Tennessee Shooting: Who Is Really At Fault?
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Health and Wellness

Tennessee Shooting: Who Is Really At Fault?

Look up, America.

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Tennessee Shooting: Who Is Really At Fault?
USA Today

On Wednesday, yet another tragic and senseless incident happened in Tennessee. A man armed with a pellet gun, a hatchet and pepper spray entered the Carmike Hickory 8 Theater in Antioch, Tennessee, and began an attack. While the attack lasted only minutes before police arrived and no one was severely injured, it still caused quite the stir.

The attacker, Vincente Montano, was shot and killed by police on the scene. Upon further investigation, police found Montano, who has a history of paranoid schizophrenia, was reported as a missing person on Aug. 3 after fleeing the home where his mother lived.

It is no secret that this nation has a horrible problem with mental illness. While this man had no apparent motive for his attack, his condition and evident problems were obvious to the people around him, especially his mother, who stated that Montano "had a hard time taking care of himself."

Mental illness is a sad and unfortunate obstacle in any person's life. While many think this is an issue with personality or even parental guidance, it is a disease, a curse almost impossible to live with. Any form of mental illness can be detrimental to a person's way of life.

The problem of tragedy and hate this country has faced recently is not solely based on media portrayal or racism; it's due to a lack of compassion and understanding from the citizens of this country with power and authority. While Montano, in and out of mental institutions in the last 10 years, made a horrendous decision that ultimately killed him, where were the people in his life who taught him acceptance? Where were the people full of understanding when he contemplated entering a movie theater full of families armed and ready to attack?

The answer is wrapped up in their own success. While America is the country where anyone can rise from the bottom to the top, depending on how hard they work, America is also the country of selfishness, a country where people are ridiculed and beaten down for being different or impaired. This can be the cause of a lot of success in this country, but also a lot of failure. The percentage of homeless Americans, like Montano, lies somewhere between 30 and 40 percent.

Americans need to step up and help. Had Montano had the help and compassion he needed in his life for his mental illness, would he have felt the need to openly attack a family in Antioch? Had his family and friends looked up from their own work and hectic lives to notice how troubled Montano was, would he still be alive?

People, please have acceptance. Much like a victim of cancer seems helpless, imagine how a victim of mental illness must feel. Instead of ridiculing and beating these victims down, we should step up from our own success and help give these fellow Americans, fellow humans, a shot at a normal life before any more tragedies happen.

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