I believe we all by know by now what happened yesterday. I have seen it on the news, on the radio, on Twitter and seen postings on Facebook. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you live in a cave. I’ve made a conscious effort to not make any comments since it’s happened because what can you articulate into words that would make any comfort to anyone who’s lost a child, friend or family member? I certainly have no words except horrific. One more, sadness.
I’ve seen posts of photos of the heroes of that day, angels, RIP tributes, and even a crying Statute of Liberty. (I will get to back that photo shortly). There are a lot of parents that I can probably say without a doubt hugged their children just a bit tighter last night. They’ve probably had the safety conversation with them too. I probably would have if I still had a small child in my presence. It’s a terrible thing to have to have a gun, safety, crazy man discussion with small children.
I want to state that I am a gun owner. I went through more background checks than a man does when he has his anal canal probed for polyps. Waiting period, Dept. of Justice check, do a test, get the gun, do another test – I’ve done it all. I bought my gun as a source of protection from those who think it’s okay to walk into someone’s house to steal, rape or kill. That’s what my gun is for. I do not belong to the NRA. I do not own a proliferation of guns as some people do. I am hearing reports of gun stores running low on ammunition since Obama was reelected and/or believe that the U.N. is going to take over in some Agenda 21 scenario. It is a 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution and I choose to take advantage of that said Amendment. That is my choice. Yes, my political leaning is Liberal. Surprised?
Guns and violence are a part of our culture. Cowboys, cops and robbers. It’s been ingrained in our heads since the inception of our birth here in this country. Movies point out how cool it is to shoot at someone in a drug deal gone bad, Pulp Fiction, James Bond, you name it – it’s all there. I do not have a resolution and/or any idea how you can remove a country or a persons mindset from violence overall. We live in a violent society. Not too much to rebuke on that. It it what it is. However, I do not believe that removing guns from every single American is the answer. I know Michael Moore is ranting and raving on Twitter right now, calling out the NRA for this tragedy. Rightfully so to some respects. Is it necessary for an American to own an ARSENAL of guns? Probably not. Is it their right, yes it is.
This is what I find so disturbing. The rush of judgement by law abiding citizens, politicians (government), celebrities to immediately say: Gun Control. In the past few scenarios we’ve witnessed here in the United States as of late, the people who committed those horrible acts are typically unstable people. They are either receiving some form of therapy, on medications OR as it is shown more statistically – have no access to medications, therapy, hospitalization or anything else to treat their mental illness. Our society looks at the person with mental illness in shame. “Oh, he’s got a case of crazy.” “We don’t talk to her because she’s got a few personalities.” “Let’s not invite Uncle Harry to Christmas, he might blurt out something embarrassing ”
It makes me angry for not only for those defenseless people (children) who lost their lives yesterday, but for a country that refuses to discuss the one of the more critical issues in this country – which is Mental Illness. It’s too costly for most people. The price of medications, if you do not have an H.M.O. or a P.P.O. costs hundreds of dollars alone. People typically have to make the choice, “do I pay rent or get my meds.” As a parent of a child who has taken medications on a regular basis since the age of 6 years old, I can tell you for a FACT that the medications are outrageously expensive. My co-pay is $20.00, the cost of the medication? $650.00 for a 30 day supply. I know what I am talking about. The care is expensive, BUT that’s what you do for someone who needs help and suffers from a mental illness. It’s a disease – not an excuse or a SHAM. It shouldn’t be that way. Quality care should not be expensive. We shouldn’t have to finally treat someone after they’ve committed a crime and now they are in jail. Period. That’s criminal in itself.
Finally, we as citizens have lost empathy, compassion for others. We do not care about what is going on with others unless a tragedy like this happens. Oh, you’re mentally ill? Not my problem. Who cares. You’re son suffers from schizophrenia? Autistic? Has O.C.D.? Hmmmm too bad. Can’t afford care? What a shame. It is a HUGE problem. It absolutely needs to be addressed and this country needs to take a LONG HARD LOOK at what the priorities are. It’s not just Gun Control. If it’s not in our backyard, we don’t have to worry about it. Well, yeah – now we do. It’s happening in hospitals, shopping malls, restaurants, colleges, movie theaters, on the streets, in the workplace and now at an elementary school. I do not know why that 20 year old man killed those people. I don’t know him. I hate what he did. However, I can bet you a million dollars the guy had issues. As did with all the other people who commit horrible acts against others.
In closing, that’s why the crying Statue of Liberty hit me like a brick today. We are great at rushing to judgement, pointing fingers, showing compassion only at tragedies but not giving a rats shit at those people who suffer everyday and just can’t seem to make things right. Yes, we can have the gun discussion, but can we FINALLY have the mental illness discussion too? Is it REALLY that hard? We need to look at the people in our communities and do what’s right for all. No wonder Lady Liberty is crying. Just my .02 cents.