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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thoughts on the Sandy Hook Massacre.

I had another blog planned for this Sunday.

But I decided to scrap it after hearing about the tragic massacre at the Newton Elementary School in Sandy Hook Connecticut. The reason for the long delay was because I wanted to be as tactful as possible in writing a blog about the tragedy in.

That Friday Twenty-seven people lost their lives. Twenty of those dead were six and seven year old children.

I feel sorry for the losses of All of those families who lost children that Friday. They’re in my prayers.

In the aftermath of that tragedy committed by Adam Lanza everyone is looking for something to blame. Something to make sense of all the senseless violence.

Some politicians want stricter gun control laws.

We had gun control laws. At the height of the Crack epidemic, an assault weapons ban was passed in 1992. It was a law designed to prevent people from buying the military grade weaponslike the ones Adam Lanza’s mother owned in her arsenal.

George W. Bush and the Republican congress allowed that law to expire around 2004.

But I doubt gun laws would change anything. Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

All of the guns used in the shooting were purchased legally by his Adam’ Lanza’s mother. She was preparing for class warfare.

Some want more security in public schools.

The elementary school already had tight security. But like most public schools here in New York and across the country, all of the security is usually stationed to protect the front door. No one ever guards the back or side doors like Adam Lanza barged through.

That security hole has been there since I was a little kid. And no one has ever made plans to patch it because having guards at every entrance costs too much.

No one thinks an intruder will ever use those entrances to gain access to a school.

Except a psychopath.

Some in Hollywood like Jamie Foxx want to blame violent movies and video games for Adam Lanza’s rampage.

I doubt that had any influence on Adam Lanza.

An antisocial person will be influenced to commit acts of violence if they watched Sesame Street every day.

The truth is none of these things are to blame for the tragedy that transpired at the Sandy Hook school.

We’ll never know why Adam Lanza killed his mother. We’ll never know why he chose that particular school for his rampage.

All those reasons died with Adam Lanza.

And he was following his own twisted logic. Insane people don’t make sense.

Here’s the sad truth: You can’t explain crazy.

Which is what makes this tragedy so sad.

No law can stop crazy. Connecticut had the strictest gun laws. They had some of the tightest school security at the Sandy Hook school.

Censoring the media won’t stop crazy either. Psychopaths live in their own world. They follow their own logic. They interpret the facts differently from other people.

What inspires a psychopath to act in a violent manner could be something as simple as there not being any more Hostess fruit pies at the 7-Eleven.

If anything this tragedy shows America is that we can’t keep being ashamed of mental illness. We can’t keep sweeping the mentally ill under a rug and denying they have problems.

Because it’s only a matter of time before the problems of one mentally ill individual will affect all the members of a community.

Many Americans try to pretend that an untreated mentally ill person isn’t a ticking time bomb. They minimize and ignore the individual’s unstable behavior by saying that they’re “odd” they “get that way sometimes”, “that’s just the way he is” or that they’re “strange”.

Not understanding they’re coming face-to-face with danger every day.

Some parents of mentally ill people are so ashamed of their child’s sickness they try to contain children like Adam Lanza’s mom did with home schooling. They keep them isolated from others in the hopes that they can keep them under their control.

Not understanding that they’re going to get older. And their child is going to get older.

And one day when they’re too old they’re going to lose control over them. And when they can’t handle them anymore they become a danger to all society.

Then they become a problem Law Enforcement has to deal with. Usually, when their parents become too old and unable to control them, mentally ill people wind up being taken care of by the prison system.

That’s where most wind up getting the care that they need.

If they’re not killed by the police for resisting arrest.

In between the shame of parents and the stigma of corrupt mental health facilities  like Willowbrook in the 1970’s America dismantled its mental healthcare system in the 1980’s. And because America doesn’t have a quality mental healthcare system, people have to literally commit crimes to get treatment for their mental illnesses.

The mindset of most Americans is: If a mentally ill person isn’t acting aggressively or dangerously, they aren’t considered a threat by their families and mental health professionals.

So they can go on about their business. Usually medicating themselves with illegal drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine, PCP and angeldust. We don’t see them as a danger to themselves or others when they talk to themselves. We don’t see the threat to others.

Until they kill someone.

Then they’re a danger to everyone else.

If anything, this tragedy shows us that America must make serious efforts to revamp its mental health system. Mental illness can no longer be swept under a rug. It can’t be hidden from the world. We have to take the stigma of shame off this disease. There’s been too many mass murders, murder-suicides, family homicdes and shootings over the past year by psychotic people to keep denying that there’s a problem with the way America treats mental illness. Maybe if we focused on prevention and treatment of people’s mental health issues we could save some lives in the future.

Let's pray for the families. 

But let's also make efforts towards changing our mental healthcare system. 

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