Violence is a mental health issue that the healthcare industry, Center for Disease Control, and the government are responsible for. Their collective approach of demonizing substances and objects is ignorance and incompetence at best.
There are millions of researched papers on everything from domestic violence to gun violence written by competent researchers that outline the root causes of violence and possible treatments or programs. Politically we don’t use our academic knowledge because it’s not reactive. This has led to a nationwide ignorance of the situations we face as Americans.
The complexity of these problems are daunting. They begin with families, are reinforced by communities, and in some cases cultural identities develop based on these ignorances. Someone who is angry enough to act out violently against other people is mentally ill.
When I say mentally ill, this is even misunderstood. Take for instance the Kalamazoo, Michigan man who became the Uber driver who went on a shooting rampage. His initial ploy was to say the Uber App took over his mind and made him do it.
Subsequent investigations revealed he met his wife after the first incident and exchanged vehicles. During this exchange he told his wife he couldn’t tell her what he was doing, but when she watched the 11:00 o’clock news she would know. He also wore a protective armored vest. He continued to pick up and deliver other Uber customers in between three shooting events over several hours into the night.
He eventually dropped the Uber Satan defense and plead guilty to the murders and assaults. The revealing part to the whole story is the wife didn’t call the police after her husband called her to meet him at his parents, gave her a gun, and left the first car damaged. It seems she went home to await the 11:00 o’clock news. This is telling of a not so normal family life, but the news chose to focus on he had no criminal history, and even produced Facebook photos of him playing with his children in the snow. It was a much more dramatic story if he was “normal” and just snapped.
The nation was gripped by the narrative. The sad part is that nothing more was said about his history. Any half intelligent person can surmise that there were factors that led up to this that weren’t reported because the narrative of the “story” wouldn’t be as dramatic. There were tens of thousands of folks watching this story who looked around their living room and noticed similarities in someone in their family, but continued to say nothing.
Whether or not he was mentally ill is not a question. You have to be mentally unstable to do what he did. This is scary ground for most folks. No one wants to believe they could do something “crazy”. What we don’t see is the childhood or family life as an adult and all the little signs that with the right trigger can make someone a horrific character in a tragedy.
I use this example to demonstrate the misleading narratives that surround violence, especially gun violence. Health professionals, the CDC, and the government know that violence cannot be stopped by eliminating weapons, bombs, knives or any other inanimate object.
This mentality has creeped into the addiction narrative by demonizing OxyContin, fentanyl, and other drugs that help millions of folks who take them as prescribed and move on to a drug free life when the prescription runs out.
It’s moved in and out of the diet narrative for decades. Eggs are bad, then meat is unhealthy, through gluten and a whole host of foods that are responsible for the increase in the life of the average American.
We don’t ban hamburgers from healthy people because obese folks can’t control themselves. We can’t scrap vehicles because some folks drink or take prescriptions irresponsibly. Its pure ignorance to think this way, but this is the prevalent thought in America today.
The media and the government are responsible for perpetrating this ignorance. It creates a cause that’s dramatic and ignorant politician feed of deceitful media outlets. We need to fight back with intelligent narratives if we’re to purge ignorance from these idiots making dollars off our pain.
The healthcare industry is just as culpable. They know that these popular dramatic reactions aren’t real cures for any ill, in fact this rubric has compounded the problem. Mental health illness and mental health episodes are rampant in America. Homelessness, domestic violence, gun violence are all great examples of how we’re not looking after each other in a healthy manner, and healthcare professionals are doing nothing.
The center for disease control keeps statistics for deaths and violence. They know that the gun violence problem in America is not a national problem, it’s a cultural problem taking place regularly in the same environments as an established cultural reaction. Whether it’s in a hood or an upscale school, the characters are predictable and reproducible, but nothing is done. We just believe getting rid of weapons will get rid of our problem. Getting rid of a certain drug will cure addiction. Getting rid of certain types of food will make us healthy. Its bullshit and makes no sense when you say it out loud.
We have to hold those responsible accountable. Politicians, healthcare professionals, law enforcement are all responsible. Our academicians and especially the psychiatric community are responsible. We have to focus on the source of violence and that’s behavior.
I’m frustrated. I detest ignorance touted as if it’s intelligence. We’ve wasted billions, of not trillions of dollars and millions of lives over grown folks sitting around in committees that have ignorant assumptions as their basis for meeting. They’ve come to ridiculous conclusions and recommendations based on failed hypotheses. No one calls them out?
We have to become louder in our demand for representation that is intelligent and directed by goals for solutions based on real problems. We can’t keep letting this reactive politic invade our intellectual endeavors to find real solutions to real problems based on real understanding. We have to thwart ignorance unapologetically or we’ll be having this conversation for the next thirty years as we have for the last.