We’re all a little scary

TW: Sandy Hook shooting, gun violence, abilism, racism

Since the shooting of Gabby Giffords and assorted others nearly two years ago by a clinically-diagnosed schizophrenic, public discussion of the prevalent gun violence in the United States and the widespread failure to address the needs of the mentally ill have entangled themselves together. In the wake of the much more recent Sandy Hook shooting, it seems that fear of the psychologically “unwell” as eclipsed all other parts of that discussion, especially among Republicans.

Look no further than yesterday’s This Week, where Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers made it quite clear, that the only people who could ever be using guns towards violent ends are those who are “crazy” so additional laws, particularly those aimed at the “sane” are irrelevancies. Through the ensuing roundtable fellow Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz made it clear that the discussion he thought the only real problem was policing the mentally unstable.

Event recent stories that were reported widely about the violence faced by those deemed mentally ill disappeared down the memory hole, once it became clear that the main options policy makers faced were tighter gun control for everyone or tighter gun control for, in Rodgers’ words, the  “crazies”. This was hardly another narrative floated by the powerful, hoping to hedge a direct assault from the NRA come reelection, as Liza Long’s similarly framed piece, “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother”, showed.

It’s important, in the face of this to become familiar with the perspective of some of those told that they may need to face new and unique restrictions. This goes double as Connecticut schools were shut down in response to some one seeming “threatening” earlier today. Unmentioned, of course, was what caused the person to be so labeled and how were they deemed safe? Did they seem mentally impaired? Did they look Black? Were they searched? Was it at gunpoint?

Who’s safety is actually going to be enforced by new policies or attitudes created after this shooting?

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