Monthly Archives: January 2013

A hidden problem

When I wrote about gun control in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, I was only thinking about part of the problem.  Mine was a kind of knee-jerk liberal reaction to a tragedy. Today I’ve seen, and read “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother“, and I think that all of us should take a good long look at that, and realize how far we have to go before our problem of mass violence against innocents is solved (if it ever is).

Liza Long’s article made me realize how little I know about the anger I see in some of the boys at my school, that involves striking out at anyone, even those they love the most.  Reading the comments shows how much torture it is for such mental illness sufferers as well as for their families.  Reading CVK’s story of his own struggle makes it even more poignant, but what we do when so little is known about how best to help may well be a long time coming.  Jail is surely not the answer, and we don’t yet know enough for other good solutions.

My sons and I were lucky.  We did not suffer any of the problems described.  I have to wonder if the problem has always been there for some individuals in some families and it was just hushed up, or if there really is an increase in those affected.  How much does prior head injury have to do with the subsequent rages.  Ms. Long does not mention any head injury to her son, but several of the commenters do.

Obviously, there is much more for us as a society to learn and act upon.  What help, if any, was available to Adam Lanza’s mother?  Did Adam at some point suffer a head injury? His dad’s role?  We may never know, and it shouldn’t matter except to those also affected or doing the needed research. It’s easy to link the possibilities to the PTSD and TBI suffered by so many of our soldiers and to speculate about similar effects in some children. What can we do when so much of our affordable health insurance does not cover mental issues, either for children or adults? Does Obamacare cover it? The vets sure have a hard time getting help as well.

I still think automatic, military style arms should only be allowed to the military and used for military purposes if necessary. I do not think that a civilized society needs them. But I also realize that we American love our myths, and one of the strongest of those is the gun toting stranger who rescues a whole town from the bad guys. It will be long and difficult to grow out of it, but as Obama said, we have to change.

New Year’s thoughts

I can’t say the usual New Year greeting. I just don’t see that much to be happy about when looking around the world right now. Neither at home, nor overseas. There was a lot of upbeat talk this morning about the “deal” made between Biden and the Senate. The problem is, there is no way that deal is going to be swallowed by the House radicals. The media were selling relief, but I don’t see it. The fateful line will be crossed, and the country will probably suffer another “recession”.

Maybe some good will come of Israel’s relaxation of restrictions on Gazans, but I suspect the gesture is a sop to the more liberal parts of Israeli society ahead of the election coming up this month. However, the ability to bring in more food, building materials, etc. for awhile could improve the lives of the Gazans a bit, without changing any of the major land issues.

Syria is still taking itself apart thanks to the stubbornness of its ruling elite. Hundreds of people are being killed daily; more are fleeing or trying to.

In Iraq more are being killed pretty much on a daily basis by bombs and bullets – an example of America’s inability to remake any country in what we fantasize as our image. Afghanistan will go the same way. All we do is create failed states.

Now, it is another day, and the House of Representatives surprised me. Even though the Deal puts off the serious questions people are asking about debts and taxes, we learned that Republicans can be scared enough to agree to a deal they hate.

Afghanistan will probably get left in the lurch, regardless of all the Obama talk of staying to help train. Some in the military seem finally to be getting the message that we aren’t wanted there and don’t know how to help.

The only place I see hope is in some musicians around the world like these:

They cheer the heart and remind us all that there can be spontaneous beauty and joy in the world. Just looking at the faces in the square with the children conducting and others participating in the singing remind me that Beethoven’s music is for everyone forever, and that maybe there’s hope afterall.