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Yes, there is an issue with guns in this country. No doubt. As a friend said recently, you need not carry a semi-automatic weapon, wear bullet-proof body armor and carry 10 clips to kill Bambi.

A 12 gauge will do just fine.

However, in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, mental health care is being mentioned on networks that get it.

President Obama has called for “meaningful action” and as Fox News – and all followers of the network – want to run and lock up their guns because that surely means the government is coming for them, other people, like Joan Walsh, are sticking to the real issue.

And that issue, mental health care, has had negative perceptions (stigmata) placed upon it for decades and the need for such care ought to promoted, supported.

This country ought to make mental health care a prominent issue because there’s one party continually sweeping it under the rug.

Whether Republicans ignore it or completely defund it, the promotion of mental health care is often left in the dust. And that is sad.

Sad because a better mental health care system, gone the bad connotations associated with it, would go a long way in helping troubled human beings. Maybe with more positive views of mental health care  person would feel better in seeking help they need. Maybe if there were more facilities in the country where people could turn to it would bring down the numbers of troubled human beings who feel so alone with nowhere to turn to.

Republicans have been known to discredit mental illness. Well, again, facts escape the factless party.

Again, here’s a call to people to focus on what might drive a person to grab a gun – or knife or just their bare hands – and kill a person or more than one person.

Mental illness is as real as a weapon. If we were to concentrate on helping those who feel lost, alone, abandoned or misguided, we might erase the need for a weapon in their minds.

However, I suppose the Republicans in this country will continue to screw minds with their “gonna take them guns away” bullshit to the point where we see this type of tragedy on TV every single day… all for the NRA.

Really?

Gun control is not the issue here. It is a issue.

The issue is mental health care and the need to improve it.

8:21 AM PT: And just to prove mental health care isn't a priority, let's look at South Carolina... where two Republicans want to allow people who can legally buy guns to carry them without having concealed weapons permits.

http://www2.wsav.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

    by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:04:03 AM PST

  •  I don't agree it is more pressing. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    Mental illness does not cause dozens of people to be shot and killed every single day in the United States.

    It is an important cause, but it is not more pressing then stopping the production and sale of all handguns, and eliminating concealed carry.

    We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

    by i understand on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:07:52 AM PST

    •  I'm sorry... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chitown Kev

      but I am a profound liberal who does not believe in "stopping the production and sale of all handguns," however I do not support concealed carry.

      The disturbed male in CT could have killed those people in other ways. If considerable help was available, promoted without the stigmata, then maybe people like that would be more willing to get help.

      Our country blackballs people who receive mental health care as if it's a felony. That's a pressing issue to me.

      I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

      by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:25:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. (2+ / 0-)

        It's not a zero-sum issue, here.

        Proper treatment of mental illness OR gun control; to posit that we must have one OR have the other is a false dilemma.

        In a way, your headline positis that it IS a zero sum game but I see how people who have mental illness-treatable mental illness- are treated every day.

        Especially in rush to judgment cases like the Connecticut shooting.

      •  No he could not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FloraLine
        The disturbed male in CT could have killed those people in other ways.
        It may be comforting to rationalize gun ownership, especially if one feels it is beyond our ability to change. But this is simply not true.

        We were not ahead of our time, we led the way to our time.

        by i understand on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:16:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah, because bombs or grenades wouldn't do it (0+ / 0-)

          It's not "beyond our ability to change" anything. But, instead of having tunnel vision on the issue, I'd rather focus on the fact he stole legal guns owned by his mother and carried out a horrendous action - one that could have been done with other weapons of choice, mind you.

          I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

          by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:28:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  He probably would have killed his brother. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        badger

        Probably his mom.

        Maybe himself.

        There's a very slim chance he may have killed one or two more people.

        Without concealable guns with high capacity magazines he would not have killed 28 people.

