Yesterday, December 14th, 2012, has driven me to write, it’s honestly rare. As soon I heard the news in the morning I wept and my brain scanned for a place for logic to rest. 28 people were shot, point blank by one 20 year old while at school, most of them of the ages five through ten? In order to function during the day, I avoided the constant reports by the news and also, facebook. Seeing my friends’ posts, especially those that are parents sharing their voices of anger and frustration, seeing the terror for their own children. Obama cried during his press conference about this happening. Today, I am bumping around in my brain confused, looking for some decent questions to begin with.
With each new incident, our politicians in an effort to be diplomatic in times of crisis, say this is not the time to discuss gun control. Can a weirder statement be made? If our elected ‘leaders’ choose to put on blinders, then it leaves it to us to take the lead. The point where we moved to not allow this to happen anymore must be marked. The tragic shootings that happen each day and the school shootings that have now happened at all grade levels K – college. No one wants to imagine the fear that the children at Sandy Hook Elementary felt yesterday, no child should have to be brave. Unfortunately, children are brave everyday around our globe and yesterday our nation’s violence problem made very young children in Connecticut be brave and feel the worst kind of fear.
I see many posts of anger & hope that we are more than poised to draw the line. Now the question is, how do we best move forward in our era? How do we put our anger to good use? Do we march, do we type, do we create paper & digital petitions? How do we bust through the lobbyists protecting the business of firearms? Do we have to form a super pac? Yes, I did just google ‘how to create an amendment to the constitution‘. Do we have to start there?
Yesterday, I also saw Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ a dramatic peephole into the events of a brave president and the 13th amendment’s approval. Can Obama take the lead for the 20th? Now, in 2012, we are requiring new kinds of freedoms. The right to bear arms is a very different need now in 2012, than it was in 1791. Why is it so hard to admit that? Why can’t we also admit that our society is creating some undeniably tortured and emotionally unhappy people? People that feel personally distraught enough to both commit suicide and kill the person seen as the cause, without the thought of murdering additional multiple people surrounding that one person at any age providing any blocks to their action. This is a war of a different kind, a personal, emotional war. The gun and the murders as their voice.
I can’t help but think of Howard Beale in ‘Network’ shouting – “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore”. Now, 35 years later, opening our windows and shouting out into the streets still seems like a pretty good option. How? & I’m really asking, how do we organize to dramatically reduce the extreme violence occuring daily in a country that though involved in wars around the globe, does not have a war between countries taking place on its own soil.
Should we ask for help from other countries & experts, while of course taking into account the multiplicities and unique aspects to the people in our country? What do we need to stop gun violence from happening? I do believe that there are new solutions for everything.
Personally, Andy Borowitz’s of the New Yorker summary resonated with me: ‘Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I wish mental health care were as easy to get as, say, a gun.’ Today, can we, as a nation lift whatever veils that we are wearing to pretend that this isn’t happening and switch gears to collaborate on changing it? Can we please begin to even utter the words ‘mental health’, ‘gun control’, and ‘government’ without our brains reverting to 1791?
Why do we have such a stigma in our society against even the term ‘mental health’? Why is it, that if we simply speak those words there is something wrong with our brains? I am 38 years old, I have a master’s degree, and I am able to admit that I get confused sometimes and could use another’s perspective to sort things out in my brain. Why is that bad or why can’t I admit that I’m not emotionally perfect – who is? In our society of media flooding, opinions and options galore, violent video games, huge financial divides… how can we all be expected to be on the same plane? How can we get our leaders to admit and accept that our country has a problem with gun violence and emotional health? How can we let finding the answers to these questions, in their many shades of grey, be the lead instead of just saying no, no don’t change. People love to say no without giving an alternate or a no, because. We have to find those ‘becauses’ to find some solutions to move forward. It’s time to hold hands on this one and take it on.
My heart goes out to everyone affected by yesterday’s shootings. Right now, it’s all we can do, but I want do more & I know that others do too. So please, I welcome your insights & thoughts – let’s battle our differing opinions out so that we can prevent more of yesterday’s shooting at a school and all of the shootings that happen each day. Let’s actually let ourselves see the hope for a day that they don’t happen any more & start the work to make it really happen.
So, let’s do this – What are your thoughts on how to end gun violence & have a better emotional health in the u.s.? And I’m in.
Some relevant links – Lessening of gun laws around the nation.
Article by a mother of a son with mental health issues. – ‘I am Adam Lanza’s Mother’