This is a hard post for me to make as it involves me talking about something I typically try to avoid talking about. But I think its relevant. I personally don't think changing the gun laws is the solution in this case. There may be improvements that could be made there but that isn't want I want to address. I personally feel the way mentally illness is treated in this country is horrible. After seeing the brother of the shooter in this case taken away in handcuffs, I realize that could very easily be me someday. See I have a brother with schizophrenia, bipolar, and a half dozen other mental issues I can't even remember all the names of. He's smart, he was taking the bar exam after passing law school in his late 20's when something snapped in his head and he got up, walked out of the exam, and the police picked him up walking on the freeway. He hasn't been the same since. He hears voices all the time even when he is on his meds, and he has NO empathy for anyone else. As far as he is concerned the world revolves around him. For most of the last 10 years he lived with my parents in TN and then just my mom after my father passed away. But he keeps going off his meds and keeps getting worse, and even when the police pick him up the hospitals only hold him for so long. My mother is 77 and now needs someone to take care of her and even though she has repeatedly told authorities (police, doctors, senators, etc.) that she is physically incapable of taking care of him they keep taking him back to her. The last time he was in Nashville being treated when my mother refused to go take custody of him TennCare paid for his transportation back to my mother's home. So at my urging and that of all the relatives my mother is now living with me in Arizona as the state of TN has simply made it unsafe for her to live in her own home. She has needed hip replacement surgery for a while and she just had that a few weeks ago and is improving now so I'm very glad to have her with me. My brother however is now living in Kentucky and has been arrested several times. In fact he's currently in a hospital as I type this as a judge ordered him to be held for 3 days. However the last time he was in a hospital there (less then 3 months ago) the hospital stated they had told the police that he was a danger to himself and others and they released him back to the police. The police then called my mother who was now living with me and asked that she come and pick him up and take him into her custody. Needless to say I took the phone and shouted to the police for a good hour. See the state refused to force him to take his meds. And if the state can't control him HOW do they expect a frail 77 year old woman that can barely walk to do their job. I simply said that if they refuse to treat his illness than at least let him sit in jail so others are safe. I found out about 2 hours later that since my mother refused to come pick him up they got a judge to ok his release and they let him walk. Isn't their PRIMARY job to protect and serve? No... in this country if you are metal ill you have the right to shot a senator in the head
or shoot up a movie theater
and its only after something like this happens that the state can force someone to take their meds and EVEN then they give them the right to appeal that decision 3 times
. The times my brother is on his meds he doesn't even remember half the stuff he did while he was off his meds. Please this is a illness. It destroys the people that have it... in many ways like alzheimers. The brother I knew growing up simply doesn't exist any more. And if a two year old falls and breaks his arm do the doctors ask the two year old if its ok if they fix his arm. If the 2 year old says "no"... is it ok for the doctors to walk away? So why do they always ask my brother if he wants to take his meds? Because he apparently has that right until he does something like this... its WRONG. As my mother says, forcing the meds after the horrible crime is a bit like locking the barn door after the horse has already been stolen. I still don't know all the details in this case but I do again see mental illness was involved. And the two other cases I've named above are just a small handful. Today it certainly seems mental illness is involved far more often then not in these cases and something needs to be done about it. Trust me if I'm ever taken away in handcuffs for something my brother does and I get my 5 minutes on the news. I'll say something along these lines... "Yes, my brother was mentally ill. Yes, the state was well aware of this fact due to the numerous times he's been in jail. But if you blame him for these crimes you must understand that his illness had more control over him than he did. The person you need to focus on is Judge (and I'll give the name of the last one to order his release) and ask why he knowingly put people at risk after being told by numerous doctors that he was a danger to himself and others. That judge isn't mentally ill and was aware of his actions when he consciously made the decision to put the people in danger. That is who should be held accountable here."
And my situation is far more common then most realize. To be honest I'm half surprised stuff like this doesn't happen more often then it does. In my conversations with my brother's doctors and the police I've learned many things. A large percentage of the homeless are mental ill and are homeless because their family simply gave up trying to fight the state to get the person treated. And the reason why the hospitals and the jails release these people knowing they are a danger to the rest of society is its simply too expensive for the state to hold them or treat them. The state apparently puts a dollar value on the victim's heads and considers a certain amount of deaths due to these shootings acceptable losses. One of the police officers I talked too actually accused my mother of not doing all she could do when I said the state wasn't doing what it NEEDED to do to protect people. My parents took my brother back in their home after his breakdown, and long story short he bankrupted them, my parents tried to do the best they could for him and it broke my heart to hear the police accusing a 77 year old mother who's fought the system for 10+ years trying to get my brother help. And until I made her come live with me I and all the relatives felt she was putting her life on the line. The police would rather put the lives of the people they are supposed to be protecting on the line. They haven't done HALF the job my mother has and they are the ones with access to the doctors and resources that my brother needs.
I don't want to state my brothers name, the city he's in, or the judges I'm aware of that have ordered his release as that I think could subject me to legal issues myself. For example I've already told the police that if I ever HAD to take custody of my brother that I WOULD force him to take his meds and I already know that would land me in jail for violating his rights. If it weren't for my mother I would have cut all ties with my brother years ago but she still tries to do all she can. Even now when she tries to call and talk to his doctors they can't talk to her unless he's given his ok which of course he doesn't do. So I feel I'm stuck in the middle as I'm NOT going to let my mom go back there while he's acting the way he's currently acting.
Oh and one other thing... my brother currently cant stay focused on any task for more then a few seconds. Yet the state has given him a drivers license and even given the truck back to him which they impounded the last time he was arrested. To my knowledge my brother has no guns and I know in TN there was a ruling that he isn't allowed to buy a gun. Not sure about KY. But in my brothers case I think its crazy that they let him drive. I've read several places that males with all the issues my brother has rarely live past 40 and he turned 40 this year. I just hope that if he does something serious he doesn't take anyone else with him.
Would gun laws help? Maybe...
Would better mental illness laws help? Definitely...
Just my 2 cents and granted this topic gets me so hot I can't think strait myself so mods you are welcome to delete this if you see fit,