By Barbra Streisand.
The horrible tragedy in Newtown, CT has brought to the forefront a much needed and long overdue national conversation regarding the lack of gun control and mental health services in our country. It makes no sense that automatic and semi automatic weapons are available for public sale. The U.S. has more guns and more gun violence than any other civilized country in the world. And since 2009, the National Alliance on Mental Illness has reported that states have cut more than $1.6 billion in general funds from their state mental health agency budgets.
In 1993, Colin Ferguson, who suffered from paranoia, killed 6 people and wounded 19 in Garden City, NY. He would have killed far more people but he had to reload three times before he was finally stopped. I produced a television movie called The Long Island Incident in 1998. Many years later, we as a country are still experiencing trauma and devastation around senseless, preventable gun violence. I hope the story of Sandy Hook Elementary finally catalyzes the nation, and our leaders in Washington, to commit to doing something substantive regarding gun control and access to mental health care services to those who desperately need it.