Lock Up Guns or Lock Us Up?

It is a slippery slope when we turn back the clock on progress of inclusion in America. Here in Georgia we had state hospitals like the one in Milliedgeville, Georgia that involuntarily housed those with mental health diagnoses. After it had already closed, I spoke to peers there in 2003 and we were given a tour. They were given less than quality health care and were buried in unmarked graves and not afforded proper burial. That is just their death. Their lives were much worse.

President Trump’s statement that those with mental health diagnoses should be involuntarily confined is another ambiguous way of saying some people don’t belong. Unfortunately, he is not being ambiguous about whom.

Let’s dig deeper. He feels Latinos don’t belong, unless they have a quality job. Asylum seekers, not so much. His wife, an immigrant, apparently has made the cut by being one of the few people who possibly made it out of Jeffery Epstein’s little black book, but more will be revealed later on this topic I’m sure. Those with with disabilities who have an assistive device such as a wheelchair due to paralysis or being born different; how will they fair in Trump’s future, or another leader like him. “That ones different! Toss him in there.”

During WW II the U.S. had Japanese interment camps and people were already living behind walls. And based on a mental health diagnosis, involuntary hospitalization happened well before then. It wasn’t until the mid 1990’s when we realized people with mental health diagnoses had more choices like to have a family, get jobs and pay their fair share and are doing exactly just that. They are still doing it. I’ve lived and worked as a person with a diagnosis and served people with a diagnosis in both eras. You don’t have to tell me which is better. 1 in 5 people will live with a mental health diagnosis in America. How many people do you care about that have one? No matter, let’s move onto the facts.

People with a gun are more likely to shoot or be shot if a gun is in the home, and mostly children. Those are facts. Accidents happen and domestic terrorism happens, even when the shooter looks like you or someone you care about.

When a person opens fire on other people with nearly no deliberation, the crime becomes terrorism, that is just a fact. White people can be bad too, and more likely than not will be if you’ve been paying attention.

These young white men who lose their place in society not because of a chemical imbalance, but a laundry list of poor parenting and schools that fail them by administration after administration deciding we need new warplanes. In the Vietnam era, it was the F-4 Fantom. Now it’s the F-35 Stealth Fighter.

Our need for more war machines in the hands of people whose narcissistic tendencies to execute power over another is the main reason we don’t have the money for our children. You know you can tuck a gun in, and you tuck your kid in. Only one talks to you and tells you i love you.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Congratulations, you’re half right. However, the part that is wrong is firing bullets at your loved ones, and one day it may be you.

Let’s get back to the statement about 1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness. “Not me, not my kid.” Well done. Your straight A student, if they are diagnosed, will be diagnosed usually in their first year of college at around the ages of 17-19. You don’t have to be a troubled child to have an early onset of mental illness.

If you care about your family and the conversation about what is happening with violence, bigotry, and guns as it appears to be rapidly effecting mostly our young people, then maintain a watchful eye and love them painstakingly. Consider how you vote on the topics that will effect how your child may hide behind a desk and a locked door as a shooter completes another suicide mission. They’ve acted out these missions a hundred times on their favorite video game. Prior to forgetting why you vote, not necessarily in the general election, but how you decide to bring home a weapon that may alter the news feed of your community.

Locking up someone different from you doesn’t end violence; it will perpetuate it into a revolution that this country hasn’t seen since the civil war. We should pay attention to how other countries actually help its citizens with proper healthcare, not making enemies of our international friends, and enact gun laws that make sense instead of locking up our kids and adults in hopes that we will fix the problem when we will instead be creating a culture of fear that will exponentially create problems we cannot foresee.

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