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Mental healthcare at root of curbing mass shootings

Gun control is one of those hot button issues that invites the partisan grandstanding and bickering that plagues our leaders in state and national government. But if there’s one point that the Obama administration and the NRA appear to agree on, it’s that our mental healthcare system needs some work.

As far as I can tell, it’s even more of a patchwork system than the traditional physical healthcare system and it has little in the way of an early warning mechanism that could prevent mass shootings before they happen.

It’s all too easy to dismiss the trigger men in mass shooting cases as crazy, evil or deranged and to blame their families, friends or coworkers for not doing something to stop them from committing such heinous crimes.

That pretty much gets society at large off the hook from taking responsibility for these murders or taking any action to prevent them in the future.

Deep down though, I think we all know that reducing the frequency and deadliness of mass shootings will take a collective effort to be more vigilant of each other’s behavior.

But even then, who do you call when you think there may be a problem?

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What’s less popular than Congress?

Here’s something to think about.

The U.S. Congress (for low-information voters, that’s the House and Senate) isn’t one of our best respected institutions. It may be due to, oh, things like not passing a budget in over three years while still spending above a trillion dollars a year more than revenues.

Or maybe people don’t like the fact that Congress generously pads its members  and staff with salary and benefit levels that far exceed us working shlubs, including lifetime benefits even for “one-termers.”

You know, things like that.

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South Florida transplant appauled by litter, calls for more pride

Dear Editor:

I moved to Glen St. Mary in August of last year from Hollywood, FL to be closer to family. I have grown to love the small town atmosphere. The people I come into contact with here are some of the nicest I have ever met.

My only complaint about the area is that some people do not seem to have any respect for their towns and neighborhoods. I’m talking about the trash and garbage on the side of the roads — fast food wrappers, drink cups, big bags of garbage — sometimes in the middle of the road with cars hitting them and spreading garbage all over.

I am aware of at least two county dumps, and wonder why people want to make the area look like a garbage dump. Returning from Starke the other day, I was behind a car when the driver’s door opened on SR 121 and several empty beer or soda cans went out on the roadway. I swerved to miss them.

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2012: no sorrow at your passing

As we near the end of 2012 I have the flu.

No surprise — it’s been that kind of year.

I can’t say I’ll be terribly unhappy that 2012 is done and through. It has been an odd year to say the least. Here are some things that I won’t miss.

√ The presidential campaign. It actually started the day after Barack Obama was elected in 2008 but it really kicked into high gear this year and dominated the news all the way up to the November election and beyond, thanks again to Florida.

It was nasty as all get out and everybody wanted change of some sort or another.

If you believed the commercials all the candidates on both sides were liberal/radical socialists/ultra right wingers who wanted to raise taxes while at the same time turning their backs on our senior citizens, soldiers, gun owners, teachers, Medicare  and Social Security recipients.

In the process both sides desperately preached “real change” as opposed to your run of the mill “changy change.” They spent in the neighborhood of 3 billion dollars and got – absolutely nothing. From the looks of this fiscal cliff debacle all they got for their billions is more of the same.

It’s a strange thing. In a circus, clowns make you laugh. The clowns on Capital Hill make you want to cry.

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