The unthinkable event that left twenty school kids and six teachers dead in Newtown, Connecticut last year, stunned a nation. But Newtown didn’t stand alone; there have been many incidents in the last few years that left us in disbelief, like the ones at Virginia Tech, Washington’s naval shipyard, an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, and a Wisconsin Sikh Temple. The two things they had in common: a gun was used, and in many cases the perpetrator had a mental illness. This year, as debates crossed the country about gun control; the question ‘are we doing enough for the mentally ill?’ arose.
The news was hard to fathom a year ago: twenty first graders and six educators shot to death during an ordinary school day in Newtown, Connecticut. Afterward, the national soul-searching seemed to reach new depths, with President Obama insisting “these tragedies must end, and to end them we must change.” At the time, polls showed a majority of Americans agreed some aspects of gun laws could be altered, expanding background checks, for instance. But Washington lawmakers failed pass legislation, and the debate has since shifted to the states. Both sides have scored victories in state leg