Uncut: Let's not forget the mental health aspect of the shooting tragedies



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Posted on January 11, 2013 at 8:30 PM

The arguments continue about training and arming teachers to prevent a recurrence of the Newtown tragedy.

There are enough voices on that topic... I’m interested in what seems a slightly-overlooked problem that needs our immediate attention.

It’s this week’s Uncut commentary.

Four recent mass shootings that have stunned us all:

Virginia Tech, in which a single pistol-wielding gunman took 32 lives.

The Arizona shooting two years ago this week that killed six and nearly killed former congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

The Colorado movie massacre that left 12 dead and dozens wounded.

And now the deaths of the adults and all those innocent children in Newtown.

The statistics about the shots fired, and the 911 tapes you’ve heard. I want to you to look for a moment at the faces of the accused on those four cases.

All who knew them say you need not be a doctor to know that these men - two of them dead, two still with us - had and have serious mental health issues.

What should be more concerning is that others, equally teetering on reality, are certainly among us, and may be unable to obtain the mental health assistance they need.

Cuts to mental health care funds over the last couple of decades should be shameful. But now, reinstating even some of the money doesn’t seem to be getting near the support it should.

I’m not going to tell you those politicians should be blamed for these shootings -- we simply don’t know that.

But the thought that even one person so divorced from reality won’t be helped because funding has been reduced should, with all of the evidence we have before us now, stir each of us to demand changes in Austin and Washington.

Those are my thoughts, tell me yours at jmccaa@wfaa.com.