Letter: Nation Needs Better Treatment For Mentally Ill

The Sandy Hook massacre has already got anti-gun politicians talking about more gun control. They are quick to point out that this sort of thing never happens in countries like England, Canada or Japan where there are strict gun controls. However, the real reason this sort of thing doesn’t happen there is not because of gun control, it’s because those same countries have universal healthcare.

We don’t need to ban guns. We need to ban crazy people. Those three countries treat the mentally ill before they go nuts and kill people. That is the real reason they don’t have this kind of tragedy over there.

Here, if we treat the mentally ill at all, it’s for a short time, and then they are given a bottle of pills to take home. Pills for serious mental illnesses tend to cost a small fortune, and hence, don’t get refilled in order to pay the rent or buy food. They are also rife with serious unpleasant side effects. Consequently, a lot of the seriously mentally ill just stop taking them. And then bad things happen. In most cases, the patients themselves are in the most danger from that, but in some cases, like at Sandy Hook, others pay the price for the lack of universal healthcare.

So if there were no guns in this country, the Sandy Hook massacre would still have happened. He would have simply used knives, poison or explosives to accomplish the same thing. So banning guns may make some people feel better, but it is no substitute for universal healthcare.

Dennis Hawkins
The Acreage