STAFF EDITORIAL: Signs of mental instability should never be taken lightly

The hearts of people around the country remain heavy over the 13 people who lost their lives during Thursday’s shooting at Fort Hood in Killeen.

What should not be overlooked are the details surrounding two similar shootings that occurred in the days following the rampage at Fort Hood.

On Friday, a man named Jason Rodriguez walked into the offices of an engineering firm in Orlando, Fla., where he had previously worked and opened fire, killing one person and injuring six others. On Tuesday, Robert Beiser opened fire at an office park in Portland, Ore., killing his wife and injuring two of her co-workers before taking his own life.

Like Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychologist who allegedly gunned down the soldiers at Fort Hood, the other two men had shown some signs of mental instability that went ignored.

A police report released Tuesday said Rodriguez tried to drive his SUV into a Subway sandwich shop where he was previously employed Sept. 17.

Beiser, whose wife had filed for divorce only a week before the shooting, didn’t show as many signs of mental instability, but a friend said he had bought some firearms and talked about going to a shooting range.

And, of course, there was Hasan, who had’ reportedly told people in June that there should be suicide bombers attacking Times Square. These comments came after a soldier was shot and killed by a Muslim convert at a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Ark.

These senseless shootings remind people that they should not ignore people who display signs of mental instability.

No doubt, countless numbers of people are walking around with closeted frustrations that they haven’t been able to cope with. At the least, these people need psychological counseling.

But unless we pay closer attention to the signs of trouble, we might miss out on the chance to help extinguish whatever might fuel their emotional anguish.

Leave a Comment