Sadness

I, like the rest of our nation, am heartbroken over the Conneticut school shootings. Like so many, there have been tears. I was holding it in until I saw our dear President wipe his own away during his first speech on Friday. I lost it then.

People ask, ” who does that to a child?” Sadly, lots of people do. How many missing children found dead in remote locations for example? And war? Gaza?

It’s not guns. The same day as those children lost their lives here in the U.S., a man attacked 22 chidren with a knife in China. It’s not guns.

While I was on my honeymoon 22 years ago, my ex boyfriend was beaten to death with baseball bats for no reason at all, by strangers. They didn’t even rob him. Possibly, this was a gang initiation. Maybe. Unsolved crime.

What makes cold blooded murder okay to these people?

I have a bipolar brother. I know he would never harm another person except in self defence. But there have been times when he needed help and refused to get it. It’s the nature of his illness….in those days, we feared for his life yet could do nothing to save him.

Infact, I doubt his diagnoses is correct. He also takes street drugs and ends up in jail on all kinds of drugs, so he can be very psychotic at times.
The man is very messed up. If one of us could have the legal right to get him help when he needs it, much heartache would be be averted and he might get better. But the law says he is an adult and cannot be committed to a hospital against his will. Nobody can force him to therapy sessions or to take meds.

Now imagine these shooters…could they have been helped if somebody in their family had the right to commit them during crisis? Or would that just prolong the inevitable? Are these people beyond help in the sae way serial killers are?

I remember asking my psychology professor about that and he said that these types of people are beyond help….they will never ever change.

I don’t know.

We own a gun. It collects dust pretty much. It’s a rifle. Everybody around us owns guns. I haven’t heard of a shooting around here in the four years we have owned this place and that’s despite an obvious meanness and hatred that runs though some of the peope around here.

Would I give up my gun to bring those children back to life? You better believe it. But does my owning a gun contribute to what has happened? No.

All these politicians are saying that we need to improve our mental health services. We need to improve access. Republicans want to cut public aid and Social Security. The mentally ill, like my brother, need these services. My brother cannot hold a job. Heck, he can’t even hold a conversation.
It’s all lip service when these same people say they want better traetment for those who can’t function enough to have private insurance. Maybe this will give these folks something to think about.

May the victims of violence all over the world rest in peace. May God comfort the rest of us.

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6 thoughts on “Sadness

  1. I only heard about this news yesterday, through an Australian blog and then read it here.

    Having known a few people who found their way into institutionalised care, I know that’s not a solution for mentally ill people either. A lot of the treatment involves drugs which detaches the person from their mental faculties anyway. The people I’m referring to weren’t dangerous cases either. They didn’t actually feel “helped” just removed for a period of time, drugged and told what to do. They felt as scared (if not more so) than they did on the outside.

    What tends to do the most good are community based charity organisations though. They visit people in their home to see how they’re coping. I knew of a church group who helped a mentally ill man in the community, by doing his shopping for him. He didn’t have a licence and would freak in large groups of people. Their community service hower, helped him feel like he could cope a little better. He was able to walk down to the corner store for supplies like milk and bread, but the other stuff was taken care of by the church’s charity arm.

    Events which happened in Newtown recently, and the nurse in the UK who committed suicide, after allowing a prank-call through the hospital to Kate Middleton (are you familiar with that story) the people at the centre of these tragies, don’t tend to get noticed before it’s too late. That’s what makes it an utter tragedy. Everyone mourns and asks why, but the hard truth to accept is, people who snap and do something completely unexpected and completely tragic – to themselves or to others, would otherwise have given no indication they weren’t functioning human beings.

    I suppose it’s unrealistic to believe we can live in a world without tragedy, or have flawless people in it. We are mortal though and people have choice. That’s what we honour when we live in a democracy. How many things do we outlaw before the tragedies end?

    I don’t know what the answer is, only that removing freedoms from people, also removes the opportunity for them to carry responsibility. We need to teach people to carry responsibility in a healthy (non-dysfunctional) manner. Mourning clear tragedies should be treated as something separate.

    It was a tragedy what happened in Newtown. More tragedies are likely in our lifetimes. I’d like to look forward to working with others who know how to carry responsibility though, rather than be collectively locked away from it en masse.

    1. Chris, sorry it took so long to answer. I know that my brothers conditions worsened after being held in prison and medicated there over the years so for him, the jail cell was not a long term answer but part of the problem. I think that back in the old days, electric shock and lobotomy were also answers though administered in psychiatric hospitals. These are barbaric ways of treatment. Yet right now, the realty is that when a mental patient scares somebody they can and often do end up in jail. How do we stop this vicious circle? I don’t have the answer at all. The entire system is poisoned.

      The news about the Newton shooter is that his mother was trying to get power of attorney through the courts so that she could possibly commit him. That is speculation as to cause. But I think that ultimately, he was going to do what he was going to do on some level and nothing-not even time in prison or in a hospital-was going to change his mind. I don’t think these types of illness are as treatable or as simple as we hope they are.

      I am opposed to collective punishment and always have been. Just like each article on Newton seems to end with a statement that “aspergers is not generaly a violence inducing illness”, so it happens to be that gun owners are not all psychotic.

  2. “I don’t know what the answer is, only that removing freedoms from people, also removes the opportunity for them to carry responsibility. We need to teach people to carry responsibility in a healthy (non-dysfunctional) manner. Mourning clear tragedies should be treated as something separate.

    It was a tragedy what happened in Newtown. More tragedies are likely in our lifetimes. I’d like to look forward to working with others who know how to carry responsibility though, rather than be collectively locked away from it en masse.”

    Love that and I really can’t add anything to it, or your thoughts on the state of healthcare, either. I think we are all pretty much on the same page, here.

  3. It is extremely sad. Every day I see bitter people in the food pantry and people who are unable to find help. I think it will only get worse. Perhaps I am also becoming one of those bitter people, mad at a system that serves only the greedy well because all I really feel is anger.

    1. Seeing them daily is what the medical system and the those in power need to see. I think that is one reason we don’t care till a shooter comes out. We don’t “see” them. I agree with you about the anger and I am also starting to ask some questions. I don’t believe that one single school shooter was poor. Yes, drive by shooters in gangs are poor but they are after somebody in particular and don’t care who gets caught. These school shooters are well to do and target the people they hit. It might not be relevant but I have to wonder why.

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