Las Vegas Sun

October 10, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Mental health not so easy to judge

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Reports of Metro Police Lt. Hans Walters underscore the mental health component of the current gun control debate. Walters shot and killed his wife, a former police officer, and his son and then set fire to their Boulder City home before taking his own life.

Most would agree police departments conduct exhaustive background checks, screening tests, training and safety procedures before authorizing officers to carry and deploy a number of firearms. Yet a former colleague comments to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Walters “didn’t seem out of the ordinary at all,” adding that “Cops are pretty intuitive. They can tell when something’s wrong with someone. He seemed totally fine.” Yet two days later, something went horrifically wrong mentally to result in such a tragedy. The focus of the gun control debate should center on the specifics of mental health issues resulting in all violent behavior.

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