Posted: Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:17:06 PM
Unexpected, tragic, unimaginable, and horrendous are words that come to mind when thinking back to the shooting that took place in Connecticut, yet it still does not seem like there is any way to make sense of this tragedy. No one ever imagines their town falling victim to a crime as horrific as the Newtown school shooting, and even after it has happened it still feels like a terrible nightmare. In the few weeks following the shooting, the country came together in prayer and vigils to honor the victims and the heroes but now that at month has passed, it seems as if most of the country has moved on. However, mass shootings have never been a more prevalent problem in our society than they are right now. Focusing more on the mental health of Americans rather than making stricter gun laws could not only make schools safer, but also keep our society more secure.
Mental illnesses seem to be the core problem with the majority of these shootings. From bipolar disorder to anxiety, the illnesses related to mass shootings are becoming more and more common. Unfortunately, many people tend to look down on people with mental illnesses rather than trying to get them the help they need. Testing kids more frequently who seem to possibly have the symptoms of these illnesses would allow them to get medication to lessen the symptoms and would address the possibility of mental instability more often in children. It’s upsetting that something as terrible and devastating as the Newtown shooting needs to happen to bring awareness to this pressing issue, but acting now can help prevent more shootings that could lead to even worse outcomes.
Compared to other countries, in the United States laws on drugs, alcohol, and other things are much more strict. However, many people still manage to work their way around those laws and often times, the stricter the law is, the more people feel the need to break the law. Making gun laws stricter will not prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands. If someone is set on getting a gun, they will find a way. Ensuring the mental health of Americans helps reduce the amount of people who would become dangerous when holding a gun.
The Connecticut shooting in Newtown had a strong effect on everyone. Men, women, children, young or old, every person’s heart broke when they heard the news and making sense of these tragedies is never easy. As a country, all there is to do is learn from the past and move toward a brighter future. Thinking about dealing with another shooting like the one in Newtown is unbearable, but with better and more frequent testing for mental illnesses in young adults, schools and the environment around us will be much safer.