        This place needs a PVP server.

        by JesseCW on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:46:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The real problem is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B

    those who can be held if they are deemed a danger to themselves and others, can be held against their wills. However, they can buy a gun without much restraint. That is the problem.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:11:17 AM PST

  •  Mental health care is important, because it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    can destroy lives without picking up a gun.

    Although mentally ill people with guns do very bad things.

    Thanks, Jamie.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:17:27 AM PST

  •  Tipped and recced (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jamie Sanderson

    I don't think one is more important than the other but it is easier for the MSM and Republicans to demonize the mentally ill than it is for them to look at gun control.

    (I've a comment about the mentally ill Dixiecrat- Republicans that are the largest portion of the GOP base, but I really don't want to insult the mentally ill...)

  •  Stigma, not stigmata (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rigcath, Sue B, luckylizard

    Stigma = shame or disgrace
    Stigmata = the hand wounds of Jesus from crucifixion, as manifested (or hallucinated) by followers.

    •  stigmata is the plural (0+ / 0-)

      and there more than one.

      I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

      by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:35:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach: (0+ / 0-)

        A mark or token of infamy, disgrace, or reproach: "Party affiliation has never been more casual . . . The stigmata of decay are everywhere" (Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.) See Synonyms at stain.

        I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

        by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:37:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Did not know the plural aspect. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jamie Sanderson, elmo

        It still might be better to change since it could easily be misinterpreted (by underinformed people like me).  But in any event, thanks for the clarification.  I learned something new.

        •  not a problem and (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lineatus

          no, I will not change it. Many more will learn that, and they'll also see the issue as well. Thanks for the comment.

          I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

          by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:41:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I Also Did Not Know . . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lineatus, Jamie Sanderson, elmo

          . . . that "stigmata" was the plural of "stigma," and almost added a correction in my response to the diarist. However, I have learned (the hard way) The First Law of Internet Discussion Threads: Any post attempting to correct the spelling and/or grammar errors of another commenter, will necessarily contain spelling and/or grammar errors. So I checked before I posted, and sure enough, Jamie is using "stigmata" correctly. :)

          Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -- Philip J. Fry

          by IamGumby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:00:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "stigmas" is also correct (0+ / 0-)

        and perhaps less confusing.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 11:16:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mental Health Parity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    I am ashamed to admit that I do not know whether the Affordable Care Act includes Mental Health Parity provisions (although I am now going to find out). But accessibility and affordability of mental health care is an urgent issue, and I thank you for reminding us. I rather wish that your diary did not begin with a reference to the Newtown tragedy, because I don't believe that we know for certain that the shooter was mentally ill. (I understand that some might argue that anyone who could shoot young children must be mentally ill. However, that seems too reductive a generalization to be useful). But that is a very, very small quibble.

    I believe that a nationwide focus on the appalling lack of access to mental health care is long overdue. The stigma attached to people struggling with mental illness seems too often to be used as an argument for rejecting parity. This seems especially true when discussing treatment for popularly misunderstood diseases like major depression, bipolar disorder, and addictions. Far too many people (and politicians) have a tendency to believe that these are simply the result of character flaws or self-indulgence. So many thanks for fighting the good fight.

    Thanks to denial, I'm immortal. -- Philip J. Fry

    by IamGumby on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:48:58 AM PST

  •  We need to have multiple conversations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA

    Mental health care.

    The cultual issues that lead men to embrace violence as validation of their manhood.

    The fetishization of guns.

    What kind of gun regulations can work.

    I suspect the only meaningful conversation we're going to have is the first one, and only because both the left (as part of the health care debate) and the right (as a dodge from the gun regulation discussion) are now pushing it. There's too much noise on the others, not enough signal.

    ‎"Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor." - Norman Mailer
    My Blog
    My wife's woodblock prints

    by maxomai on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:53:17 AM PST

    •  yeah, and... (0+ / 0-)

      seeing how willing Republicans are willing to work on other major issues in this country, it seems the first one may see faster results.

      Again, if we change the thinking of mental health care, make it more accessible and comforting, we may see better lives (and minds) in this country.

