Struck with another tragedy


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Penn State's picture of the flag at half-staff on Old Main

for the victims at Washington Navy Yard.

It broke my heart when I heard about the naval yard shooting yesterday. I thought, "Another shooting?"  And it's sad I said another.  The amount of tragic shootings in the last year alone is mind-boggling. From Sandy Hook to Aurora, now the Washington Navy yard, the death count is rising.

Many of you think that Aaron Alexis, the shooter, had a mental disorder.  It upsets me that people's first reaction to a violent crime is, "Oh, there must be something [mentally] wrong with him/her." While that may be true, it's not necessarily the sole reason why Alexis decided to murder innocent people. He clearly wasn't sane, but it doesn't mean his psychological disorder drove him to be violent. The thing I hate the most about violent criminals is that they create a mental illness stigma.

An interesting article I found gave a real-life example of why people resort to violence using Ted Bundy who was convicted of killing 30 women (and probably more).  Apparently, he had a bad childhood, a bad break-up experience and psychological problems that led him to make horrible decisions.

The reason I wanted to write this blog is because it hits close to home. Not to get all personal, but my eldest brother has a lot of mental problems. Honestly, I think he's a psychopath, but it doesn't mean he should be held to the same standard as murderers. I think it's wrong to say people who have mental disorders are violent and people who are violent have mental disorders. In many cases it's true, but it shouldn't be people's initial thoughts.

For anyone who wants to know more of who hasn't heard about the naval yard tragedy, you should read this NY Times article!


1 Comment

Its terrible that in today's society, we have so many instances like the naval yard shooting. As bad as it sounds, I feel like mass shootings are no longer a colossal shock to us now a days. Just this year, mass shootings have happened all too frequently. You're right in saying that we collectively think, "another shooting??" But then, the day goes on. Unnecessary violence like this is all around us, and I think we've kind of acknowledged that. I feel indifference and grief towards the situation, rather than shock. I found an article that relates to my point of view, as the author talks about the reactions to the Virgina Tech shooting in 2007. But at the bottom of the article he brings up the topic of mental illness, and makes the statement, "There are many human time bombs in our midst." I agree with your stand point that it isn't fair to stigmatize those who have a mental illness and call them potential murderers, or "time bombs." I hope that those who read your article can take a step back and be aware of this, because it is a concerning topic.

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