I rarely post about subjects in the news. However, I’ve been so disturbed by the recent killing and injuring of people innocently watching a movie in Aurora, Colorado by a clearly disturbed young man that I have a hard time getting them and him, their families, out of my mind. The issues are complex but clearly, clearly, we are not doing what we need to do to prevent, as much as possible, and through intervention and careful caring, the descent of people with mental illness into violence. No one should ever be considered normal who isolates themselves like that. Isolation leads to terrible things, even if not mass murder.
As independent as we are as Americans, we need to look hard at when independence is not the right choice. We are social creatures. We need to keep each other close, watch out for each other, care for each other like we mean it. Mental illness is like any other illness. But it is stigmatized because we can’t see it physically, we don’t perceive it the way we do when we see someone with a missing limb. But there is something indeed missing, or different, about people with mental illness, and we need to help those of us who are born into the world in this particular way.
All violence cannot be prevented. If someone is hellbent on killing, themselves or others, they will find a way. But if we can somehow even prevent a percentage of those hellbent people, through medication, and most of all, caring for them and holding them close, that will be something. More people would be alive who might otherwise be dead. And that person at risk will still be considered a human being, physical weakness and all, and loved just like any other.
Lastly, a song by the Lilys, which I happened to have been listening to when this all went down, and which somehow now emotionally embodies the melancholy, isolation, and tragedy of what has happened in Aurora.
My plea, that somewhere in the darkness, we will find that opening, some bright light, to lift us, person at risk and potential innocent victims, away from future danger.