Stop disturbed before they kill

How did Adam Lanza go from being “just a normal little weird kid,” in his father’s words, to someone who “couldn’t get any more evil”?

Peter Lanza made the comments in a magazine story about his son, who slaughtered 20 children and six adults in a 2012 rampage at a Connecticut school. The elder Lanza had been estranged from his wife and had not seen his son for two years before the shooting.

In the wake of the massacre, investigators found many people knew Adam Lanza was deeply disturbed. But, like his father and the mother he also murdered, no one seemed to make the link between Adam Lanza’s mental illness and a propensity for violence – though there were signals of it.

Since the horror in Newtown, Conn., much has been said and written about gun control. Comparatively little attention has been paid to advancing our understanding of mental illness – and finding ways to stop the Adam Lanzas of the world before they kill.

Clearly, more needs to be done to diagnose and treat – or lock up – people like Adam Lanza. We know that. So why are we as a society not tackling the problem?

President Barack Obama does not have to worry about votes from senior citizens this fall. But many members of Congress do – and that may be why they kept him from another massive raid of Medicare benefits.

Obama had planned to limit access to three classes of drugs on which many Medicare recipients rely. They included antidepressants, antipsychotics and drugs meant to help people with organ transplants.

The move would have saved Medicare $729 million by 2019.

But, after hearing from some in the health care community, many members of Congress said they objected to the plan. On Tuesday, the White House quietly shelved it.

Nothing has been done about tens of billions of dollars in Medicare cuts linked to the Obamacare law, however.

And to think: Obama and fellow liberals once accused Republicans of not caring about senior citizens’ health.