Tag Archives: mental-health

There is a Time for Censorship…

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This was too close to home. Both literally and figuratively.

The murders at UCSB were committed by a deranged man that went to High School next door to mine. His crime was committed in the campus community of a university that is well known to our area. One of the victims was from one of our local high schools.

Most chillingly for me however, the Facebook post of the older brother of my son’s best friends, and a friend of mine: “IV deli got shot up. People taking cover in Blaze. Stay inside and stay away.”

My friend was working at Blaze (a well-known Pizza place on the loop) when he heard the gunshots and saw the terrified bystanders take cover in his place of business.

I’ve had enough.

We’ve dissected Sandy Hook. We’ve examined the effects of the Reagan era mental health funding cuts.

We’ve talked gun control ad nauseum.

Now misogyny is being introduced into the debate of yet another tragic mass murder.

When. Does. It. Stop?

Here’s a humble suggestion: STOP publishing the names, details, videos, manifesto’s, and psychotic rants of these killers.

STOP IT NOW.

My son asked if I watched this clown’s YouTube video. Of course I didn’t. Why in the hell would I want to watch the pathetic lamentations of a killer. Apparently I’m in the minority though.

If the media would self-censor everything but the basic details of the killers (ie. age, location, occupation) perhaps these individuals wouldn’t develop such a sense of final self-aggrandizement.

They KNOW they are going down in a blaze of glory. Their pathetic lives will be celebrated by the TMZ’s of the world. Their meaningless existences will be broadcast and examined by every voyeuristic media outlet.

They will be famous. Their lives will finally have meaning.

Stop it. Just stop.

Let’s celebrate the lives of the victims. The innocent lives snuffed out by this nameless/faceless madman or woman.

Let’s not give these losers any more type, air-time, exposure.

Let’s leave them under the rock.

If we do this, maybe they won’t crawl out into the pale light any longer.

I’m not looking.

I encourage each and every one of you to do the same.

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“We can’t accept events like this as routine…”

President Obama Visits Newtown, CT, Consoles Families Of Shooting Victims

The words of President Barack Obama at the memorial service for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre.

This isn’t about guns.  And it’s not entirely about mental illness.  It’s about numbness…routine.  And it’s about will.

If we don’t act now in a responsible manner to evaluate the causes and conditions of these tragedies, in a realistic and brutally honest way, we will become numb to them again…and they will fall into the chasm of the routine.

First…guns.  I own them and I’ve discussed my thoughts on gun control in other posts.  Guns are not the problem.  Guns are tools, inanimate objects used by humans.  I’ll say this: if I thought for a second a ban of “assault” weapons would stop these mass shootings, I’d be the first person sounding the Klaxons.  It will not.  In fact, the majority of deaths caused in these shootings, by a two to one margin, were the result of handguns.  I’m not going to get into the semantics of what constitutes an “assault” weapon, but suffice it to say, that banning them will do nothing unless we are willing, as a nation, to ban all firearms.  An “assault” weapon is no more deadly than a Glock handgun or Barney Fife’s six-gun.  That is a fact.  The velocity created by rifles are deadlier, but simply because a weapon is called an “assault” rifle, does NOT change the core characteristics or end stage results of the projectile.  It’s smoke and mirrors created by honest and good people who are simply misinformed about firearms and who have chosen to vilify guns as the cause of these horrors.   I am a former NRA member who quit specifically because of their fanatical devotion to the second amendment and demonization of our current President.  I would sacrifice all of my weapons today if you can guarantee that ALL weapons will be destroyed.  No one can do that and as such I will continue to support efforts for law abiding, responsible citizens to own handguns and long guns.  The NRA is an antiquated political machine that has been hoisted on it’s own petard.  At the end of the day, I’m just tired of the debate, on both sides.  There is too much misinformation and paranoia.  And again, it will not solve the problem.

Second…mental illness.  At the root of all evil is an inherent dysfunction of the psyche of the individual that perpetuates these horrific acts, and yet as a nation, we continue to place profits and personal gain ahead of the will to fund mental health issues.  And then little kids are slaughtered and we cry that taking God out of schools is the problem.  We, collectively, are suffering from a mental illness called delusion.  We continue to turn our heads at the polling place when we are asked to fund mental health research and treatment, but are completely willing to vote for no more taxes.  We have lost the political will to take the action that can actually treat the maladies that cause these pathologic social issues.  And they continue.  And we become numb to them.  Routine.

Finally…will.  We have an opportunity to mourn now and to feel the pain at our core that another human being could so mercilessly gun down children and the immensely brave adults that lost their lives trying to save them.  We have the opportunity to cry and feel shame.  Shame that we have for so long turned our backs on these children and brave adults by forgoing the will to do the right things and make the hard financial decisions.  Now is the time.  If we do not act, these tragedies will become more frequent and more horrific.  That is not prognostication, that is fate.  Fate that we are creating through our numbness…through our own lack of will…through our commitment to the routine…


How Many Have to Die Before We Call It What It Is?

How many of you think drug addiction is a disease? Or do you consider it a moral failing?  The product of a weak-willed person, someone with a poor constitution. What about alcoholism?  Disease? Or another moral failing?

Our community lost a promising 23 y/o young man this month.  I didn’t know him personally but he was part of my tribe, my community. I read his obituary and looked at what was probably his senior picture. Poster boy for good looks and clean-cut living. This death on the heels of another high-profile death in our community…the quarterback of a local football team, son of a former NFL player…dead as the result of a heroin overdose.

I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the ignorance of the rest of us. These are not bad people. These are not weak-willed human beings. These are sick people suffering from a disease. Alcoholism and drug addiction have long since been recognized by both the American Medical Association and the Supreme Court as a disease. By definition: a chronic, progressive and FATAL disease. Yet we as a society continue to treat the sufferers as lepers…criminals…outcasts.

Do we imprison our cancer sufferers? Do we shun the person with diabetes as someone who “just can’t handle his sugar”? No. But when it comes to drugs and alcohol, our social indifference kicks in and we stigmatize, we lock-out, we imprison.  The United States has the largest prison population in the world and the overwhelming majority of these prisoners are addicts and alcoholics. Should we forgive their crimes because they are sick? Of course not, but we need to reevaluate what is a crime.  Possession and under the influence penalties are ridiculous. Locking someone up for feeding their addiction is like busting the diabetic for possession of a Snickers bar. The criminal justice system is not the answer.  Compassionate, accountable recovery is.

Until our society as a whole has the moral courage to recognize this for what it is…a disease, we will continue to mistreat it. And we will continue to kill our young.  We are not exempt. You are not exempt. Jail does nothing to treat the underlying disease; it only manifests the problem and continues the lie.

So as you judge the alcoholic or addict next time, try to remember that they are suffering from a chronic, progressive and fatal DISEASE…if enough of us do this, perhaps it will save some lives, reform our prison system and finally begin to address the root problem.  If not, we will continue to bury our young. This is not getting better folks…only worse.

RIP Aaron. I’m sorry we couldn’t help. Shame on all of us.


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