Press-Republican

Opinion

April 10, 2013

Letters to the Editor: April 10, 2013

Funding focus

TO THE EDITOR: There are approximately 313,914,000 American citizens, of which 65,000,000 have some form of a criminal history that would be exposed by the existing Brady Bill background check, thus preventing them from purchasing firearms, along with arrests and incarceration as deterrents.

That leaves 248,914,000, with the vast majority being law compliant, and a small minority being the untreated mentally ill, which commit 1,000 or more homicides per year.

Studies have shown that the victims of these homicides were family members or an intimate partner 57 percent of the time; friends or acquaintances, 33 percent; and strangers, 10 percent.

Due to deinstitutionalization in the 1960s because of gross underfunding, the mentally ill were returned to the streets without any type of monitoring.

In 90 percent of the cases above, family members or friends might have known the early symptoms but had no place to turn. The Brady Bill would not have identified these people, due to discontinued records or none at all.

Psychiatrists have long sought funding for evaluation, monitoring and treatment (knowing that lack of latter leads to violence), with their findings being reviewed in our Judicial System to determine the next course of action, thus possibly avoiding another Aurora or Newtown.

Instead of our government spending taxpayer money on more restrictions for the compliant citizens, use it to establish psychiatric call-in and treatment centers for family and friends of the mentally ill, thus possibly preventing them, along with strangers from becoming future victims.

DEREK SPRAGUE

Moriah Center

 

Minimum wage

TO THE EDITOR: Let’s do some math regarding the recent hike in the state minimum wage.

Number of Democrats elected to the State Senate, 33; number of Republicans elected to the State Senate, 30; number of senators who said they supported raising the minimum wage right away to $9 an hour, 32. A majority.

The percentage of New York voters who supported raising the minimum wage, 80 percent, a majority of whom wanted a raise closer to $10 than to $9.

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