Most media discussion involving guns and the mentally ill addresses, primarily, gun availability. As a retired psychiatrist, I know that laws passed in the name of patients’ rights have made it more difficult to involuntarily hospitalize a mentally ill person during the past 50 years.
Furthermore, public mental-health facilities have been drastically reduced. In Long Island, N.Y., where I came from originally, state hospital beds have decreased by approximately 35,000 during those five decades. The media should devote more attention to these issues when considering this topic.
John R. Pitrelli, M.D., Hollywood