The Chainlink

You may recall that North Carolina firefighter who was so pissed off at the sight of a dad riding around with his 3-year-old in a child seat that he shot him in the head (the guy's life was saved by his helmet). Anyway, the guy was sentenced today—four months in jail!

I generally don't go in for outrage but this one really made my blood boil. Strike North Carolina from my next vacation itinerary!

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From what I have read previously, and from my experience working with adults with mental illnesses, and from working in the court system...

I doubt the man was found to be mentally ill. There have been no indications of such in any report I have read (the few out there at the time of the incident and then the one now). If this was a mental illness issue, it would have made the news! Also, he was actively employed and working on the job at the time of the incident. Fire departments generally frown upon having workers with mental illness (controlled or otherwise) on their staff - for obvious reasons depending on the specific disorder. An chronic mental illness would almost definitely been identified/recognized.

Not to mention that most mental illnesses do not have as part of their presentation a likelihood of committing such a clear act of violence against another. If he had an illness that contributed to such extreme behavior, it would have been obvious at the time of his arrest for it. And it would require much more than anger managament classes.

I absolutely agree that prison time alone is not the answer. That being said, his jail time is remarkable light given the fact that he shot at and hit an unarmed man who was turned/turning away at the time. Putting him in anger management classes is a step in the right direction as far as treatment...but there is a wide range as to the effectiveness of those classes.
People like the firefighter are pointless and should have the favor returned WITH OUT THE HELMET.

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