Friday, December 21, 2012

My Thoughts on This Horrendous Tragedy...

I've debated on whether or not I should write this post for days now.  Mostly because the entire situation is painful, heartbreaking, and unfathomable.  But also because I feel like after the events of last Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School that too much focus and attention has been set on "gun control" and the political debates of harsher gun laws. 

In my opinion (and you know I am VERY opinionated) people who don't own guns don't understand why anyone would want to own them and people who do own them don't understand why any one WOULD'NT want to own at least one.  The debate on guns is not exactly my main point or focus here.  Like I said way too much time and attention has been put on that issue in the media and anyone who believes 100% of what they hear in the media is an idiot themselves if you ask me. 

Let's not forget the news is not news anymore, it's entertainment, they tell you what they want you know, and leave out important items and facts that do not go along with the side of the issue they want you to bite in to and believe as the gospel itself.  Oh, it was on CNN, CBS, ABC, etc etc, so it has to be true, right?  (eyes currently rolling in my head as I type this).

With this in mind, I'll simply just ask this; does anyone remember what our country was founded on and what our ancestors fought so hard for?  Anyone?  It goes beyond gun laws and the politics behind it, to bigger issues such as our freedom and our future.  But I could go on about that in and of itself for days. 

It is truly heartbreaking that all those innocent lives were lost and the lives of those protecting these children like they were their own.  Don't mistake this blog as a means of taking away the pain, names, and faces of the innocent victims.  I pray every night before I go to bed to heal the hearts of these families.  No parent ever thinks they will out live a child.  It doesn't matter how old your children are.  The pain from losing a child is completely heart breaking and a parent is quite simply never the same after that.  I can't even powerfully put that in to words with as much effect as intended because I have not gone through something like that.  However, I know a few people that have though and a brief description of what they felt the day they lost their angel to heaven, or how they feel every morning when they wake up or even years later on the anniversary of their angel going home to heaven will make your throat close up with overwhelming grief and the urge to want to take their pain away, even if you never got the chance to have your life touched by their angel no matter how young or old their angel was.

With that said, I want to remind everyone of what the real issue is regarding this and the many other shooting tragedies that have recently occured.  The issue is there is a limited awareness of mental illness and not only a limited awareness of it, but there is shockingly limited and under funded programs to help people with mental illness. 

You are delusional if you think "guns kill people".  That is about as ridiculous as saying cars kill people.  If you think that harsher gun laws are going to solve the problem then I can assure you that you will be sitting here months or years later looking at the face of additional victims from other tragic events in the future because it's not the guns that killed these individuals, it was the mentally ill person with the gun.  How they got the gun is irrelevant.  If anyone wants anything in this country regardless of whether it its illegal or not trust me there are ways to get it.  How did the prohibition era work out? 

I'm not saying that the government is GOING to take away our gun rights, I would imagine they will try to restrict certain areas (mainly related to automatic weapons specifically) but anyone that pays attention to what is actually going on in our country can tell you that it wouldn't be a huge surprise if they tried.

Below are some links you should check out if you have time.  One is an article on FoxNews which I have to say has some extremely valid points regarding the mental illness crisis in our country.  Like I previously mentioned I understand you can't 100% always believe what you hear and read in the news but if you don't think this article is factual I encourage you to research this issue.  The Mental Health Care Crisis is REAL.  As we speak budgets are being cut in local government offices and departments resulting in limited resources availability and in some cases an end to certain resource programs.  Seems the answer to dealing with the mentally ill has become jail because there are no other resources available.  Anyone remember Dorthea Dix Hospital?  Yeah, it's no longer in existence much like so many other mental health care facilities.   

Why Can't America Care For Mentally Ill

I then encourage you to talk to, read about, and learn about the parents of children diagnosed with mental illness.  And when I say children I don't just mean anyone under the age of 18.  I mean parents with children that are all ages (children, teenagers, adults) that suffer from some type of mental illness.  Educate yourself on these issues.  If we all made a committment to try to do more for awareness of these issues and donate funds for causes to provide mental health services it would be a small but significant step in the right the direction.  If we all did it imagine how impactful it could be. 

I am Adam Lanza's Mother

Lastly I encourage you to fully educate yourself on the overwhelming prevalence of Autism spectrum disorders.  To fully understand what Autism is, and what Aspergers Syndrome (a form of Autism) is before you label someone, make fun of someone, or attempt to think you know what they are capable of.  I find it atrocious that in many articles written about last week's tragedy that the label Asperger's syndrome was used to describe the shooter.  There is minimal linkage between Asperger's Syndrome and extreme violence.  This in and of itself further perpetuates the misconceptions that exist regarding spectrum disorders.  Individuals with Asperger's are not a harm to society and quite honestly you probably already know numerous individuals with Asperger's, you just aren't aware of it.

This mental health care crisis is real and something needs to be done.  Harsher or more restrictive gun laws are not going to alleviate the issue.  The harsher the laws become the more American society will revolt.  Taking our rights aware does not solve the problem.

Today and through the holidays I will pray and cry tears of joy that my friends and family are safe and able to spend the holidays with us.  I will pray for the friends and families of the innocent victims to take their pain away even though I know it will always be there.  I will pray that mental illness will become a topic that everyone will educate themselves on and that this tragedy will inspire us all to become more active so that we may all be advocates for services, funds, and programs that can assist those suffering from mental illness and the families and friends that love them so. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post! As someone who worked in mental health I have to agree with a lot of what you are saying. There are many programs that keep getting more and more restricted. Yet, less resources available. If you are going to restrict the programs you have to replace them in some other way. There are too many people who genuinely need the assistance, monitoring and care that these programs provide.