PA Lawmaker Works to Prevent Future Shootings
WASHINGTON DC (WENY)- As the victims from the most recent shooting in Fort Hood are laid to rest, the conversation continues on Capitol Hill about how to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.
"We do a great physical evaluation, medical evaluation when you join the service, but we don't do a mental health screening or evaluation," says Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania.
The lawmaker introduced the MEPS, or Medical Evaluation Parity for Service Members Act.
"What the MEPS Act is designed to do is to keep people safe, and keep people well. It provides a requirement for a mental health evaluation at the time of enlistment into the service."
The bill was introduced six days before the most recent Ft. Hood shooting. Thompson says it needs to be discussed and passed. Even though it couldn't prevent the most recent tragedy - it could prevent similar shootings in the future.
"As a country we really have failed when it comes to doing the right things for folks who are suffering from these chronic conditions." Thompson says the mental health screenings will allow the government to catch and treat any problems someone is having before they serve. Something, Thompson says, we owe to our military members.
"We have an obligation to take care of the men and women who protect and take care of us in the service of this country."
Congressman Thompson's bill is getting a lot of support in the House - But it doesn't stop there. The MEPS Act was recently introduced in the Senate as has seen bi-partisan support in that chamber, too.