Exactly one year ago today, we were driving from Boston to Washington, happily listening to a random program when a news alert interrupted. Unconfirmed reports told us that dozens of students had been killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut.
WASHINGTON -- There have been many instances of mass gun violence during the presidency of Barack Obama. Some faded away
Harry Connick Jr. hasn't forgotten about the young victims of the Newtown, Conn. shooting last December and in particular
In February alone Toronto lost two more 15 year olds -- one, just this last Sunday. The apathetic, believe that acts of violence are so far removed that they're irrelevant, only the concern of certain ethnic communities or completely unsolvable all together. Time to start caring again.
Annette was an avid recreational target-shooter with her own rifle. One day Alexander, her 15-year-old son, begged her to get the gun out of the house. When she asked him why, his reply was chilling: "Because I might blow my head off." Canadians between 12 and 19 are at risk of developing depression. We lose 4,000 young people every year to suicide and the suicide rate among our Inuit youth is one of the highest in the world. Although some provinces like Alberta have made strides in increasing mental health resources in their communities, Lowe says the resources available across Canada are "woefully insufficient."
A January 8 letter to the Toronto Star headlined "Preventing Another Newtown" pointed out that "The perpetrators of almost every mass shooting were on psychotropic drugs." As absurd as it may seem, there is a myth that continues to grow after mass shootings and that is that the cause of these shootings are psychiatric medications themselves. But studies demonstrate that most acts of violence are committed by people who are not being treated.
So overall 2012 has indeed been a significant year in relation to our natural and social systems, but the irony is, none of these events seem to have made a dent in the minds of climate skeptics or gun lobbyists, as they continue to cling on to the same archaic paradigms. So what is the deeper problem? What is the systemic issue?
Hopefully, the horrors of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting will lead to a more sensible attitude to violence and mental illness and to improved treatment for the hardest to treat. Whenever a tragedy like this occurs, mental health bureaucrats repeat their mantra that violence is not typical for the mentally ill who are more often the victims rather than the perpetrators.
What will come of the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the coming weeks and months remains to be seen. But in the wake of this and other tragedies, young people have proven that strength, resilience and compassion can prevail. We can bring meaning to these atrocities that seem to negate all that is right in the world.
Our need to continue seeking fulfillment via Almighty Stuff is an all-consuming pursuit. Will it ever be enough to satisfy us? To fill up all those empty spaces? It doesn't really matter: there will always be another version that just might do the trick. We can never bring peace to this world under our current coma of contentedness.