KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)--Guns and mental health issues are taking center stage after the school shooting. In Nashville Governor Haslam weighed in, saying he expects new debate on gun laws and better ways to help those with mental illness.
Kristin Brownlee knows what it's like to live with a mentally ill son often managing violent outbursts. Kristin Brownlee says, "They become very bad. He throws things. He hits, bites, pinches, yells and screams."
He has CDD, which is Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
What doctors describe it as childhood dimentia and something he'll never outgrow it. Brownlee says, "Just because he has a mental illness he would never go do something like that because you teach your child right and wrong."
Even if Adam Lanza knew right from wrong several people say he was mentally ill. He killed 20 children. Experts say recognizing the signs and getting treatment is critical. It's something President Obama vowed to address. Executive Director of Mental Health Association of East Tennessee Ben Harrington said, "The first thing I would say is stop cutting mental health funding."
Then there's gun control for Harrington it's pretty simple. Harrington said, "If someone has a mental health history that's not good. You shouldn't have a weapon in the house."
Monday Helen Ross McNabb opened a new mental health facility in Lenoir City to help children who suffer from mental illness. Helen Ross McNabb Vice President of Adult Services Leann Human-Hilliard said, "A lot of people suffer from anxiety and depression They can be treated successfully. They just need to be addressed."
For Kristin it's about tough love. Brownlee said, "He's held accountable just like any other child."