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My two cents

January 9, 2011 15:32 by ckincincy

So yesterday a tragedy in our country happened.  A congress women was shot and killed.  I think it is justifiable to veer off path of the usual technical nature of this blog and say a few things.

I’m a conservative.  I don’t call myself a Republican, though that is basically the only people I’ll vote for.  There are, however, Republicans I won’t vote for so that’s why I don’t call myself one. 

Immediately after yesterdays shooting it was quickly blamed on Sarah Palin and other Tea Party members.  I found that sad and troubling.  But that is not the focus on this blog.

A contact tweeted a link to an article on the subject of mental health that I think is worth reading.  It was fairly, fair and balanced. 

The main guy that has been talking about this from an official stand point is Chief Clarence Dupnik.  He holds what can safely be categorized as a liberals point of view on guns, so he has been getting a lot of press from folks of that leaning.  Today he was giving his update and near the very end of a press conference he said something that I alluded to on Facebook to another friend of mine.  I am paraphrasing:

“Back when I was a beat cop in the early 60’s when we had issues with people like this we were able to put them into an institution that kept them off the streets.  However, now we just let them run the streets.”

When I was finishing my bachelors degree I had to take a 9 credit course on US history.  A very big part of this was the 1960’s and this very point.  The point made in the class was that in the 60’s psychiatrist and other medical professionals shifted from these institutions to medical help outside of being institutionalized.  So we went from these people being fairly segregated and “cared for” (I put this in quotations, because there was a lot of abuse in this setup) to them running the streets. 

Then in a conversation Maggie Longshore said “we need to make mental health available, affordable & accessible – more important than physical health for society.”

The problem with this is that there are a LOT, A WHOLE LOT of services available.  I am a foster parent, so I am exposed to a lot of these services over and over again. The problem is that these people aren’t healthy enough to go get the help.  In my situation the mentally unstable people happen to have children and that got them identified. That is where the “institutionalization” of people by the cops came into play in the 60’s.  We have the resources and availability.. we just need to do better as a society to identify these people and get them into places that will get help for them.  We have to stop pretending that everybody is OK and all opinions are equal and such.  If a person is claiming that the government is using mind control to control them… they aren’t healthy and they need help.  To pretend otherwise is ignoring a real issue.

Yesterday was a tragedy.  We can turn it into a positive and tone down the rhetoric a bit (just think of the attacks on Palin and Obama) and learn from this situation to identify people like this.  Or we can make it a political “win” for “our party” and contribute to the rhetoric that many are blaming for this issue.


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