Very well written blog. Please understand, it’s not because this guy hated Donald Trump, or Republicans, or because he was a Bernie Sanders supporter. This guy had a history of domestic abuse and very likely mental illness. I don’t agree with Trump, I’m angry at what the Iowa GOP did this legislative session, but I would never try to harm someone, much less shoot who I disagree with!
Uncontrolled anger and mental illness are the spark that sets the fire to an action like this. If you look at the history of the majority of violent people, whether a mass shooter, a gang member, or even a terrorist, you will find a history of violence on some level. That’s a proven fact. “Normal functioning” people don’t pick up a gun and shoot someone, they don’t stab someone, they don’t run them over with a vehicle, and they don’t strap a bomb to their bodies and blow up innocents. Uncontrolled anger and mental illness start this. Hate, idealism, racism, sexism, xenophobia feed it.
The fact that mental illness is still stigmatized in this country is an issue that must continue to be addressed. Many insurance companies don’t pay for mental heealthcare. Often when they do, individuals are left with a large out of pocket expenses. Sadly, our government made it legal this year for the diagnosed mentally ill to own a gun. Therefore, it is easier to buy a gun than it is to get mental healthcare. What’s wrong with that picture?
We live in a messed up world. Many people are angry politically. We’re worried about not having affordable healthcare for ourselves or loved ones, especially if they have a condition that requires medical care. We are afraid for our country. We’re concerned about rights being taken away. We’re concerned about our environment and ending up with water like that in Flint, Michigan. We’re angry that the wealth gap continues to grow. We have lost what the truth is and maybe can’t talk to our friends or even family without hostility and anger. It’s never a reason to be violent. We can speak up and speak out. We contact our lawmakers. We get out and vote in every election. We participate in the process instead of sitting at home and feeling helpless. Helplessness breeds hopelessness which breeds anger. Add in mental illness and a tool that can kill, and you have a disaster waiting to happen.