questioning parents during times of tragedy

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006
questioning parents during times of tragedy
Mon, 07-23-2012 - 6:44pm

Sorry, I have to just go on a little bit of a rant here.

I'm sure by now everyone has heard about the tragedy that befell Aurora, Colorado at the movie theatre. Sad, sickening, revolting. Yet you know what I keep reading online? People questioning the judgement of the parents for taking little kids and babies to a late showing movie. Really?

I was incensed that people would look at this tragedy and begin pointing fingers at anyone but the shooter. What good does it do to question the parenting practices of those in the theater – the victims? It is akin to wondering why a rape victim was dressed scantily at a bar. It is disgusting.

There are people out there who abuse, neglect, and torture children. We're really taking THIS time of tragedy to pass judgement on something so benign? Really?? Like this couldn't have happened just as easily during the day?

How about the millions of other questions we should be asking? About gun control, security in public places, mental health evaluations, etc?

This just makes me very angry. I feel HEARTBROKEN for anyone who lost someone there, regardless of age. It's tragedies like this that makes me wish I hadn't brought kids into this messed up world to begin with!

Awhile back, I posted an article about a local, teenaged girl who was killed by her ex boyfriend. Her father is someone I've known for a long time. Basically, they had sex under a local bridge and that's when he killed her. His reasoning was because "she was doing drugs and I didn't like the changes in her". There have been comments in the local paper along the lines of "where were this girl's parents? She was doing drugs and having sex under bridges?" And let me tell you....she had wonderful, loving, parents who simply adored her. She was a bit wild, perhaps, but it's nothing that her parents did wrong.

Man, things like this just make me so damn angry!


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007

>>Personally, I think killings would go down to levels that countries with more limited access to guns have. IOW, the number of killings in the US would go down by huge percentages.<<

Here in Australia, we have limited access to guns.  Automatic and semi automatic weapons are strictly outlawed, as are pump action shotguns.   The last massacre we had was 16 years ago.    After that, our gun laws changed and we haven't had a massacre since.    People haven't turned to bombs or other methods of mass destruction.  

Yes, there are still guns around - and we hear of gang related shootings.   But never a mass death toll of innocent bystanders.  

Someone mentioned that the shooter in this story could still have done a lot of damage with a bat in that theatre.   While I concede that the people standing near to him would have been at great risk, the relative slowness of a bat wielding madman would allow for a mass exodus out the fire escape doors.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 7:24pm

I have to wonder, if someone is to serious ill, they actually go on a shooting spree, what do you think will happen if guns are no longer available to them?

Wish I could find a more recent study online, but here it goes:

Mental illnesses including anxiety disorders and depression are common and under-treated in many developed and developing countries, with the highest rate found in the United States, according to a study of 14 countries.

Based on face-to-face diagnostic surveys in the homes of 60,463 adults, the study found that mental ailments affect more than 10 percent of people queried in more than half the countries surveyed.

Rates ranged from 26.4 percent of people in the United States to 8.2 percent of people in Italy.

Picture the countries battling the highest rates of depression, and you probably think of those that are developing or poor.

Think again.

The U.S. tops the list, with 9.6% of the population experiencing bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder or chronic minor depression over the course of a year. That's compared with a .8% rate documented in Nigeria. The findings are part of a 2004 study of 14 countries by researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) and Harvard Medical School.

ScienceDaily (May 7, 2003) — BOSTON, MA -- The United States has a higher prevalence and lower treatment rate of serious mental illness than a number of other developed countries, according to a study published in a special edition on international health care in the May/June issue of the policy journal Health Affairs.

While last week's massacre in Colorado has stirred a national debate about gun control, local law enforcement officials say the horrific tragedy highlights the need for mental health awareness.

In some respects, the alleged mass murderer in Aurora, Colo. fits a profile of the typical mass killer that my colleague James Alan Fox and I developed some 30 years ago.

In all likelihood, the Colorado killer was depressed and socially isolated, having no place to turn when he got into trouble. In addition, he likely blamed everybody but himself for his personal problems and had access to and training in the use of semi-automatic firearms.

The schizophrenic diagnosis would explain a number of characteristics that depart from the profile of a typical mass killer.

How come we never seem to talk about the mental health crisis in this country when a massacre like the one here in Colorado occurs? We always talk about gun control, which I support, but we guarantee more of these incidents by ignoring the mental health crisis.

The media is supposed to inform but they always fail to inform people about mental illness. Their own self-induced ignorance on the matter keeps rearing its ugly head in the form of journalists showing surprise that the shooter in this massacre was "intelligent." As if everyone who is mentally disturbed or ill is a stark-raving madman who has the I.Q. of a two year old. If they bothered to check the statistics or talk with a psychiatrist they'd quickly learn that the mentally ill are often so intelligent as to be smarter than the general population. That's partly why psychopaths, like the shooter in Colorado, remain undetected for years.

