12.23.2012

You Have the Right to Remain Silent - Opinion Article

by:  Scott Hall (docplocky@gmail.com)

         

Mental Health
Mental Health (Photo credit: homelesshub)
I must confess this article to have been produced out of sheer concern for our world in general.  The tragic news that I witnessed through the vast media outlets about the Connecticut school shooting, left a void in my belly that seemingly could not be filled, until this article came into my focus and friends and readers of this humble blog, this Author has something he too would like to inject into the grumblings and debates that are all part of humanity searching for answers and until this and a series of terrible events, something has not been said.  We know full well that for years within communities all around our world that children as well as adults are being abused for various reasons, the mentally ill are being forced into poorly funded programs or worse, left alone on the streets with no real help until they get arrested.  The time to stop remaining silent has indeed saturated our air waves and penetrated our hearts.  We here at Criminology & Justice open our hearts to those who are weakened or still longing for it all to not be so real, we offer a path to those who know someone who has suffered or is suffering, we offer a listening ear and with our Senior Author guiding our minds thoroughly in explanation and wisdom and cleaning off our truth glasses, we can and will to the best of our ability reach out to help.




          The paragraph above mentioned that there was something missing and it is not just a path to getting the help needed, it is opening our mouths and stopping the silence, we have so many persons in need of care, in need of help and maybe, one person at a time, we can break the chains of atrocity that keep us in fight or flight preparatory mode.  The NRA Executive VP had made a statement in a news conference that included suggesting placing armed personnel in our schools to help try and protect them from other incidents such as these.  My first thoughts drifted to "why should we as a society tolerate any level of this thinking at all." and my next thought actually came from a statement that the founder of C&J, Elizabeth Hall made, "We really need to overhaul the mental health system in our country, lots of these cases could have been handled at a much earlier time, maybe this one too, but due to the losses at this point, we will likely never really know, which is why we need to work on what we do know, we have lots of problems to solve, mental health should be a bigger priority."  I concur and I am willing to bet the vast majority of our nation and world would agree.  Problems such as these and others could be solved if we invested our money more wisely into creating a system that helps in earlier stages those who truly need it and the funding would roughly be equal to the same as paying an armed person for an 8 -10 hour shift, 270 days a year.  For example, using the low end of those figures, if the armed guard earned a average wage of 15 dollars an hour, that is 15 times 8 for 120 times 270 for 32400 per salary per school.  Just in my own little area, there are at least 25 schools, so, per average scholastic calendar year 25 persons would be paid, 32,400 for a grand total of 810,000 for just 270 days of coverage, this in a system where most law enforcement and government agencies are either strapped for cash or strapped for qualified personnel (see related articles within our archives, yes we have talked about these issues in our founding). The thoughts of a million dollars going to protect our kids is staggering, but also probably very necessary.  The truth of this matter is YES there is indeed a select population that need our attention so NO MORE CHILDREN DIE like this and NO MORE TEACHERS have to live in fear of what tomorrow may bring or what to say or not to say to diffuse the ticking time bomb of bad events.
English: Institute of Mental Health building i...
English: Institute of Mental Health building in Belgrade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          Where do we go from here in our path forward in both healing and prevention, will we continue to debate gun control or what guns are "allowed" to be used and why or will we begin to shift our focus to our communities and take a hard look at what is actually happening and this will not take long to accomplish if we set aside our differences and work toward a very common good.  Let's look at the max end of the money, maybe more, say 1.25 million in money pouring in to prevent these items, how many homes of a basic nature, say single bedroom homes could be built to house the homeless or maybe even open a small clinic and provide jobs to the medicine givers while giving care and hope in boundless terms, more importantly, would any of us be willing to donate time to do so, as along with money comes time and labor and though we may be in shock and weary from grief, the shining examples of hands extending out to victims everywhere is just as large, just as strong as the tragedy that tried to silence us further, so yes, in our own way, we have been way to silent, as it is a given right under Miranda law, however, it is not a given right when children suffer or any life is lost at the hands of some one mentally ill.  Senator Gifford can attest first hand to that and God Bless her as she continues to improve and get stronger every day.  Some may even say that community policing may be in order or that stricter punishments be developed as a deterrent to these items, this author says maybe, but definitely we need to work on fixing what is broken and then protecting what isn't, I am betting when the two ends meet that our worries will be fewer and our hearts will be lighter and the smiles of persons dear to us will not be extinguished on a glitch oversight or other happened event.

167
167 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          Along with healing those who may be in need of specialized care, we can not dare to overlook the sacrifices and restrictions that have been placed upon our law enforcement persons and first responders as well as those who deal with the heavy trauma of every day life (the EMT's).  These fine men and women must make a series of crucial decisions all based on protecting the public and keeping things as safe as possible.  Some departments are fortunate enough to get high tech equipment and use secret radio waves that are either going to different frequencies or being trunked to keep our scanners at bay, sorry fellas, FCC says you broadcast it, you gotta announce it and the frequencies must be recorded, in print form (available online).   All this aside we must respect the evolution of these departments and respect those who are still filing good old fashioned gumshoe and paper work paths, once they go high tech, look out bad guys, the world will indeed change.  These men and women must now consider armored vests in there uniform array, protective gear for defense so as to NOT shoot someone, just because.  They must subdue the unruly, arrest the suspected, erradicate the drugs, uphold the laws and suddenly in a place where "normal" every day occurs, one man dressed in a combat hero outfit on an opening day or night at a theater, BOOM. People dead and we ask questions about what mental state they were in while punishing them for the crime, should the criminally ill (mental ill stuck in jail) have an ability to remember or even be corrupted to a way of thinking, not only do they miss out on the intervention of care, they are influenced by persons within that system less than healthy for them to interact with.  Should we build prisons for those persons, maybe but only for a select few, the rest need care, help or study so that we can connect and prevent as well as heal and restore.

Issues in Mental Health Nursing
Issues in Mental Health Nursing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

          In conclusion, you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to look away and not work toward finding a more viable solution, but in the end when we become horrified or overwhelmed by the heinous acts of someone new or different looking to copy or out do the predecessor, what will we say then, we need more gun control, we need harsher or more laws or we really need to change the way the process is going and make new, stronger paths that prevent, heal, and restore a base to who the criminal really is.  The police officer who has to deal with the person screaming will have a better chance at knowing whether the person is doped up or off their meds and not place either of them in true danger to the officer, the public or themselves, giving those persons extra time to focus on getting rid of the real problems, the serial rapists, the serial killers, the armed bandits that always "seem to elude officers" and start funding the entire network with real money being used in much more efficient and productive channels.  So there you have it, this author's heart goes out to all the families who are suffering the losses, not just in CT but all around this big old revolving planet of ours.  Truth Glasses down and prayers to the families in all these terrible events.

Scott Hall
         


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