Phillipians 4:13

 

Woke up this morning to yet another shooting/attack. The details are still unfolding, but apparently at least one suspect attacked a group of students at Ohio State. The status of 9 of the students that have been taken to the hospital seems mostly positive, but that condition of 2 remains unknown. My heart goes out those affected by this, and I encourage all of you to pray/think of your fellow Americans as well.

Here is the latest:
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/ohio-state-university-active-shooter-on-campus/
http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/28/us/ohio-state-university-active-shooter/

I think this brings up several important issues we need to address as a nation:

  1. Police Force: Can we all take amount to appreciate the police who responded to this attack? As soon as any citizen is in need, they an make a call to 911 that will dispatch police, firemen, and EMTS to their aid. We glorify firemen and EMTs (as we should), but we recently have started a trend of condemning/harming our fellow Americans who choose everyday to risk their life for us So far 61 police have been shot compared to 42 to in 2015. Are there bad apples in every bunch? Of course! Yet, how dare you judge someone based on their uniform and career choice (a uniform and career you would never being willing to risk your safety for yourself). You want to make a change? Be a cop, don’t shoot a cop. When it comes down to it, they are there when we need them most.
  2. Gun Policies (if it was indeed a gun attack): I absolutely believe it is out right to bear arms. We should have the right to protect ourselves however we choose. That is how we seperated and protected ourself from British rule. True, it is no longer the colonial area. We don’t need to protect ourselves from Britain, but we have other things to protect ourselves from. Robbers, stalkers, terrorist extremists, dangerous citizens that suffer from mental illnesses, etc. I believe violence should always be the last resort, but if someone is trying to take my life. I can tell you right now I would like to have a weapon to defend myself.  Banning guns will mostly keep them out of the hands of those who will use them with responsibility. Criminals and those with malicious intent will still find a way if need be, and us, the average American, will become even easier targets. How long has meth been illegal, and yet it is still ruining people’s lives? How long has certain fireworks been illegal in certain states, and yet I can find them with ease if I just ask around. This is not a gun issue. This is a mental health issue.
  3. Mental Health Policies: How much unnecessary violence must we endure until we realize that it is directly related to mental health?! There is still a stigma about having a mental illness. People are still not being educated and seeking help. I can’t figure out why we are not focusing more on mental health… not just in the US but around the world. Physical illness are easier to identify and treat, but are far less dangerous. A physical illness will usually only hurt the one suffering. With today’s medical advances, we can easily identify and treat most illnesses to possibly save the person and contain any illness that my hurt others. A mental illness is deadly to not just the person suffering, but to anyone in their environment. Any mentally stable person would not shoot students at a school. They would not become a pawn for cause that insists they strap a bomb to themselves to hurt others. A mental illness is much harder to identify and treat, and maybe that is why it is being neglected. Yet, I think given the repeated consequences of ignoring this issues, we have seen UNNECESSARY catastrophic tragedies worldwide. When will we realize we are not fighting American terrorists who shoot schools or foreign terrorists who blow up buildings? We are fighting the human brain. We are capable of controlling violence by treating mental illness, yet we largely choose not to.

Clearly, we have a lot on our hands right now. As I see it, it comes down to the brain.

  1. Let’s educate officers on how to deal with those with mental illnesses. Let’s educate them and train them to use shooting as a last resort. Let’s educate citizens on how to act around officers to make sure no one on either side gets hurt.
  2. Let’s make it so someone who wants to purchase a gun must have their mental health screened first. Not only will this bring any illnesses to light for this person that they may have been unaware of, but this will also prevent anyone who could be a danger to themselves or others from owning a firearm.
  3. Let’s educate Americans on how they can identify mental illness in themselves and others so they or someone they love can get the help needed. A mental well person would not hurt another with the exception of defense.

Humans have the potential to be the most dangerous species on Earth. However, if we educate ourselves we also have the potential to be the most beneficial.