Saturday, December 15, 2012

Quote of the Day

. . . We can’t ignore the deeper social crisis, one that goes beyond gun control.

In almost every instance, such spree killings, whether carried out in the United States, or Canada or Norway, have involved young men with mental health issues, young men who showed abundant signs of needing psychological help before they struck, whether they were suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar mania or depression or paranoia.

Most people who are mentally ill aren’t violent. And not every killer is mentally ill. But there’s a qualitative difference between the kind of gunman who shoots a rival drug dealer and the kind who shoots up a mall or movie theatre or gurdwara or elementary school. And if we ignore that reality, we make the risk of another attack that much greater.

In our society, we marginalize those with psychiatric problems. We dismiss or ignore or deny or simply fail to recognize their symptoms, because those symptoms often make us uncomfortable. We stigmatize mental illness. That, in turn, makes people hesitant to seek treatment, whether for themselves or for their sons and friends and brothers. Even when people do turn to the health-care system, it can be hard to get timely help.

The answer isn’t to ban midnight movies, or video games. It isn’t to lock down our schools, or arm our teachers.

What we need, even more than sane gun laws, is a culture that recognizes and treats those struggling with mental illness and social alienation, before they fall into a deadly daze of psychosis, or a black fog of rage and despair. . . .

– Paula Simons
"Slaughter Exposes Social Crisis Deeper Than Gun-Control Laws"
The Edmonton Journal
December 15, 2012

See also the previous Wild Reed post:
Something to Think About – December 14, 2012
The Social Roots of Yet Another American Tragedy

Related Off-site Links:
A Call for Compassion – Colleen Kochivar-Baker (Enlightened Catholicism, December 15, 2012).
I Am Adam Lanza's Mother – Liza Long (, December 16, 2012).
Actually, Mentally Ill People Are More Likely to Be Victims of Violence – S.E. Smith (, December 14, 2012).
Dispelling the Myth of Violence and Mental Illness – John M. Grohol (, 2004).
Is a Crisis in White Masculinity Leading to Horrific Gun Crimes Like the Sandy Hook Shootings? – Chauncey DeVega (, December 14, 2012).
The Shooting of Children and "God's Plan" – Edward J. Blum (HuffPost Religion via The Progressive Catholic Voice, December 14, 2012).
Praying a Deep Sigh – Rev. Jacqueline J. Lewis (HuffPost Religion, December 15, 2012).
Where Were You, God? – A Prayer for Newtown – James Martin, S.J. (HuffPost Religion, December 15, 2012).

Obama in Newtown: "We Can't Tolerate This Anymore" – Olivier Knox (Yahoo! News, December 16, 2012).
Whatever Motivated Adam Lanza, It Wasn't Asperger's – Emily Willingham (, December 17, 2012).
Sympathy for Nancy Lanza – Amanda Marcotte (, December 18, 2012).
One Month After School Massacre, Sandy Hook Parents Speak, Urging ‘Real Change’ – Dylan Stableford (Yahoo! News, January 14, 2013).

Image: Adam Lanza (ABC News). Notes Wikipedia: On December 14, 2012, 27 people, including 20 children and 6 adult staff members, were fatally shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Connecticut. This was the second-deadliest mass shooting in United States history, after the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre. The gunman, identified by authorities as 20-year-old Adam Lanza, first killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their nearby Newtown home. He then drove to the school and shot the employees and students before killing himself. The overall death toll was 28, including the perpetrator.

1 comment:

brian gerard said...

Excellent post, Michael.