Calling for Mental Health Reform in Stopping Mass Shootings - The Jewish Voice
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Friday, August 19, 2022

Calling for Mental Health Reform in Stopping Mass Shootings

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School shootings are presently the foremost topic when ordinary people gather to discuss issues, but it’s at the top of the list for progressive politicos who see it as a major theme for the upcoming elections. It fits right into their demands for “gun control,” which basically is their desire to remove all guns, pistols and rifles from the hands of the public. They forget that the Second Amendment guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” And it continues to say, that this right, not a privilege, “shall not be infringed.” That’s the law and to change it to satisfy some, we must go through all the legal motions.

That will take years, if ever, so let’s get on with what can be done to reduce these events, save lives and make our communities, schools included, safer for all of us. Let’s face the facts that criminals and disturbed people do most of the shootings that have roiled the nation. Both these groups ignore the standing laws. Just this weekend in Chicago, which has, perhaps, the most rigid laws banning guns, 10 people were killed and 42 wounded….by gunfire. Who grieves for and visits that community to offer condolences while wiping artificial tears from their eyes? Zip. zero…not a headline grabber.

In reality, it’s the factor of mental health of our troubled young that needs to be focused on. These mass school shootings and the violence that seems to be spreading throughout the nation has as its cause, mental illness. Family breakdowns, social dysfunction, the lockdown over the past two years and our ignoring antisocial behavior when it becomes obvious leads to individuals acting out, sometimes endangering the safety and lives of others as a symptom of their illness. Mentally ill people, while in treatment and under observation are far less violent than the untreated. The mass shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, literally screamed out for help but was ignored by family, school and police authorities.

Ditto the young man in Uvalde, Texas. Daniel Henninger, in the Wall Street Journal, quoted Andrew Scull: “Community Care was a shell game with no pea. in place of forcible confinement in publicly run asylums, the chronically mentally ill have been abandoned to their fate.” They were and are now being tossed into the streets to do mayhem. Henninger continues: “With the incidence of disorders and suicides rising, there will be a postmortem on the damage done during the pandemic to young people.” Schools were shut. Many kids were isolated from friends and threw themselves into internet sites or just grew hostile from their loneliness. Mental illness grew in this test tube of emptiness and lack of positive personal intercourse. This has to be addressed and soon.

Gun control, including background checks have been trumpeted as the cure for mass shootings. Let’s focus, rather, on the issues of mental health, mental disorder and helping kids grow up in a happy, outgoing society to really get to the cure for these horrible incidents that threaten our society. If a friend, neighbor or family member exhibits anti-social behavior, speak up, reach out and offer the helping hand of a suggestion that there might be a mental issue at hand and act to cure it. It’s a community problem. It belongs to all of us.

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