The Navy Yard shootings have brought out the usual - and typically fruitless - gun control discussions. Unfortunately, that volatile issue has distracted from what is a more direct cause of this tragedy: the lack of effective mental health care.
In this situation, you had a deeply disturbed individual who reached out to authorities only days before he killed innocents. Instead of being instantly directed to evaluation and supervised care, the soon-to-be shooter was sent on his way.
Conservative commentator and former practicing psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer writes of this problem in a recent column. An excerpt:
"More than half of those you see sleeping on grates have suffered mental illness. It’s a national scandal. It’s time we recalibrated the pendulum that today allows the mentally ill to die with their rights on — and, rarely but unforgivably, take a dozen innocents with them."
Read Krauthammer's column here: