America Has A Mental Health Crisis, NOT A Gun Crisis

America Has A Mental Health Crisis, NOT A Gun Crisis

Stop. Blaming. The. Guns.
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I was in elementary school when my dad took me out to our backyard and I shot a gun for the first time.

I knew that he kept shotguns in his closet and a pellet gun on top of our china cabinet in our dining room. I never liked guns and thought they were a scary thing to have around the house.

When I was in high school, I wrote an article for my rinky-dink school paper about gun control because honestly, I thought guns were the problem.

Let me give it to you all very straight: Guns are not the problem.

When mass shootings happen, we are so quick to blame the guns. After the recent Florida high school shooting, I have witnessed many people venting over social media about how we need more gun control.

Guns have been around for hundreds of years and mass shootings have only become a problem in the recent decades. We are so quick to discuss banning guns when mass shootings happen that we don't look at the bigger picture.

1.3 MILLION people die every year in car crashes. A little over 13,000 people are killed by firearms.

But are we looking to ban cars? No, of course not. That would be ridiculous. It's not the car that is the dangerous thing, it is the people driving it. Just like guns are only dangerous when you put them in the hands of someone who will use them in a dangerous way.

My biggest question is this: Why are we focusing on HOW the shootings happen instead of WHY?

America has a mental health crisis, NOT a gun crisis. 1 in 25 American adults have a mental illness. 45 percent of those individuals go without treatment. Whether it is due to lack of resources or lack of affordable health insurance, it is clear mental health is a growing issue in our country that is affecting a lot more than just the people with the illnesses.

If you haven't noticed, many of these shooters take their own lives after killing others. And if they don't, it is later released that they have a history of mental illness.

For example, on Valentine's Day of 2008, a former student from Northern Illinois University opened fire in an auditorium on campus then turned the gun on himself. He had struggled with schizoaffective disorder his entire life.

The shooter at Sandy Hook had suffered from anxiety, depression and OCD. He also turned the gun on himself after the mass killing.

Both shooters involved in the Columbine school shooting had histories of mental illness and BOTH committed suicide after opening fire.

ALL of these mass murderers were under the age of 30.

Majority of mental illnesses reach their peak of severity from late teens to early twenties.

People, guns are not the problem. We stigmatize mental illness. We do nothing about bullying. We ostracize the "weird kids" and laugh at them. We do not extend a hand to those in need.

Guns are not the cause of these mass shootings. The way our society handles those with mental illness and those who are "the odd man out" are the causes.

Do I believe the general public should have access to assault rifles and automatic weapons? No. But do I believe we need stricter gun control? Also no.

What our country needs is a better system for those with mental illnesses to seek treatment before it gets to the point where they break. I am by no means making excuses for these individuals who shattered thousands upon thousands of families with their horrific actions. But I do think there is a bigger picture and a better solution than just banning guns.

Guns are just a weapon of choice. Ban them and people will start building homemade bombs or acquiring grenades to throw and kill people.

The sad truth is, people will always find a way to hurt someone if they want to do it bad enough.

So please, stop blaming the guns. Stop with the ridiculous cartoons depicting Congress protecting someone with an NRA shirt over a bunch of children. Stop attacking second amendment rights that have been in place for hundreds of years without issue until recently.

We have a mental health crisis and the problem will only be fixed when we acknowledge that it is the problem in the first place.

Cover Image Credit: PBS//YouTube

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Why Ocasio-Cortez Is Unfit For Office

For many of the same reasons as Donald Trump.

Kentaro
Kentaro
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's meteoric ascension to elected office was as much of an awakening to the Democrats as was the election of Donald Trump. They too were not immune to the American people's frustration with the current status quo. Unfortunately, for both Democrats and Republicans alike, this has led to the election of polarizing figures with little backgrounds in politics and a commitment to alternative truths.

Ocasio-Cortez considers herself a Democratic Socialist and is out of touch with reality as much as her idol Bernie Sanders was. Socialist countries past (USSR, East Germany, Vietnam) and present (China) were/are rife with corruption. The socialist utopia which Ocasio-Cortez envisions will be the death of small American business unable to pay the high taxes required to support her platform, which includes Medicare and housing for all. Furthermore, her platform contains a proposal to tax Wall Street to fund public universities and trade schools (her childish thought process probably consisted of Wall Street = stocks = money = something I can tax), and a proposal to abolish ICE and demilitarize the police — besides being incredibly idiotic, a proposal feeding on the misguided anger some American have for our brave law enforcement officers who risk their lives on a daily basis to keep us safe. Our government is in 17 trillion dollars of debt because of its inability to manage money, and Ocasio-Cortez is telling us to give them more. It's appalling and scary someone so out of touch with reality was elected.

Ocasio-Cortez apparently loves alternative truths and lies as much as Donald Trump. Her most recent claim was that 66 percent of her Medicare proposal would have covered by the Pentagon's accounting errors, which total somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 trillion dollars. Looking closely at the article which she cited as the basis of her claims, it becomes clear she did not read or comprehend the article in its entirety and is living in her own fantasy land. The 21 trillion dollars is the sum of all the transactions where the same dollar could have been transferred between multiple accounts multiple times. In fact, the Pentagon hasn't even spent 21 trillion dollars in its existence. Ocasio-Cortez has also said ICE has a quota to detain 34,000 people a day, again another case of her living in her own fantasy land and acknowledging a half-truth. ICE is required to maintain — not fill — 34,000 beds by the DHS Appropriations Act of 2016. Ocasio-Cortez has said many more alternative facts, but I have neither the time nor the desire to bore you and analyze them all.

It's incredibly sad honesty and integrity have no place in American politics. Electing officials who have no commitment to the hard truths will destroy our American values and everything we hold dear. May God help this country.

Kentaro
Kentaro

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