Originally Posted by Rohirrim
We deinstitutionalized the mentally ill back in the 80s. That's why you can now bump into some homeless person on the street who couldn't tell you the difference between a dime and a dollar, talking to themselves while pushing around a cart full of trash. Reagan opened up the state mental hospitals under prodding from the ACLU and we started treating the mentally ill with drugs instead of institutionalizing them. Too bad drug therapy doesn't work across the board. I'm sure it creates fat profits for Big Pharma, given how many depression and anxiety drugs are advertised (almost constantly). Many of those state mental hospitals were horrific places. It's a complex issue that would require tax dollars and political cohesion to solve. In other words, ain't gonna happen. What happened in Connecticut? Get used to it.
The problem with medication based therapy is that not only are there no fail-safes in case of failed therapy there is also no way to prevent self-discontinuation which is very common and a source of a large number of criminal offences committed by people who are known to be severely mentally ill.
Another factor is of course the glorification of violence - not through computer games, movies and literature, but through the news media. Aside from a few key political figures and a few disgraced celebrities, nobody gets more media attention than criminals and the more heinous the crimes the more attention is given. Donate a kidney to save the life of someone you don't know and it will maybe get a mention in a small local newspaper, save 4 children from a burning house and it will get a mention in the regional paper with a photo and a blurb on local tv news as human interest. Murder 20 children and your face, name and every aspect of your life will be on the front of every national news outlet for weeks.
The amount of news coverage for Newtown is more than the combined media coverage of every single of the roughly 32.000 deaths that will occur in traffic this year in the US. The murderer of those children will be the end of this year have his name mentioned more in the news than the prime ministers of France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan combined.