Archive for Thursday, December 20, 2012

Brownback wants to examine mental health services

December 20, 2012


TOPEKA — Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he wants to examine whether Kansas is providing adequate mental health services but is wary of jumping into a contentious debate over gun control following last week’s mass elementary school shooting in Connecticut.

Brownback also said during an interview with The Associated Press that he believes responding to the shooting with proposals to rewrite gun laws is likely to prevent a serious examination of mental health services. He said he believes the nation needs to look into mental health services and the deeper causes of such mass shootings.

The Kansas governor has previously limited his comments about last week’s events in Newtown, Conn., by expressing public support for the families of the victims. A gunman killed 27 people, including 20 children, before killing himself.

The deaths occurred two days before two Topeka police officers were gunned down in a grocery store parking lot when they went to investigate a report of possible drug activity.

“One of the things I want to look at is whether or not we’re providing sufficient mental health services,” Brownback said. “I think it’s going to get a lot more interest now because I think the country’s just a lot more serious about dealing with this after Connecticut.”

The mass shooting in Connecticut has renewed the nation’s debate over issues such as whether a federal ban on semi-automatic weapons should be revived or whether background checks should be required for all gun sales. But gun rights advocates in several states have argued their laws should be revised to allow teachers and administrators to bring concealed weapons into school buildings for protection.

Kansas law allows residents to obtain permits to carry concealed weapons. There’s a general ban on concealed weapons on school property, but local officials can pre-empt the ban by declining to post notices on school buildings, though education officials don’t know of any examples where that’s happened.

Brownback said having a national discussion about mental health services is vital, but, “If you immediately go to the heat-seeking issue, you’re not even going to start the discussion.”

“It’s just going to go to the polarized points immediately,” he said.


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 3 months ago

No, gun violence will never go away. But that does not mean that it should not be minimized.

The gun fetishists are so extreme and ideological in their views that even common sense restrictions on military style weapons are ideological violations leading to dictatorship and caskets full of dead children are simply the price we pay for this "freedom".


oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 3 months ago

What's the big deal? Anyone read about 1927 in Bath Michigan?

Conn is not the new normal!

What if 20'old people had been shot dead in the hallway of a nursing home? Then what? Or a disgruntled family member at a funeral shoots the visitors.Then what!

Much ado about nothing. Read about Bath,,Michigan


KiferGhost 1 year, 3 months ago

I think it is great the Brownback wants to explore the state of his mental health, it is the first step to finding help.


bigtoe 1 year, 3 months ago

There are 350 million people with 300 million legal and illegal guns in this country (probably 85-90% of households) and no one but a few morons in N.Y., Vermont, etc. are going to turn them in or register them.

There is nothing Obama or the idiots in D.C do about it. Legislation to restrict guns won't pass Congress and If he tries it by Executive Order that will be overturned in the Supreme Court, where they have alread recently ruled on the right to own and posses firearms.

End of conversation.


Jeff Kilgore 1 year, 3 months ago


Mental health services want to examine Brownback.


MacHeath 1 year, 3 months ago

Most of you are probably too young to remember this, but mental health services were drastically cut back during the Reagan administration.

This is the first time I have heard Brownback say anything I agree with.

Providing expansion of mental health services is the ONLY thing that will help to reduce this sort of irrational violence. But mental health services will not stop this sorts of terrible, terroristic acts.

I keep hearing about folks wanting to "make sense" of these sorts of irrational acts. How can one make sense of an irrational act? There is no sense to be made by definition.

Gun control laws, no matter how restrictive, will not prevent acts such as these.

Remember the dude that knifed several school children in Japan a few years back? Remember Charlie Whitman? He killed 14 people, 11 of which from the top of a tower, with a hunting rifle. He was by all accounts, not a nut. He was an eagle scout for cryin out loud!

In a song by Kinky Freedman that you should listen to:

"There was a rumor, about a tumor, nestled at the base of his brain... The doctors tore his poor brain down. Not a speck of illness could be found. They couldn't figure just why he did it, and them that could, would not admit it. There's still a lot of eagle scouts around"

My opinion is that we can never totally stop these sorts of acts. Mental Health services may help, but one has to seek help, or have help trust upon them, for that to have a chance to work. Getting all crazy about school security, banning any sort of weapons, will not help. Scaring the crap out of children, will not help. You folks over 55 remember the terror thrust upon you about the atom bomb? Duck and cover, by God!

This is a sad fact about being human. One must accept this sad fact, before one can help.

One thing: if you see a little boy (or girl) hanging around by himself, and having trouble with other kids...THAT is where you begin. No one, in our society, should feel alienated, and alone. Stop that, and you have a chance to lessen the number of these sorts of acts, but there will always be a few, that will slip through the cracks. Won't stop the idealistic attacks, like McVie. It is harder to buy large amounts of fertilizer now...


yourworstnightmare 1 year, 3 months ago

Get used to what happened in Connecticut, folks. It is the new normal. With the gutting of the mental health system of the last 30 years combined with free and open access to military style weaponry, it is the natural outcome.

These 20 children and eight adults are just the latest, and certainly not the last, burnt offerings to the gods of extreme gun rights ideology.


verity 1 year, 3 months ago

Have you heard the latest? (it's on Facebook.)

President Obama engineered the Newtown shootings so that he could ban all guns. I was surprised not to have seen it here first.


profound 1 year, 3 months ago

He is searching for oxymorons.


mysterytrain 1 year, 3 months ago

I think mental health services should examine (and commit) Brownback.


globehead 1 year, 3 months ago

Faith based mental health initiatives run by Bible thumping fundamentalists lunatics from Florida will be his solution, as with everything else.


mikekt 1 year, 3 months ago

Brownback's ought to be interested in mental health issues alright......but for himself !

