Sorry I missed my regular post day, yesterday. There has been a great deal going on. It is the last few days of school. Both of my sons have had a virus...ew. I have been trying to get things clean around here and so far I am way behind my personal acceptance of clean from myself. Ugh....Totally stressing me out.
Guess I should be thankful I was able to make myself take a shower and put on underarm deodorant...at least I think I put on underarm deodorant today...
Tomorrow I will be up at the school for my oldest's 504 acceptance plan.....hahaha, I get it on the last day of school. There is public school working hard for you. At least it will help for next years online school. Maybe.... And then I have some other stuff to do so my post may be delayed and extra day tomorrow as well.
So onto today's post:
There has been yet another mass shooting and I am reeling from the insanity of it all. I am disgusted, forlorn, broken hearted, and just down right angry. It doesn't matter which side you are on when it comes to gun control. Because what is going on here has nothing to do with guns as much as it has the breaking down of a system. A system that has been broken for decades and has been left to rot on the vine. No one wants to admit it. Maybe we are at a loss on how to fix it but it can no longer be ignored. Things have to change and they have to change right now.
The current mass shooting is similar to the ones before it and it angers me that we go to the same conversations and apologies and we fail to act to prevent such tragedy. We hold to our views and our stubbornness and allow ignorance and stigma to become our comfort blanket and it is killing innocent people.
Whether you agree with gun ownership or not, it should be the last thing on our tongues. What should we be talking about? I am so glad you asked. There are two points we need to discuss and we need to discuss them now before this happens again.
The first point:
Elliot Rodger had warning signs. Signs hell, we was sending out warning flares and just like the mass murderers before him, they were largely ignored. His parents knew something was wrong. They got him therapy and when they saw youtube videos that seemed scary they alerted the authorities. The police did their job and did a wellness check and did everything they were taught to do. Both groups of people did exactly what they are supposed to and it didn't work. Not because they didn't care or were negligent but because the system is broken.
Six police officers met with Mr. Rodgers and they found him to be polite and well behaved. They did not search his room or look up his videos depicting his anger towards other people. If they had a law that backed them to search his residence they may have found his manifesto depicting the carnage he was planning to carry out or his stockpile of weapons. He was afraid that they would have caught him but they didn't because legally, their hands were tied and they knew no better. Police are not trained to be therapists or mental illness professionals. They are police. They can not effectively catch things that a licensed psychologist could. They missed the signs because they weren't taught how to see them in the first place and even if they felt he was "off" there isn't a whole lot that they could do about it. This needs to change immediately.
Mr. Rodger's therapists should have caught such signs but apparently missed them as well. I am not sure why and I am confused as to how they did not see that this is where he was headed. Again monitoring of someone who makes serious threats to harm others should be investigated fully and watched.
Elliot Rodgers like the mass murderers before him not only had warning signs but others knew he was unhinged, just as the many others that knew about the killers before him. In all of these cases people knew that there was a danger and did nothing or were unable to get the help to those people in time. Not because people don't care but because, we as a society sweep things under the rug thinking that if it is hidden, it can't harm us. And obviously that isn't the case.
We need to be proactive instead of reactive. The laws that bind us from getting those that have lost the ability to function on safe level help, are part of the problem. Most of these laws state that the person making threats actually has to have had a previous violent episode. In almost all of the mass murders, the shooting was the first violent outburst. This law protects no one and it is completely ineffective. No one is being helped and no one is being protected by this policy. If there was a better fall back law where violent threats are actually investigated to the extreme, we might be able to get those people the help that they need before they carry out such crimes against humanity. We need to stop burying our heads in the sand, and listen up.
When a parent, a teacher, a sibling, a spouse, a boss goes out of their way to report to the authorities that someone is scaring the hell out of them with their odd behavior that feels dangerous, it needs to be taken seriously. No more passing the buck and sweeping it under the rug. These people need help.
Point number two:
These people are not representations of the mental illness community. These people have crossed a line that they can not return from. It is the "too far gone" line and it no way represents the many many people that deal with mental illness issues on a daily basis. People that are non violent. People that are incapable of hurting anyone let alone mass killing people.
That fact is lost in the media as it glorifies the actions of someone who has lost the part of them that makes them human. The media basks in labeling the mass murderer as mentally ill, or autistic, or by some accounts this latest shooter... a man with hidden gay tendencies? I mean come on. This man lost his battle with whatever he was dealing with but that in no way means he was actually any of those things. We don't know what he was and it is extremely unprofessional to be arm chair diagnosing someone we know nothing about. You can sit and ask why he did something so horrible, but there is no point in that. There is no reason that would make any kind of since to us.
When the media broadcasts incorrect and some cases completely false diagnoses of mental illness or states that these people are the face of mental illness, it hurts the rest of the hundreds of thousands of us that suffer from mental illness. It shames us and stigmatizes us further. It makes us afraid to seek help when we need it or openly talk about it with our peers. It makes us scared to accept that we have issues. It makes others unfairly terrified of us and bias against us. We are not the problem. The broken system that puts mentally ill people behind bars because there is no place for them to get proper treatment is the problem. The laws that bind the hands of the caregivers of those that are teetering off the edge and do not allow them to get specific care on a round the clock basis, is the problem. A two year waiting list for our soldiers with disabilities to receive care that is covered when they have put their lives on the line for us, is the problem. The lack of funding and the lack of understanding how mental illness works. The ignorance perpetrated by the media and it's hounds. The misrepresentations. The lies. The blatant misuse of the word of mental illness in every violent situation is the problem. It needs to stop.
The media needs to be held accountable for the misdiagnoses of mental illness when these things occur. It is shameful and hurtful to the rest of us. It promotes fear in others where there doesn't need to be. Honest depictions of mental illness need to be used, not half assed attempts to blame a certain party because someone has lost control. We are not Elliot Rodgers, or James Holmes, or Adam Lanza. We are not Seng-Hui Choi, or Eric Harris, or Dylan Kiebold. We are not the mass killers or shooters simply because we have an illness in our heads. No one knows why these people do such awful and tragic things but it is not simply because they may have suffered from mental illness no more than if it were that most of them had brown hair. You do not hear or read people defaming and shaming brunettes because some killers are brunette do you? Of course not..Then why is it acceptable to do so to another party simply because they may have something vaguely in common with them. And I say vaguely because in reality, no one really knows.
These two things need to be done and they need to be done sooner rather than later. These horrible events can not continue. It has to stop but it will only stop if we as a society start listening and start acting where the problems actually lie. Not with guns or political views but with the treatment and advocation in the mental illness community and the education of the masses when something is wrong.