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Monday, December 17, 2012

The tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut

Last Friday, an unspeakable tragedy hit our nation.  The school shooting that took place at Sandy Hook elementary school is almost too unbelievable for words.  I can only imagine what that community and their parents are going through.  Innocent children were killed in an educational environment by a madman who also killed his mother.

There are no easy words to explain this.  Many liberals will point to gun control being the problem, despite CT having some of the strictest gun laws in the nation.  Some conservatives have suggested that the solution is to arm the principals of school with assault rifles.  No I am not joking. (Link)

The fact of the matter is, guns are not the problem. The killer had a mental illness, that should be obvious.  By no means am I excusing his actions, I find them deplorable regardless of any illness he had.  Mental health  in this country has a stigma to it, people get dismissed by others as 'crazy'.  Now I am not saying I know for sure that this crime could have been avoided by having the killer diagnosed and treated, but atleast it would have been a step in the right direction.

The other tough thing about it is whether or not the individual themselves is receptive to the help or not.  There's an old saying that goes something like "God helps those that help themselves".  You can easily replace God in this sentence with a mental health professional and the saying still rings true.  You have to realize that you have a problem first and get help second.

Another problem I have with this story is the round the clock coverage of it.  A lot of times these types of people crave the attention and that's why they commit such unspeakable crimes.  Granted the killer is dead, he still got what he wanted.  I'm watching football yesterday and I have to be interrupted at halftime by a news report about the tragedy.  24 hour news networks (Fox, MSNBC, CNN) have been covering this story like crazy.  By now I'm sure everyone already knows about it unless you have been living under a rock.  Why not let the investigation continue and move to other news stories, then when some new details emerge that are actually noteworthy report that?  I do understand that is is a national tragedy but with so much media exposure, sometimes I think that it will just encourage copy cat crimes with others looking for attention.

My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost and for the community as a whole.  This Christmas will not be a happy one but I hope that time will heal all wounds.