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Gun laws and mental health cuts

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To The Editor:

Well, our esteemed governor has done it again. He is talking of closure of psychiatric centers. Our state, along with others, in the past several decades has abandoned persons with mental health issues to a great extent. Put them out on the street and forget them. At the same time, he rushed with no public discussion to pass a gun control law that, while politically popular with his rich, liberal buddies and funding sources, will have little, if any, real impact to prevent shootings. These atrocities are not perpetrated by law-abiding, legal gun owners, but are often associated with persons with serious mental health issues. Some have even sought help, but found it was not available before the crisis time. But mental health does not generate the publicity of a knee-jerk gun control law that he hopes will provide him with political capital. So he is now considering closing more facilities that are there to provide treatment for persons with serious mental health concerns that may well lead to these tragedies. Again, our government misses the whole picture and does what is politically popular instead of expanding mental health resources that might actually help the persons who commit them and prevent the terrible loss of life these incidents generate.

Again, the woman who was senselessly killed in Clay recently (stabbed, not shot, by the way) was attacked by a man who had removed and reassembled his electronic monitoring device. That certainly worked well. The state continues to put monetary savings above the risk of danger to its citizens. What previous crimes had this man committed? If he had been incarcerated instead of released to the street, this woman and her 10-year-old daughter would not have been murdered and raped respectively. Because of people with limitless, well-paid armed protection failing to provide service to protect the population that they were elected to serve, they make decisions that result in crimes being committed against an innocent 10-year-old girl who has to live with her rape and the murder of her mother for the rest of her life. Good government? I think not.

Politicians, sports figures and actors are so convinced that they must have armed guards while pushing for gun control so ordinary citizens cannot legally possess guns that can protect them from these senseless crimes. What outrageous hypocrisy! I say unless you are willing to live without the protection of guns, do not take guns away from law-abiding citizens. This at the same time you are putting criminals and mentally ill individuals out in the community, where they are often poorly equipped to handle living in society.

Come on, Albany and Washington. Get your act together. I have very few expectations that they will listen. They certainly would not want to lose their armed protection. I and my family and friends, as ordinary citizens, have fewer and fewer expectations that our governments, state or federal, are interested in passing laws or regulations that will benefit us. Heaven forbid that the state or federal government officials would cut non-essential, pork-barrel spending that generates votes to fund essential, common-sense programs.

I am beginning to agree with my husband, who says “elect no incumbents.” They all need to go. Unfortunately, our esteemed governor is hoping to go up. God help us all!

Jane Fay

Morristown

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