The following is a letter that I received by email that I thought was worth sharing with everyone. It’s a reminder of how many of our problems come from America no longer being what it used to be.
Please allow a word from an old country doc, now “retarded” because of all the government interference.
As a child back on the farm (in the 1930’s) I attended a one-room school that taught to the 8th grade. We hunted for food and furs, and during season you would always find guns stacked in the cloak room. Some of us hunted or ran trap lines on the way home. That was no big deal, and no one worried about any of us because of gun violence. Oh! We did have to unload the guns before we stacked them! Occasionally some boys might put down their guns and fight, then pick up their guns and go on hunting. One thing you did NOT find in the school was anyone who was considered capable of such violence. Those kids were sent off to an asylum.
Then came the 60’s and things began to change. We all had to be treated “the same” and no one could be “put away” unless there was a court order for criminal insanity. Before you had time to blink, the entire landscape changed. There were “homeless” people everywhere and gun violence became a problem along with it.
Certainly there are some homeless people who are there to take advantage of folks, but many are incompetent, mindless, helpless and – all too often – dangerous.
I could go on, but you get the idea, I’m sure.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!
Wayne Smith, M.D. Heber Springs, Arkansas
Meanwhile as Ruth King reminds us, the facilities for treating problems like these existed and were deliberately shut down.
Newtown is the home of Fairfield State Hospital, which was a psychiatric hospital in Newtown, Connecticut, which operated from 1931 until 1995. At its peak the hospital housed over 4,000 patients. It is set on beautiful and rolling hills, and the patients were housed in lovely and well maintained old brick buildings which rivaled any of the famous Ivy League campuses. It was closed during the de institutionalization movement which left so many of America’s mentally ill homeless and in the streets of America.
Read “Madness in the Streets : How Psychiatry and the Law Abandoned the Mentally Ill by Rael Jean Isaac and Virginia C. Armat (Aug 1, 2000).”