Pressure : 29.89 in
Dewpoint : 48.0 °
Wind : Northwest
Debate opens on gun control and mental health
The Connecticut shootings have opened up a debate on how to prevent this from happening again. Monday night, we looked at tighter gun control. But, some people say another solution could lie in our mental health system.
News 5's Lauren Conley has the story on the state of our mental health care system.
It seems that a common factor in mass shootings is mental illness. About half of 100 mass shootings since 1949 were committed by someone with a mental illness. This is according to a study by the New York Times back in 2000.
Once a psychiatric hospital, the Hastings Regional Center is just one example of how mental health care has changed over the years.
In the late 1950s came a movement to de-institutionalize America.
But, are the mentally ill getting proper care?
"There's a lot of people out there that have a problem, but unfortunately until something triggers it, nobody knows it," said Old Market Firearms owner Clark Williams.
In the case of Adam Lanza 20 innocent children won't be returning to school.
"With weapons easily accessible, it's more prone to things like what happened in Newtown," said Claire Phillips.
Unable to purchase a gun of his own, Lanza stole three of his mother's.
"Whether we take away all guns or not, it's not going to matter. If they want to do something like this, they're going to do it with whatever means they've got," Williams said.
Williams says attention should be turned away from guns and onto mental health care.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice more than half of all jail inmates had a mental health problem in 2005.
Some people argue the mentally ill aren't getting proper treatment.
"The problem is we're afraid to look at the mental system, the mental health system," said Williams.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary is just one of many mass shootings.
"It's sad it has to get to that stage, that those people have to go out and do things like this and they need help."
This story has the whole country talking. Some people say we need more gun control, others better mental health care. Or, maybe a combination of both.
KHASTV on Facebook