Sunday, December 16, 2012

America's sickness: our narcissistic love of Guns, our fear of Mental Health issues.

Maybe we could not have stopped an insane, sick, psychotic person from carrying out mass slaughter of innocent first graders, but I believe we can do much better.  We can retard these lethal seeds from thriving in our culture, seeds that spawn disturbed, young, white males who are flipping out and murdering strangers in public places. Instead, we can support families dealing with mental health issues, who need help, who need many more options to deal with kids whose coping mechanisms are broken, injured, defective and potentially dangerous to themselves and others. And we can ban owning warfare weapons by parents, a sensible measure to protect our neighborhoods.

Assault Weapons are for war. Not entertainment.

Americans are afraid of mental illness. They can't "see it" so they are terrified of it; and worse, they believe they will catch it. It's a taboo worse than AIDS. We can change our understanding and support of these kinds of illnesses. Solutions are out there. But mental health coverage is egregiously inept in America. It doesn't cover costs of these types of illnesses. Basically, mental health coverage in America is like offering a package of band aids to a patient who needs a kidney transplant. Sad, but it makes me almost glad I had a fatal BONE MARROW disease in my 20s because I got help. Hundreds of people were happy to save me and find a cure. If I had suffered a developmental disorder or mental illness, my story would be a lonely one and one I wouldn't want to tell.

Freedom demands responsibility. It demands leadership. It demands working together. We can make changes. We have to.  Here are clear, simple words from my friend and colleague, Keith Cronin (author of Me Again). And further down, a few links that I hope you find useful.

"When we decided that your right to enjoy a cigarette on an airplane or in a restaurant was not as important as our right not to die from your second-hand smoke, we changed the laws. I submit that your right to shoot at targets and certain wild animals might not be quite as important as our children's right to go to elementary school without having to worry about being murdered. So I think it's time to change some laws. 

It's no different than any other responsibility that has life-threatening consequences. Over the years we've changed the legal age for drinking. And in some states, for smoking and driving.

Bottom line: When we observe-repeatedly and consistently-that people are unable to handle a certain responsibility that brings with it life-or-death consquences, it's time to change a law. I'm not being "political" here; I'm being practical. When you see that something consistently isn't working, you make a change."

Keith Cronin, writer and colleague.  (Author of: Me Again)

Brady Campaign to prevent gun violence

LINK TO ARTICLE written by a mother who asserts "I'm am Adam Lanza's mother" and open your eyes to a hidden problem for our families, your families, your neighbors, your siblings. It's not pretty.

LINK TO article about Calif. Senator, Dianne Feinstein, who will introduce bill to ban assault weapons.

Link to EMAIL to contact Calif. Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"These neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children...We're going to have to come together to take meaningful action...regardless of the politics." Obama, 12.14.12


  1. Thank you, Jessica, for posting this. I'm a Brit and I've lived in the US for many years and became a dual citizen in 2006 so I could vote to help this country change course. I'm so disgusted right now, I want to turn my US citizenship papers in. This is a knee-jerk reaction and won't do a lick of good, but right now I'm ashamed to admit that I'm an American.

  2. Dear Maggie, it's really about our humanity, regardless of country, isn't it? Every country has its share of crime and ugliness. This is ours. Goodness will prevail. I believe it will. xo