Advocating enlightenment for mental health is a difficult path at times. You are basically always swimming upriver. For any number of people who hear you, there’s fifty that don’t or do not believe you. Then there’s cases that bring it back into the spotlight. Jared Lee Loughner’s attack on Rep. Giffords and her supporters is one such instance.
Mainstream media is milking its viewers for every cent they are worth. Conveniently, they are ignoring the important points of this story. Instead, they are giving us all a bunch of garbage to chew contentedly on while they spew their rhetoric.
1. Tea Party Incited Hate! – Really now? When I look at the map that Palin’s website pulled (which is pointless, they might as well have left it up; Google cache and all), I fail to draw the correlation between crosshairs of a firearm and those indicators. Primarily because scopes don’t shade out the area the visible area of the target that you’re shooting at. No, actually it looks like they used a common graphic representation of honing in on a point. And what, you want to tell me Sarah Palin does her own graphic art work on her website? The same Sarah Palin that used Yahoo Mail of all entities for conducting government correspondence?
2. Rock Music Did It! – Really? We’re still doing this after 40 years? The guy liked a song by Drowning Pool that was about moshing and easily misconstrued to be about murder. The only music that has ever made me want to murder people is Kenny Loggins.
3. How Could a Lunatic Get a Gun!? – Another nonpoint. He was able to buy a gun because he had no established reason to not be permitted to buy a gun. Might as well ask why was he permitted to buy Tic-Tacs.
These things are bullshit issues that do not mean -anything- in the major scheme of things. They are simply a way to keep headlines flowing and people tuning in. No, the real story is the failures of society to each victim and Loughner. Many venues reported on the instabilities that others detected in him in the years leading up to it.
One of his college professors was quoted as saying that he did not like turning his back on Loughner in class because he felt very uncomfortable and like he would pull a gun. Many of his class-mates expressed the same thing. And not a single one of those people said a thing. None of the people in the years beforehand that he dealt with, none of the people close to him; no one.
“Oh, this is so unexpected!” My fucking ass. The trail of his descent is fairly well documented. The real issue is, people are too afraid or don’t give a shit until someone’s dead and it’s staring them in the face.
There is one thing that depresses me a lot about this story. And no; it’s not the victims, the 9 year old girl, or Loughner. It’s the reminder that sometime in the near future, we’ll be doing it again. Everytime this shit happens, the same crap goes down in media and society. A bunch of questions get asked that don’t matter. Headlines are generated and ad space sold. Hands are wrung and victims are honored. The extent of the mentality of the perpetrator is eventually revealed. And then its all promptly forgotten until someone else does it again.
It is fucking retarded and could be circumvented through things like education or improved social services. The grading of the country by the National Alliance of Mental Illness in 2009 gave the country an average of D. No states got an A. Nor is there the funding to help people get their lives back and minds under control.
Then there is the hypocrisy of it all. Schools were getting shot up long before Columbine or Virginia Tech occured. The only difference was, it was inner city schools and gang wars over drug territory. Columbine was the real start of the exposure, it happened in 1999. Ever see shit about kids getting hit during the gang and drug wars of the crack-cocaine era of the 80’s and early 90’s? Barely even a mention most of the time if it even got coverage.
So then we come full circle. Should I be shocked? Outraged? Should I wring my hands together wondering how this could happen? Should I shed tears? Should I feel bad for the victims?
I can’t do any of those things. If I did, I would never stop. It’s unending and a constantly repeating cycle. And I know what neurotypicals are thinking. “If it was someone you loved you’d feel different.” All I can say is, I really fucking hope so. I’m a lot more inclined to think I would just feel numb, attribute it to the Hell that we call life, and attempt to move forward. Get too wrapped up in the shit that man does and you’ll never think of anything else.
On a side note, if he’s found guilty I hope they give him a death sentence. No, he won’t get off on “Temporary Insanity”. Any signs of premeditation automatically nullify that option, which people don’t seem to understand. He wrote notes about doing it, waited for the day of the gathering, and drove to it. All prove premeditation. The thing about insanity defenses is that they only work if the individual cannot differentiate fantasy from reality. That is so hard to prove that most lawyers won’t even bother with that kind of defense. Regardless of his mental state, Loughner knew the choice he was making. That means he’ll either get prison or the chair.
In that regard, whether he is sane or insane is irrelevant. He made the choice to take a life. So fuck ‘im.
“Now I feel abandoned
cause Pat Bucanan say I’m greedy
You can take my taxes, send me to war
But can’t feed me
It’s so easy to regret things
After they done
Babies catchin’ murder cases
Scared to laugh in the sun
The tragedy is that we all need
Love in doses
In times like these we feel closest
The good die young”
-Tupac Shakur ‘The Good Die Young’
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