Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Everywhere I Live Gets Shot Up by Psychos... er, by Gunmen Likely Suffering From Psychosis

Does anyone else mentally check off a city they have once lived or worked in when they hear about a mass shooting?  Or is that just me?

I grew up in the Mountains above San Bernardino, and worked in San Berdoo's main mall for years while putting myself through college.  There was a LOT of gang violence in San Bernardino for many years, but I remember it mostly being gang-on-gang violence with limited numbers of casualties each time.
The mountains I once called home also had that fun Christopher Dorner manhunt and police slaying incident happen in them, and the final cop that that guy killed was my childhood next-door-neighbor.

I attended college at UC Santa Barbara, which, you probably know, had a horrible mass-shooting from a chauvenist nut-job a few years after my family and I left the area.  Some of my best friends from college had previously lived on the same street that asshat started the shootings on.

We moved to Marysville, WA after we left Santa Barbara, then to Lake Stevens, WA a year later.   I worked at the Marysville Library when a clinically depressed guy  drove around shooting at police officers both in Marysville and our new hometown of Lake Stevens.  A few weeks later, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School shootings occurred and our library staff had to help distraught parents without cell phones try to get a hold of their children while the school was on lock-down.  

I am EXTREMELY lucky to be able to say that I have not personally lost anyone in any of these attacks.  

(Technically I have lived and worked in two smaller towns that have not yet had the misfortune of having a mass-shooting... but I'm not about to publish their whereabouts because even though I don't believe in superstitions, I still refuse to jinx them.)

I'm not going to use this blog to take a stand for gun control or against the media for their roles in glorifying and over-hyping gunmen.  
I'm just a librarian who is FUCKING SICK OF THIS SHIT.  

You know what I am going to take a stand for?  Kindness.  Compassion.  And working to reduce the stigma of mental heath disorders.  
Without kindness, we have intolerance, meanness and mercilessness.  
Without compassion we are jaded, self-centered assholes whose focus on our selves as individuals makes it impossible to make the world better for our future generations.  
And without our country actively working together to help those who need mental health services, we get armed gunmen whose anger and desperation leaves them thinking that shooting a bunch of innocent people is the best way to get what they want.  

Gun control only works when you have pre-cognition and can accurately predict when gun violence will occur... and guess what?  That's NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN, folks.  
The media will only get its shit together when we stop watching them constantly and take a stand against their ludicrous sensationalization... and guess what?  That's ALSO NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN, folks, because the instant we all hear about a shooting we immediately start tweeting and blogging and yelling about how sad it is, thus adding our own voices to the neverending OUTRAGE that circulates without any solutions.  

So, to the presedential candidates out there jumping toward gun control stances I say this:  Focus on making our stand not against guns, but against cutting funding toward mental health facitilites.  Overturn Reagan's bad and short-sighted policies and OPEN more long-term mental healthcare facilities.  Work to staff them with people who are adequately trained how to deal with these kinds of violent patients that cost us millions each year.   Create a campaign blitz that empowers those with mental health needs to seek out treatment and not hide in the shadows.
The easy way is not the best way for us.  Rhetoric needs to MEAN something, so, for the love of all things sane, DO SOMETHING THAT IS ACTUALLY HELPFUL THIS YEAR.  

EDIT: Yes, I should probably not call people "psychos" in my title if I want to reduce stigmas. I would never call any person seeking help or even exhibiting signs of mental illness "psycho" in a million years.  But if a person goes around killing innocent people because their mental illness makes them think that's a good idea, that likely falls under the DSM-V's definitions of a person suffering from a psychotic disorder or psychotic break and, thus, are very likely "psychos."  

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