Monday, December 17, 2012

Stop the Insanity

I was super busy last week so I wasn't able to watch the Daily Show's Monday program until Thursday. Jon mocked Fox's reaction to Bob Costas speaking out for Gun Control after an NFL player killed his girlfriend then himself. All Fox could talk about was that after a tragedy was not the time to talk about gun control. It's a great defense after all there are gun deaths everyday, so it's always not the time to talk about it.

The next day I heard about the shooting at Sandy Hook.

Having the two shootings happen so close together made even Fox slow down on the it's not the time argument and get into the bizarre.

Mike Huckabee blamed the shooting on the right-wing fantasy that prayer is banned in schools. Ignoring the fact that that claim is 100% false, I can't see how, if the shooter read the bible that the passage, “Have no mercy on helpless babies and show no compassion for the children.” Isaiah 13:18, it would make him reconsider.

Psychopaths like Torquemada, Hitler, and Henry VIII have used the bible to justify their bloodbaths, while Mother Theresa got the opposite message.

Shooting massacres are not the result of lack of prayer, single mothers, the gay agenda, or anything else the right-wing noise machine talks about.

Police look at two things, motive and opportunity.

The motive behind these massacres is the shooters are mentally ill. In the US we don't treat mental illness as a medical problem. We treat it as a crime. So if you are paranoid, admitting you have a problem is punished. For some reason paranoid people have trouble stepping up and getting treatment.

Getting treatment, if possible, cost a fortune. Oddly enough people with mental illnesses who aren't able to channel that power don't have vast fortunes. Although with treatments several of them could earn fortunes.

You'll hear lots of people talking about taking away the opportunity for people with mental illnesses to shoot people. This is a discussion worth having. But with all the tragic shooting deaths isn't it time for serious reforms to the mental health treatments in this country?

Access to mental health treatment should be free and confidential, period end of story! Not only as a public safety issue, but also to tap into the potential that these people have if they could only get out of their own way. The same drive it takes to plan out a massacre can be used to transform an entire industry, as Steve Jobs did.

Two things can be done to reduce the massacres in this country. Lower the motivation and opportunity.

Proper gun controls will lower the opportunities. Real mental health reforms can lower the motivations and turn some would be killers into creative forces that can change the world for the better.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of I KILLED THE MAN THAT WASN'T THERE


Stephanie Barr said...

I was talking to my daughter this afternoon. Her father, of course, is the gun control has nothing to do with mass murders camp and she parrotted his opinion nicely.

I think getting guns should have enough challenge and pause to help prevent impulse buy and kill situations. However, I completely agree that gun control isn't going to solve the problem because the real problem is this notion (apparently becoming more prevalent) that, if one is unhappy, killing dozens of unrelated people, even small ones, is perfectly reasonable.


I don't think mental health reform will fix it all either, but I feel strongly that our poor treatment of mental health is not helping.

I DO think the ready access to guns coupled with the general acceptance of hurting others as justifiable (if we're hurt enough ourselves) coupled with the challenges for people with mental health problems to get proper treatment add up to a really unhappy environment that breeds tragedies like this.

Darrell B. Nelson said...

Blogger's comment system has gotten buggy so I didn't see you commented until now.
Like most things the problem doesn't come from just one source. Limiting access to guns made just for killing lots of people will help.
I focused on our broken mental health care system because I've researched it for my books. On a Macro scale free mental health care pays for itself. Having people with IQ's that can't be measured working minimum wage jobs because they have no people skills is not a good policy. With treatment they could put their brains to use and the taxes on the extra money they earn, which would be a lot, would more than pay back the cost.

Stephanie Barr said...

And not stigmatizing insanity (which is another unfortunate side effect of shootings like this) would help, too.