Sunday, December 16, 2012

American Psycho

Let me guess, he was  a loner, never said much.
 How many more times?
When are we going to get real about mental illness?  From what I have read, his mother wasn't real sane either. "Guns were her hobby." She wouldn't let anyone into her house, but was totally willing to bring her guns outside to show off. This is how she raised her son. Like most mothers, she took her mentally disturbed kid to a shooting range.
This woman wanted to be "prepared for the worst." Well the worst happened. But I don't think she was real prepared for it. Kind of ironic, don'tcha think?
Just to get a picture of what was going on in Adam Lanza's life, plenty of people knew he was "obviously not well" . When his parents divorced in 2008, they were ordered to "participate in a parenting education program". Guess that didn't work out so well.
How many of us have encountered a person who we KNOW is mentally ill? How many of them get any kind of help?
I was a substitute teacher for almost ten years. I did what is called "combat duty" I taught some of the most disturbed and violent students in my county. I have seen MANY kids like Adam. The only help they got was a school psychologist. They are not licensed psychiatrists. They can mitigate some issues, mostly neglect and a bad case of lice. However, they are not prepared for something on the level of Adam.
When the Aurora, Colorado shooting happened, there were people who didn't want to name James Holmes, because they didn't want him getting any more publicity for his evil deed, this issue is coming up with Adam Lanza too, but we need to name names, we need to own up to the fact that these people are mentally ill and we are not addressing this issue at our own peril.
 Before Holmes went on his rampage, he sent his psychiatrist burned money, I guess to pay his bill. That would look like a red flag to me, but even his parents couldn't or wouldn't figure out what to do with their brilliant loner son, neither could his psychiatrist. Holmes decided to take his outrage on innocent victims in a movie theater. Far more mass shootings occur at schools. Why is that? The rumor is that Adam Lanza's mother was a teacher, however she did NOT teach at Sandy Hook. She was not a teacher. Why did her son, Adam and others like him, target schools to wreak havoc? Maybe the answer is because they want to kill the most innocent in our society. I don't know why they do that, other than what is it about their own innocence that was cut off or killed?
Why aren't the mentally ill getting help? Untreated mental illness is a huge problem in our culture. Why is that? With all the Prozac being prescribed, why are there more shootings and more violence? Americans spent $16 billion on anti psychotics, $11 billion on antidepressants. I am hoping that is keeping mass murder statistics down. Why is there such a dramatic increase in these shootings? There have been 62 mass shootings in the U.S. in the last 30 years. Gun control is a big issue, but guns are never going away. Not if the NRA has anything to do with it. The mentally ill have no voice, no lobby, other than big pharma. Just try getting counseling or mental help and deal with your insurance company. If you don't have money, good luck, just take the Prozac. Or you can wait weeks for an appointment at a public healthcare facility.
Face it, we just don't care about mental illness. Like the village idiot in days gone by, we'd put some food out for him and leave him to go on his way. But now, the village idiot has not one gun, but many more. Mental illness is the reason these mass shootings are happening. Since we live in a culture where the rugged individual can just strike out on their own and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, that is what the mentally ill are left to do. There are going to be more and more mass shootings to add to the list of 62. Nothings going to change. That is the real tragedy of what happened in Connecticut, and Virginia Tech, and Columbine, the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, the Amish at Nickel Mines Schoolhouse, the 1991 shooting at Luby's Cafeteria in Texas, the shooting at Iowa University Nov. 1991, the shooting in San Francisco killing 8 in 1993, the Long Island Rail shooting, also, 1993, Jonesboro Arkansas, 1998, Atlanta shooting by a day trader 1999, killing 9 people, Fort Worth, Wedgewood Church, 7 killed, Wakefield Mass. 2006, he killed 7 too, Santana High School shooting, 2001, Lockheed Aeronautics shooting, 2003, Red Lake High School shooting 2005, 9 dead, Salt Lake City Mall 2007, 5 killed, Omaha shopping mall 2007, 8 killed, Illinois University, Valentines  Day 2008, 5 killed, Binghamton N.Y. 2009, immigration services bldg., 13 killed, Fort Hood shooting 2009,  also, 13 killed, Manchester, Connecticut, 2010, 8 killed, Tuscon Arizona, 2011, Gabrielle Giffords shooting, 6 dead, Seal Beach Salon killing, 2011, 8 killed, Oikos University, Oakland, 2012, 7 killed, and the list will continue to grow. R.I.P.

Shout out to Jill over at Brilliant at Breakfast: Where no one cashes in on unpaid writers. She featured my blog, along with nine others, all with different points of view about the causes and conflicts of this terrible tragedy. Thanks Jill, I just wish I wasn't writing about something like this.


  1. Plenty of money for wars, but none for mental illness. We can thank Ronald Reagan for that. As governor of California, he cut pretty much all mental health programs in California, thus turning countless mentally ill patients out into the street. It's only gotten worse since then. It's odd, though, that in a country where the "rugged individualist" is so highly mythologized, that when a government engages in mass murder, it's patriotic. But when an individual does it, it's a tragedy. And then we go on funding the military and making movies like Zero-dark Thirty, which glorifies unlawful murder and torture. It's sick.

  2. Patricia, we all say we love our vets, but thousands of them are living on the streets with PTSD due to cutbacks at VA mental health facilities. If our vets can't get help, what hope do disturbed teens have? And let's face it, most teens are disturbed, on some level.

    Why do they shoot up the schools? Because that's their world. Older sociopaths who snap don't regress and revisit their old elementary schools, they go postal at the Post Office or the Home Depot or wherever their last boss pissed them off.

    As long as assault rifles are cheaper and easier to acquire than quality mental health care, we'll be burying our kids and hiding behind pulled curtains.