Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What if

What if.

I've gone on and on about the state of mental health treatment policy in this country and that a lot of the mass murders (and countless one-off single murders that don't make the news...) can be laid (layed?  PAH!) at the feet of the de-institutionalization.

But what if.  What if Kennedy era reforms that eventually emptied the insance asylums had been different?  What if the hospitals were reformed and made less abusive but still in place today and full? 

That's a big if.  Expecting gov't run concerns to be effective, competently run, and compassionate when they service a subset of the population with almost no political influence and pull...  But let's just say...

Would that mean there wouldn't have been any mass shootings?  No.  I can say with a certainty that fully funded insane asylums acting as custodians to dangerous schizophrenics would not have caught all the spree shooters.

Maybe the Gabby Giffords shooter would have been swept up.  And the Aurora shooter.  The Newtown shooter was getting 'home treatment' and the family might not have given him up, hoping everything would be ok.  The Virginia Tech shooter might have been institutionalized, but he was young and it's not like he couldn't function in university society.  Still, if memory serves, he was on the radar. 

The Navy Yard shooter had only relatively recently gotten onto the mental healthy radar.  So unless they clapped him in the booby hatch as soon as he told cops he heard voices...  There'd have been nothing stopping his atrocity.  No, there is other things coming out as facts come to the fore.  He had other contacts, he might have been noticed in time from more than just Rhode Island constabulary.

Charles Whitman at the Texas Tower obviously DID escape custodial care at a mental hospital.  I don't think the Columbine shooters would have been caught up yet.  THe Ft Hood shooter was a terrist. 

So, the answer would be "some of the mass murders might not have happened if we still had working asylums, but not all."  Plus all the people that ARE committed that WOULDN'T have committed any horrific act worse than urinating in public and panhandling would have their civil rights violated by indefinite involuntary incarceration when they could have funtioned after a fashion on their own relatively well.  All for the convenience of the Greater Public.

So a return to that old regime is not a panacea.  It might be something, but not everything. 


Old NFO said...

I place the blames squarely on the ACLU for this crap...

Robert Fowler said...

A good first step is to quit pouring pills down kid's throats. Pretty much every mass shooting has that one factor involved. They didn't drug kids when I went to school. If they got too far out of line, a good swat on the ass put a end to it for a while. None of them showed up and started shooting either. Hell, in 1966, I took a 410 shotgun and a box of shells to school, on the bus, for show and tell. I was 11. No one died or was even wounded.