Most of us are trying to make some sense of what happened in Connecticut, and how it happened. The collective grief is palpable.
The media frenzy ponders the points: Do we need more gun control? Do we need more security in our schools? Does our distrust for the eccentric loner grow with every young man we meet?
Each time we endure another inexplicable mass shooting, we overemphasize gun laws and underemphasize mental health care and healing. Most mass shootings involve mental illness. We are failing our angry young men by not making access to mental health care easier.
How can we change the culture and understand and address the needs of young males? Each day, we welcome through our doors young men battling their demons. When done well, therapy with young men can be highly effective and quite rewarding for both therapist and client.
The field of mental health deserves very careful attention and respect. Let’s not wait for another mass shooting. Make mental health a No. 1 priority in the public health and policy sectors.
BARBARA LENOBLE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ODYSSEY FAMILY COUNSELING
is immediate threat
I’m encouraged that a bipartisan consensus seems to be building to revisit our nation’s gun policy. My hunch is that if an assault weapon and large-capacity magazine ban had been in effect, the tools of destruction would not have been in the Newtown shooter’s home.
As a former infantry officer, I know that semi-automatic military-style rifles have one purpose: to kill the enemy by accurately firing large numbers of bullets in a short period of time. While our response to the awful event in Connecticut must be multi-faceted and must examine early detection and treatment of mental health difficulties, school security, etc., it seems to me that the immediate threat is the general availability of military-style weapons.
JIM WATKINS, DECATUR
Obama’s tears showed
courage, true concern
I’m writing to protest the letter “Show of grief on TV was not convincing” (Readers write, Opinion, Dec. 19). It was totally unfeeling and ultra-critical. Is the author a psychiatrist? Does he have vision to see afar, and know that President Obama was faking tears? It was hateful.
Personally, I feel it may very well have been difficult for anybody (including the president) to travel to such a scene of horror and grief, and then to speak. It took courage and a genuine concern for the president to have done so. Bouquets to the president and bah, humbug, to the writer of this letter.
At least $100,000 worth of business at Chase’s Do It Best Hardware in Gainesville shuffles out the door and onto the Internet each year to avoid sales taxes, in business manager Craig Shoemaker’s estimation.