It’s hard sometimes to write about the serious stuff.
The stuff that gives us nightmares. The stuff that makes us tear up when we watch a video on Facebook. The stuff that makes us so angry when we read an article. The stuff that makes us scream when we see it on the news…again.
The only way to do anything, to take a stand is to start the conversation. The sad part about this, is that this stuff isn’t a one time occurrence. It’s not something that just now needs a conversation because the conversation has been started, but it’s falling on the deaf ears of the authorities that could actually do something.
Gun violence, sexual violence, pedophilia, drug addiction…these aren’t new issues, they are issues that we talk about all the time and unfortunately, the fact they are being ignored is causing death.
By now, the world knows about the latest school shooting and it’s a sad thing to actually have to say, “the latest school shooting.”
Let’s examine a tweet by POTUS.
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
It’s interesting he is blaming this on the FBI. See there’s a thing called Instagram, Facebook, parents, guardians, neighbors, teachers and anyone else who saw the signs, the really dangerous signs that this shooter was a danger to his community and those signs were either not reported or not believed by the ones they reported them to.
So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior. Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 15, 2018
Another tweet. So it’s a mental illness issue? They didn’t report the issues? Maybe they did, they were not heard. Maybe he was mentally ill, but so are some of the most respected minds in history such as Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Beethoven, Leonardo di Vinci, Mary Todd Lincoln, Walt Disney and so many more that I couldn’t list them all in one post.
Should we revert back to the 19th century when people were committed to a lifetime in a sanitarium just for being depressed or having any type of diagnosable (at that time) mental illness? Imagine it now-42 million people would be in hospitals for anything from postpartum depression and anxiety to simple worrying too much.
This is not and has never been JUST a mental health issue.
I am mentally ill. I have been diagnosed with severe depression, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar affective disorder and addiction. I also am pretty convinced I have borderline personality disorder, but BPD is not a medically treatable disorder so doctors are hesitant to officially diagnose it, but it’s not hard to see all the signs and put a check by every single one down the list of oh, about 30 signs.
This isn’t the issue because if it were, I would have already murdered someone wouldn’t have I?
If you don’t think gun laws affect you, I sincerely hope they never do, but I am sure a lot of people involved this recent tragedy, as well all the others such as Columbine, Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech would disagree because it’s affected them, directly.
Gun control does not mean that someone is going to come into your home and take your gun away from you. It means that gun sales, ownership and use will be regulated so that it is a safer community for all of us, gun owners included and gun owners should be for this, but many are not.
I don’t own a gun and I don’t plan to, but the fact is, I could go get a gun quite easily and so can anyone else.
So what disqualifies someone from getting a gun?
What Disqualifies You from Buying a Gun?
According to the FBI, you cannot purchase a gun if you…
- Were convicted of a crime that carried a sentence of more than one year, or a misdemeanor that carried a sentence of over two years
- Are a fugitive (i.e. there’s a felony or misdemeanor warrant for your arrest)
- Are an addict
- Are diagnosed mentally ill, which can include being involuntarily committed, found not guilty by reason of insanity, or found unfit to stand trial
- Reside in the US illegally
- Are dishonorably discharged from the military
- Had a restraining ordered issued against you (i.e. found guilty of harassing, stalking, or threatening a partner or the child of your partner)
- Were convicted of domestic violence (i.e. convicted of using or threatening to use a deadly weapon against a spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, etc.)
- Have renounced your US citizenship
So an addict and a diagnosed mentally ill person disqualifies them from getting a gun. But, this guy, who took the lives of 17 people, was reportedly in and out of mental health treatment facilities and because of this, he should have had an official, clinical diagnosis that would have prevented him from purchasing a firearm if the sellers were following the law that is already put on the books. Because of this, the gun laws should and will change and it shouldn’t take school shooting after school shooting to get this done.
What will it take?
More gun laws being enforced on sellers, more reports taken seriously, and the POTUS and the people he leads to take action and stop blaming others for their mistakes.