Hillyard: improving mental illness can help the country avoid mass shootings

Thousands of people in Orlando, Florida and beyond continue to mourn the death of 49 people killed inside a gay night club. Investigators continue to examine possible motives and contemplate what can be done to avoid such actions in the future.

Utah State Senator Lyle Hillyard, an attorney by profession, says some people blame guns and say we need more gun control. Hillyard says, unfortunately, he believes whatever the gun laws are people who want guns will get them.

He believes the main problem behind the tragedy is mental illness.

“It’s kind of the attitude about mental illness,” Hillyard says. “People don’t want to admit they have it because sometimes it is a show of weakness. On the other hand it is hard to diagnose. It’s not like a broken arm. You can look it and say ‘Ah, here is a broken arm and this is how we treat it.’

“But hindsight is always 20-20. We can look back and say, ‘oh we should have picked up, should have picked up.’ But as a practical matter there are so many other things going on that we just don’t pick it up until we look back.”

Hillyard says mental illness is hard to diagnose, it comes and goes but we need to do a better job with mental illness issues.

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