A radio network news anchor compounded the gut-wrenching horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass murder by expressing angst that President Obama refrained from discussing gun control during his initial post-tragedy address. The anchor regurgitated the narrative: Guns cause violence. The President initially did the right thing. He offered love and prayers, and a promise to visit and console families, which he did. Now, he’s decided to use the feelings of sadness and grief to promote the false promise of “doing something.”
The real problem is ignored.
It’s time we have a real conversation about the extent to which society can and should intervene with the mentally ill. Jeffrey Swanson, PhD, Duke University, would personally like to see all 300 million guns in America disappear. Not going to happen. In New Health Magazine, Dr. Swanson said, “… We can’t get rid of the guns, but we can try to think about who should not have a gun. The state laws are a patchwork and are very inconsistent in terms of how they operationalize the disqualifying criteria. In Illinois, for example, if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness, you’re disqualified for five years from buying a gun. In Maryland, if you’ve suffered from mental illness and have a history of violence and spent more than thirty consecutive days in a mental health facility, you’re disqualified.”
“The questions are, ‘do these laws even work and if they do, what’s the best way to define who is dangerous and who is not.’ There are laws that scoop everyone up and stigmatize people and drive them away from seeking services because they’re afraid that they might lose their [gun] rights and they vary throughout the country.”
Mass murderers will find the tools they need to perpetrate their crimes. In the Akihabara, Japan shopping center massacre, the killer used a truck and dagger to kill seven people and wound ten more. Would that have been prevented if Japan tested for and then “scooped up” the killer? How about mentally ill Americans like Adam Lanza?
A “drinking buddy of (Nancy) Lanza’s told the New York Daily News that Adam had long been troubled. “She said it was getting worse. She was having trouble reaching him. Nancy told me he was burning himself with a lighter. In the ankles or arms or something. It was like he was trying to feel something.”
I recall a girl in the 9th grade who burned herself and cut herself so she could “feel like I’m alive.” Two of her girlfriends told her mom, who took her to therapeutic counseling. The cutting stopped and she was much happier, her “dark days” a distant fog of memory a couple of years later. Was Adam getting such counseling? Is it true that he went on a killing spree out of fear of being committed? (Perhaps. At the time of this writing, that is only a rumor in the press, a press that reported so much that has been found to be untrue about the incident. The same press that will obediently promote doomed gun legislation.)
The dark days for Newtown will last a lifetime and the next Newtown will happen far too soon, whether the tools of such evil are guns, knives or explosives. Any attempt to legislate gun ownership to end the rampages of mentally ill individuals is absurd on its face and designed to simply make some people “feel good” about themselves and the politicians who peddle this false hope. Then it will happen again, and again such policies will fail.
© Copyright 2012 Rick Jensen, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s Award-Winning Conservative Talk Show Host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.Com from 1pm – 4pm EST. Contact Rick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter@JensenVoiceover.