Saturday, 15 December 2012


I cannot read about the devastating news of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, without my eyes filling up with tears. My heart hurts so much with the pain of what has happened. I look at my children and feel such sorrow for the poor families affected by this terrible tragedy.

Apparently the family of the shooter shared a "passion" for the gun range and went on family trips there. But the shooter always stood apart from the family and several reports note him as ‘odd’. On the news US President Barack Obama wiped away tears as he went on national television to express his "overwhelming grief" and allude to a need for more restrictive gun controls.

Both of these points make me feel such frustration and sadness. It has been long overdue that America should re-open the gun control debate. But there was one take that has got me thinking about Mental Health issues, and not just in the US.

Here is Morgan Freeman's brilliant take on what happened yesterday:

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.
It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single *victim* of Columbine? Disturbed
people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of just pointing to gun control as the problem. You can help by turning off the news."

No more lives need to be lost in such a senseless act. Please take care of yourself and each other. My wish for Christmas is for people to be kind to one another.

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