To the Readers' Forum:
Tears filled our eyes as we learned of the murder of those innocent, beautiful children and their adult teachers in Sandy Hook Elementary. How could it happen? Why?
Because we are a Nation of optimists? We believe we can fix or cure anything or anyone? There are no "bad people." Even the thousands of people in our prisons can be "treated and rehabilitated." The unfortunate folks with a "mental disability" with proper facilities and treatment can become participating members of society again.
For many, this is true. In our area, in the past, we have had several mental health hospitals. One in Warren, Pa., another in Gowanda (Helmuth). They became a home for their patients with some occupational opportunities such as farming on site. Perhaps little effort was made to rehabilitate, procedures and lack of knowledge were different 60 years ago!
Being optimists, we decided that a better treatment would be to provide a group, home-like environment with individual personal care. Remove them from the crowded, in some cases, almost prison like "home." For many this worked ... not everyone.
We are forced to realize that there are a few individuals that we perceive to be "different." Years of experience has proven this to be true. In Israel it was pointed out our 9/11 attackers were all from one country with very similar physical appearances. Of course, profiling works for them. It is illegal in the USA.
Sadly many refuse to recognize that certain behavioral patterns can never be corrected. Isn't it just as tragic to lose a loved one to severe mental disorder as it is for the parents of these tiny victims to lose them in death? They are gone forever. Mrs. Lanza must have prayed and tried for 20 years to provide any help a Mother can to "normalize" her son. She recognized he was "different" but with time she could make him right. Unbelievably she was his first target!
Of course these are just my observations and thoughts over the past few days. Guess I am not qualified to suggest any solutions to these problems but am qualified to ask: Why?
Leo A. Wilcox