Letters to the Editor

Barayasarra letter: Mentally ill

In the 1970s, the ACLU got most state mental hospitals closed down. Until then, every state had a safe, secure place to keep mentally ill people off the streets. Some were only a danger to themselves, but many are a danger to others.

President Reagan and James Baker were shot by a mentally ill person. So was Gabrielle Giffords. So were all the victims of school shootings, recent and past. So, why are we blaming guns? Why are we blaming law enforcement? If an officer responds, he has no place to take a mentally ill person. They can be held for only a few days on a “Mental Hold.”

In Sun Valley many years ago a mentally ill man thought he was “saving the world from Martians” as he shot two men. That man should be in a secure treatment facility, but the only place we have for him is prison.

At the age of 66 I had to use a pistol to run a home invader out of my house in Nampa. His daddy told me at the courthouse that his son would have killed me had I not been armed. I am now a life member of the NRA. Guns are not the problem. NRA is not the problem. Untreated mental illness is the problem.

Eileen Barayasarra, Meridian

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