I'll be blunt: I think that gun control is a topic worth discussing. But letting our anger culminate in an argument about gun control is a cop-out. The same goes for calling for improved mental health care. These topics are fine, but we can't afford to stop there.Thank you, Dexter Thomas for saying what I wanted to say, but so much better.
If we want to not only stop occasional killings, but stop rape; if we want to not only address mental illness, but address fear; we will have to have to face a problem that cannot be solved by a new law, or a few extra doctors, or a 30-second online petition.
We will have to seriously think about why our school systems are producing scared, angry young men. We will have to talk about why we are so afraid to talk about race and gender.
And each of us will have to confront this fear. In others, and in ourselves.
Calling for tougher gun laws and more access to mental healthcare has become drone-speak. It's what we say...because it seems like the righteous and intelligent thing to say. The problem runs much more deeply than mental health. And access to guns. As Thomas keeps stating, we need to address the issues of fear, sex, race, and anger.
We live in an angry, bitter society where "no" has become a dirty, offensive word on all levels. Men don't accept "no" from women (and sometimes, vice versa). Customers don't accept "no" from companies. Students don't accept "no" from teachers, and kids don't accept "no" from parents. It's reached a point where we hesitate to even say it, because doing so can now get us hurt. Say it and the other person immediately looks for a way to "fight back," because they feel you've robbed them of something they're entitled to, you've hurt them, and now they are victim deserving of justice.
No law or medicine is going to fix this particular problem.
Now, over the past few weeks on this blog, starting with Columbus Short, there have been calls for honest conversations about domestic violence, misogyny, racism, mental health, etc. Do we as a society need to have these conversations? Yes. Are we gonna? No.
This is America. This is not a country of "honest conversations". We are a nation of avoidance and drone-speak. Let's take fear, for example. We're never going to have an honest conversation about fear in this country. Fear is how you control people - so which politician or CEO wants to have that honest conversation?
Damn. By now, you've heard of the shooting rampage that occurred at Seattle Pacific University. On Thursday afternoon, a gunman opened fire inside a campus hall, killing one student and injuring two others, one critically.Did you get that down?
The student killed in the shooting has been identified as 19-year-old Paul Lee, a freshman from the Portland area. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. The two injured victims remain hospitalized in stable condition.
The suspected shooter, identified as 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra, was ultimately tackled and subdued by a student. Jon Meis, who was working as a building monitor, pepper-sprayed Ybarra when he paused to reload his shotgun, then put him in a chokehold and took him to the ground. Other students and faculty members were able to hold the shooter down until police arrived.
According to police, Ybarra was armed with a shotgun, a knife and additional ammunition. He apparently planned to kill as many people as possible, then possibly kill himself. No motive has been released by authorities yet, and police said they haven't found any connection yet between Ybarra, the university or any of the victims, but he reportedly has a long history of mental health problems. (Source)
The suspect in the Thursday shootings at Seattle Pacific University has been treated in recent years for a "long-standing mental illness," which his attorney said might have prompted the deadly assault inside an engineering building at the small Christian campus.
On Friday, a judge ordered Aaron Ybarra, 26, held without bail on suspicion of first-degree murder and first-degree assault. Prosecutors said he had a propensity for violence and had intended to kill many more people. Public defender Ramona Brandes, who confirmed Ybarra's mental health issues to the Los Angeles Times, said that her client had no history of violent behavior.
But police records point to troubles in the Ybarra household.
Court documents say that Ybarra admitted his role in Thursday's shooting. He told detectives he had been planning a mass shooting and wanted to kill as many people as possible before killing himself.
Ybarra called 911 in October 2010 and told authorities he wanted to “hurt himself and others” because he “had a rage inside him,” according to a Mountlake Terrace Police Department incident report. Ybarra, who was 23 and said he worked at a gun range, was involuntarily committed at a mental health hospital by police.
...In October 2012, neighbors called police because Ybarra was inexplicably lying in the middle of the street “very intoxicated.” A police report says Ybarra told officers that he wanted to die, specifically that “he wanted SWAT team to get him and make him famous” because “no one cares about him.” Again, he was taken temporarily to a mental health facility. (Source)
Two weeks after that horrendous mess with Elliot Rodger, Aaron Ybarra comes along and forces another family to bury their child. Fortunately, Aaron Ybarra is still alive and will most assuredly pay for this - trust and believe.
But alas, while I was drafting this yesterday, yet another shooting was taking place in Las Vegas. This time a couple of white supremacists (literally, they were a couple) went on a shooting spree at a Cici's, then at Walmart, then they took out themselves. On paper, this sounds insane. But I'm starting to think while mental health is a serious issue in America, that's not what all these shootings are about.
Oh, by the way...Jon Meis drinks free at the Bar. Like all day, every day.
RIP Paul Lee. You deserved so much better.