Psy­cho­log­i­cal test­ing might keep mass mur­ders from oc­cur­ring

North Penn Life - - Opinion -

Ev­ery­one has an opin­ion about what should be done to stop the many homi­cides in Amer­ica and to pre­vent an­other shock­ing hor­ror trail of a mass mur­derer. In the days fol­low­ing the bizarre shoot­ings by -aPes E. HoOPes, ouU Foun­tUy seeNs an­swers and hopes for fu­ture preven­tion.

Un­for­tu­nately, as the weeks go by, con­cern for vic­tims be­gins to fade, and as in the past, the coun­try re­turns to its usual ways. Now is the time to un­der­stand and take steps to pre­vent an­other ter­ri­ble catas­tro­phe.

Some peo­ple feel that stronger gun laws will be the an­swer. Many are of the opin­ion that any­one with a men­tal con­di­tion should never have ac­cess to guns.

And some peo­ple do not be­lieve any­thing can be done to pre­vent an­otKeU KoUUL­fiF oFFuUUenFe anG tKat we’re lucky a mass mur­derer is a rare oc­cur­rence in the United States.

Look at the facts. The large ma­jor­ity of peo­ple with men­tal dis­or­ders are not vi­o­lent. Ac­tu­ally, the sui­cide rate would de­crease if the men­tally ill did not have ac­cess to weapons.

Ac­cord­ing to a Pew 5es­eaUFK UeSoUt, 49 SeU­cent of Amer­i­cans say it’s more im­por­tant to pro­tect the rights of gun own­ers. How­eveU, Ln 2006, PoUe than 30,000 peo­ple were NLOOeG wLtK fiUeaUPs Ln the United States. From 1VV8 to 2007, more than 300,000 peo­ple died from gun­shot wounds in this coun­try.

I have al­ways had my own thoughts on preven­tion of homi­cide. The tragic sit­u­a­tions will keep oc­cur­ring be­cause no one wants any part of gov­ern­ment, a Big Brother, to be­come in­volved in the psy­che of Amer­i­cans. I be­lieve the time has come to take a stronger move to pre­vent homi­cide, sui­cide and mass murder. :e Pust neveU taNe tKe viewpoint that we’re lucky mass murder is a rare oc­cur­rence. It is never a mi­nor event to the ones wounded or killed or to their close fam­ily and friends.

Ev­ery year, through preschool and the next 12 years, in­clud­ing high school, chil­dren should have an­nual psy­cho­log­i­cal tests cov­er­ing anger, lone­li­ness and so­cial in­ter­ac­tions with friends, fam­ily, teach­ers and em­ploy­ers. The ex­ams should continue af­ter high school and in­volve a one-on-one in­ter­ac­tion with a pro­fes­sional. A per­son could be fiUst Ln KLs FOass anG stLOO IeeO OLNe a fail­ure in so­cial re­la­tion­ships.

If the per­son be­ing in­ter­viewed has with­drawn from friends and has ab­nor­mal thoughts, in­ten­sive ther­apy should be un­der­taken. It is true that many will cover up anger or feel­ings of fail­ure, and that a mass mur­derer might still carry out a hor­ri­ble act, but car­ing, emo­tional sup­port is the least so­ci­ety can do to pre­vent an­other hor­ren­dous loss of life. And, some­how, sav­ing lives and help­ing peo­ple is worth the in­vest­ment by this coun­try.

In ad­di­tion to the an­nual psyFKoOoJLFaO SUofiOe, tKeUe sKouOG be bet­ter screening of peo­ple who buy guns. Buy­ing a gun should be like ob­tain­ing a pass­port, which re­quires a wait­ing pe­riod of usu­ally about two months.

Back­ground checks and tighter re­stric­tions on buy­ing am­mu­ni­tion are nec­es­sary, and re­quests to pur­chase semi-au­to­matic and au­to­matic weapons should be ques­tioned.

8nOess LnGLvLGuaO SUofiOes aUe recorded, there will be no change, and the killing will go on. Ev­ery mass mur­derer has a dif­fer­ent back­ground and per­son­al­ity dis­or­der. If my sug­ges­tions save one life, it would eas­ily be worth the per­son­alLty testLnJ anG SUofiOes.

All this will cost lots of money, but it will be money well spent. The life­time cost to care for the in­no­cent, injured peo­ple will eas­ily out­pace the cost of an­nual ex­ams and men­tal treat­ments.

Bullets have taken the lives oI 3UesLGents LLnFoOn, GaU­fieOG, McKin­ley and Kennedy, Martin LutKeU .LnJ -U. anG 6en. 5oEeUt Kennedy. No one should have to fear that a friend or stranger might be about to pull the trig­ger.

Health & Sci­ence Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.