WDAM Viewpoint- Freedom of speech - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

WDAM Viewpoint- Freedom of speech

January 21, 2011

There has been a lot of talk on all sides of the political spectrum recently about the incivility of the public discourse.  Much of this comes in reaction to the horrible shootings in Arizona…which, as I have expressed, had more to do with an unbalanced and mentally ill individual than what pundits and talk show hosts of any stripe have to say.  Perhaps we should be focusing instead on the identification and treatment of these mentally troubled and potentially violent people that are evident throughout society.  Instead the laws regarding institutionalizing those who are dangerously mentally ill have been so weakened and watered down over the years it is a wonder we don't see more instances of this sort.  Don't misunderstand what I'm saying.  Laws of this nature have to be very carefully monitored and applied judiciously.  But several people who knew the shooter said they had warned that it was only a matter of time before he went on a rampage such as he did.  They were basically told nothing could be done until he did.  Society needs to be protected and so do the violently mentally ill.  Most mentally ill people are not violent…but those who are can be a danger to others and themselves and we should have the mechanism in place to intercede and treat them before they act.  At least it's a discussion that is worth having and would be more productive than banning the word target from all newscasts…such as one major news organization made a big deal of doing this week.  I'm Jim Cameron.  That's my opinion.  I'd like to know about yours.

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