Monthly Archives: December 2012

Gun Control–It’s not the problem

Whenever tragedies occur such as the one that happened on Friday, people want to blame the weapons used, not the person. What’s that phrase? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And it is true. But for some reason, the population sees a shooting as something that happened because of ‘easy access’ to weapons. This is simply not true.

I read a story not too long ago about a woman who was home alone with her infant. Two men were trying to break into her home and she called 911. While she was on the phone, she asked if she was within her rights to shoot the intruders if they got in. They did and she did. Good for her!! She was on the phone trying to get help, but the fact of the matter is that had she waited for help to arrive, numerous terrible things could have happened. She defended her life and her child’s life because she was fortunate enough to have access to a gun.

In addition to there being situations where a person should have access to a gun, the fact of the matter is that gun control is not the issue. The issue is mental health. Do you know how scary it is to have terrible thoughts running through your head, knowing that it is wrong but not knowing how to make the thoughts stop? I do. Fortunately for me, I have parents who took the time to get me the help that I needed. I never was at the point where I wanted to kill everyone around me, but there was a while when I wanted to kill myself. I haven’t always appreciated it, but I am a very lucky person. I have parents who love me no matter what and who recognized that I needed help beyond what they were able to give me. Did they lock me up? No. Did they lobotomize me? No. They took me to therapy. It may have taken a few years, but I am now at a point in my life where I don’t need to see a therapist on a regular basis. I’ve dealt with my issues and am happier for it.

Mental health problems are different from person to person. I know that there are some people who would need far more help to get to where I am. There are some people who are too ill to be functioning members of society. I understand this. What I don’t understand is why getting help is so expensive. Originally it cost me $30 a visit. Then it went up to $40. Then $50. Now it costs $60 a visit. It adds up really fast. (And this is with insurance.)

There are articles popping up all over the internet crying for Obama to do something about gun control. What Obama needs to do is make health care affordable, especially for the mentally ill. That is where the problem lies and that is where our country needs to focus. Leave the guns and responsible gun owners alone.

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The Dangers of Smiling

I have always been a friendly person. I walk down the street and if I make eye contact with someone I tend to smile. It is my natural reaction. Sometimes my smile is returned, and sometimes I get a strange look like why is she smiling at me like that?? Every once and awhile though, I will unintentionally invite a stranger to start talking to me. That happened today.

Normally when I walk to the train station, I’m running a few minutes late so there are already plenty of people there. I actually left on time this morning and when I arrived at the train station there was only one other person there. I should have been more aware of my surroundings because when I walked up there she was with a huge grin on her face. Kind of looked like a crazy person. But when someone smiles at me, I feel like I need to smile at them. So I did and she took that to mean that I wanted to be best friends.

First it started off with her asking about my ‘gear’. She thought my bag was very interesting. That’s nice that you like my bag crazy lady, but I really want to read my book now, so go away. Only she didn’t. She kept talking to me. And then she introduced herself “By the way, my name is Blank Blank”, so I shook her hand to be polite and said “Becky”. You would think that it is common sense to not continue a conversation where the person you are talking to is answering in single words. But no, after I said my name she was like “this is my life story, I did this and this and this and then I had to retire and then I went to grad school and I did that when I was already in my forties so it’s never too late and yesterday I did this…” Meanwhile I’m standing there clutching my book pleading with her in my mind to shut the fuck up. Maybe I can pull my phone out of my pocket and pretend that it is ringing… Then the train pulled up and I thought I was going to be let off the hook and then she asked if I would sit with her on the talking train. “Actually, I’d really like to read.”

Yes, I did say that and was able to escape to the quiet-ride car. But seriously, I have to be more careful about what strangers I smile at.