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September 23, 2013

EDITORIALS: Another pointless fiscal battle; Mental health reform not the sole answer

(Continued)

It’s no secret that the recovery in the American economy has been sluggish. There are many reasons for that, including economic weakness overseas.

But the silliness in Washington, which has the government lurching from crisis to crisis and fueling a sense of continued uncertainty, is simply bad for business. When companies aren’t sure what tax policies, health care rules and other government regulations they will encounter down the road, they are less likely to invest and pursue growth.

The two parties need to challenge each other; that’s a crucial part of the democratic process. And they need to debate issues and raise public awareness.

But the key to all of this is engagement. Rather than hammering out differences, the two parties continue to act as ships pointlessly passing in the night, and never reaching the shore.

----------------------

Mental health not sole answer on mass shootings

(The Mankato Free Press / Mankato, Minn.)

Another mass shooting — this time at the Navy shipyard in Washington — has reignited a discussion about greater gun control. Yet again, a similar factor in this shooting — mental illness — is not getting the attention necessary to find solutions, partly because those solutions are not as clear.

The shooter — 34-year-old former Navy reservist — reportedly had some mental health issues that in hindsight could have been and should have been addressed earlier.

There were plenty of warning signs, many of them pleas from the shooter himself. Aaron Alexis told Newport, R.I., police about a month ago he was being followed by people using “some sort of microwave machine” on him and preventing him from sleeping. He reportedly stayed in various hotels to escape the voices coming through the walls.

He also sought treatment from the Department of Veteran Affairs for paranoia. He knew something was wrong, but it wasn’t helping.

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