Stuck in dark ages

January 2, 2013 

KURT JOHNSON, Richland

No more random shootings!

Let's focus on mental health programs and gun control to better resolve these terrible events. We can "knee jerk" on gun control, but the real problem is based on the mental health of the shooter. No reasonable person would ever think of taking another person or child's life.

Our country continues to marginalize mental health workers and minimizes funding for states to care for those with mental illness. Our country needs to move out of the dark ages and get over the mental health stigmas. Our health system needs to address mental health with the same sense of urgency as cancers, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's and other life changing diseases.

Let's start by getting our mental health experts to provide us with the warning signs like we have for strokes and heart attacks. Next we, the public, need to know where we can take those individuals for the needed help and protection from causing disasters.

Once these "first steps" are in place, we can address the problem of getting our mental health system on par with our physical health system. For the record, I am a gun owner and do enjoy hunting and target shooting.

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