D.C. Shooting

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by this point, there was a shooting near Washington D.C. that left 13 people – 12 victims and the gunman – dead this morning.  As sad as this is to say, I’m not terribly surprised that something like this has happened again.

Yes, I said again.  One of the first things that came to mind when I got home and heard my parents talking about this was something written in a blog post by author Dan Wells shortly after the Sandy Hook shootings late last year:

America has a mass murder about every six months, on average, which makes this one horrific and shocking but, sadly, right on schedule. Sometime in the next five to eight months we will have another.

So what does this show, that he was off a bit, we made it almost 9 months before this happened today.  Everything that Dan talked about in his post about Sandy Hook can be applied to this shooting as well.  Talking about how easy it is to blame the abundance of guns in our culture for everything.  Guns end up being the weapons used in the attacks, but a lack of guns wouldn’t necessarily prevent the attacks.

Already on CNN.com there is an article about how the gunman had a “pattern of misconduct” throughout his life, and how he suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, the article also says that there were signs the shooter was unhappy, and that he had also had a history of anger management issues.  Much like in every other article about a shooter such as this, there are quotes from family and friends saying things like “we didn’t see it coming” or “I could never imagine him doing something like this.”

Maybe if we made it more acceptable in our society to admit that you need help, that you’re depressed, that you’re angry, that you don’t know what to do.  But no, we live in America, where only complete whack-jobs should ever even think about going to see a psychiatrist or a psychologist to talk about what’s bothering you.  Where we immediately dismiss anyone who isn’t perfectly normal as “crazy” or “a psycho” and talk about them as if they’re sub-human.

Are stricter gun laws the answer?  Maybe they’re part of it.  I think that a much larger part of it would be to make mental health care both more accessible and acceptable in our society.

Because the posts are worth reading again, here are the links to both Dan Wells’s post about Sandy Hook as well as his brother Rob Wells’s post about mental health, along with my original post about Sandy Hook.

Dan Wells post – Mental Health, Mass Murder, and So On

Rob Wells post – How Close are we to More Killings?

My Original Post – Sandy Hook and Mental Health

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