Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. People kill people quite rapidly with certain well-appointed guns. In realizing this, Connecticut’s legislature turned its back on the NRA hard line that there should be no limits on the efficient lethality machined into a gun, because guns are benign just sitting there in the gun case. Of course, they are also designed with stocks, grips, recoil reduction and other innovations to make them easy to pick up and use, sometimes by the wrong people.
Everything we know about resilience tells us that it grows best in our relationships with others. Resilience is that special ability to spring back from adversity. It’s a word also used to describe how we can become stronger as a result of the struggles in life. I was at the diner the other day with some friends. We were talking about our kids and how they were doing since 12/14 and how they can be more resilient. After several minutes of my friends talking, here is how the conversation went.
Mental health professionals know that traumatic events occupy our minds, quite literally, in ways that can derail lives and stress families at their foundations. And when the trauma is as horrible and incomprehensible as the 12/14 shootings at the Sandy Hook School, the long-term impact on individuals, families, and even the community can be particularly acute.
Jill Barron, MD, MHS, has been quietly ramping up plans to conduct a critical needs assessment of mental health and support response since arriving in Newtown in late February. But the experienced trauma specialist who worked with New York firefighters post 9/11 made her first local public appearance, receiving an official welcome when she was introduced to the Board of Selectmen March 18.
Hartford seems poised to hurry up and do something. This reminds me of a quote I heard years ago: “good politics rarely results in good policy.” Better laws always address cause rather than effect. Any good policy begins with defining the problem, gathering evidence and identifying causes. Only then should solutions be evaluated/developed.
Regarding Newtown’s school tragedy and “psychotropic drugs,” there is a better solution, given the fact that “some 75 percent of these shootings” have been committed by children in school, as a psychologist working for the state was quoted in the Danbury News-Times.
As a Newtown mother, I have come across e-mails warning me of multiple pieces of proposed legislation being presented in our state at this time. What shocks me most of all is the fact that they affect all public and home school families, yet not one parent that I have spoken with has heard of them.
There was a great thunderclap of consensus in the days following the 12/14 attack on Sandy Hook School that something has to change. The crime, which left 20 first graders and six school personnel dead, was so shocking and so wrong that the calls for action were immediate and widely supported across even the yawning political divide in this country. The inquiries into what and how much change would be possible began quickly, and soon focused on three areas: gun control, school safety, and mental health.