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Following Newtown school shooting, what about crazy people?

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For a moment, put aside the debate over gun laws that started before the dead had been properly counted in Newtown, Connecticut, and help me understand why there are so many crazy people walking around. I’m not talking about odd people, or angry people with bad tempers. I’m talking psychotic-you-can-see-it-in-their-eyes-from-fifty-feet-away crazy. Jared Loughner. James Egan Holmes. Seung-Hui Cho. These guys didn’t exactly hide their craziness from the world.


Scott Stein is editor of When Falls the Coliseum and runs the humor site STEINLINES. He is author of the novels Lost and Mean Martin Manning. His short fiction, book reviews, and essays have been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, The G.W. Review, Liberty, National Review,, and Art Times. He is a professor of English at Drexel University. Scott tweets @sstein.

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One Response to “Following Newtown school shooting, what about crazy people?”

  1. Gun control (which is necessary) aside, many of these mass shootings would never have happened if these individuals had been in mental institutions where they belonged before they picked up a gun.

    So-called “deinstitutionalization” is a failed policy of both the Right (de-funding of social services) and the Left (“we must treat them with compassion”and “mental illness is just a metaphor; it’s really our society that’s sick.”) By sheer happenstance, I once had dinner with two Federal bureaucrats that were closely involved in the wholesale shuttering of mental hospitals in the 80s, and they both agreed over drinks that they’d been dead wrong.

    It’s time for the rest of us to acknowlege this, too.

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