Byline Text

The New Debate

Our hearts and prayers go out to all those affected by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. No words can express what the people in this town are going through, nor can words help them to feel better or to understand why this happened.

What happened at Sandy Hook can only be described as a horrific tragedy. Questions are being asked about why this happened or how it was able to happen. These questions are being asked by the families of victims, the community of Newtown, Connecticut, and people around the world.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, some of the main questions being asked were about the person who committed these horrific acts - who was it; how did they get into the school; how did they get the guns; what was their motive; why would someone do something like this to innocent children and adults; and did this person have any mental health-related issues.

The initial information shared with the public included that the shooter might have had mental health issues and that guns had been involved. Two new questions arose: 1) mental health care services and providing better access to these services; and 2) access to guns and should it be better controlled.

Gun control has now become the primary focus with politicians and lawmakers taking advantage of a tragedy in order to push their own political agendas. Organizations and individuals have come forward in support of politicians and gun control, and have completely lost sight of mental health care.

One has to wonder why the focus switched. Is one of these deemed any more important than the other? Why did we not see organizations and individuals come forward to express support of better mental health care and access to these services? Has it been decided that the topic of mental health and the services for it are taboo or no longer important?

It is our opinion that changes need to be made in both areas. Could this tragedy have been prevented if there had been better access to mental health care and if the guns had been kept in a locked safe?

If you would like to read the second or third part of this series, you can read them here: Part 2: Focus, President Obama, Focus! and Part 3: Response to President Obama's State of the Union.

For more information on the topic of mental health care, please read our article, The National Mental Health Care Crisis.


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