March 4, 2012

my thoughts on guns & mental illness...

I've wanted to blog about this for days. I know my thoughts are not important to anyone in the grand scheme of things. I just want to say my peace. 

 It's just so damn sad. But seeing how the community has really come together is sweet. And the families who lost their kids are being so strong, even forgiving. Also, seeing mr. Bergant (my old junior high band director) holding those sad press conferences, it wrecks me. 

 A friend I used to work with, someone I kept in touch with, her cousin was the first boy to die in the shooting. She comes from a big, close knit family and they are completely devastated. 

 It also brings back memories of the boy I was friends with who got his dad's gun and accidentally shot himself in the face. We were both 5 years old. He lived around the corner. He survived. But was really damaged. In a wheelchair with most of his brain gone. A tracheotomy tube. Just a vegetable. 

 So yeah, I'm not a fan of guns. 

 And the kid who did the shooting in Charon, boy did he have a rough life with some messed up parents. 

 I keep using the word "senseless", but that doesn't feel right. It happened for a reason, or a "perfect storm" of reasons. These school shootings keep happening, and we need to understand why. To me, it seems like a combination of way too easy access to guns, and very little understanding about mental illness. 

 The guy who killed one person, wounded some & held my husband hostage, the guy was clearly unstable. He made everyone in the computer dept nervous. His neighbors knew he was crazy. But what can you do for someone clearly disturbed? There aren't many mental hospitals these days. And how do you force someone to get mental health help? 

 My dad was most likely manic depressive. When I was in college, I begged him to get help. I offered to try and pay for him to talk to someone. He'd just hang up on me, and a few months later I'd get another call from him, and it would end in another hang up.

So what am I trying to say?  That we need more gun control.  And we need better options for mentally ill people.

Here are some kids from my old high school, in the band room I spent 4 years, singing for the kids at Chardon:


No comments: