Saturday, December 15, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut Massacre

Out of respect for the families in Connecticut, my nativity will stand as it is until tomorrow.  My heart feels like it's bleeding.  Little babies shot in cold blood.  In America.

This is an ungodly mess, and we Americans have got to wake up and start focusing on what matters.....and stop focusing on what doesn't. 

Last week hubby and I needed to wait a half hour in an electronics store.  We were tired and found two chairs toward the back of the store in front of a 50" tv screen.  Store customers can watch and listen to the surround sounds.  The remote control didn't respond to our touch, so we asked a young guy employee to please turn it on for us.  He had trouble, as well, so instead put in a movie for us to watch. 

Holy Migod.  Instant upsetting violence.  Did I want to sit there and watch automatic guns fire at people and blow their brains and bodies apart? The surround sounds amplified the gun shots and made me sick.  Yet, the young employee thought nothing of putting this movie on for us.  He was accustomed to watching this sort of mayhem. 

Is the movie industry partly to blame for the kind of shooting spree that happened in Connecticut?  Are violent movies preventing good development of conscience and compassion in our children?  Are we teaching our children to kill?  I've often wondered how a group of kids could possibly get a kick out of getting together on a dark night to torture and sacrifice innocent animals?  This is not uncommon.  Kids are desensitized from little on that they have no feeling for others.  Why are we allowing the movie industry to sell corruption in one hand and popcorn in the other?  How better to glorify violence than to call it "action adventure."  How sad that producers, writers and actors are willing to adversely affect young minds, if it means financial gain for them.

My second concern is our mental health services.  After spending 42 years in the court system, I had more than enough first-hand witnessing of "no funding" for kids who needed mental health.  Yet, the morning's paper announced a million-dollar incentive package for a football coach because his team won.  This happened over and over and over again.  No money for the suffering child, but plenty for the successful coach.  Why?  Because the coach earned money, and the suffering child cost money.  America the Greedy.

The third issue will, of course, be guns.  Guns aren't the problem...their owners are....for leaving them accessible to these sick children.  All he/she has to do is watch one of these bloody, gory, kill-everybody movies, have an insane idea flit through his/her brain, go for the guns in the house, and the rest we watch on tv.  I do have to wonder why people own the street version assault weapons.  Hunters don't use them.  Who does? 

Minds all over the world this morning are rallying with answers and ways we can stop these massacres.  Each and every one of us has got to do something to change America's direction.  If every one of our fifty states could redirect a fraction of its funding from sports to a mental health fund, we Americans could put together a system with top-notch psychiatric doctors and staff to help our hurting boys and girls.  When I say hurting, I mean they are living with hell inside their heads.  Demons talk to them.  They listen.  They are scared to death.  Nothing is more frightening for a child.  The only way for relief is suicide.  There are signs, but is anyone watching for them?  If I've said it once, I've said it a million times.....the kid with a broken leg gets sympathy......the kid with a broken mind gets forgotten.  The mental health system we have now can effectively evaluate and diagnose the disorder, write a prescription for medication, and put the kid's file in the back of the drawer.  I know this.  I watched this.  Mental health doesn't go away, like some allergies do.  The suffering child grows into a suffering adult.  The problem doesn't go away at age 18 or 21.  The problem only gets worse when adult responsibilities are piled on the person living with mental illness. 

Mental illness plays no favorites.  Don't for a hot second think this can't affect any family.  Wealth and status won't save, nor prevent, it from happening.  Mental illness isn't something to hide.  Now, more than ever, it is something we should bring to the forefront so it can be properly addressed.

There's always been a stigma attached to mental illness.  I like to think of the body in parts.  The brain is our computer.  Mental illness is simply a glitch in our computer.  Maybe it's time we start redefining this malfunction and labeling it something more suited for the 21st century. 

How do we convince the movie industry to tone down their movie graphics?  How do we put mental illness on the chalkboard?

Kids are more independent today than ever before.  No one is supervising them.  Let's not make our children their own parents.  We're finally realizing that it does not work.

My heart won't rest if I don't write this.  I welcome all comments, in agreement or not in agreement.  Every word and thought written and shared is a step forward, hopefully in a new direction.  All of this has nothing to do with a generation gap.  This has everything to do with a growing gap between right and wrong.  Twenty little children and seven adults are testimony to that.

Our children need love, hugs, and kisses.  We all do.  Let's not fail one another.

A candle burns on my blog for the families in Connecticut.