I am sure most Americans are probably feeling a little overwhelmed on the subjects of gun control, mental health and government involvement right now. It’s the hot topic. Everywhere you look or try to listen, this is what you are bombarded with. It has been a very difficult time for me. I have friends and family on both sides of the fence and it is hard. I hear such strong opinions that sometimes it just gets to be a little too much. Sometimes it is downright offensive. Some people make automatic assumptions about my opinions because of how I have felt about other issues. That is one thing that really pisses me off. I am like, “Did you ask me specifically how I feel about this? Or did you ask me why I feel the way I do about this?!”
I am an American. I love my Constitution. I love my Bill of Rights. I believe in the right to bear arms. But I believe in some sort of regulations. I am honestly not sure what those regulations should be. I haven’t thought it through that far. I don’t know what it should be. But I honestly don’t believe our Founding Fathers ever had any idea that our nation would be in the condition it is in right now where some freaking lunatic would take assault weapons into an elementary school and gun down innocent children. I don’t believe that was ever a consideration for them. Because as hard as our Founding Fathers fought for this country, I don’t believe they would approve of weapons being available to someone like that.
Sandy Hook was the most recent eye-opening killing spree on a large-scale. From what I have read, Adam Lanza was a young man who was in obvious need of mental health help. His parents failed him by not getting him mental health help he obviously needed. His mother brought heavy-duty guns into their home and taught him how to use them. I’m sorry, but teaching someone who is obviously mentally unstable how to use dangerous assault weapons is beyond anything I can fathom. I am not saying she deserved what she got, but I honestly do not understand what in the hell she was thinking. Maybe she needed mental health help, too. And if she did, maybe the ex-husband should have sought to get the help needed. I don’t know. But something wasn’t right.
Sandy Hook brought to light guns, though. Boy did it! It opened my eyes. I hadn’t really thought too much about stringent gun control but that really made me think. I am a Southerner and have always been around guns. There was typically always a gun around my home growing up. I understood their power. I understood to leave them alone. I had a healthy respect and fear of them. I know their power. But this tragedy made me question. Why do people want or need assault weapons? Do you really need something with that much fire-power? Where are you really going to use it? On what? These are just questions that came to mind. I’m not arguing. I’m just thinking. And I sure won’t get in a debate over it. These are just things I have thought about.
Then I thought more and more about how mental health issues have been overlooked for so long in this country. You know you have seen that kid in school that made you wonder if you were going to see him on the news when he got older because he killed someone. You have, haven’t you? I did. I used to work in schools with kids with behavior issues and watched these kids and saw some that I wondered if they were going to become killers. They worried me. It troubled me because you never knew what they were going to do. One minute they were fine and then a kid would look at them the wrong way or say the wrong word and BOOM! It was on! You would see pure hatred in some children and wonder if they were killers. Maybe if they were caught early? If they got help sooner?
I have heard people say that they think that teachers should have guns. I am sorry but I think that is ridiculous. As distracted as teachers get in a classroom, a kid could easily gain access to that gun. Do you want your kid going to a place where there is easy access to a loaded gun?! Why not panic buttons in the classrooms? How about security guards? Metal detectors? Tasers? Something besides a damned gun in the school?! I have sat in classrooms and those teachers are too damned scattered and distracted to have a weapon on them in my opinion.
Mental health has always been underfunded. It is always a budget slashed. It’s like people don’t get that if you don’t take care of your brain that the rest of a person isn’t going to be well either. I realize that a lot of people blame mental health for certain problems that they should take care of on their own. But there are true mental health issues that need treatment and without treatment can lead to all kinds of problems. If people don’t end up hurting others or themselves they can end up destroying their lives with their behaviors. It is not always controllable without some sort of help. And not everyone has access or the ability to get the mental health help they need. Isn’t it worth it to look into funding mental health when it could potentially stop something like Sandy Hook from happening again?
Then there is the role of government in all of this. I realize that of course it’s going to piss people off that the government has said something about all of it. But honestly, if the President didn’t say something then people would be pissed about that, too. (You know I am right.) What else could he do?! This was a tragedy that affected the whole nation! It touched all of our hearts and he has kids! If it didn’t touch your heart, then maybe you don’t have a heart and you need to see a doctor ASAP! I’m not defending all he has said or done. Nope. But I am saying that of course the government is getting involved. It would have under any administration, democrat or republican.
We all need to get over our political party lines and look at this as a national problem. Quit being so stubborn and start looking for answers. When you close your mind to anything but your own ideas and opinions then you are shutting out a lot of opportunities for making things better. Remember that while Sandy Hook happened in an elementary school, tragedy can strike anywhere.
- The President and NRA agree on gun control proposals – well, mostly (ricksroute66.net)
- Mental Health Changes in New York’s Gun Laws (wnyc.org)
- Mental health a thorny issue in gun control debate (metrowestdailynews.com)
- Day of Action to Stop Mental Health Profiling (genomega1.wordpress.com)