Everyone Shut Up. Shut up Now.

Dear Everyone,

What happened at Sandy Hook is terrible, awful, and incredibly hard to process. It makes people want to tear their newspapers, kick their televisions and throw their laptops, when these media deliver them the news, never mind the devastation and life wrenching calamity that it has caused to those close to it.

What it is NOT is a platform for you to get up on and soapbox.

Seriously.

STOP TRAGICRAFTINGSTOP SCREAMING FOR GUN BANS. STOP INSISTING WE ARM THE TEACHERS. STOP PROSELYTIZING IN POEMS.

And for the love of all things good and nice…

STOP DIAGNOSING THE KILLER.

When you tie shootings to mental illness you do a complete disservice to the public good. You are villainizing an already marginalized sector of the populace based on no good facts what so ever. You are making it harder to seek treatment and harder to gain acceptance for every single person with a mental illness or neurovariance.

As much as some people are trying to help, by pushing for easier access to mental health assistance, they are harming the very people they are trying to help by more or less implicitly stating that untreated mental illness is the root of criminal violence. That will only lead to more labeling of people who are DIFFERENT as people who are DANGEROUS.

Ms. Lisa Long, and her emotional confession of fear of her child, has not helped matters. Publicly likening your own mentally ill child to a spree killer is cruel to that child, and proports to speak for the dead. Don’t get me started on “mommy blogging” either, which seems to be some people’s defense for that terrible article. A mother’s need for support does not actually entitle her to publicly record all of her kids growing pains and wrongdoings in a medium (the internet) from which they can never be fully removed.

I see a lot of voices rising up with the idea that she’s somehow courageous for speaking up about something that might make others judge her… but since it seems to be done at the expense of her clearly already in pain child, no that is not courage. Courageous voices are the ones pointing out what it is really like to BE that scary kid, and how entirely unfair it is of the media to treat people in vulnerable groups as threats rather than the endangered people they actually are.

I can see that a few mainstream news sources have picked up on this issue, as regards the speculation (and that’s all it is) that the shooter may have had Aspergers syndrome, but it doesn’t matter what he may or may not have had. The problem is all this armchair psychology trying to link a horrible act to mental illness because no “normal” person could ever have perpetrated this crime. “Normal” people cannot be driven to these things. “Normal” people never snap and go on a spree. “Normal” people are nothing to be fearful of… just those crazy people.

Shut up. You’re not helping anyone.

X^0

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One Response to Everyone Shut Up. Shut up Now.

  1. Laurel M says:

    People are so quick to look for something they can find to restore balance they had previously thought was in their world. (Even when their world was as fucked up beforehand, they just didn’t know because the media hadn’t pounced on one act and sensationalized it in effort to make money.) Something they can say, “oh, that’s not me. That’s not my family. I don’t have to worry, because that’s not what I know.” We need to STOP clicking on news about Newtown. Period. We need to send the media a message that we are NOT hungry for more information about the shooter and we are not blood thirst ghouls awaiting any updates on what happened, in depth.

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