To the Editor:
Almost everyone has an opinion about how to combat violent, mass killing. My hope is that we will not be distracted by all the static and go for quick solutions that may make us feel safer but will, most likely, be ineffective. We need to keep our eye on the cause here: mental illness. Would that we could pass a law against mental illness!
In the last 10 to 20 years, we have made great progress in our understanding and approach to brain disorders and now recognize that these are treatable illnesses. We are now on the verge of some significant breakthroughs. I hope we will put our money and our minds where it will have the most benefit: early identification and adequate treatment of mental illness, and hopefully, at some point, prevention. Look what we have done with cancer, heart disease, and polio. Let’s not do the typical “knee-jerk” reaction and think we can pass a few laws and see this problem in the rear view mirror. Let’s do the hard work. Let’s fund research and treatment of mental illness.