Is Mental Health the Real Issue That Needs to Be Addressed After Mass Shootings?
After a mass shooting, the first issue that comes up for debate is gun control, but shouldn't we really be addressing the mental health issues behind the person pulling the trigger?
The country is still in shock over Friday's massacre in Connecticut and already the debate on gun control has kicked into high gear. But shouldn't we look at the perpetrator and what prompted his actions in the first place? Shouldn't the first debate be about mental health issues and how to address them?
Authorities say Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother that morning and then drove to Sandy Hook Elementary School to commit the horrific killing spree before killing himself. According to initial reports, Lanza appeared to have had some mental problems prior to the shooting, but it is difficult to say that it would have predicted this.
Authorities also say that the guns Lanza used had been purchased legally, and he was actually stopped from purchasing another rifle by existing gun laws. He appeared to have circumvented school security measures by forcing his way into the building. He appeared intend on doing what he did and gun laws and security measures were unable to stop him.
Gawker.com had a poignant story titled "I am Adam Lanza's Mother." It is authored by someone going by the name of Lisa Long and chronicles her attempts to deal with a child struggling with mental illness. Someone born to her. Someone whom she loves - but is scared of just the same. Her own child - a potential Adam Lanza.
Instead of rushing to address gun laws, shouldn't the mental health system be the first issue that needs to be addressed?