Just one more opinion

In a year where I fully grasped the potential consequences of my depression, another massacre has occurred, tragically ending the lives of so many innocent people.

When Martin Bryant killed 35 people at Port Arthur in 1996, Australia’s gun laws were drastically changed. A buy-back scheme was run by the government, where people turned in their now-illegal guns in exchange for cash.

Australia has always been “The Lucky Country”, and that extends to its ability to form these strict gun laws. Australia could do that, because “the right to bear arms” is not part of our Constitution.

I have forever been known as the person who always sees the worst case scenario first. My mother says that it’s because we are “process thinkers”. We see each possible outcome for almost every scenario we face, and so we prepare for all possibilities – particularly the worst case.

That is why I believe that changing the Constitution in order to control guns in the US is a very bad idea.

Citizens of “free countries” have already given up more freedoms than we even know, through back-door law changes kept quiet by media, and those disguised to protect us from Terrorists. There’s a very fine line between being protected by your government, and being controlled and monitored by your government.

That line is now almost non-existent.

Changing the Constitution now would open the floodgates for future changes – for the protection of its citizens, of course – that could and most definitely would strip even more freedoms from a country that is well and truly becoming a Police State.

When that second amendment was penned, the authors could not have even envisaged automatic or semi-automatic weapons, and using them to kill innocents was not at all what they would have had in mind. The right to bear arms was written into the Constitution so that American citizens could protect themselves from their government.

The main problem is, the government is doing its damndest to keep its citizens stupid, mentally and physically ill, and too busy struggling to keep their heads above water to even have the energy to give a crap what the government is doing not just abroad but in its own backyard.

While it is true that if the shooter had been armed with a knife, we may not have seen the fatalities that we saw yesterday. But if the shooter had affordable and reliable access to the mental healthcare he so desperately needed, he may have stayed home yesterday doing laundry.

Not being a US citizen, I don’t know exactly how difficult it is to obtain reliable and financially accessible mental healthcare. I do know that in this town I live in, I came very, very close to ending my own life, or, through drunken violent psychosis episodes, perhaps that of another – and all because I couldn’t get in to see someone for 3 weeks.

I felt so alone because even I couldn’t understand myself. Nobody understood what was happening to me, and it was all happening so very hard, so very quickly. The fact that I knew I couldn’t see someone for 3 weeks felt like there was a bottomless pit beneath me. That I was about to step over the edge and that that was the only option left to me.

Mental illness lies. It changes your brain chemistry, it takes away your ability to reason, to even recognise what is normal and what is not. All you can do is feel, and act on those feelings.

Even with gun control in the US, these tragedies will not stop. Of course, the number of fatalities would be reduced if people didn’t have access to semi-automatic or automatic weapons – that goes without saying. But until mental illness is taken as seriously as it should be, these types of incidents WILL continue, and whether one child dies or 30 doesn’t matter. It will always be a tragedy.

There are no words to express the horror of that man’s actions yesterday. No words to express the agony those families, and that town is suffering. I am sure that they would give up all their freedoms just to have their children back. And that is why I have no answers, because I know that if it were one of my loved ones stolen yesterday, I would sell my soul, not just my freedoms, to have them back in my life.

 

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5 thoughts on “Just one more opinion

  1. Awesome job writing this out! I couldn’t imagine anyone doing a better job.. it was honest, sad and had a great point of how mental illness effects a nation, not guns.

    How is everything going for you? Still making it through?

    I just got accepted for a year internship with Teen Challenge and I’m super excited about the opportunity! It will be working with women in a rehab setting but based on Christian principles. There has been huge success rates and by the time I am done with the year internship I will be certified to be a counselor in any of the Teen Challenges National and International locations!

    I really hope that you are doing well! Happy Holidays!

    • Thanks so much for your comment. I felt very conflicted about writing this post.
      There are families right now struggling to cope with the loss of their loved one, let alone the manner in which they were taken. I feel somewhat perverse for talking about it, particularly for saying that the person who took them needed care. It’s difficult to believe that such a monster could deserve anyone’s care.

      But he did. As we all do. Mental illness has the capacity to affect every person on this planet. It doesn’t discriminate between rich or poor, black or white. Therefore, the chances of each person being individually affected by it, whether as a carer, a sibling, spouse or victim of both the illness and the effect, are fairly high. Those safety nets, that treatment needs to be accessible to everyone.

      Our high stress lifestyles, the complete lack of any sense of community in many parts of the world, coupled with the isolation and loneliness that can instil in a society is creating mental illness on an unprecedented scale.

      The world needs love. The world needs people like you, who act selflessly for the benefit of others. Your reward is the act itself, of helping, listening, understanding and not judging. I don’t ascribe to your faith, but I celebrate it with you, because it is clearly the sunshine in your life. Congratulations on your internship, you’re going to be wonderful x

      • I know what you mean. It is such a touchy subject to write on but unfortunately many people are and not doing it any justice.

        You know first hand what it feels like so you do very well at explaining to people why mental illness is so bad, what it does to people and the importance of our nation to deal with that instead of gun control.

        I don’t feel special for doing the things that I do… I just have a deep desire to help others because I know how it is to really truly be in need of the help and not find it anywhere. Thank you for seeing my sunshine! I want it to shine bright whether people believe in my faith or not.. that is for each person to seek out and find for themselves.

        Take care! =)

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