Forget gun control; give us mental health

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Given my chosen profession, it’s safe to say I’m all for people exercising their right to the freedom of speech.

So, here’s mine on the recent school shooting in Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children and seven adults.

We can all agree that the death of so many innocent people is trulytragic. When I first heard the news, all I could think of was those parents having to go home and seeing the presents under the Christmas tree. Makes me tear up now thinking about it.

When news of the shooting broke, the discussions began – mostly about the senselessness of the situation (of which I agree), followed closely by opinions on gun control.

I’ve really given the subject of gun control in this specific situation a lot of thought. It is my belief that gun control, or the perceived lack thereof, had nothing to do with that shooting. That shooting had everything to do with Adam Lanza.

Lanza, from all accounts, was a deeply troubled individual, but that does not excuse his behavior.

It does, however, rest at the root of the situation.

Lanza made a conscious decision to arm himself, kill his mother, shoot his way through Sandy Hook Elementary School and then take his ownlife.

On Tuesday, a retired FBI profiler said that by stockpiling ammunition, smashing his computers and killing his mother as she slept, Lanza undertook considerable preparation before shooting up an elementary school on Friday.

When a determined individual makes up their mind, that’s the end of things. Ask a survivor of suicide, drunk driving or premeditated murder.

Each of their motivations is different. Those committing suicide seek only to end their suffering and don‘t consider how their actions impact those left behind. Drunk drivers give no thought past their next drink, and murderers need not be defined.

But school shooters, in most cases, are people who are seeking the one thing they feel they‘d never gotten before – someone to take notice – and no amount of gun control is going to change that.

Forget gun control. What we need is better mental health diagnosis, counseling and treatment plans. I believe that is the main way we can protect our families – not just against school shootings, but also those incidents and the abuse that spirals out from poor anger management control, domestic violence, self-esteem issues and the like.

By treating the root of the problem, we weed out that which destroys our families.

So, instead of casting blame or pointing fingers, send up a prayer.

Heaven knows they’re needed, not only by those in Connecticut, but also those suffering abuse or injustice in silence.