One word that is used in describing the shooter in almost every mass shooting in our country is the word “angry.” I don’t think mental illness and anger necessarily coincide. Words used to define anger in the dictionary are belligerence, outrage, fury, antagonism, to name a few. The New World Dictionary defines anger as: “a feeling of displeasure resulting from injury, mistreatment, opposition etc. and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back at the supposed cause of this feeling.” Wow! Doesn’t that fit 90 percent of those angry, mostly white men who have chosen to take lives in their attempt at revenge?
Mental illness is just that, a medical problem that involves the brain and brain function. It should be considered the same as heart disease or diabetes. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org, one in five adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Check out the website for some of the most interesting statistics.
To blame mental illness for the atrocities that have been perpetrated by white, male, natural-born citizens of our country is an appalling misplacement of judgment. Anger is the force behind these atrocities along with unfounded fear of our country’s changing culture, changes that are unavoidable in this world of high tech communication and global interactions.
We cannot legislate who to love. Government should have no role in marriage or childbirth. Our personal lives should be ours to control with no interference from religion or government, especially from people outside our personal sphere.
It is time to deal with anger and the guns that angry people use to express their rage and cease blaming mental illness for the horrors that continue to take place in our country.
Holly von Helms