of putting the mentally
ill in the mental hospital they are kept in the homes with families that have
little or no support, unless the child commits a crime, then they are put in
prisonsIt is said that the measure of a society is how they treat
those that are the most vulnerable. For those of you that are
arguing against government intervention, my question is: give me some reasonable
alternative. The private sector hasn't helped out yet, and it doesn't
seem likely they will.
I have dealt with students who have mental illnesses, especially schizophrenia,
and it does scare you to death. We simply have to get a handle on diagnosing and
treating such individuals and as a bare minimum making sure they can't harm
As was stated in this article, there really does need to be some better options
for the treatment of mentally ill individuals. I have watched helplessly as my
older brother went through the mental "care" system over the past 48
years.My brother is 60 years old and has been in a State Hospital or
Long-term care facility since he was 12 years old. He was diagnosed with
paranoid schizophrenia when he was 10 years old. After being in the hospital for
a time, he was sent on a bus to Los Angeles when he was 18 yrs old, because of
Ronald Regan's policies on releasing mental patients during the 70's.
He reentered the State hospital two days later when he became violent. He was
sent to Atascadero State Hospital for the criminally insane after he started
lighting various objects on fire. I have been told by case workers about him
being taken advantage of by unscrupulous caretakers and sexual predators that
were in Atascadero State Hospital as well as Camarillo State Hospital. My dad
died back in 1976 and there is no way that my 5' 1" mother could have
handled my brother.
CT98,The Lanza guy did not have an assault rifle. He did the shooting
with handguns and had a Bushmaster in the trunk of the car that was not used.
Also, a Bushmaster is not an assault rifle. If one of those teachers or
administrators had a gun the situation would have been far different.
Americans screaming for the govnt to solve these issues are being simplistic.
The govnt cannot solve every problem. The real question is why are we having
such issues with our young men ? America did not have these issues at this
level years ago. Some of these kids shouldnt be in school but what
do you with kids where both parents work or a one parent family ?Part of
me wonders if some of these boys would be better off working on a farm all day
with a stern male. Have these kids ever been hiking 20 miles and
camping out under the stars ?Not everyone is happy growing up in
surburbia. I dont have the answers thats for sure but I wish these parents well.
"Writer says it's time to talk about mental illness"It's time to tell people not to have guns in their homes where a mentally
ill person resides.@Darrel:"We don't arrest people
for having strokes, so why should mental illness be any different?"Stroke victims rarely if ever get guns and shoot people. The mentally ill are
more inclined... especially if there are guns present and they are taught how to
use them.@JoeBlow:"Adults that leave loaded guns unlocked
and accessible to children should be prosecuted if the child hurts themselves or
someone else."There are very few times that a determined child
can't get access to a gun regardless of how well it's locked up.@JMHO:"The person who did this crime was an adult.Yeah, but he was a child at one time... and likely displayed tell-tale
characteristics. The problem is, the making of guns available.
Only someone who lives with mental illness can understand the frustration and
fear that comes with it. We have dealt with this for over ten years, where you
never know when the threats and violence are coming. The police have been
called many times, for a "mental health check." Every time our
son who is almost 30 is transported to the hospital, only to be released when HE
determines it is time. People with these disorders refuse to stay on their
prescribed medications, and the cycle continues. I feel it is a life sentence
without possibility of parole. I've read articles about "mental health
court", but have been through the legal process with our son with no
positive results. It seems that our court system is there, just to
justify their jobs, and provides no real help to these people. Is there nothing
available to help families who are captive in their own homes?
I would not want to live in a world where safeguards are in place to prevent any
possible evil.Do you really want armed guards and electronic screening
(and maybe a strip-search now and then) to enter an elementary school? Or a
theater? Or a shopping mall?Not me.From therapy to dosing to
predicting violent behavior our mental health professionals are ill-equipped to
handle the Adam Lanzas of the world.And we surely are not willing to
create new state mental hospitals.That leaves the politicians to dabble in
gun control to appear to be doing something. I'd prefer they do nothing.
