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Ronald Reagan and the Arizona shootings

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Ronald Reagan: the father of the debtor nation assault on mental health
Ronald Reagan: the father of the debtor nation assault on mental health
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The tragic murders and shootings last Saturday in Tucson, Arizona which killed an innocent nine-year-old girl, Christina Taylor Green, along with five other people and wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others has people looking for answers as to why this terrible slaughter happened.

Many people on the political left attribute the killings to what they classify as hate speech by those in the conservative movement. They are so certain of this that they're even willing to limit First Amendment free speech rights in an effort to prevent further tragedies. Democratic Representative from Pennsylvania Robert Brady is even suggesting a bill be passed which would outlaw speech/language which is seen as threatening to politicians/lawmakers. This is a direct assault on the United States Constitution and the First Amendment. But when the emotion of fear takes hold, reason is smothered and oppression follows.

Objectively looking at the facts in this deadly shooting, what jumps out at us is the mental condition of the shooter, Jared Loughner. Loughner is obviously mentally unstable. Doctor E. Fuller Torrey, author of Surviving Schizophrenia and founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Virginia, says Loughner is a textbook case of someone suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. Loughner's mental instability is so severe and obvious that his classmates feared he would one day bring a weapon to class and kill them all.

Why are mentally ill people like Loughner walking around America's streets instead of being treated for their illness? One major reason is Ronald Reagan. With both parties routinely praising "the Gipper," it's become politically incorrect to be critical of Reagan. However, honestly looking at important changes that took place during his reign as United States President we see Reagan was not as great as people make him out to be. For example, it was Ronald Reagan who made the U.S. a debtor nation for the first time in its history. Under Reagan the United States went from being the largest international creditor to the worlds biggest debtor nation. So much for fiscal conservatism.

Regarding mental health, it was Reagan who rescinded the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. The act was to have the federal government help fund mental health programs in the fifty states. By doing away with the act Reagan removed the necessary funding the mental health programs needed. Soon after, many of the people who were being treated for mental health illnesses were out on the street. The reason Reagan did away with this was because he put business profits above people. That worldview has not changed for the government and has infected most levels of society. The "greed is good" mentality now permeates most of society. Things will not improve until the sickness of greed is cured.

If people learn to value their reason they will not take what the politicians say on faith. They will demand that people are put before profits and they will stick with it until it is made right. However, in order to arrive at this state people need to make a basic and fundamental change in their thinking. They need to realize that their reason is much more important and valuable than their faith. They need to know that political and religious charlatans can easily take advantage of them when they're focused on faith but they can't take advantage of them so easily when they're focused on reason. A reason centered populace is the key to correcting the ills of society and of creating a truly naturally progressive world.
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Bob Johnson is a paralegal and a freelance writer in Florida. He was raised Roman Catholic, but after reading Thomas Paine's The Age of Reason, he became a Deist. In 1993 he founded the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first web (more...)
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