Guns- wow, we have a lot to say about guns, don’t we? Look, as a liberal, I hate them as much as the next person, but this fight is lost. Guns are never going away in America. Yes, they are too easy to get and yes, assault rifles aren’t necessary in the hands of the everyday person – but frankly? I’m not interested in fighting that fight. Violence is more than about guns, violence is just as deadly without guns (suicide bombers, anyone?) and violence kills. Every day in a hundred different ways.
I know, really, I know. It is so easy to blame a machine of metal and gunpowder. It’s something you can wrap your head around, and the math seems so simple – take away the guns, 12 more people would be alive today. But you’re intelligent and I hope you know, it isn’t that simple. Which brings to me my next thought;
My best friend made this comment on Facebook “It’s interesting that gun control becomes the issue, not better funding for mental illness care or social services. Yah, cuz the gun laws have done such a bang up job so far.”
I think that sums it up.
Mental illness is so stigmatized in this country. Families that want to get help and care face a bevy of laws just trying to get someone committed or forceful help. And there are very few long-term solutions if you do end up getting care. The hospital will give him (or her) some group therapy, start them on meds, and then release them hoping for the best.
Ever tried to get someone in denial about their problem to take their meds? IMFUCKINGPOSSIBLE.
And this person ends up on the street or hurting someone, and, dammit, the family TOLD you he needed help. But no one listens. And those are the lucky families. Too many households today are simply trying to survive. Yes, they are sad when the oldest son disappears, but, inwardly, they sigh in relief not having to worry if they will have to miss work again because they have to bail their son out of jail. Or, even worse, protect their other children from violent mood swings of an older sibling.
It’s just so goddamn sad.
Last, a little boy.
I don’t watch trials, the whole thing makes me feel icky. However, I remember a newscaster talking about the Scott Peterson trial; specifically the sentencing phase. His father was on the stand talking about Scott as a little boy, how he used to sit on his lap and read stories. At the time, my own little boy was on my lap and I was reading him a book.
How does a little boy get from that to murder?
12 people died, no amount of sorrow will bring them back. So, if it’s OK with you, I want to spend one moment and mourn that little boy who sat on his mother’s lap, and was read stories, and was loved. A child who, by all accounts, disappeared into a haze of mental illness and violence, who walked into a theater and slaughtered 12 innocent people.
I’m not sure if I believe in God or not, but every night I pray, ‘Please God, don’t let that be my little boy.’