Concerning Jared Loughner, the Tucson Arizona shooter, Americans have discussed the need for talk show entertainers to turn down the hate speech. While I will agree that this is a valid point, let’s go deeper into other possible causes.
It's important that we as a nation come to understand rationale, the why factor. In doing this, we are not excusing behaviors. Understanding rationale uncovers why people do the things they do. When a society can understand why violence is taking place and escalating, only then can positive change take place.
First and foremost, I and many other Americans do not want to live in a society that demands carrying a gun to feel safe. I think we as a nation can achieve much better, more intelligent solutions to a growing problem.
Second, it's become quite clear that Mr. Loughner suffers from mental illness. Is it possible that he could not get the help he so desperately needed? Perhaps his thinking was so deranged, that the mental illness clouded his judgment to the point he could not recognize the fact that he was suffering from mental illness?
Third, in the United States, financially securing mental health needs is difficult at best. Most healthcare insurance plans offer only partial coverage, if this benefit is offered at all. Most people cannot shell out the cash needed for such treatment.
Fourth, most psychiatrists will prescribe medication without counseling, again because of insurance restrictions. Medication may mask symptoms, but counseling is needed to help the person better cope with their difficulties.
Last but not least, if a phone call is made reaching out for help, that person may be added to an already long list of people waiting in line for their appointment. I personally know of two families who both have a child dealing with mental illness. Both families are at their wits end simply due to the way our mental health system works. Until their child commits an unlawful act or tries to hurt someone, very little to no help is available.
What kind of country have we turned into when we continue to turn our back on people that need help in the name of profit? As Gore Vidal once said, we have become a free enterprise for the poor, while offering socialism to the rich, all on the backs of the middleclass.
What are your thoughts?