Maine lawmakers call for military brain scans

"Dirigo",  the motto of the State of Maine, translates to "I lead". Now, Maine Senators are doing just that. Last fall, U.S. Army Reservist Robert Card murdered 18 people in Central Maine. The Portland Press Herald reports that an autopsy of the mass shooter revealed serious traumatic brain injury, which might be at least partly responsible for his horrifying actions. The likely cause of those injuries? As a grenade training instructor with the military, Card was exposed to "thousands of low level blasts", probably leading to TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).

Now Senators Angus King and Susan Collins have joined with Senators Elizabeth Warren and Joni Ernst to co-sponsor a bipartisan bill called the Blast Overpressure Safety Act. If it becomes the law, the military would be required to keep careful track of blast exposures, and administer regular cognition tests to those most in danger of injury. 

"The Defense Department is not meeting its responsibilities to prevent traumatic brain injuries from blasts," Warren said in an interview with The New York Times. "We are beginning to understand the scope of the threat, and how devastating the injury can be. But the Department of Defense is not moving with the urgency they need to use."

The military announced that they are looking into new protocols, but not quickly enough to satisfy the lawmakers. And since doctors have been sounding the alarm on repeated blows to the head since the 1800s, the time to ward off future tragedies is now.

Previously: Maine shooter found dead