Tuesday, January 11, 2011

i can't stop

The shootings in Arizona are still with me.

I keep running it through my head and this is the latest I have:

1. Gun laws--really do we need semi-automatic handguns in the hands of anybody? I know cops have them and bad guys have them, but really do we need them?

2. Freedom of Speech--vital right given to us all--but doesn't some level of responsibility come with it? Even if you eliminate this latest tragedy, hasn't there been an increasingly larger amount of negative, hateful, mean-spirited talk spewed in the world and a huge increase in the number of ways we are all assaulted--not just in politics but all over the TV and the radio and the internet and the facebook and on and on and on and example after example after example of people behaving badly while others nod and agree and smile and a few make money from the bad behavior?

3. He's a madman--really? That's the best we can do? Blame it on the crazy and walk away? I read several articles yesterday that pointed out that research shows that mental illness--bipolar disease and schizophrenia, the two mental illnesses that most commonly include hallucinations and delusions--is not typically associated with violent behavior. The level of violence increases only slightly in association with mental illness. Most violence is associated with alcohol or drug abuse. Yet the media will scream, "MENTAL ILLNESS--CRAZYMAN" leaving us feeling vulnerable and uncomfortable and afraid of those who are truly ill and deserve compassion.

4. I'm trying to not take one side over the other politically. I really am. But. I can't help but wonder how the side of the aisle that is so determined to pin this attack on crazy is also the same side that is so determined to cut social spending--the very social spending that provides the care needed for those who suffer from debilitating mental illness. Really?

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