This article points out the elephant in the room: Most often the problem
isn't the gun; it is mental health. But because we as a society are not
comfortable discussing it, or paying for it, or living with it, we claim we have
a gun problem. Lock up the guns and it will become a knife problem, because we
aren't addressing the real problem.
People here are calling for the President or the government to enact some kind
of legislation to help mentally ill people. I would like to know which program
you want to cut to enact this. Education? Military? Medicare? Medicade?
Social Security? At some point the American people have got to stop looking to
the government to rectify the problems in their life and take control
As an avid sportsman I own many guns and enjoy hunting, sport-shooting, and
target shooting. I believe hand guns serve an important role in self-defense
and should be legal. I am completely against assault rifles. I believe the
only individuals who should own and use them are police and military. We need
an aggressive assault rifle ban for all others. School doors should
be locked. Lanza alerted the principle as soon as he shot out the front door to
make entry. The principle further bought time as she confronted Lanza in the
hall way. This allowed teachers to immdiately begin lock-down procedures, which
saved lives. 3And more importantly we need to address mental health
issues. This article is well written and right on target. We may not be able
to completely stop mass murders but we can limit them. Every life saved is
worth our efforts.
The person who did this crime was an adult. You can not force an adult to get
help. Our laws in the U.S. make it difficult to put an adult under care due to
the possiblility that they could harm someone...until they actually do. There
was a time in the U.S. where mentally old adults were regularly declared
incompetent. Which is better? Locking up a lot of people for safety or
allowing all the right to freedom.
"He also grew up in a home with loaded guns and was taught to respect them
and keep his hands off them."That is great. Kids should be
taught that. And then those guns should be locked up.Adults that leave loaded guns unlocked and accessible to children should be
prosecuted if the child hurts themselves or someone else.
There used to be places where children and adults with mental illness were put
to live out their lives without risk to the rest of society. These place have
largely been done away with as being a cruel way to treat mentally ill people.
It is time to realize that sometimes it is better to have places where mentallly
ill people are placed where they can't harm themselves or others. Too many
are returned to their homes with medication that doesn't work or they
refuseto take. It is time to lock some mentally people up for the safety
of the rest of us.
Wow. I really appreciate this article. I don't know any kids that act
this way towards their parents. I feel like a lucky parent now. We
need to find a way to help parents in this situation. They've basically
identified the problem kids already. I can't believe that there
aren't any programs to help. There's no way any parents could handle
this kind of situation solely within the family. I don't have
any answers, but we definitely need to help parents in this kind of situation.
I know several people with similar circumstances. One such family opted to turn
the custody of their child over to the state because of the risk he was imposing
on the entire family and possibly other persons. I don't know what it means
to give custody to the state - maybe it is the mental health units that are
being run but I don't think it involved a prison. I have no answers. Just
my sympathy for a very painful situation.
This mother's article is right on point. Although our resources
for physical illness are the best in the world, when it comes to mental illness
we are still in the stone age. It's a mystery to treat, even with
medications. Our emphasis should be on proper recognition and treatment of the
Where's his father?
In the 1980s, under the Reagan administration, funding for mental health was
severely cut. The gates and doors of the institutions opened and many who
emotionally could not care for themselves were freed. Many were Vietnam vets who
were severely emotionally damaged. I too live with a son who has had emotional
issues. Incarceration meant being put on psychotic meds that were never
monitored to see what effects they were having. Once such an individual is no
longer a minor, a parent's hands are tied. Laws were put into effect that
had unintended consequences keeping parents and family members from knowing what
meds if any their loved should be taking on a regular basis. My son for now is
doing well but there have been times when my other grown children have feared
for my safety and life. There have been years that if a week went by without a
threat it was a rarity. We're told a Mother's love has no bounds and
I believe that and try to live it. Unfortunately, it also puts a strain on other
family relationships as well. I pray our President will address our
Country's mental health issues.
Those who hold ownership of these weapons should be held much more accountable.
Just like if someone gives a wmd to a terrorist that person will be accountable.
