Monday, December 17, 2012

Responding to Newtown, Aurora, Blacksburg, et al

I watched President Obama's speech at the Newtown Memorial last night. My college and high school-aged kids and some of their friends and cousins were there too. It gave me a chance to not only consider how to pick myself up after such a senseless tragedy, but to also grasp what I could do as a father. But I was speechless, my internal BS detector was not having any of it.

During the President's words, all the kids, and adults, oscillated between silent tears, squirms, and nervous comments, reflecting the raw emotion and tension of the moment. It was clear that they were translating the events of Newtown to their own school and work lives. I was silent, because nothing I could say could assure them, or make them feel the safety that is supposed to be my parental job.

This morning I woke still without answers, but with a resolve that I did not have last night. Whatever I do going forward, it must be with a simple notion in mind. Mental health services must be more accessible to everyone, and guns must be more difficult to acquire. With my vote and my wallet I will support leaders who support this, and jettison support for those who dance around the issues.

Down? Yes. Out? No.

James C. Collier

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7 comments:

Bally Balldez said...

We can go nuts on banning guns because their are too many out of control cops... that said we need to get guns out of the hands of crazy people and that woukld be anyone on a prescription psych med.

Here are some interesting stats:

The shooters in this cases are always white middle class males on one or more psych meds.

14% of Whites are on an anti depressant as opposed to 4% Blacks and 3% Hispanics.

Since the advent of SSRI meds these incidents have increased while gun ownership has decreased.

James C. Collier said...

@Bally, while socio-economics and culture too-often dictate how mental illness is accepted/confronted, I take issue with any argument that mental illness deserves a racial focus. As for the 'out of control cops', similarly, I believe out of control criminality and rogue police are flip-sides of a behavior coin, each demanding our attention.

Anonymous said...

I hope all is revealed about this guy's illness and how, for whatever reason, he did not get the attention he needed.

I hope too that people will take a more proactive stance on keeping their guns in a safe or with trigger guards. I wish his mother had done that.

Sadly we cannot predict 100% of the time who will do what and when and how but there are certainly some simple things that can be easily done, like guards at schools.
They are at a lot of high school so it's obviously past time they were at all schools.

Anonymous said...

What's really sad is if the school only had a much stronger door and one without a window located where a person could reach an unlocking mechanism............
Something that simple could have saved lives.....

Anonymous said...

His mother was the real mentally ill person. How in the hell would a parent have guns laying around unsecured in the home with a disturbed child living there? This is the real subject that the media will nt touch.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. No excuse for her not having those guns secured.

However, we have no way of knowing that would have stopped the killer. Likely it would have just slowed him down or made him take up another method to his madness.

Anonymous said...

Another tragedy in THIS country that results in more child deaths per DAY never seems to get talked about much.

Wonder why the pres and vice pres can't make a task force on CHILD ABUSE but jump right into the fray when guns are involved? I think we know that answer.

Over 3 million reports of child abuse are made every year and 5 children a day, FIVE A DAY, die due to child abuse.

Sure sounds like a tragedy to me just one that doesn't help certain people with their political agendas that they obviously have had for years.

No excuse for silence on this matter. NONE!