The story I was reminded of
from a discussion about one of our mental cases and red flag laws and forced commitment.
When we were first married we lived in a little house on a gravel road and the only other house was past a long stretch of woods. The guy who lived there was an old bachelor farmer who'd lived there with his parents and they'd died a few years before. He was a veteran and people used to say he'd suffered from shell shock.
I don't know if it was combat related or not but it was pretty clear that it was some form of organic mental illness. The VA kept him pretty well medicated and for the most part people tolerated him and gave him a wide berth, his being local and a veteran and all. The Deputies would make the sweep by fairly often though since the cops all hung out at a diner on the highway nearby anyway.
There was another bachelor farmer who he had a little bit of a friendship with. So one day that guy's nephew is working in the tool shed and the mental guy pulls up and asks if he has any bolt cutters he could borrow, and the nephew says sure and gives them to him.
A couple hours later a Deputy's car tears in an he jumps out. "You seen Kenny anywhere?"
The nephew says "no, what's up?"
The Deputy says, "he was losing it so I took his guns away and locked them in his tool shed with a chain and padlock. Somehow he got a bolt cutter and got 'em out, and he's on the loose!"
Sadly, it wasn't too long before he got mad at a kid who was riding by on a mini bike and either shot his shotgun over him or into the air. They took him and locked him up in the VA hospital and he died shortly after.
The kid went on to fame by running a meth lab in a derelict shed a couple miles down the road.
Oh those were the days.