The shooting in AZ is not a product of lax or failed gun laws. It is a product of a non-existant mental health system. The shooter had contact with campus police at his school 5 times in October for bizarre and disruptive behavior. His internet postings inidcate that he suffers from paranoid delusions and is probably schizophrenic. On November 30 he was able to purchase a Glock semi-automatic pistol and passed the federally required background check. He was able to pass the background check because there was no record of treatment for a severe mental health issue. Prior to the mental health systems in most states being abolished by Conservative state level politicians during the 1980’s to save money and balance budgets, this young man would have been routinely committed on an involuntary mental hold for evaluation. Whether he had been released after that observation period or not, his name would have been in the system and that would have prevented him from buying a firearm. This is the hidden cost of balancing budgets and creating tax cuts by eliminating necessary programs. The people who champion the elimination of these necessary programs know full well that there will be costs down the road, but that it will be a long time before those costs come home to roost. We are seeing it happen now. This is just one story out of many recent national and local tragedies. Almost daily we hear of confused, intoxicated, suicidal, and irrational people being shot to death by the police on the streets. These incidents are handled with the only tools the system has, the police. The police are not trained to intervene in mental health cases. They are trained to handle criminals. So they shoot the ones who threaten them and eventually release the ones who don’t. Treatment is seldom an option.