His tax cuts, his inability to grasp the consequences long term for Kansan's, who don't need to see their Government be turned upside down financially, as the Federal one is, just nuts !

To totally blow off the uncontrolled gun sales issues at gun shows, those automatic non hunting weapons that have the mega clips or for doing nothing to demand by force of law that gun owners restrict access to children under a certain age & the mentally ill, is just WACKO-WACKO !!!

That's Sam. He's to busy preying on the public from his Topeka Prayer Studio to get it....or maybe he gets it all too well, and just wants to earn a contribution from the gun lobbies for blowing public smoke on the issues ?


tange 1 year, 3 months ago

"Brownback wants to examine mental health services"

I think it only fitting that mental health services reciprocate.


Incredible 1 year, 3 months ago

The gunman killed 27 people, not 26. His first victim was his mother.


Joe Hyde 1 year, 3 months ago

I applaud Gov. Brownback's desire to review the delivery of mental health services in Kansas. Always a sensible thing to do.

However, even a state boasting the finest public mental health delivery system in the world cannot prevent tragedies such as the Newtown, CT massacre, where a trusting mother allowed her certified mentally imbalanced son access to a mini-armory of unsecured firearms and ammo right there in the family home.

The best way to reduce the chances of this happening again is for the nation to undertake long-term public information campaigns aimed at improving methods of home storage of all lethal weapons and ammo.


BigDog 1 year, 3 months ago

State spending levels for FY 2010 per capita per Kaiser Foundation

State spending level for FY 2010 statewide $375,700,00 per Kaiser Foundation


weeslicket 1 year, 3 months ago

quite right, costello and others. i worry that governor brownback will create another "efficiency task force", to which he could appoint reps from AFP, CFG, CofC and NRA, but no mental health experts.


costello 1 year, 3 months ago

"Brownback wants to examine mental health services"

Those are some chilling words. Every time he "examines services," he "cuts funding."


Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 3 months ago

Mental health care services in Kansas have never been up to par. Before Brownback, and yes, even during the democratic reign of Sebilious, mental health services have always been under funded. The mentally handicapped have the weakest voice when lobbyists are screaming for money for their pet projects. The crime of kicking the weakest in our society is the history of our country and it is not going to change. Brownback is a problem but let's not blame the historic reality that Kansas mental health care has ever been good under any political party.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 3 months ago

Do any of the current mental health services have openings for long term care and services?

Sam Brownback and his right wing members are seeking counseling and would retire from the tax dollar payroll if services could be rendered beginning immediately if not sooner.

This is their only hope to be saved from their extreme insensitivities toward other human beings.

Also this is their only hope to be saved from the addiction to tax dollar payrolls and taxpayer supported medical care.

Kansas Mental Health Institutions please open your doors in an effort to relieve the Brownback administration of their evil ways.

Thank you for this consideration.


autie 1 year, 3 months ago

the private sector? You're nuts too. Turning over health care to for profit insurance companies is what has ruined it all in the first place. A lot of people Cant_have_it_either_way because they cant_afford_the_bill so they won't_even_get_in_the_door.


JackMcKee 1 year, 3 months ago

Empty words from the worst Govenor in the history of Kansas.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 3 months ago

Could part of the problem lie with big government. The government does very little well. I would guess that our mental facilities suffer from this. Turn it over to the private sector.


progressive_thinker 1 year, 3 months ago

It is sad that it takes a national tragedy to get our Governor to even acknowledge that there is a need for mental health services. It is not long ago that he was leading the charge in our "race for the bottom" by cutting funding for mental health services.

Now the Governor wants to look toward the mental health system as a root cause of this tragedy.

It is well known that persons with mental illnesses are overrepresented in jail and prison populations. It is also well known that mental illnesses can often be effectively managed within the community and that in doing so, crimes can be prevented. To do so requires adequate funding for case management and treatment, including therapy and medication. In doing so, we stand a chance at preventing not only a horrific tragedy such as the one that happened in Connecticut, but also at preventing the personal tragedies that occur almost daily, but which garner much less media attention.


thinkb4utype 1 year, 3 months ago

Actually funding for mental heath has nearly tripled during the last 13 years in 2000, $158million ... In 2013, $438 million...and that doesn't include what is spent in state prisons... I know its hard for many of you brownback haters to fathom, but he makes a good point about the need to look at how these services matter your political philosophy on gun control, making sure those who need mental health services are getting the right services should be the focus...


Josh Brumm 1 year, 3 months ago

"Gov. Sam Brownback said Thursday that he wants to examine whether Kansas is providing adequate mental health services"

Short answer: No.

Long answer: Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 3 months ago

Sounds like Brownie got the NRA talking point-- blame it all on poor mental health services (but then do nothing about it, because it might jeopardize tax cuts to the Koch Bros.)


friendlyjhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Let's lock Brownie up for the rest of his term and let him learn about mental health care up close and personally.


kernal 1 year, 3 months ago

Let's see now, funds were slashed for this very thing and after the fact, we're going to check if Kansas is providing adequate mental services in Kansas? People in Topeka and Lawrence have been talking about this for the past two freaking years.

Heck no, the mental health services aren't adequate in Kansas! They're not adequate in any state in this nation that I'm aware of. Kansas used to be one of the leaders in this area when we had Menningers and the Topeka State Hospital, then the Republican party decided it would be more expedient to shut down state owned mental hospitals and dumped the problem in the laps of towns that don't have the means to support this need. Topeka fell asleep and Menningers found better support in Texas. Talk to the prison wardens, talk to Barry Feaker, executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission, talk to the hospitals, Governor.


Robert Rauktis 1 year, 3 months ago

"deeper causes of such mass shootings"

How about a mother who's a gun nut who takes her kid to the range with a semi-automatic assault rifle.

"Hey...good shot, Poot!"


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