To the editor:
Mike Hoeflich suggests that a “renewed draft” could curb gun violence (Journal-World, Jan. 2). An interesting thought — members of the armed forces never commit criminal violence, well, except for Major Hassan, Timothy McVey, Lee Harvey Oswald, Charles Whitman, but they must be the only ones.
Can you imagine any recruiter accepting Adam Lanza? As far as identifying people, many of these killers had long been recognized as troubled. James Holmes (oops, too old anyway) was seeing a psychiatrist; Seung-Hui Cho (the Virginia Tech shooter) had received mental health services for years (one of the objections raised was that the university did not have access to this information). Friends of the Lanzas say Adam’s mother tried to get him psychiatric help.
It’s difficult — and should be — to require anyone to get mental health treatment. Cho was ordered to get help. But if recruiters did locate someone who was dangerously ill, resources for mental health care are increasingly limited.
And speaking of recruiters — how many people and how much money would it cost to process all our young people and pay, feed, clothe and house them for two years?
Also, Hoeflich is not speaking of the draft (Selective Service.) He’s suggesting another idea that has been consistently rejected as expensive and inefficient: universal military training. He would have “all young people,” without considering people with retardation, chronic diseases, gang members and addicts, people in wheelchairs and young parents.
Surely, professor, we can come up with something better for far less money.