The crux of the problem is at what point, if any, does society have the right to make someone do what it thinks is right without trampling on an individual’s civil rights? I mean, in the old days if a person seemed a potential danger to themselves or others they were placed in a mental institution.

Now you have to wait until one has committed a crime and then lock them up in some prison facility, which is usually poorly prepared to treat mental heath problems. It’s all an extremely complex legal, medical and social problem for which there is no practical solution.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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