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.

Every Thursday



4 thoughts on “Plea

  1. Thanks for the reply :) It is food for thought for sure. It does indeed bring up so many complex issues, you are right.

    I guess we just to wait untill his trial. I wonder if he will plead insanity?
    Reminds me slightly of the Oslo shootings, however, Brievic seemed to have some sort of ‘motivation’ for his actions (as evil as it was). I wonder what the Joker killer’s motivations where…

    Interesting blog post, though.



    1. For certain now that it’s come out that he was being seen by a mental health professional for schizophrenia, there will be a need to prove that his crime was a result of his condition not being treated. There’s a potential aspect of neglect here by his psychiatrist that does not look good…. we’ll see what comes out in court. Here if you have any concern that your patient is going to do something harmful, it’s the law to report it and have the patient hospitalized until the danger passes. The question is whether his doctor saw any evidence of that before this all happened. And where was she, why wasn’t the mail delivered to her in time, the package that is evidence that he was going to do something horrible? I see a LOT of lawsuits from the victims’ families in the works….


  2. Most people with mental illness are NOT violent. We are actually more often the victims of violence, or we put ourselves at risk instead of other people.

    The killing in cinema 9 was tragic and my heart goes out to all families struck by this awful situation. The killer, however, would not have been ‘fixed’ using medication. Wanting to murder someone is not a mental illness. Just because he did such an awful thing does not make him psychotic.
    I guess this assumption that people with mental illness are violent just contributes to the stigma we face in our day to day lives.



    1. Thank you for your response, Scarlet. Yes, definitely people are afraid of mental illness and can’t understand it. And this contributes to the stigma. An urge to murder is related to something deeper, because yes for sure someone without mental illness can and will murder. What I briefly posted about here leads to so many thoughts and questions which it would be impossible to discuss via the internet, but my main point in deviating from the usual kind of blog post I make was to express sympathy, sadness, wonder about how to better prevent someone like the killer from doing what he did, if there is some hope in that, and draw attention to how mental illness is viewed and handled in this country (hardly very well). Again, I really appreciate your honest response.


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