As soon as I read about the CT shooting, I told myself I should hold myself back from commenting because although I love to start controversy, when it comes to guns and children, I happen to be very sensitive.
What changed my mind? This article.
A story about a woman, Liza Long, who has a child with a mental illness who often threatens to kill her and himself. One day he pulls a knife, the next day he threatens to jump out of a moving car, and when she’s lucky, he only resorts to calling her a “stupid bitch”.
I try not to say anything on topics I don’t know much about. In this case, America’s gun policy. Which is why I am not writing about why guns are bad, or if we should be able to carry them because honestly I do not know. What I do know is that what we should be talking about is mental health. Especially the mental health of children and teens.
I have read too many comments about taking away guns and not enough about taking care of our children. And though I may not have children yet, I can only imagine what mothers like Liza Long are going through. How awful it must be to call the cops on your preteen son because you have no other option. How awful it must be to hear him say the words “I hate you” when you are just trying to help.
Adam Lanza (CT gunman) was only reported to have autism, which is not a mental health disorder, it is a neurodevelopmental disorder – it could be that he felt some sort of prejudice because of his learning disabilities. But who knows? And now we’ll never know after his life was lost along with so many innocent children.
Now more than ever, with 1 in 88 being diagnosed, children with autism may face more prejudice and understanding than ever because of the CT shooting.
It is sad that it takes such a tragedy to realize the problems in this country. And while I’m not sure if guns are the problem, I am positive there is more that we can do to help children and teens with mental illnesses.