Provide better choices for the mentally ill

As all of us grapple with the reality of the horrible murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, so many questions about how this could happen come to mind. I remember that in my youth hearing occasionally that the local police would bring someone who had appeared to "snap" and threaten others to Norwich State Hospital. Then amid reports of so much abuse and mistreatment of patients, and the cost of running this facility, the hospital was closed and all these patients were simply released. Can't we as a society provide a more pleasant, loving place for patients who need help? Why can't we provide homes such as the new "assisted living" facilities that are springing up all over our area, just with a higher degree of security? Many patients with mental health issues accept and take responsibility for their conditions and function very well. Others do not or cannot, for whatever reason.

A tragedy such as this creates much anti-gun sentiment. However, I remember July 2007 when much different feelings were generated by the home invasion of Dr. William Petit's home in Cheshire. At that time it seems that everyone wished the Petit's had a gun available, to possibly stop that tragedy.

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