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Letter: Mass murderers not thinking clearly

This image, taken from security cameras and released

This image, taken from security cameras and released by the FBI, shows Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis moving through the hallways of Building #197 carrying the Remington 870 shotgun. Twelve people were killed in the shooting. (Sept. 16, 2013) Credit: Getty Images

A writer suggested that mass murderers would think twice if they knew they were going into a place where many people were armed ["How to stop the next shooter," Letters, Sept. 25]. However, most of the recent mass shootings have been committed by people in the grip of paranoid delusions who are not able to think clearly. Many expect to die or kill themselves, so it does not stand to reason they would fear others having guns.

If more people were armed at the Washington Navy Yard, I think many more would have died, because sometimes even police have a hard time telling the good guys from the bad. If one guy starts shooting, how do you know he did not just see someone else pull a gun or is starting to shoot people himself? We can't go to rewind or slo-mo to figure it out.

I believe in humane and even mandatory institutionalization of some mentally ill people. Clearly, the trend in psychiatry -- which seems to be "catch, medicate, release" -- is not working.

Ann R. Darcy, Huntington Station