Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2017

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Letter to the editor:

Better mental health care needed

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Now that the pro-gun folks are insisting that we invest more in care for those with mental health issues, I would like to remind them that it was one of their own who began the process that ultimately forced these citizens to be prematurely released from government-supported care. Ronald Reagan, as governor of California, successfully decimated the state budgets that were used to provide for the identification, diagnosis, care and treatment of mental patients. I remember the outcry that such a step would lead to more homeless needing intervention. These people would also then be subject to incarceration as a response to their homelessness and involvement in crime.

The jails started filling up, costing taxpayers more money, with the expected insistence of conservatives to cut back on these costs as well. So, guess what, we ended up putting these sick people back on the street, with access to guns and other forms of mayhem.

Appropriate means of self-defense is a legitimate right of the American citizenry. So is access to proper mental health care. Some combination of government oversight for both would go a long way to mitigate the repetitive slaughter we are seeing today.

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