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  • Writer's pictureHoward McBroom

Tucson II

The Tucson incident that happened a few weeks ago is truly a tragic story. The perpetrator lived in a house with his fiancé. His mother and her husband lived right across from them, but in January, her house caught on fire and burned down, taking both her and her husband’s life. After that happened, her son started to completely disintegrate. One day, he started shouting in the streets and the police had to handcuff him and take him to a mental hospital. Apparently, the hospital did not follow-up after they released him, and his mind continued to deteriorate. On July 18th, something snapped within him and he exploded, setting his house on fire and killing his fiancé who had been inside. After he set his house on fire, he shot two paramedics and killed a fire captain and a nearby neighbor. The police ended up shooting him thereafter and he died from resulting injuries. This incident really shows the need for better mental health care. This man wasn’t a bad guy; he was just a guy whose mind went to pieces after his mother died. He was doing fine until his mother’s death destroyed him. After that, he stopped going to work, had freak-outs, and kept going downhill until he killed all those people. Guns aren’t the real issue. Yes, he had a gun when he shouldn’t have, but he wasn’t a bad man - his mind was just falling apart. If he had gotten better help and the mental hospital would’ve checked in on him, he might not have used his gun to kill people. We need to do a better job at helping people emotionally, mentally, and psychologically.

We need to focus on hate as much as we are focusing on guns. I am afraid that white nationalism will triumph within the next few years. If it does or if Trump or somebody like him comes to office in 2024, there will be no future for us. There will be no future for inclusion, diversity, racial equality, or tolerance, and I’m not sure people fully realize these consequences. I’m also concerned that people are not going to resist white nationalism. Even if they don’t like it, people might go along with a white nationalist policy because there is no other alternative. A democracy that can’t stop mass murder from happening every day is bound to fail. Who wants to live in a society where you might get shot every time you walk out your door? Anything is better than that, and I question whether people are going to stand up and defend a democracy that has failed in its most basic duty of protecting its people. To help solve this problem, we need to concentrate on hate and having better mental health resources. We need set up mental health clinics to help people cope with their violent and angry feelings, make public health statements about the need to stop hate, teach people the skills they need to negotiate in an inclusive society, and teach people how to handle inclusion and how to deal with people of different races and cultures. These things are not learned overnight and if you grew up in a family where there wasn’t much tolerance or respect, how are you going to learn how to get along with people? You won’t.

We need to teach the skills of inclusion, but I don’t think our political leaders fully realize this. Soon we might be flooded by white nationalism and if that happens, our future and very lives might be at stake. People are going to go for anything that works and they won’t stand up against it because anything is better than what they have. We will be thrown to the wolves. There will be no future for us if people like Trump come back into power. There will be no mercy shown. People have to realize that. Right now, we have a perfect emotional climate for white nationalism to triumph. In order to protect our country, we need to rise against hate.

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