Dear Editor: While trying to recover from the numbed incomprehension of our country's latest senseless massacre, it occurred to me to wonder: Among the thousands of sociologists and psychiatrists, is there not one of them who can tell us what we are doing wrong, to drive our society to such madness? Granted, there are multiple factors, but what is the overarching one?
And I found someone with the answer. The psychiatrist E. Fuller Torrey, a critic of our broken mental health system, writes an occasional article for the Wall Street Journal, which I browse through only for topics and writers of interest to me. In an Aug. 7 article there, he notes that the onset of mass murders began in the early 80's, shortly after most of the mental hospitals were closed, and the mentally ill released into the streets. He doesn't say so, but this was early in the Reagan administration. This is one of Reagan's worst antisocial legacies, yet Republicans still revere him for some strange reason.
We learn that the Dayton shooter, Connor Betts, was expelled from high school for writing a list of people he wanted to kill and women he'd like to assault. Yet, instead of being in a mental institution for therapy, he was allowed to walk the streets and legally purchase an AR-15. It's unbelievable.
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