Point of View
It Just Keeps Happening!
By Trevor Roberts
Apr 13, 2014 - 8:13:30 PM

UNITED STATES—In the past two weeks, America has dealt with some unbelievable tragedies. First, we have the mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas that left 4 people dead, including the shooter. Then on April 9, we had a massive stabbing incident at a Pennsylvania high school that has left more than 20 people injured. What is happening in our country today?


I can’t help but fear that we have become desensitized as Americans.  We haven’t come to grips that the atrocities happening day in and day out are not ok. At the brunt of all of this senseless violence is the issue of mental illness. It seems like the country has not had an open discussion about the many perils of people who suffer from mental illnesses. From war veterans to those suffering from depression, mental illness is a very serious affliction.

It’s such a taboo topic because no one wants to talk about it. If someone is deemed mentally ill we label them, we point at them, we make fun of them, and it only makes the situation that much worse. It's not just an issue of getting treatment for those who may be suffering from a mental illness that is difficult to diagnose on first glimpse, it’s the issue of de-stigmatizing the concept of being mentally ill.


We live in a culture where labels appear to be everything. We want to label something because it groups things, it makes it easier and it allows us to have a bit of distance. We have this fear of labeling things we know nothing about and that fear creates problems in my eyes. I can’t understand for the life of me, why more actions have not been implemented to assist soldiers from war.


Countless studies and incidents have proven that many who return back home after war deal with a surmountable amount of stress adapting to everyday life. Many suffer from PTSD, yet our medical arena is not taking more steps to fill in the holes of those gaps. I mean for God’s sake these people risked their lives for the safety of the everyday American. I don’t think its too much to ask for some sort of counseling or treatment to help them adapt back into the world that never stopped moving while they were in a battle zone.


The stabbing incident in Pennsylvania just literally stunned me to the core. Not another incident at school. I mean after the Sandy Hook incident, precautions have to be taken to ensure the safety of our children who go to school. That is the one place all children should feel safe at, but it seems time and time again, more violent incidents are taking place at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and at the collegiate level. This is not something we should be comfortable with. Perhaps higher security standards should be enforced to ensure no student has the ability to bring a weapon to school grounds.


I’m sorry I’m just not a fan of the idea of allowing teachers to carry guns on school grounds; it just opens up a scary scenario in my opinion if someone was able to get their hands on that weapon. Just thinking about it scares me to death, not to mention the idea of toddlers being in a room with a person who is armed. That’s an image I rather never see happen during my lifetime.


So I’m asking for your thoughts. What can we do as Americans to decrease the number of violent events taking place where it now appears once or twice in most cases? We need to have a healthy debate on mental illness.  Let’s decipher some of the mental illnesses most commonly diagnosed and address medical treatment for those in need. Let’s have a discussion on how we can make schools safer for our children, those young and old. We have to have an open forum to discuss these issues, so we’re not getting to a point as Americans where we are comfortable with the things being depicted on the small screen and the big screen. This is nothing to just blink your eye at and move onto the next thing.

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