Friday, January 18, 2013

At the very least

Recently I was scrolling through the forest of bumper stickers that Facebook has become and almost stuck my foot in it.

We all have opinions and many of us just can't understand why the rest of the world don't agree with us... At least that's the way I feel.

Each morning, after I read my local paper, I peruse my Facebook "news feed". I joined the social networking site a few years ago, and have been overjoyed to reconnect with many people I used to see every day. Folks I went to elementary school with in Ohio. Folks I went to college with, the beautiful people I lived with in a series of Urban Communes when I lived in California. Women I Koffee Klatched with when I was a young mother in Colorado. And more. It's exciting to see where people are, what they are doing, who they have become.

But since before the election it's become more of a place to post information about our favorite causes, express our opinions on volatile issues. The latest is Gun Control.

I recently wrote a letter to the editor after the Sandy Hook shootings. I said we need to "settle down" and focus on the issue of how we treat Mental Illnesses in this country. I think all the excited rhetoric and activities about gun control is sort of a knee jerk reaction.

Like it or not, our Constitution guarantees you and me the right to gun ownership. It's in the Bill of Rights, and that makes it arguably non-negotiable. I agree we should not shout "Fire!" in a crowded theater, but I do not believe we should mess with the Constitution.

Don't get excited. I don't have a bunker in my basement, but it is true that without our individual ancestors bringing their own guns to the war, forming those Militias, we might be all British Citizens today.

I have written about Mental Illness. It's a horrible disease. It's life threatening...not just for the ones who suffer from it. It's dangerous. It's the underlying reason behind all the mass killings that have ever been perpetrated. In my opinion anyway.

Can't we get excited about the sad, severely lacking state of Mental illness treatment in this country? Can't we look for a cure for Schizophrenia, Bi Polar diseases, and other Mental diseases with as much passion as we do for Cancer, Heart Disease and Birth Defects?

If in my wildest imaginations I thought President Obama would see this blog post, I would ask him to create a Mental Health Task Force. At the very least.

If I thought Bill Gates or Warren Buffett would see this post, I would ask the to set up a foundation that would research diagnoses and treatments for Mental Illnesses...especially the most dangerous of them. At the very least.

Can't we just settle down and focus?

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