With the gun law debate in full effect many question the availability of guns to people with mental illnesses. Post traumatic stress disorder is categorized as such in certain circles therefore pulling returning service members into this arena. With the recent shooting death of a former Navy Seal and his friend by a former Marine with PTSD many are questioning whether or not a person diagnosed with PTSD, should have had access to a weapon. Many political figures are weighing in on this very public tragedy.
"Chris Kyle's death seems to confirm that 'he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.' Treating PTSD at a gun range doesn't make sense," former Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul tweeted on Monday.
Eddie Ray Routh is accused of killing former Navy Seal Chris Kyle and his friend Chad Littlefield at a shooting range on Saturday. Routh, a former Marine, was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 5 months ago according to his family. It was at that time, according to his parents in a Lancaster police report, he was threatening to kill himself and his family. Routh was committed to Green Oaks Psychiatric Hospital at least twice in the past 5 months according to police records. Shay Isham, a lawyer appointed to represent him, said his client spent roughly the past two years in and out in Veteran Affairs medical facilities for treatment of mental issues.
"PTSD is rarely associated with homicidal violence," Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist who has worked on cases of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans charged with violent crimes, told CNN's Soledad O'Brien.
"PTSD is very commonly associated with a number of other conditions that are regularly attached to violence, alcoholism, personality disorder, depression. So diagnostically, PTSD may be relevant and it may just be part of the picture, including traumatic brain injury," Welner said
PTSD effects more and more of our returned service members, some turn violent while others have committed suicide thus resulting in the highest suicide rates that the military has known. Chris Kyle was confident that being out with other brothers, cutting up and being on a closed range was exactly what recovering service members needed. While many may disagree, especially with the tragic outcome, it is safe to say that a man with his impeccable record and experience may be believed in this method of assistance to our veterans.