Sandy Hook: How to prevent a massacre.
by, 18-Dec-2012 at 03:14 (352 Views)
I already posted this elsewhere in the forums, but I felt this deserved to be blogged.
This was indeed a tragedy. My heart goes out everyone involved. This was a horrific act.
In times like this it is easy to mourn and yet forget to do what one can to try and change the reasons behind it. I always find, whether it be a personal or public, the best we can do to prevent a disastrous event like this is to honour those that have died by putting as much positive energy into something that will prevent similar situations from reoccurring.
With the Sandy Hook massacre it would be quite easy, especially with the media hype surrounding it, to let anger cloud our judgement. Already, most if not all news agencies are calling for stricter control on guns, and tighter preventative security measures. The statistics speak for themselves. Horrifically, if a person decides to do it, most of the time they will succeed regardless of the laws put in place to anticipate subsequent gun crimes. Security and strict controls at schools, especially high-schools in the US have become almost the norm, and yet these events have only become more common!
On the surface, restricting the sale, possession and use of guns could solve this problem. However if one looks a little deeper, it is quite obvious, considering how commonplace guns are in the US, that stricter controls on the sale of guns would be futile due to the amount in circulation. Tighter control on possession would also be incredibly if not impossibly difficult to police. So where does that leave us with all that positive energy ready to be channeled into a change in society?
I read an article on Gawker Media this morning, it's one that's gone viral so forgive me if you've already read it. It caught my attention due to it's title "I am Adam Lanza's Mother". She is not Adam Lanza's mother, rather a mother of a very difficult teenager with severe emotional problems. In it, this lady describes living with her son, who regularly hits her, has threatened her with knives, and behaves a lot of the time generally quite aggressive towards her and his siblings. What surprises me most, is that because this lady was relatively poor in order to get proper mental health help for her son, her only course of action was to have her son arrested and taken to prison. Her son is/was 13. He liked Harry Potter and had a favourite plushie.
In the UK, while our system is by no means perfect, we do have a care and support network within our mental health services that are provided by the government. There are also dedicated public psychiatric homes/hospitals that are designed to provide respite, hopefully treat mental illnesses and protect family members (and to an extent the general public). One could argue that a child like this could be another Adam Lanza in the making and I would propose that mental and social health care is much more important and fundamental to changing this trend in America, than anything currently proposed by any politician. To use an analogy, imagine scooping up sand in your hand, if you grip tightens too much it will fall through your fingers, cup your hands carefully and support it right, and it will stay right where it's meant to be.
So what can we all do? Lobby, and make our feelings heard. Support mental health charities doing good work. Volunteer and fund raise, and help raise awareness of causes. We all know from being AB's that awareness is the road to acceptance and support, let's put this into practice.