A national tragedy needs a calm response
THE nation mourns the tragic death of 12 innocent people on Monday at the Navy Yard - the Navy's headquarters - in Washington.
This is a horrible event that Americans do not wish to repeat. The nation must act, but first the public needs to review the facts:
Calls for more gun control in light of this tragedy are exploitative and may miss the point.
While expanding background checks may help keep some guns out of the hands of criminals, the restrictions also apply to people with mental illness. Would this not give people pause before seeking treatment?
The military needs to review its discharge procedures.
The nation needs a comprehensive approach to mass murders.
The nation also needs to improve mental health treatment, which changed about 30 years ago to a philosophy of least restrictive treatment.
From a peak of 559,000 public psychiatric beds a few years ago, the nation is down to 43,000.
Guns alone did not kill 12 people at the Navy Yard on Monday. Aaron Alexis did. The nation needs to remember that and act accordingly.