Let’s Stop Calling Evil “Mentally Ill”

Today, some horrible shit happened in Connecticut. The assholes on both sides of the gun issue are screaming. “The ability to own a gun is all that stands between us and TYRANNY!” “Let’s disarm America! Guns killed JESUS!” I have tried really hard to avoid reading things about this story, because it is just too damn sad. Because, let’s face it. Our politicians are spineless, and the gun lobby bought our government a long fucking time ago. Nothing will change, and every time something like this happens here, the same tired bullshit will spout from the mouths of every political hack out there. 

My opinion? You shouldn’t be able to own anything you aren’t trained on. If you aren’t military or ex-military, you shouldn’t have military grade weapons. And you shouldn’t be able to stockpile enough ammo to kill all of West Virginia, no matter how tempting that may be. 

But we are a nation of cowboys. As much as I would love to be a nation of people who use reason to work out our differences, that will never happen. We will always be a nation of people who have to have the threat of violence on the table. Too many of the citizens of this country don’t want to be participants. (An aside: If you feel that having a gun is the only that you can get your way, then you don’t want to participate in Democracy.) 

Maybe this is me being cynical in light of tragedy. But, there it is. But it doesn’t matter. Want proof nothing is going to change? A SENATOR WAS SHOT IN THE FUCKING FACE. Nothing changed. You think those rich motherfuckers care about kids? They don’t care about ONE OF THEIR OWN. 

Anyway, back to the title of this little blog entry. We keep using “mentally ill” or “crazy” as a shorthand when things like this happen. Can we stop that? Because honestly, it’s not fair to people who are actually mentally ill. Every time a douche bag shoots up a mall or a school or some other place with innocent people, the media labels the shooter as insane. 

The truth is, this adds to the stigma that people with mental health issues struggle with. And the more those issues are stigmatized, the more likely that people are going to keep quiet about the problems they are having. And the more they keep quiet, the more likely they are to lash out. And then the media calls them crazy. It’s a cycle that needs to break.

(Honestly, what also needs to happen in this country is we need to have ways for people who are hurting mentally to get the care they need. I don’t care if it’s Medicaid for all, or if it’s just a national mental health system of some other kind, but we need a way for people to not feel like they are alone in this world. And it’s too easy to look at your family, your town, your religion, whoever and say, these people don’t give a fuck about me. The more options we have out there for people to realize that there are people who do, indeed, give a fuck, reduces the odds that someone will kill us for no reason. Much better than banning guns.)

 

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About wombatdeamor
I am a writer who has yet to be published. I am using this blog to shame myself into writing more regularly, in the hopes that I will be able to improve the "About Yourself" box to something less awkward. I also like to cook and use profanity.

4 Responses to Let’s Stop Calling Evil “Mentally Ill”

  1. hirwin25 says:

    In the name of freedom, I have to (of course) weigh in on this. I think you are on to something when you state that you should not be able to own a gun without being trained on it. However, I don’t think that means you need to be current or ex-military. I think that with the proper training courses (provided you PASS!!!) you should be able to own any type of gun you desire.

    That being said, I don’t allow guns in my own home. I have nothing against those who do and when my children are older this is a subject that my husband and I will revisit. As of right now, if I cannot trust my son not to bust a hole in his wall when he’s angry I certainly will not allow him to have access to a firearm. Of course, it would be locked up. Of course, it wouldn’t be stored with ammo. However, people are careless and accidents happen.

    As to your comments on mentally ill. I agree. Just because someone chooses to do something, does not make them mentally ill. So much more goes into it! Your diagnosis does not define you. Nor should your lack of one. Some idiot decided to make bad choices and now other people have to pay. It sucks, but what’s done is done. Taking guns away or locking up all “crazy” people is not going to solve ANYTHING. It will only make my life boring (this is a joke…btw….)

    Most of my favorite people are mentally ill. Sure it makes our relationships more stressful. But once you get past other people’s issues, you will realize that they truly aren’t any more screwed up than you. Loving someone isn’t about their diagnosis. It’s about what you can build together.

    • wombatdeamor says:

      I agree with you on pretty much everything you wrote. So I’ll leave it at that. I do think gun safety should be something everyone (at least here in the Midwest, where hunting is such a prevalent hobby) should be informed of. Take that as you will.

  2. But we are a nation of cowboys”
    That phrase alone says volumes about the history of our country and how as a country conflicts have been dealt with. (if you set aside the John Wayne references.)

    When this tragedy occurred I had to distance myself emotionally from it: for several days I had to block out any and all news. Like most of my Americans, I had felt a full spectrum of emotions: disgust, despair, fear, etc.

    I can remember logging on facebook a day or two ago and seeing the first post in CAPITAL LETTERS from my overly zealous politically incorrect uncle of mine about equipping teachers with guns and something else I’d rather not say.

    I can truly say for the first time in a long time, I’m speechless.

    Speechless because I’m hearing, and reading thoughts and stances from people from both sides of this crazy debate and gun safety and on mental health that make my eyes grow as big as a cartoon character. I’m hearing things that make me question the common sense in people. I’m disturbed. That’s a better way to put it.

    I ponder about gun control and gun safety and the deaths of those by gun shot…I think about the children and the handful of adults killed at Sandy Hook Elementary, I think about all the children of color in inner-city schools in places such as Chicago (where there is supposedly some higher level of gun control) whose lives end by guns, then I think about the countless numbers of children in the middle east killed not only by drones BUT by guns as well….

    I read somewhere via twitter that that Biden was asked by the POTUS to have drafts of something regarding policies for gun safety out for January. And while I do indentify as a Christian I pray for the right people to be in place so all this nonsense I’m hearing from the NRA…doesn’t follow through. I’m totally realistic in a sense that there’s more people in Congress that lean that way.

    BUT back to the other issue at hand, the “labeling” of mentally ill folks, the lack of funds and education behind this issue and the demonization of those who are mentally ill in this country:

    Hands down, we have to do better. Not just as a singular family in one household, or a neighborhood, or a community, or a county, or a city, or the West coast, Mid West or even the East Coast: As a whole, friggin country.

    It pains me in a sense that on one hand to hear and see the media and people demonize this kid—this adult for leading this attack and killing innocent people. What he did was awful. I admit. I would feel the exact same if it were one of my loved one killed at Sandy Hook. But truly I like to look at the system that this person went through, how society failed this person, what crack they fell through. I wanna investigate how this person became the killer of innocent people on that fateful day at Sandy Hook.

    Looking back at what I wrote…I think I just ranted too. I don’t think I truly contributed to your post and your thought recorded within it. So what to say? Uh, for allowing me a safe place to share my thoughts?

    -Carrie @DivineBlkPearl

  3. Lastly, I’d like to add a thought:

    After this whole event went down in Connecticut, Wal-Mart supposedly pulled either the gun that used as a murder weapon at Sandy Hook or something similar. No such thing as bad press, huh? Guess Not.

    It also reminds me of watching “Bowling for Columbine”, Michael Moore went to the local Wal-Mart in town and asked about the EASY access and low, extremely low price of bullets available behind the counter…Of course, after attention was brought to it, there was some action and something was eventually done about that.

    I liken the whole issue of gun safety/control to (sorry, perhaps a terrible example) Privacy settings and the like on Facebook. We push back and fight when we feel offended (or in Facebook’s case when we violated) but bit by bit when we aren’t paying attention the same settings or the same old same old just gets pushed back into place. Becuase of recent events I dont think truly the United States Government is ready or wnats to be put in a position to be ready to seriously sit down and tackle this issue which saddends me. (The Gun Safety/Control Issue, I mean).

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