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SHOOTING: What kind of society do we want?

Letter by Kerry Phibbs, South Hill on Dec. 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm with No Comments »
December 18, 2012 2:04 pm

One thing that we can get out of the recent tragedies in Washington, Oregon and Connecticut is that we have to stop dumbing down our mental health care. This has been going on since the 1980s.

Western State Hospital has been crippled by 30-plus years of budget cuts. Thousands are affected by this, but it only gets publicity when someone who needs and can be helped kills someone, often a family member who has been struggling with their problem for years. It is close to impossible for a typical family to deal with mental illness in a loved one.

Once again it boils down to what kind of a society do we want: one where we all chip in (taxes) to provide safety nets, or one where if you’re in trouble you get shoved to the edge of the village (Tim Eyman/tea party/personal indifference), left in the woods to fashion a spear and come back to wreak havoc. Take your pick.

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