After a tragedy like Newtown one predictable response from liberals is "gun control". That is simply magical thinking.
How about a little media control. Perpetrators often like/want/need the publicity. It's the worst since... well the last one. NBC and it's clueless minions even did a story on this possibility. Matt Lauer and crew, standing in front of the school, telling us it may be the media attention that partly drives this kind of event. There they were - giving the event as much publicity as they could, because they were getting ratings out of it. Maybe instead of limiting the number of rounds we should limit the number of on-air minutes.
And finally, and most importantly, we need to talk about control of the seriously mentally ill.
In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness
I live with a (13-year old) son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies meI have worked in schools and institutions for juvenile delinquents for more than 30 years. Teachers and staff in every school can identify individuals who are seriously outside the mainstream. We have to learn how to control and isolate those individuals before they blow up.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.
When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”
I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people...
No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail. But our society, with its stigma on mental illness and its broken healthcare system, does not provide us with other options. Then another tortured soul shoots up a fast food restaurant. A mall. A kindergarten classroom. And we wring our hands and say, “Something must be done.” (read the whole thing)