Much love and comfort to everyone impacted by the shooting in Virginia yesterday.
What is wrong with America? Really. These shootings–and their frequency over the years–are not the sign of a healthy society.
I remember that Julie Brown song, “The Homecoming Queen’s Got a Gun.” In 1987 or so it was funny, in that black comedy sort of way, because the premise was so far out and fantastical, so utterly impossible and removed from reality. It’s painful–so painful I don’t really let myself fully contemplate it–how much has changed in twenty years.
Gun control laws are part of it, of course. But there’s something else, much deeper down inside American culture that’s seriously broken. The question is, is it irrevocably broken–and if not, how can we begin the process of repair?
I wholeheartedly agree with you, Danya. And, I live here.
Currently the reports are saying that the shooter was a loner who had been referred to counseling services and may have been taking antidepressants. In an ideal world, someone like that should not be able to walk into a shop, plunk down a credit card, and buy a gun. This is not an ideal world, though, and given the constraints of the Second Amendment and medical privacy laws, I don’t see how we could craft legislation to meet that goal that would not cause many more problems than it would solve.
So if we cannot craft legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of mentally disturbed people, maybe we can take a look at the other side of the equation — getting help to people who need it. Which leads to another problem: the fact that this country has lousy mental health services and a vast cultural conditioning against taking mental health issues seriously.
Well, it’s not just America, to be fair.