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Just after I submitted the post at the top of this thread, I had another thought (isn't it always thus?). It occurred to me that here in America we actually do have an alternative to treating the mentally ill with prison: LET THEM ALL BUY GUNS.

Of course I am aware that many states have laws intended to make it a little more difficult for the mentally ill to buy assault rifles, but here is the problem: these laws are most effective for schizophrenia and depressives -- those least likely to use firearms. If you suffer from the occasional paranoid fantasy or delusion, there is no problem at all: step right up and buy your "protection" here. In fact, there is a huge of industry of magazines, blogs, animé cartoons, FPS video games, survivalist books, and ultra-violent splatter movies that cater to the paranoid visions of millions of Americans. This is just what we need: an industry whose primary purpose is to feed the delusions of those addicted to porno-violence.

It gets better. If the mentally ill somehow resist the siren songs of the blood-drenched entertainment industry, we have a fall-back strategy: bankrupt them with medical bills, and force them to live on the streets. Blame them for the choices they made, stigmatize them, defund the mental health clinics, defund clean needle programs, defund detox centers, and make the police crack down hard on the homeless.

Yep, that'll do it.

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