I share columnist Anne Michaud's excitement that the government is prioritizing mental health, yet her analysis paints a shallow and incomplete portrait of why mass killings may occur ["New strides for treatment of mental illness," Opinion, Jan. 17].

There is a trend in which the media say the perpetrator had a history of mental illness, and then close the door without digging further. We must ask ourselves if there is more to the story.

Have we considered these heinous crimes not as the work of a defective person, but as reactions to societal problems? So many people are alienated and overcome with feelings of powerlessness. Might these pent-up feelings release themselves in fits of irrational rage?

We have seen how a poor workplace environment in the U.S. Postal Service gave rise to killings and the phrase, "going postal." This seems to have evolved from workplace discontent to something more complex and prevalent.

Christopher Soda, Manhattan

Can't this columnist see the real result for "deputizing" psychiatric workers to be law enforcement agents? No one would volunteer to see a therapist now. The right to privacy is gone with the wind.

In this insane rush to feel safe, we are going the way of a totalitarian police state.

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Jo-Ann Nowodzinski, Jericho