I am heartsick over the 17th school shooting and the 29th mass shooting in the first 45 days of this year. What a way to spend Valentine’s day.
As I read social media comments, I have been truly shocked that some people seem to be more worried about their precious guns over the precious lives of children, people in movie theaters, driving on the street, going to church, going to concerts…
But they do send their thoughts and prayers.
And, once again, they look for a scapegoat instead of their dangerously broken and lax guns laws.They are pointing the finger to mental illness instead of the laws they have weakened. ARGH.
The truth about Mental Illness
Mentally ill people are more likely to be the victim of violence than the perpetrator. Being male between the ages of 18 to 30 is more likely to elevate your chances of committing a violent act than having a mental illness. Maybe point the finger at all young men? Are you ready to assume they are all dangerous?
It upsets me so much to blame sick people who cannot get the help they need instead of looking logically to do security checks to protect the innocent.
Here’s what I think about that nonsense. People who blame the mentally ill are abdicating their responsibility of compassion and common sense and they are actively increasing the stigma of mental illness. This is a serious problem.
This scapegoating and misrepresentation of true fact makes it even harder to get people to accept mental health help and stay in treatment.
Therefore, promoting stigma increases the chances of things escalating because of no proper treatment.
On top of this horribly destructive message of stigma, Trump just had congress remove the laws limiting access to people with diagnosed mental illness to get guns because Obama had passed that law. (Some people suspect he doesn’t like that black President. Hmmm?)
At the same time, this very congress just reduced investment in mental health care by a lot. And, if you follow what they’re doing in Washington and to the budget office, more cuts are coming. They are replacing needed money with thoughts and prayers for the most vulnerable people who are suffering.
So, if you are suffering emotionally and feel totally angry, misunderstood and abandoned by the system, even if you can’t get help easily, no worries. You can get a gun and make your voice heard.
Which he did! Like many before him!
What’s the real cause of School Shootings?
If you don’t look at the gun culture or their current gun laws, the community and this school had done everything right.
- This person was in care but they didn’t follow up with him when he stopped showing up a year ago.
- The school had expelled him for violent tendencies.
- After he was flagged for violent symptoms within a mental illness, he came by his guns legally because Florida has incredibly loose gun laws.
- The FBI was flagged about a YouTube comment.
- He was not allowed to be on the school premises.
- There were armed guards.
- The school was locked. It had only one entrance.
- This school was the most prepared and had been trained in the event of an active shooter.
The families are saying they thought they were safe!
The only thing that made this tragedy happen are the loose gun laws that do not stop someone with violent tendencies from purchasing a gun.
Whether they have a serious diagnosis for which one of their symptoms is violence, impulsivity, or a history of conjugal violence – in Florida, none of that matters. What’s the most important thing is to ensure that people who want guns get to have them.
So the richest democratic country, who is not at war on their soil, has gun death statistics that makes the rest of the world scratch their heads. While law makers who accept blood money from the NRA spin blame away for these horrible and unnecessary deaths.
This boggles common sense. When do statistics and facts make it into the negotiation or conversation?
Freedom? What freedom?
I can’t wrap my head around calling the right to carry weapons to destroy another human being “freedom”. I just don’t understand how knowing that a violent person up the street can have a weapon increases freedom in a sane world.
Even the most violent countries in the world do not understand this “freedom” to kill each other and then only pray for the families. We witness people supported by the gun lobby talk about creating useless interventions that will not address the fact that everyone who shouldn’t have a gun, can get one.
Is this gun ideology a symptom of a type of collective mental illness? Or are the excuses why nothing can be done just another alternative fact brought to you by the NRA and the GOP?
It is baffling to me that the United States stupidly criminalizes cannabis which medically saves lives while making it legal to own a gun whose only purpose is to take a life.
Here’s my solution.
Take away all the guns from angry people and replace them with Cannabis so everyone can fucking chill and stop killing each other.
It’s time to make it safe to go to school again. 17 school shootings in 45 days. That’s not freedom. The bloodshed, funerals for children, the insanity of the gun culture has got to stop.
Make your mental wellness and those you love a priority.
I’d love to know what you think. And if you have been impacted by this terrible tragedy or it is an emotional trigger for other memories you have experienced, there are people to talk to.
Monique Caissie draws from her background in crisis intervention and as a mental health worker, to help managers, leaders and other smart professionals have better conversations. Even if they drive you crazy! She loves helping people so don’t hesitate to reach out.