It has been a few weeks since the tragedy in Tucson. I have not written about it until now. But, as Congresswoman Giffords gets better and people start healing from the shock, here are some facts.
First of all, in her online comment, Palin refers to the assassin many times as a criminal or the criminal. This as if to explain away why he did it, while passing judgment on who she thinks are criminals. Really? How ignorant. The shooter actually was not, until the time of the shooting, a criminal. He was and is mentally ill. I find this ignorance fascinating and scary.
For over a year the Pasadena Police Department and members of our mental health advisory committee have been talking about the increase in people falling deeper into mental health crisis. The reasons for this escalation are numerous; economic conditions, mass release of violent offenders from jail early with no support systems and loose gun laws.
Palin and others fail to understand the need for less finger-pointing and more action. This includes the need for our politicians to themselves take responsibility and lead by example. Further, the second amendment does not actually allow people to carry weapons. In most states that still requires a concealed weapons permit. In California this week alone there have been two shootings at public schools. There is no excuse for this. We must take action.
Having been in prison with women who were busted carrying guns while committing other crimes, I understand that in those cases these women were grateful they had not actually used them. Most had time added to their sentences because of the weapons and had learned from their experience. So, write your lawmakers and urge the new administrations in many counties and states to make changes and look and what is really going on and who is a criminal and who needs mental health treatment so they do not become criminals. Sarah Palin– ignorance is NOT bliss.