But, instead, we'll talk about gun control and in a few weeks the media will get bored and the discussion will die down. Allowing people, yet again, to remain safely secure in their snow globe of ignorance and naivety. Meanwhile, the mental health crisis remains allowing the isolated and deranged to boil in their madness until it reaches another dangerous point. We ignore this sad reality at our peril. It's beyond time to have a national dialogue about mental health because it is one of the only ways that we can reduce this kind of violence. Gun control is part of the answer, but they'll still find a way to get a weapon if you don't treat the source of the dysfunction (mental illness).

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 7:35pm

What the.... Your posts are so difficult to debate, LoL!

Then don't debate them. I seldom know what you are talking about anyway ...LoL :smileywink:

LOL ... you're telling me what you've already discussed and I certainly wasn't commenting on anything you discussed.

It's another thing all together to assume that changing laws won't make a difference or that people will still kill. There is no contradiction.

Actually Jams, there is a contradiction in telling someone you can't  defend laws based on predictions, but then ask me to predict a possible outcome of a situation under different circumstances.

LOL ... now you saying you can't assume a law won't make a difference, but in a previous post, and I quote, you say:Killings will never just stop and I never suggested otherwise, But gun laws should be examined and I do think there's room for change.

Seriously, and you think I am hard to follow? lol ... maybe this is why? I have no clue why you saying anything to me, I have no cue the correlation you are trying to make between my statements and your previous posts, which I wasn't even addressing.

Mental illness is a pretty complex issue and it's a tough defense too.

WHo cares if it's a tough defense ... lol ... who said anything about it being a defense?? LOL You won't solve a problem if you just fix a piece of the puzzle. So, if you, or anyone else, wants to compare crime stats of the U.S. and other counties .. yeah, you have to look at the whole picture ... LOL ... so, funny, no one even mentioned mental illness as a defense ... where do you come up with this stuff?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-18-2006

While I think the issue of gun control is definetely one to be addressed, I agree it is only one small piece of the puzzle. Mental health issues and awareness are a huge part of the issue. It's like saying that gun control will solve the issue of gangs, without looking at all the issues that lead a young person to join a gang in the first place. Sorry if that is oversimplifying the issue.


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 8:28pm

Your post seems to be mixing up garden variety anxiety and depression with serious mental illness, but one had this quote:

The more random a massacre, the more likely it is that serious mental illness plays a role. It is conceivable that the killer in Colorado suffered from schizophrenia, an illness that often appears during late adolescence or early adulthood and is frequently marked by an inability to distinguish fantasy from reality or to be in touch with other people. Most schizophrenics never kill anyone, but a few lose the capacity to think clearly about themselves and others, perceiving that everybody is out to get them.

Read more:

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 8:57pm

I don't know how you figure that. The stats offered, by another member, I thought were for all murders, not just massacres.

There was also an argument that the U.S. vs other countries, dealt with the issue of anxiety and depression, at the same rate .... so, yeah, I posted general information. I don't think I was mixing up anything, just posting in accordance to what was being discussed.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 9:06pm

I don't think you are oversimplifying things. I actually agree with you. :smileyhappy:

Just wanted to add, that is another issue. I would imagine  many people obtain guns illegal. I doubt many people planning a murder go to their local Wal-Mart to purchase a gun or a gang member, is most likely getting their guns through illegal avenues. So, when people want to compare countries, there is another issue to look at.

But, yeah, I agree, it's like trying to solve gang problems through gun control. I also wanted to add, I do not believe people should have access to military weapons, but when discussing massacres, in particular, I think there's other weapons one can choose if they are determined to murder a group of people.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-27-2001
Of course limits on automatic weapons would reduce the number of murders by gunfure. It's very clear that states and nations with strict gun control have fewer murders.

My first reaction to this situation was thst we need to destigmatize mental illness and ensure that people have access to psychological care.

The two are not mutually exclusive. Address mental health care and rethink the legalization of assault weapons that make mass killings as simple as pulling a trigger and holding it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

What’s not well-known is that the vast majority of the approximately 12,000 annual gun murders and 66,000 non-fatal shootings are committed by people who have no legal right to a gun. How do criminals and other prohibited people get guns so easily? Through a highly efficient, organized, and profitable business of gun trafficking that moves guns from legal manufacture to dealers to criminals and young people who can’t buy guns legally.

"there is a large of diversion to the illegal markets from licensed gun establishments"

So again, I am forced to wonder if the illegal gun trade would cease to exist simply because we change the legal ways in which a person can buy a gun .... and, of course, I wonder what the stats are for illegal gun trade in other controls members are comparing America too.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Sat, 07-28-2012 - 9:41am

The contrast with gun control is that we do have the power to change those laws, access to them, etc.

I do not think that is true. We do also have the power to change the laws that protect seriously mentally ill people from treatment.