Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, July 20, 2012

The New Cycle Devours Itself

I actually haven't watched a minute of news about the horrific shooting in Colorado.  I had planned to sneak out and see The Dark Knight Rises today.  While my wife didn't want me to go out of safety concerns - which seemed farfetched - I just didn't think it would be enjoyable.

Nor will it be enjoyable to watch the enormous wankathon begin on the news nets.  There have already been some attempts to politicize the shooting on both the left and right.  But eventually we will degenerate into the same old "Are movies too violent?  What about video games?"  and David Brooks will pen some godawful screed about the lack of elite values.  Someone will suggest that Obama welcomes this shooting as a chance to extend gun control laws.  We will hear about gun laws (though nothing will be done about them).

But I don't think we will hear much discussion about the elephant in the room.

This guy was mentally ill.

And we currently have a mental health care system that eschews institutionalization.  And if you have visited a mental health institution, then you probably can sympathize with that.  If you knew about pre-reform asylum treatments... suffice to say, lithium is preferable to dunking the schizophrenic in ice water and leaving them for days in a freezing cell.

The problem is, just as institutionalization is the wrong course for many people with mental illness, turfing them back out on the street is the wrong thing for some people, too.

As with education, health care should be tailored to the individual in order to get the best results.

But as with education, the labor costs would be quite high.

And we have bombers and aircraft carriers to build and taxes to cut.

Priorities, people.

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