Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dramatic much?

Today I'm a little sick of people capitalising on the connection of rising gun sales and that horrible school incident. Which I believe is opportunism. And this is why.

My neighbors son works a second job at a gun store. He moved to his own place but he comes back to check on the dog. I ran into him 2 days before the school massacre. We were talking about the world and everything.

He said gun sales had been crazy during the previous month. Snarkolepsy he said - all this month it's been 4 people deep at the counter all day. They can't make them fast enough and everything is back ordered. They have four plants running full time. So, maybe that incident caused a small spike - but that train had already been in motion well before the shooting even happened. The funny thing he said to me was "even the liberals are starting to come".

Crime everywhere is up about 20% YOY. I've seen typical Californians go from hypersensitive about guns, to somewhat okay. And I believe it's been in relation to crime and nothing else. Not politics. Not school shootings. It doesn't stop people from sensationalising the numbers for a specific cause.

Now I'm going to talk about the flip side of this tragedy. Mental illness. Of which my family has been affected. Because apparently there is a huge debate about this right now. And I feel like a lot of people don't know what they are talking about.

When I was growing up, mental illness was something you didn't talk about. It was a dirty painful secret. Then somewhere in the 80's they began destigmatising it. All of a sudden everyone had some mental illness and we all had to try and understand and relate to them. We used to treat everyone who had a mental illness as dangerous even if they were just odd. And now we have swung completely the other way and we treat all of them as eccentric and not dangerous. In an effort to destigmatise mental illness we've lost the ability to figure out who is dangerous and who isn't because we've become too PC. And over the years we've even glorified mental illness, making it seem like they are all rain man. Mental illness leaves very deep scars, and I'd be lying if I tried to tell you I have any of the answers. It's just a really hard problem. But treating them all the same, I believe is what leads us to where we are today. Letting the ones who really are dangerous fall through the cracks.

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