Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sparks, Nevada

Rappahannock Record
Kilmarnock, Virginia


            Now it is Sparks, Nevada—another school shooting. A math teacher, who was a retired Marine and had served in Afghanistan, is dead, as is the young shooter. Two other students were wounded. This is the 16th school shooting in the United States this year.  Once the facts are known about the young shooter in Sparks, there is a good chance that evidence of emotional instability or mental illness will surface.

            A key to fighting the epidemic of school shootings is detecting and getting help for those who are unstable and are a threat to themselves and others. That means greater spending and emphasis on mental health. Yet here in Virginia, the home of the Virginia Tech massacre (worse mass killing in this nation’s history), we now spend less on mental health than we did before the Tech tragedy. The policies of Governor McDonnell and Attorney General Cuccinelli, have weakened our mental health care system. Their policy of privatization of mental health care will result in a decline in the quality and amount of care, but it will enrich their supporters.

            State Delegate Margaret Ransone doesn’t want to discuss or listen to ideas on improving mental health care. She is running unopposed for re-election. When you vote, send Ransone a message that issue-avoidance—especially when it comes to the lives of children and their teachers—is not acceptable. Please check “other” and write in the name Albert Pollard.

David Cariens

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