The whole weekend I have been numb with shock. Every time a news report appeared on the television, I hope that they would explain why Adam Lanza senselessly killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I need an answer where there are probably no answers. But this school killing is not the first. In a world full of turmoil, why do WE as a society need horrific tragedy to change the world?
Does it take killing 20 six and seven year old children for us to realize there is a problem? Wasn’t Columbine enough?
The news is a buzz with theories, blame, and debate.
But I have more questions than answers.
- Did we need to blame Adam’s mother for having guns in the house? For all you know, she could have had them locked up. Perhaps Adam never displayed violent behavior? Let’s find out the entire story before we blame a dead woman.
- Did we need to sit in judgement of a Liza Long , a brave woman who told her story about living with a violent child? I applaud her for telling her painful and hopeless story that provided a vivid picture of life with a violent child. She started the conversation for all parents with children who have mental illness. Perhaps the outcome is more support for these parents.
- Why has there been an increase in the number of shootings? Is it simply mental illness?
- Since when did being autistic make you violent? Autism is a neurological disorder. It isn’t mental illness. Dr. Joyce Elizabeth Mauck, CEO and medical director of Fort worth’s Child Studies Center, states, ” …but the type of carefully-planned, thought out, ugly type of event that happened in Connecticut on Friday is very atypical in a child with autism.” So, stop linking mental illness and autism together.
- Will enacting stricter gun laws change what would have happened? Adam used his mother’s legally licensed guns. The shooter in Colorado stole the guns. (Just for the record, I am an advocate of gun control but in my opinion this story is not just about gun control.)
- Where has our leadership been in this country about gun control? It isn’t about what side of the fence you live on, Congress. Start crossing party lines and be the leaders you were elected to be. While you are at it, start looking at the toxic chemicals including GMOs that bombard our children every day. Stop begin a bunch of wimps and start making the hard choices instead of cow towing to the companies that fuel your campaigns.
- Why is it only safe to talk about mental illness when a tragedy happens? Mental illness is on the rise and many are not receiving help. A 2009 survey showed that one out of five Americans suffer from a mental disorder with 42% unable to pay for help. 6 million Americans. Added an additional 10% who were unable to fully pay for their treatments. To top it off, mental illness is seen as a weakness or moral issue which increases the likelihood of not seeking treatment. Dessa Bergen-Cico, assistant professor of public health, food studies and nutrition at Syracuse University in New York, states,
“What is missing is the approach to mental health problems with a comprehensive ongoing strategy much like what we do for physical injury for which health care providers commonly employ a robust treatment that in addition to surgery would include any or all of the following: physical therapy, medication, preventative education and long term follow-up.”
We need to change the way we think about mental illness and the way we treat it. Most importantly, we as a society need to understand why there is an increase in mental illness. Simply stating that people have been misdiagnosis for years just isn’t the answer.
- Lastly, shame on the media. Interviewing children who were just traumatized to get their stories? If you really need the story, interview the parents.
Change starts with all of us. Isn’t it time to look this issue straight in the eye and stop blaming and passing judgement?
Join the Conversation:
What do you think needs to change in America for these senseless murders to end?
- Wake Up! Join Healthy Child, Healthy World to Make our World Safe for Our Kids
- New Jersey Needs to Say No To Extra Vaccines! Your State Could be Next!
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Lessons Learned
- Protect Unborn Children from Toxic Chemicals. Sign the Declaration.
- Food Allergies, ADD, Asthma on the Rise. Is Our Food the Culprit?