Hawking of Tragedy

Tragedy (Photo credit: Emily Barney)

To say yesterday was a bad day does not begin to do it justice. Not just with the slaughter of so many innocent lives and many more that are forever shattered, but I came home to the more distressing news. Unfortunately, being of an outspoken nature, I am prone to voicing it in what I’d charitably call ‘not the nicest way’. Hopefully, most of you know that most of my posts are in jest, sarcasm and perhaps twisted humor. There was nothing humorous about yesterday.

While I regret the ‘tone’ in how I got my point out on various posts, I absolutely meant my sentiments. There were little bodies still laying on a cold floor that hours earlier was a place for them to learn and play. There were parents standing at the crime scene not wanting to ‘finalize’ fate by walking away and I dare assume they were not concerned with healthcare, gun control, religion, politics or anything other than clinging to the weakest shred of hope that maybe their child was hiding, to scared to come out and they would be found and come walking out. And what were the news and social outlets main focus? Fucking gun control. I found it appalling to my senses as a human and a parent.

Yes, we should and it is necessary when tragedy happens to evaluate, analyze, process and try to determine solutions to hopefully derail future tragedies. But, I saw a large chunk of citizens hawking a senseless tragedy to boost their selfish platform pro or anti-gun control. It was done under the guise of protecting innocent lives; the pro-gun camp believes that the tragedy could have been stopped if the ‘right’ people had guns in the school and the anti-gun camp thinks the tragedy wouldn’t have happened if the suspect didn’t have access to guns. I believe both camps have a desire to protect the innocent for the most part.

I called this discussion selfish– simply hawking of tragedy to justify their personal beliefs because of the limited parameters of the discussions. I find it narrow and hypocritical the announcement with a fervor of ‘protecting citizens’ while failing to discuss the necessity of healthcare. It is not simply a matter o banning or not banning or imposing harsher restrictions on guns. It is about making healthcare (physical and mental) available so that people can get treatment. Yes, you don’t have to have insurance to be admitted into a mental health facility if there is a bonafide crisis going on. Then what happens? You are only kept for the duration of the ‘crisis’, whether that is determined by professional or insurance mandates. Once you are deemed no longer in danger of killing yourself or someone else or medical services, make your promise to be a good boy/girl and take your medication, you are released. If you are ineligible for insurance, that’s it. You may be prescribed medications, but with no way to pay the outlandish costs or the bankrupting prices of mental healthcare sans some insurance alleviation, you are just thrown to the wind. Not everyone who commits these heinous acts are previously diagnosed and I don’t think we well ever curtail every single tragic event.

I call it selfish because we don’t have all the facts because even as I type this, the crimes scene if not finished being processed, yet so many who have their personal agendas regarding guns are using this time to promote selfish platforms. If everyone truly cared about thwarting this kind of tragedy we’d be talking about healthcare, school security, parental responsibility and any other factor that is announced to have played a role. Not just one facet.

Kellina Vanpool


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