Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What next?

Boy, things just seem to get crazier and crazier, don't they?

The days since learning of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut have been filled with way too much trauma and news that is impossible to fathom that someone could do something this atrocious. To try to wrap one's mind around what could possibly have gone on in that young man's mind to shoot all these people -and especially those little children is an impossibility to me.

I can't even begin to think of how I would feel and/or react if someone took the life of a loved one in any way, shape or form, much less in a manner such as this was. Just to think about something like that happening here is entirely too painful to even consider.

Where do we, as a nation, go from this point now is the question.

Does gun control work? Not really as evidenced by the fact that the guns used in this were all purchased legally. That this young man had access to them is something else to be considered though.

Frankly, the mental health issues are the ones I think need to be given massive consideration.

There is a great gulf in this county -perhaps world-wide too, who knows -that creates a tremendous need for many improvements in the availability of mental health care, just for openers. Mental health care that is also affordable too, I might add. It does not good to have it available if people can not afford to access it.

As a country though, we also need to have a much better understanding of the issues of mental health and the important part it plays in the overall picture of people being able to function properly. Believe it or not, so many people still make fun of various mental health issues -ranging from depression to paranoia and psychosis -all actions that certainly do nothing to improve conditions for healing for many of those who deal with these problems on a daily basis.

The stigma that has always been attached to a mental health diagnosis is just as rampant today as it was a century ago. And this is one area where better understanding of the symptoms and treatments available could go a long, long way.

Awareness of the symptoms and how they can affect individuals is a necessity. Someone with a mental health problem may actually have physical symptoms that point to other illnesses -such as high blood pressure, fatigue, inability to focus and function, aches and pains that can't be determined as to the source often are caused by depression. And that's just for openers.

People will sometimes look for treatment of the physical complaints they have but it often takes a lot more intensive diagnostic care to realize that issues of depression can be the root cause.

Yes, our mental health often plays a critical role in our physical well-being too and should be given just as much attention to getting it the care needed as one would take if you broke a bone or were running a very high temperature and/or other physical signals of something being awry.

That's my thoughts on where to begin trying to make societal changes to curb events like this from happening. Not that it is a definite cure-all, but it is a start and one that shouldn't or wouldn't bring about outcrys of anger and such over the thought of people's Second Amendment rights being upended.

I personally see nothing wrong at all with gun registration, licensing, testing people for proper knowledge of gun handling and of having an attitude too that is conducive to not being over-reactive to various situations either. No, I don't own a gun but I have nothing against hunting or the sports affiliated with gun usage -skeet shooting, other types of competitions involving guns either.

The gun control debates go back really beginning probably with the assassination of President Kennedy and many of the killings since that time there have been various gun control regulations in place but which by some method or other were managed to be avoided and people who shouldn't have had a gun, did!

We all hear the old line about Guns don't kill people but people kill people. and yes, that is a fact, for sure. But having fewer means for anyone and everyone to gain access to any kind of weapon would perhaps be a start in that direction too. We have plenty of gun control laws but not enough of them prevent their ending up in the wrong hands.

As to needing a gun for protection of self and family, is a full-fledged arsenal REALLY what people need in each and every home?

The deed of killing all these innocent children and teachers has been done and for now, I think prayers for understanding, for solace, peace and comfort to the families is the number 1 priority at this point in time. Then, reflection of what may have been the trigger to this and open discussions of what is needed for prevention of individuals taking steps like this again.

Please, let's look at this logically and realistically but each of us doing our best to learning and understanding of the issues those around us may be dealing with but of which we are totally unaware of the pain and stress levels that so often exist in the minds of others.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I am so glad you talked about mental illness and what to do about it. So much of the talk has been guns, guns, guns when at the heart, this is about a sick young man driven to horrible deeds. It is so incredibly hard to get help for an adult that doesn't want it and often the mentally ill just can't see that they are sick.

Bud aka older Eyes