By Dan Gallic
Let’s just say that I’m not a fan of guns. I don’t like them. I don’t like being around them. I do not like shooting them and I certainly don’t like the risk they create by simply existing. And yet, I’m also not willing to cede more gun control the appropriate response to the Connecticut slayings. Nor am I willing to discount it. Gun control, the debate and legislation offered, needs to happen, not because of the slaying but because it’s correct to debate gun ownership, limitation and use… all the time, not just in times of multiple slayings. And the same goes for those who think that this tragedy was caused by the decaying nature of a“godless” society, or whatever perceived spiritual deficit the spiritual among us choose to highlight. Ultimately, even the most atheistic would not condone such slayings, therefore, blame associated at a spiritual level is misguided at best. We rely on natural law to create a base of acceptable norms, even for those who deny it’s existence.
But no one can discount one over-riding issue that links every like event involving these types of mass murders, mental health. The Aurora, WV Tech and the Newton slayings all involve a significantly mentally ill individual.
We, as a nation, decided three or four decades ago, that we didn’t have the will or resources to create safe, reliable and appropriate facilities for those who suffer with mental illness. One reason we started to lose our appetite to deal with the mentally ill appropriately was the ever expanding definition that was being associated with the diagnoses. Eventually, every drunk and drug user was labeled mentally ill, and resources allocated to the mentally ill were quickly filled and demand for more and more and more resources taxed the mental health support system.
A history of tragic abuse in mental health facilities also came to light as mental institutions became the playground for every kook doctor who espoused a cure for mental health. With little or no oversight mental health institutions became a real life horror stories. One has to look no further than the lobotomy of Rose Marie Kennedy to demonstrate these abuses.
Thus, by the time the 1980’s rolled around mental health institutions were burdened with more demands for an every expanding diagnose and marked by the mark of abuse. Lost respect led to lost funding which eventually led to the closing of many public mental health institutions.
And, now, mental health, marred by expanded definitions, history of abuse and quackery, lost funding and lost public support, ranks low in the priorities of the American public.
We should realize that there are individuals, through no fault of their own, who suffer from mental illness, which needs to be recognized and dealt with. Additionally, families of these individuals need support, both in resource and emotional support. In return for this support the mental health community needs to stop the ever expanding definition of mental illness and separate those who choose to abuse drugs and alcohol from those who suffer from a non self-inflicted malady.
In the meantime, let’s remember the victims of this murder, and forget, for all-time the perpetrator. Take the time to remember and pray for the families of just one victim. Together, we can storm heaven and earth, for spiritual and emotional relief.
As a society, we have a responsibility to take care of those mentally ill, not just for the inflicted’s sake but for all of our sakes. It’s time that we take the responsibility seriously with appropriate funding and appropriate definitions.
Posted: December 16th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: Connecticut Murders, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: Connecticut Murders, connecticut school shooting, Dan Gallic, Gun Control, Mental Health, Newtown CT, Sandy Hook Elementary School | 3 Comments »