      I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

      by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 08:56:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Since health care is no picnicin the US (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW

        what on earth makes you think that mental health care will be easy to secure?

        Can't churches provide that too; I can hear the cries already.

        Yes mental health care matters but take guns out of the picture (and no I don't mean a ban) and the consequences of bad care would be less gruesome.  I can hardly disagree with your title more.  

        Gun regulation is pressing for all Americans; mental health care is pressing for many.

        Neither, alas, is imminent.

        •  Interesting comment (0+ / 0-)

          No, churches cannot provide the intensive care in correcting one mind's behavior patterns, etc. For people who continually push the "churches cure everything" model they sure do ignore a lot of facts and evidence.

          Let me stress the fact the guns were purchased legally and owned by the person mother, in which he stole from.

          A thought process occurred to where I am not able to determine the cause... because I am not qualified.

          If he'd planted bombs or threw grenades, would we argue regulation of bombs today?

          Think about it, people. People frown upon others seeking help for their behaviors. That needs to change.

          I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

          by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:33:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  eh? (0+ / 0-)

            who is disagreeing that there should be more help for those who need it and that part of the problem for those seeking to live with mental health issues is the social stigma?  Not me.

            I remain of the view that mental health care is unlikely to come soon in the US, since you don't have a health care system for anything much.

            and to say that gun control is IMO more pressing is an understatement!  Or you will keep having these shooting incidents again and again and again........how many people have to die?

            is this a zero sum game?  Maybe, maybe not.  Press for health care and gun control; makes sense.  Just be sensible about your priorities.
             

  •  It's not either/or, it's both (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, Chitown Kev

    Both are pressing issues. There are many, many mentally ill people who have never, and will never, be violent in any way. They need help, regardless - and not on grounds of being potential mass killers.

    There are many,many responsible gun owners who have never, and will never, commit violent acts. A good number of them are OK with sensible controls on who has access to guns and under what circumstances. They can be enlisted to help in support of reasonable regulations - many are already doing so in diaries and comments here.

    We can do both.

    "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

    by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:22:32 AM PST

    •  And I have said this... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, Chitown Kev

      But mental health care has been far more ignored. Reagan even dismantled a part of it.

      I am a proud steelworker, family man and loving husband working hard for change in this great Country so that when I move on, I will know my children are all right.

      by Jamie Sanderson on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:34:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sadly, mental health advocates (0+ / 0-)

        Supported the dismantling. Good intention being to remove people from large, isolated institutions; to receive care in community based settings closer to family and normal social interaction. We never got a sufficiency of those communty based settings, however - in quantity, quality, funding support, etc.

        "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 10:34:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Both are important issues. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jamie Sanderson

    And supporting one does not exclude the other.

    But guns are lethal.

    What about my Daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:31:41 AM PST

  •  They're both real issues, and we *can* walk (0+ / 0-)

    and chew gum.

    This place needs a PVP server.

    by JesseCW on Sat Dec 15, 2012 at 09:44:34 AM PST

  •  Access to quality mental health care urgent need (0+ / 0-)

    I am so glad that some commentators are finally mentioning better access to mental health care rather than just focusing on gun control.

    Yes, gun control is very important and could help prevent large-scale tragedies.

    But the tragedy of untreated mental illnesses goes on day-in and day-out, needlessly causing shortened life-spans for those with severe and persistent mental illness, homelessness, substance abuse, suicide and heartbreak for loved ones.

    It is obscene that we have the means to successfully treat mental illnesses and do not have the political will to fund prompt and effective treatment, end the psychiatrist shortage, educate the public about the no-fault biological nature of mental illnesses, and bolster research. Present laws and practices make it impossible in many states for relatives to get effective and timely care for a mentally-ill loved one who lacks insight into his or her own illness.

    It you want to know more about these issues, read Pete Earley's book, CRAZY, or go to the website of the Treatment Advocacy Center.

    Let's honor these children's memories by finally facing our national shame.

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