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December 18, 2012


I am torn up over the senseless slaughter at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. 20 kindergarten students and 7 or more adults were shot and killed by a single assailant who it now appears suffered from an emotional/psychiatric disorder. Something snapped.

The work I do, the victims could well have been clients of mine - so imagine finding out someone, or several persons you work with often were gunned down. I've also worked, 10 years at an elementary school between 1988 - 1998. I know the kind of children that were murdered viciously. I would have been the first to throw myself at the gunman had I been working such a job now. The new school principal died doing just that; Ms. Dawn Hochsprung, who started in 2010. A Link from heard the shooting and tried unsuccessfully to jump the 20 year old assailant.

She had just implemented a whole new system for school security. The assailant, a former student by-passed that security by breaking a window, if my sources are correct. Which means he either discovered upon arrival or already knew there was a buzz-in policy.

He went to the office first, which I find odd. If he broke in, why go to the main office? But that is how I've read it happened. By coincidence morning announcements were going on, so rifle fire and screams could be heard over the loud-speakers. Somehow a lock-down order ensued, so the first classroom the shooter arrived at the door was locked, but the second classroom wasn't. Why?

It's history now. But history in the making also. As a result of the killings many people are angry, upset and demanding answers. I am too. But among the answers I'm hearing are taking all guns away from Americans - something akin to a military action. Also, anyone, with any history of a mental health disorder will not be able to possess a gun.

Think about it... Personally, you have a mother that bullies you to the point you seek psychiatric help, as she certainly won't. So you can'r possess a gun yet she can. Or, you're sexually abused and you seek treatment... again, not allowed to possess a gun.

How about we take a different look at this. I think we all know someone who would benefit from psychological help. If I can quote my mother - "Only SICK people seek help". Now my mother is in her 70's... so I don't expect she'll change her mind. But the fact is I know or have known many people like her where seeking mental health assistance is akin to admitting one is mentally ill. Not only admitting to it, but the talk is documenting such persons as such.

What we need is the exact opposite. We need to accept mental health assistance on par with regular physicals and MD visits. I've heard the number 20% tossed around as the number of Americans afflicted with a mental health disorder, and that includes me and the formerly mentioned sexual abuse victim. I hardly think that is an accurate percentage. Myself, I'd put the percentage more around 80%... as few people are actually considered to be NORMAL. Neurosis is common in America.

I've heard the argument America is unlike any other country in the world... we enjoy the 2nd Amendment, as as such the violence in America is unlike any other country. Hardly true... gun violence in the world is obvious. And it's true. But to target American's is wrong. The majority of gun owners do not go out and shoot people. A tragedy like that at Sandy Hook may imply otherwise, but it's an isolated event... one gun control is not the answer to.

There needs to be answers, like why wasn't the second classroom locked. Like why is going for therapy only "for sick people"? Why don't we use the money, resources, and law enforcement wasted on cannabis laws and secure public schools and malls instead? We target cannabis users as the pariahs of violence, yet under our noses the real violence is often a result of seemingly perfectly straight adults. We look for the Charles Manson's in violence and it's often simply not present.

President Obama/the White House e-mailed me the statement made by the President in regards to the shootings, and other shootings that seem to be becoming epidemic in the US society. I appreciate his words, grief and concern, but take offense when he say's: "We've endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent."

I agree, too many. But the answer is not in "gun-control", as we already have gun-control. Some might say not enough, but any gun is still a gun, even if it's a black powder revolver as used in the old west. We have many methods we use to kill... many animals are being wiped to extinction because recipients believe in magical properties for elephant/rhino tusks, shark fins, tiger balls. This is the world we live in. It's violent and deadly.

And all the while that we tolerate the belief that seeking counseling in life is akin to being mentally sick, we perpetuate the problem. We live in a Hollywood, yet sterilized society - a Puritan society where violence as art is common in movies and on television, yet when a death occurs from a drunk driver we don't see the consequences. We're given a purified version of events. So on the one hand we're presented with fictional blood and gore, yet in life, we're provided a clean, violence free report of a real event. That goes for many things considered unlawful and harmful... sex, drugs, rock n' roll. Okay, maybe not unlawful all, but I hope you get my point.

I suggest we don't live reality in this country and it may be time that we do.

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