How The Gun Control Debate is Woefully Mishandling The Fragility of Mental Health
After the nation experienced yet another mass shooting event that has been labeled “the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school” — the debate over gun control and how and why “control” is required for the sake of saving lives — and keeping bloody massacres at a minimum — continues to rage with the familiar indicators of celebrated frustration and societal irresponsibility.
President Trump’s response to this national crisis has been expectedly devoid of visible empathy or any hint of coherency — as he unsuccessfully lives up to the definition of his title as “Commander-In-Chief” — through senseless rants and fidgety body language that prove his level of incompetence — beyond any doubt.
Aside from Trump’s consistently disgraceful performance — there’s the sham of administrations both past and present — that have endured the utter failure of what it takes to allow great minds to think alike.
News magazine shows are enjoying ratings gold with the festival of panel discussions and the insightful updates — that are propped to leave viewers even more unhinged at the notion that something so horrific could very well happen again with even more dire consequences.
It’s hard to imagine that after the children of Sandy Hook were riddled with bullets back in 2012 — we could move past that with heavy hearts and defeated dispositions — with the understanding that years later — we would find ourselves facing the exact same burden of truth.
So — here we are again — and this time the survivors are high schoolers who are ready for the daunting task of fighting the National Rifle Association for the right to live. It’s worth wondering if anyone of us takes the time out to really entertain the tragedy of witnessing how the power of greed can overwhelm the value of the most precious gift of all.
So far — the only progress that has been made in this re-activated debate is the reserved contribution by the president who vows to tirelessly work with the NRA in a bid to “raise the the minimum age to buy semiautomatic rifles from 18 to 21” — while also encouraging teachers with expert experience to consider being “armed and ready” for battle.
The latest from Capitol Hill has offered a major setback as Republican leaders have pretty much shut down any hopes of raising the minimum age to ensure that restless teenagers don’t get the chance to act out their “Die Hard” fantasies — for real.
It’s a delicate balance between reducing the anxiety level of traumatized citizens while also ensuring that the millions of dollars received from ultra-wealthy and invincible organizations like the NRA will continue to flow without pause.
The other issue that has been woefully mishandled by all sides of the spectrum is the fragility of mental health — and how it’s being used as pawn in a situation that is way too complex for such gross negligence.
During a news conference — House of Representatives Speaker — Paul Ryan once again reiterated the recycled rhetoric of keeping firearms far, far away from those who are too crazy to operate them without causing mayhem:
“We shouldn’t be banning guns from law-abiding citizens. We should be focusing on making sure that citizens who should not get guns in the first place don’t get those guns.”
In the days after the Parkland high school tragedy — Trump honed in on the madness of shooter — Nikolas Cruz — by publicly berating those closest to him who failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that he wouldn’t pose a threat to the public. There was also the tweets that elevated the quest to focus mostly on how to properly deal with the mentally-ill population and why such measures would drastically reduce the chances of another mass shooting.
The problem with this logic lies in the fact that it downplays the seriousness of a disease that for the most part — can be very difficult to detect. That being said — in order to combat the spread of misleading information — you would hope that the media would employ experts in the field of mental health to dominate the conversation around this controversial topic.
But — instead outlets like CNN and many others are hell-bent on giving Republicans and unreasonable gun owners — the ammunition needed to fuel their cause — by highlighting Cruz’s alleged mental state before his murderous rampage. Regardless of whether or not the neighbor’s of the troubled teen’s guardians could sense that they were living next to a future killer — doesn’t sufficiently address the damning evidence of how mental illness suffers from the stereotypical treatment of “obvious signs” — when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
As someone who grapples with the symptoms of mental disarray — it’s beyond frustrating to hear lawmakers and our president glide over the severity of specified cases as if those characteristics are readily recognizable.
The most dangerous aspect of emotional trauma is how easy it is to suffer in silence. In fact most excel at this practice to the point of perfection — which leaves them and their loved ones at a total disadvantage — since the life-saving measures that should be initiated never manifest.
And so the sufferer takes matters into his or her own hands — leaving behind a group of stunned mourners who only recall a vibrant and charismatic personality that charmed them into the belief that all was well — when in reality — things were shittier than ordinary words can describe.
The argument that guns should be kept out of the hands of those who exhibit signs of mental deficiency or as Trump likes to say “sickos” — is worth having — but unfortunately most of you only want to go as far as your agenda can afford.
This opportunity should expand into the trickiness of what it means to be a “crazy person” and how those who walk around talking to the sky may be less dangerous than the geography teacher who is harboring a mental breakdown as she waits patiently for her students to wrap up their illustrations.
It would be so convenient to use Nikolas Cruz as the poster boy of how solvable it would be to guarantee a home run once people like him are prevented from purchasing firearms — but that will only exacerbate the recklessness of those who have pled allegiance to a system — that is hell bent on risking lives for career trajectories that depend solely on the diseased pursuits of blood-soaked agencies.
The lack of gun control will continue to produce bodies of suicide attempts that got it right on the first try and the violent results of a teacher’s unchecked brain activity that finally couldn’t weather another bad day with stoic restraint.
It’s a fragile world out there and we’re dying a very slow and painful demise.