Another Shooting at Fort Hood: Could Better Mental Health Care Have Prevented It?

Another Shooting at Fort Hood: Could Better Mental Health Care Have Prevented It?

There was another shooting at Fort Hood in Texas yesterday. Four people, including the shooter, are dead and 16 more are wounded. “Scott and White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, Tex., said it had received eight patients and expected one more. Three victims were in critical condition, and five others were expected to be upgraded from serious to fair condition overnight. The injuries included gunshot wounds to the abdomen, chest and neck.”

Fort Hood Shooting, April 2, 2014April 2, 2014 - Fort Hood, Texas, U.S. - Lucy Hamlin and her husband, Spc. Timothy Hamlin, wait to get back to their home on the base following a shooting incident at Fort Hood. (Image: © Deborah Cannon/MCT/

It wasn’t terrorism. According to the New York Times, the gunman, Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, “had served four months in Iraq in 2011 and was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, but had not yet been diagnosed with the condition. There were indications that he had self-reported a traumatic brain injury when he returned from Iraq”. The military is notoriously slow about getting a diagnosis and starting treatment for these kinds of injuries.

The National Institutes for Health says traumatic brain injuries can cause behavior and/or mental health problems like “depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness.” Ivan Lopez was probably not in his right mind when this happened. What if he had gotten his diagnosis and treatment more promptly? Would four people still be alive, and 16 more be uninjured and traumatized?

Jesus wept.

Related Posts

National PTSD Awareness Day

Today, June 27th, is the second annual National PTSD Awareness Day. In honor of it, I will be wearing my teal ribbon and hope that all of you will do the same. I also thought it would be appropriate to discuss it here once again.I've talked about my personal experiences with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in the past, but it's important to understand how it affects our community at large. First of all, let's take a look at how many people it affects. Here are a few statistics I found on (I know it's a lot of numbers, but please read them and bear with me):   Read more >

On Adam Lanza, Mental Illness, and My Son

We have a myth in our society that explains tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary, and it goes something like this: When something bad happens, it's because hidden in our society are evil monsters, who prey upon the innocent, and that there's nothing we can do to stop these people but to arm ourselves with guns or prayer and hope they don't come for someone we love. Image: © Wang Yiou/Xinhua/   Read more >

The Man I Know

Last Wednesday night, in a debate watched by nearly 70 million people, America and the world got to see the Mitt Romney I’ve known for most of my life. The guy who is in control, the guy who knows the answers to the hard questions, the guy who cares about people and wants to help those who need it the most. That’s the Mitt I know. I couldn’t have been more proud, and I couldn’t be more confident that he will be the next President of the United States.   Read more >

Recent Posts by Betty Fokker


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.