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Sheriff Fears Quick Fix on Guns
Thursday, 28 February 2013

February 28--  The sheriff of Toombs County is afraid politicians will push through a quick fix on gun violence and ignore the underlying causes.

"They're looking at assault weapons like the AR-15 and clip capacity and things like that.  They're looking at a quick fix," says Sheriff Junior Kight.

The sheriff believes attention needs to be given to rebuilding a credible mental health system.  For example, the state mental health hospital at Milledgeville used to hold thousands of mentally ill patients and now has a population in the hundreds.

"A lot of these people need long term care.  I hate to say it but some people just don't need to be out on the streets," Sheriff Kight says.

"Treatment is usually three to five days and they send them back home.  They get them on medication a lot of the time and it works.  The problem is the patients quit taking the medication and think they can handle the situation on their own.  That's when problems begin to start again," he notes.

Sheriff Kight also believes federal privacy rules regarding patient information need to be modified to help law enforcement monitor potential problems.

"It restrains law enforcement from getting information on mental health people that could be harmful to themselves as wall as others.  We need that information and we're not able to get it," he says.



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