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Bill O'Connor

Horse Shoe, NC

Past Vice Chair, Henderson County Commission



Our Changing Times

To the editor: Beginning in the 1950s, we decided as a country that mental institution abuse of patients was unacceptable, and since effective behavior-control drugs were becoming more available, we began to close the mental hospitals and wards within regular hospitals and rely on the patients to self-medicate.

And, driven by similar concern for public welfare, we decided that we would designate and enforce schools and other public facilities as “gun-free” zones, and allow private businesses to do likewise. This in spite of history; the fact that in the days of chivalry, exaggerated practices of public courtesy were the norm. We laugh at all the bowing and “My dear sirs” in costume dramas, but we don’t notice that other feature of the time — that nearly all men were considered not dressed without a dagger or sword at his side.

If Oregon had been settled at the time, we suspect that its mentally ill would have been in 24-hour care, not shooting up the community college. 

Bill O’Connor

Horse Shoe