The Open Door- Our Tragic Society

Yes, it has been a several months since I posted once again. We live in a busy world with lots of issues. As a professional who works with families and their children in Connecticut I have been so deeply struggling with our current tragedy in Newtown at the Sandy Hook elementary school. So I can move forward with this discussion, I feel that a note of respect and honor is due to the teachers and staff who gave their lives in efforts to protect these children. The first responders, who will carry the emotional scars forever, that are a given for diligently managing this contemporary disease of violence that plagues our society. As tears fill my eyes knowing the very reason I do what I do, is my respect for the little ones, the kids who were just beginning their journey in a house of education, cut short in such a horrific way.

I waited a few days purposefully because more information is needed. I wanted to hear others who might have focused on singular issues. I believe we, the community are all hurting and as a society responsible to look at all the issues and not just the obvious “a very disturbed young man” perpetrated such violence in a sacred place. Violence does not belong in many places that we see it. We have become desensitized because our exposure is so great and so often. Anyone familiar with me professionally knows that in my writing or commentary around video games for the last 14 years, I have spoken against them. The lines of reality can get blurred for a young person developing social and executive functioning skills. Mental health issues and the deteriorating ability of our society to delay gratification and we have a recipe for disaster. I would have moved on from this point except that I spoke with an educator who teaches at the college level and is a game enthusiast. He commented in our discussion around this issue that when people move from the console type play of these games individually, to on line with others, the desensitization to violence and out right vile commentary is toxic. Anita Sarkeesian speaks to these concerns as they relate to women. In this situation all the adults who were victims were women. Hum, could there be a connection?

We could talk about the gun control issues and that the public has no need for multiple round guns. Military and police are the only place for these devices. They sell, just like the video games which take front billing on every department store flyer. We have to change our culture to a less violent one. We have to change the stigma’s associated with and pay for mental health services. One common thread in many of these recent tragic stories is that the perpetrator has been a white male in early adulthood with social isolation dynamics, from families with the means to get care. We need to better identify and see to it that individuals like this get the best help in treatment before they are a danger to society. Not just passed through as the HMO’s would like so CEO’s get their absurd bonuses.

Like a puzzle, lots of pieces. So, I challenge us all to do right by these people who lost their lives and prevent this, not with flacked jacketed armed guards at every school and venue. That is scary. We need to look at what is wrong with putting profits before the care of our community. As our religious leaders showed us in the memorial service, by working together to teach our children what we have in common. Love of our families, our friends and our community. We need to not spend our money to support the violent games industry. We need to change the pieces in the puzzle to get a better picture. To stop the outright nonsense that gets in the way of our society getting the job done because of politics.

As always I invite discussion because none of us is as smart as all of us. On this one I invite our president and all the politicians in Washington to do right by these children and the school staff who perished by making real changes to these many issues.

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One Response to The Open Door- Our Tragic Society

  1. Sharon says:

    Hickenlooper, our governor, announced yesterday that he will be introducing a big initiative to improve mental health services in Colorado. As he has a Democratic majority in both houses, he might actually get it through. We shall see. I’ll be optimistic for now. I’m glad to see some elected official who is willing to champion this.

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