Remember when the experts blamed rock and roll music for assassinations? Or, for that matter, the violent television programs and movies? Twinkies? It's easy to point a finger at apparent influences, isn't it? But the trouble is, nuts are nuts. Regardless of what you put into their heads, the noise was already there, driving them to the point of pain and beyond.
And, if I thought it were apt, I might use the late incident of a madman in Arizona as a clear indictment of the mental health care system in our country today.
Unfortunately, treatment for insanity is still iffy at best, especially for those who have yet to do themselves or others any genuine harm. Most of us with mental illnesses live our lives threatening only ourselves, if that. And, from my own experience, I can safely say that clear and accurate diagnosis of a specific disorder may take years... or never come at all. You can not cure what you can not identify correctly. And, what with the shrinking budgets of many states, it is getting harder and harder to find a place where people like me (financially strapped and in a small rural community) can get help, even if we are properly diagnosed. No pointing of fingers... it's just reality, that the bottom line will always affect somebody, no matter how well-meaning the world tries to be.
And, in case you were thinking somebody should have been locked away years ago, when he first started showing signs of being nuts... our civil rights as Americans trump the responsibility of other citizens to take preemptive action against us crazies. Anything less than that, and we would be no better than Cuba or the old USSR (maybe even current Russia, although I can't prove anything, there), locking people away merely for political opposition. I may be nuts, but I'm not nuts enough to trust the system to protect the rest of our citizens from that kind of abuse, should we go down the preemption path again (yes, we did some of that, way back in the dark ages, up until the ACLU came in and emptied out asylums in the '70s).
There is no real fix for the problem of troubled minds. Madness exists, and it does real harm, but unless and until we can find a true, affordable treatment which does not violate our rights as citizens, expectations of safety from madness in this world will still be a fantasy. Life will always be a crapshoot.