Yesterday was a horrible, terrifying day for families at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. So was April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO; July 20, 2012 in Aurora, CO at the Century 16 movie theater; August 5, 2012 at a Sikh Temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin; December 11, 2012 at a mall in Happy Valley Oregon... and so on, and so on... we can add in more dates as they come, because they will.
My sadness (which is still there) has succumbed to major anger about this situation. I am so sick of this country hiding behind the 2nd Amendment and acting as if we want all guns taken away. THE NRA HAS BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS IN THE WORST WAY AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED. I could care less if people own guns and use them/care for them responsibly. That is NOT the issue. This is a multi-layered issue - it is not just about guns - in my mind, it is about untreated, undiagnosed mental illness colliding with violence and the access and freedom that these people have to guns.
As one psychologist said yesterday, we have failed our mentally ill community miserably. I totally agree. This is not just about guns - but the fact that there are so many mentally ill people in our country that are not getting the proper treatment; their families are not educated enough to help them or are in denial of their children's problems; and when certain people of that community reach a tipping point in their lives, then they are now turning to guns to lash out. And we can thank our government and the NRA for protecting their freedom to use these guns.
This extreme type of mental illness that we are seeing in these shooters does not happen overnight. These young men did not just "snap" as many people think. It takes YEARS and YEARS for it to build up - and without proper diagnosis, medication and treatment, we are seeing the consequences of no or minimal actions taken to help these people. That is certainly where the gun issue comes in, as I do believe that there are certain people in our country that should not have access to guns! How can anyone disagree with that? Do we need our "freedom" so bad that we are willing to let it kill our children? Should we turn our schools, and movie theater and malls into prisons, where you have to be strip-searched to enter?
They have now discovered 5 guns - not 3 as we originally heard- at the school that Adam Lanza brought with him: 4 pistols and one rifle. The first 3 that were found, "are highly lethal weapons manufactured for combat and to stop criminals..... (and they) are the two most popular firearms used by law enforcement" said Ronald Scott, a firearms expert. Yes, they were legally registered (as far as I've heard) to his mother, but why in the world did he have access to these, particulary with the family's supposed knowledge that he was a disturbed individual! His mother can never answer these questions, but in general it is FAR TOO EASY for disturbed people with an irrational and murderous agenda to get ahold of automatic weapons. This was premediated, as most of the recent shooting massacres have been.
And I'm also sick of politicians, telling us that this is not the time to discuss it. Really? How many more innocent people have to die before our government takes action. This is NOT a partisan issue in my eyes. I don't care how difficult a discussion this has to be! I don't care how hard the NRA is going to lobby against ANY sane legislation! I DON'T want to hear that our 2nd Amendment rights are going to be stripped away from us! Any sane person who is even half-way paying attention to this issue knows this is not true! This country has been brain-washed for too long and succumbed to fear mongering, that this is a slippery slope issue - IT IS NOT!! Hunters, gun enthusiasts, people that want to have guns for self-defense or other rational reasons - HAVE YOUR FRICKIN' GUNS! I AM NOT LOOKING TO TAKE THEM AWAY FROM YOU! But the mentally ill people that are out there with psychosis and delusions and are not being treated have NO business having any kind of access to guns! Since when does anyone think that gun access to mentally ill people should trump the deaths of 20 young, innocent children!
As I've read in the NY Times, "gun violence is uniquely an American problem compared to other industialized countries." WE AS A NATION NEED TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION NOW - NOT TOMORROW, NOT NEXT WEEK, NOT NEXT MONTH, NOT UNTIL THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION COMES IN - BUT NOW! Until then, we can expect more of the same senseless, horrific carnage happening in our communities.