An unplanned, unfortunate, and fifth in a series….
Again, we reel from tragedy. Again, lives have been taken. Again, one of our own has committed a horrific act. Again, we struggle to contextualize and grasp. Again, we debate.
I was in the army infantry. I was trained for a primary purpose with a variety of weapons: to take human life. It is my opinion that such weapons serve no other function and have no place in our society. It is my opinion that an anachronistic law has somehow become a sacred cow to the detriment of our well being when all others evolve and undergo reinterpretation. It is my opinion that the argument that psychopaths will always find a way is simplistic, defensive at the cost of human life, and irrelevant. If we can make the psychopaths less efficient, I’m fucking for it.
However, this is not a blog about gun control. The debate over such is important and should not stop, but it is a debate about a symptom. Much like the Morgan Freeman quote making the rounds of the internet (which I believe has been proven to be a hoax), it does not address the root. Access to guns and media sensationalism may exacerbate the problem, but they are not the cause.
The key word to this point is psychopath. I know nothing about this particular killer. I am concluding he was psychopathic based on his actions. We as a society failed to protect our children from him. We failed to protect him from himself.
A few weeks ago, I began blogging about mental illness. I am forty seven. I have endured two suicide attempts. I was diagnosed with depression and bipolar disorder years ago. I first publicly spoke about it a few weeks ago. I spent years denying it. I spent years thinking it was a defect and something to be ashamed of.
Our society attaches a stigma to mental illness. Outside of jail, there are few ways for youth to be diagnosed and properly treated. With negative social pressure and a lack of treatment, why do we remain shocked?
We should debate gun control. We should consider the influence of mass media. We should look at every factor that influences our ability to keep our children safe in a free society. We should recognize that mental illness can be tragic, life ending, life threatening, and treatable. That seems to be lost amid the shouting voices.