We again find ourselves with a mass shootings and a call as to why the social services and law enforcement system failed. Today there are thousands of Cruzes falling through the cracks. Just about all of them will simply fume on the Internet with like psychopaths. Some will commit petty crimes or even participate in a felony not involving violence. A few will eventually shoot up a room full of people, possibly a school.
Our social services and the part of law enforcement that deals with troubled people is overburden to the point of silliness. They are also massively underfunded. Things began to get far worse starting around 2007 when suddenly millions of middle class and even upper middle class people began to be unemployed or vastly underemployed.
Two extensive studies showed that job creation under the Obama years was 90% low wage, gig, or temporary. Trump claims its gotten much better but those in public and private charities and social work would disagree. These are people with college degrees, what was a stable work and living history, financial responsibility. Many have gotten back to work but in jobs that pay far less than what they had been making. Those particularly hit hard are older Americans, a little more men than women and people with limited skills that had achieved a solid middle class living. They seek social services to make ends meet and mental health professionals to help with the high anxiety, depression and apprehension of a destroyed financial condition.
Poverty leads to problems of housing, food, mental and physical health. Credit gets ruined as well as relationship, including the family gets destroyed. All of this has been dumped on the hands of mental health professionals and local law enforcement.
Even before 2007-2009 agencies were already buckling trying to take care of and monitor the traditional poor and mentally unbalanced. Then the flood came but no additional funding.
Keeping tabs on someone like Cruz is timely and expensive. He would need a dedicated case worker that would need hours to assess his issues and needs. There would need to be adequate facilities to refer him to and since caseworkers can't hold hands it would be the responsibility of Cruz to seek those services. There is the issue of costs and who would pick up those expenses if the patient could not. A counselor might have 20 minutes with a patient. If the patient appears not to be an immediate threat or appears to be making some progress a quick decision has to be made.
In the event of someone truly troubled then there needs to be coordination with law enforcement. Again, if the person has committed no specific crime law enforcement can't follow him around. They like case workers have a short period of time to make a decision based upon very superficial observations.
To keep someone like Cruz off the street would take far more intervention by people with more training. This is not to say there were failures here, or shortcomings, but the system as is just can't function to that degree. Remember at least at the time of the shooting Cruz was living in a stable situation with support, going to school and maintaining a part time job. Those unfortunate people took in a troubled young person, seemingly trying to do the right thing and paid a heavy price.
To create an improved social and mental health system and coordination with law enforcement will require more people, better training, greater infrastructure and the change in some laws. Most of this involves more money and of course too many of you claim the social/welfare system should be cut in funding as it is (in part you live under a false assumption the welfare system is blowing the budget out of the water.)
Our politicians do not want to touch this thing with a ten foot pole. You see it already. After too long the camera truck will leave, the protests will die down and all will be forgotten until the next massacre.