In the long, sad session of "how the hell did this happen" that's followed the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and over a dozen others Saturday, mental illness has come up nearly as often as lax gun control and violent rhetoric as an explanation for the tragedy. Some arguments verge on the hysterical — one blogger references the "many disturbed individuals who are roaming the streets of every street in America" and the supposed need to "protect the public from mental patients who are tormented by the voices some hear in their heads." Others, however, have more soberly pointed out that despite the fact that Loughner was ordered to get mental health treatment and that one teacher was concerned enough to wonder, "Is he going to bring a weapon to class?," he was able to purchase a semiautomatic weapon and use it to murder multiple people.
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