I’ve always hated the labels that redirect the responsibility of misdeeds from individual accountability to life circumstance. Sure we all go through struggles, but why does society categorize those who struggle as individuals who somehow deserve a permission slip?
She had a child out of wedlock at 16 – Yeah, but she has Daddy issues….
He’s a drug addict – Yeah, but he didn’t have many friends…
She sleeps around – Yeah, but she’s a child of divorce…
He’s a rapist – Yeah, but he was sexually abused…
I’ve known many wonderful and strong people who have overcome much, they know the statistics and refuse to be a part of the social expectations. They may struggle emotionally, but they’re determined not to let their suffering victimize someone else. I’ve also known many who let the social expectations dictate their life, it’s like having lifetime subscriptions to “but” and “because” for them. Those who are responsible shouldn’t feel like they have to prove their responsibility to the world because society tells them that their circumstances put them in the negative to begin with. Everyone is responsible for their own life. Which brings me to the meat of this blog post…
First and foremost, my heart goes out to those in Fort Hood. I’m heartbroken for the families that lost a loved one, those who are recovering in the hospital, as well as all of the families that experienced the terror of those life altering moments. Last Wednesday, we all watched the horror unfold like an all too common rerun of a horrific movie, the sudden stab of its reality reoccurring in our minds for days.
We are human, when such acts of horror invade our world like an unexpected enemy, our first response is always to question why. Closure becomes the holy grail of healing. We want to know what would cause someone to do such a thing, we want to know how we can prevent such acts from occurring. In some small way, leaving the act so fully unjustifiable seems to prove the existence of unmitigated evil in its darkest form. If we can just get a grasp on to the underlying situation we’ll feel a little safer, right? How do you stop someone from wanting to hurt innocent people? Could this particular attack be stopped? How can we make sure that this doesn’t happen again? How can we keep a wife from having to pick out a casket because a madman snapped?
Answer: We can’t. Period.
The sooner we accept this scary reality, the sooner we can make improvements that increase our ability to protect ourselves and our families.
Upon turning on the news this weekend I heard the term “PTSD” used roughly 10 times in 30 minutes by 3 different stations. I believe that doing so can be both unintentionally harmful, and sometimes meticulously orchestrated, dependent upon the deliverer of said news reports.
In an effort to answer the “why”, we’ve placed millions of people who suffer from PTSD in a category labeled “Unstable”. Millions of abuse victims, dedicated soldiers, missionaries, car wreck survivors, etc. suffer from PTSD every day, and they aren’t dangerous or unstable. They’re victims of circumstance, but they know they are responsible for their own actions.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can leave you in fear for your own life, as well as the life of others. It can cause you to feel like you aren’t in control of your surroundings, and oftentimes normal everyday activities serve as a trigger for your memory, causing you to relive the specific events. It leaves some unable to speak about the events, it can cause them to avoid situations that they fear, which can become all consuming. Hypersensitivity, as well as addiction, are also possible. It’s very common, and those who suffer are far from alone.
There are also those who suffer from brain damage and severe mental disorders, and I believe that we can do more to help them and prevent tragedies by doing so. But the point of this post is to make it clear that using PTSD to justify the slaughter of innocent individuals is not only ignorant, it’s irresponsible, and it vilifies those who come home from war. It encourages them not to seek help.
They’re heroes overseas, yet suddenly untrustworthy with a weapon on U.S. soil. We’ll send them to fight for our rights, but then question their own rights when they simply ask for help. In blaming PTSD, we also tell them that they’re not responsible for their actions, and we fail the very people that fight for us. Many feel out of control, and so we reiterate to them that they are out of control by placing their decision making process fully in the hands of an anxiety disorder.
So, to make this perfectly clear:
PTSD did not go on a shooting spree. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.
A gun did not go on a shooting spree. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.
Millions of people suffering from PTSD daily did not go on a shooting spree, nor will they. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.
Which brings me to my next issue:
Danny Ferguson was engaged to be married. He’d just returned from Afghanistan, and he sacrificed himself while trying to save others. Danny obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.
Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez dedicated 20 years of his life to serving his country, in seven months he planned to retire. Carlos obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.
Timothy Owens was a counselor and had also done time in Iraq. He planned to make the military his career. Timothy obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.
Ivan Lopez did not obey the law, and he took their lives before taking his own.
A common misconception that spread like a vicious wildfire after this recent attack is that Fort Hood, a military base, should be well equipped to protect itself. They feed the idea that we must control guns, that we need to control those with PTSD, that we need to have more restrictions, etc. Yet they fail to mention that our Military bases are GUN FREE ZONES.Fort Hood is the liberal utopia! Guns must be registered, no carrying permitted, only police are armed, etc… Yet what was the first response when these policies failed?
“We need more control.”
When are people going to realize that violence will always happen, and that the only response from leftist politicians will be to tighten the belt even more? I believe that even they know it won’t work. It’s the same across the U.S., they know the policies don’t work, we have the proof. Feeding the fear of guns is simply a glowing opportunity for Democrats to have more state control. Period. When it fails, they don’t care, they just push for increased control. The accompanying body count of defenseless victims is simply collateral damage for the common good.
My Dad served in the Army for 30 years. He was trusted in life or death situations, highly trained, level headed, etc… I hope I’m not the only one disturbed by the insanity that while he was willing to take a bullet for our country, our country turned around and put him in danger when he came back home. This fact is infuriating to me, and quite hard to stomach.
Is it just a lack of common sense? It’s simple: Those who plan to break the law and murder someone are not going to mind breaking the law to gain the weapon to do so. That’s right, out of the entire military, including millions of those that suffer with PTSD, .00007% went on a shooting spree this year, so that somehow justifies keeping the rest of our military in danger? Go back and recount those zeros so that we can bask in the unrivaled ignorance of gun control.
I often ask why law makers and leftists fight to unarm our military. The only answer I have is one that scares me: They are either dangerously ignorant, and are therefore incompetent to run a country, OR, seeing men and women in body bags is not a cost they’re not willing to pay for their propaganda and control.
I see people fighting all the time on behalf of military benefits, and I’m not asking you to stop…But I find it equally important, if not more so, for us to fight for their right to protect themselves. Our soldiers fight for the freedoms outlined in the Constitution, then come home and get gunned down because they’re not allowed to have those same rights, then survivors get labeled as ticking time bombs because they have PTSD.
Come on, America…We can do better.