The guns are not the problem, its people leaving them around for there mentally
ill kids to use on purpose or by accident. This story mentions video games.
Its time to ban or control the use of violent video games, just like we do with
drugs and alcohol.
We have got to stop the attack about guns, that is not the core of this issue.
The problem is these young kids, mostly boys who are having a problem far bigger
than themselves and even their parents. About three years ago, I approached my
step-son about his son possibly having ausbergers, about six months ago he
finally said, maybe he has this. But he still is not doing anything to help
this young man. When a person breaks a leg, they get instant treatment and
physical therapy, many times that leg will become stronger then it was before.
When a person is mentally broken, they need to get treatment and therapy and
learn to take their weakness and let it become a strength. I have another
step-son who has ODD, ADHD and Ausbergers, he is a wonderful person, not always
been that way, but he had a mother that really understood him and helped him to
develop, he now has a great wife that has helped him a lot. He also grew up in
a home with loaded guns and was taught to respect them and keep his hands off
them. And they did, all five kids.
This is an issue I really hope the legislature takes up this session. The part
of the article that got me was that they couldnt do anything unless charges were
pressed.Isn't an ounce of prevention better than a pound of
cure? Why do have to let things get to that level before we can intervene? While there is nothing we can do to prevent every tragedy, we can do
something. Think of how many lives can be saved, or at least transformed.
While not every child in this situation will end up violently taking the lives
of others, we can still help them and make them productive members of
society.There has to be a better solution than locking them up in
prison. We don't arrest people for having strokes, so why should mental
illness be any different?
Yesterday I gave a blessing to a grandmother who was beaten up by her daughter.
She thought she had a concussion, but with no health insurance, medical help is
expensive. The grandmother tends her daughter's son and assists with her
daughter expenses. I assured her that she did not deserve to be physically
abused, though she deeply loves her daughter. I encouraged her to file a police
report, because I honestly have no idea what else to do. After the blessing, I
rose to leave and my knees buckled. I had this deep abiding desire to help her
talk with her daughter and be her advocate. I didn't want to leave her,
knowing how many difficult obstacles were before her. Same day, I
helped another sister get to church. She has a son that was just expelled for
punching another student. She and her son have been trying to get help for
months, begging the school to evaluate him, because of his fits of anger, and
she's a single mom, no money, and the schools are not equipped to help her.
This article raises important issues, something we need answered.
@Big BubbaYou are not alone. We're all appalled at that fact.But I have little confidence in our mental health professionals. We've
had numerous local examples of KNOWN mentally ill people out among us who have
used a knife or a bomb to kill.The drugs need careful dosing and, by the
admission of the professionals, don't always work. Here we have a
case of an intelligent, middle-class mother who was unable to manage her son.
What hope do we have of home care in lesser circumstances.We need
institutions and we need mental healh professionals who can identify the
dangerous ones.Unfortunately, we have neither the political will nor the
exxpertise to do that.Without guns the mayhem will be carried out with
gasoline or chainsaws or knives or bombs or...
I am not certain that armchair quarterbacking with the advantage of hindsight
will accomplish anything here. What the writer of this article is saying, is
that too many of these kids - mostly boys, apparently - are falling thru'
the cracks and getting the wrong treatment or no treatment. As a program
services worker for a rescue mission, I encountered several teenagers who fit
into this category of mental illness, and they were frightfully similar to
"Micheal" in this article. Whether these children come from wealthy
families, such as Adam Lanza, or poor or middle class families, these kids need
to be identified early and treated early. Unfortunately, some extreme cases may
have to be taken out of the home before they harm others or themselves. However,
I believe that most of these children are treatable, given proper diagnosis,
along with the love and attention that such youngsters need.One other
note: As a Christian, I believe that in at least some of these cases, there may
be demonic influences occurring, which merely tend to exasperate any existing
medical/mental conditions. Please, do not rule out the power of prayer in the
Name of Jesus Christ as part of the treatment.
Did the killer's mother own an AR-15?! Did she keep the assault rifle in
her home knowing that someone else living with her was mentally ill? Am I the
only one has problems with this?