EDITOR: After the awful killing of innocent children in Connecticut, people across the nation are calling for gun control, as well they should. There are other issues, however. First, this country does not understand, accept or care for its citizens with different mental and brain issues. Mental illness has been unsympathetically damned. Autism, which I believe was involved in Friday's episode, has been mistreated and neglected.

Second, when spending must be cut the disabled, elderly and poor are cut first. If people with any neurological differences received treatment throughout their lives, terrible incidents such as these might not happen.

Millions of people have millions of guns in this country, but only the untreated and misunderstood create this kind of horror.

In 2003, Sonoma County was informed that it was losing millions each year due to inadequate billing to insurers and Medi-Cal. The Board of Supervisors asked the county counsel to investigate and report back every other month. It never happened. Cuts in services have been draconian ever since. This mirrors cuts across the nation.

If improvements are made in our country to both gun control and mental health support as a result of this tragedy, these children will have not died in vain.


<i>Santa Rosa</i>