The issue of gun violence cropped up again thes weekend in Phoenix, where Michael Guzzo shot and killed the four members of the family next door, along with their two dogs, before shooting himself. According to the Associated Press, neighbors said the incessant barking of the dogs may have driven Guzzo over the edge, but family members described him as a man beset by "demons," excessive anger, paranoia and depression, but who refused to seek psychological help. His ex-wife, a retired behavioral nurse who divorced him in 2000, told reporters she had seen warning signs for years, and always thought he would take his own life someday, but she never thought he would kill others as well.
Despite this brewing anger and paranoia, with no one forcing him to seek help, Guzzo was able to buy a shotgun a year ago, which he used in the killings, police said.
Once again a horrible tragedy has happened not just because guns were available to a disturbed individual, but there seemed to be no process for getting psychological help for a man so tormented that his family suspected something bad was going to happen to him.
There are, in spite of the Second Amendment, some people who, for mental and emotional issues, should just not be allowed to have guns. Society must develop a better system for identifying them and getting help for them before they commit a terrible tragedy that is all the more horrible for being preventable.