What can be done about people with mental health problems who have access to guns and eventually explode and kill people? The shootings are occurring too often and the nation should be alarmed.

For the protection of society from the crazed shooters, lawmakers need to commission a study to see what can be done legally to detain, hospitalize and help these persons with obvious mental health problems. Families need to be more helpful in recognizing that their sons and daughters with mental health problems need medical attention, and some need to be hospitalized, before they  harm themselves or other people.

Law enforcement is aware of the problem with mentally disturbed people, but officers can’t do anything before they explode unless a law is broken. In many instances, such as the Waffle House shooter near Nashville, Tenn., who is charged with four counts of criminal homicide, the erratic behavior of mentally disturbed people is well known by their families, police and others. In fact, when the Waffle House shooter once caused a disturbance outside the White House, he was arrested. His guns were taken away from him on another occasion and given to his father, who later returned them to the son.

There were repeated warnings about the 29-year-old man because of his bizarre behavior. He suffered from delusions, sometimes talking about marrying singer Taylor Swift. He reportedly bought a $14,000 ring and drove to California and planned to meet her. He was a crane operator who worked in several states and apparently was a good worker. He also was an admitted homosexual. He showed signs of paranoia.

The shooter did many things that indicated he had mental problems. Could something have been done to provide care and treatment before he cracked completely?

The obvious view is that a law is needed to protect society from people like the Nashville shooter, and the killers involved in school, church and other incidents of mass shootings. After all the shootings that have occurred, the nation doesn’t seem aroused enough to take action. Students who survived the mass killings in a Florida high school are demanding action, but it doesn’t appear the adult-lawmakers are going to do anything about controls to address the serious problem this country has.

The situation demands immediate action. The officials in the White House and in Congress agree something must be done but they are in a permanent state of inertia on the issue.