April 20, 2007

Can you keep quiet?

There is a movement for the Blogosphere to hold a day of silence for the VA Tech victims on April 30th (thanks for the link, Wordnerd) I have mixed feelings about this and am not sure I will participate. My question is - what will this accomplish by being silent for a whole day?

I'd rather see people pissed off and talking about gun control. As someone who grew up in a house full of firearms, I am against a complete ban, but still - gun control needs to be needs to be discussed. For sure, the current laws certainly need to be CHANGED.

I want to see more discussion about the attitudes towards the mentally ill in our country. I am very angry that high-ranking VA Tech folks knew this man was disturbed and tried to get help awhile ago by even going to the police but were powerless because our system lets the mentally ill roam free. I realize this is a backlash mentality towards some of the terribly inhumane things done to the mentally ill in the past, but now we have a situation where the individual is protected, but not society at large.

I want to see more people as angry as I am that the shooter's name and face are plastered everywhere - I do NOT want to see this guy anymore. I don't necessarily blame NBC and MSNBC - they were put into an incredibly dubious position. As someone with a business background and currently married to an entrepreneur, I know how it works. Still, I was disappointed that NBC didn't take the higher road on this one. Thanks, NBC and MSNBC, for giving all the wannabe copycats out there fuel for their fire.

So, no. I am not really down with an entire day of silence - maybe an hour, maybe a half day, but not an entire day. However, I posted this for two reasons. One, if others do want to participate, I wanted them to know about it. And two, the Cerebral Venus Online Book Club was supposed to meet on April 30th, but I am changing the date to Tuesday, May 1st.

I may not agree with silence, but I respect it. In the end, we all want the same thing, right?


Jenny said...

I haven't posted on my blog in a week - there just isn't anything I can coherently pull together regarding this. You're right, the gun control laws need to change. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. I vacillate on how to handle th ementally ill with regard to firearms. On one hand, I'd like to see it be illegal, or at least harder, for people with a history of mental illness to get their hands on weapons. On the other hand, I know if such a ban were to exist, fewer people would seek treatment for their illnesses in fear of not being allowed what they see is a certain right. Not to mention the right to medical privacy this runs into. I don't have an answer for that.

Modern Day Hermit said...

Oh my goodness, I agree with you on EVERY. SINGLE. POINT.

I can't add anything more.


Happy Birthday! May your day be filled with joy despite the current climate.


Mojavi said...

hmmmm... isn't typing kind of a silence.

Dee said...

I don't think I will purposely stay quiet, although I doubt I will write about the tragedy that day as some others are doing. I mentioned it briefly in my post today and I'm choosing to move on. If it comes to mind naturally and I feel like writing about it I will.

I hope you have a fabulous birthday! :)

Olivia said...

I agree it would be more purposeful to speak out than keep quiet. Gun laws have got to change. I don't feel anybody really needs a handgun, hunting rifles okay, but not handguns that can be concealed easily. And every time I heard the seller of one of the guns say, "He looked like a clean-cut, college student." about the killer I want to scream. Because "clean-cut" people never commit crimes. Yeah, right.

As for the mentally ill. It makes me sick that so many people could see how disturbed he was, and yet their hands were tied when it came to removing this deranged man from society. He was made to have a psych evaluation after complaints were made against him. The evaluation stated he was possibly a danger to himself and others, and this only resulted in a recommendation for voluntary, out-patient treatment. Why on earth would a mentally ill person be allowed to decide if he needs care or not? He's not sane! He can't make rational decisions!

If only some of these laws will change, but have a feeling once the story leaves the front page it will be business as usual. sigh...

Leah said...

I'm so glad toread this. I am tired (really. exhausted.) of people having the knee-jerk "Quick! Ban it!" reaction to everything. But that doesn't mean I have the answer. I just don't think doing something that sounds like it might work but probably won't helps. I'm babbling in generalities now and this probably deserves its own blog post. Blah. I hate that this happened. Back to my self-imposed news blackout.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. I don't think I'll observe the silence either, because while I searched my gunfilled house for red and orange clothes to wear today to show support to the victims of Monday's trajedy, I do not support a ban of guns. And I don't agree we need more laws. Because then we just have more law breakers. I mean isn't it already to um kill other people, cuz I kinda thought it was. The kids at columbine broke like 17 existing laws including making bombs, blowing up buildings, bringings guns to school, shooting your fellow students, etc.

I'm lucky in that I don't have tv and have not been barraged with the killers face and message, nor have my children. I've chosen to look at it on line, but that was my choice.

I am a gunowner, my husband is an ex cop and I worked in Mental health for six year before I decided to stay home with my kids. I hated my job. It was sad, it was unhappy and it was frightening a lot of the time. My husband and I visited a lot of the same homes. He was allowed to carry weapons, I was not. As a social worker I walked into volatile situations with mentally unhinged people all the time, of my own free will (most of the time) and completely unarmed.

Mental illness has a lot of stigma, and that sucks. But it is also a huge category. Sort of like Peanut allergies. Some people break out in a rash if they touch peanuts. Some people die if they breathe peanuts in the air. There are huge variables but, there is also not a lot that can be done.

We no longer commit people, most of the time they have to agree to being committed (and i'm sure you can imagine how that goes).

Apparently I have a lot to say, maybe I should get my own blog or something. I will never support a total ban of guns because you will never be able to round up all the guns and that in my opinion gives the 'bad guys' the confidence to do bad things...because law abiding citizens will have no way to defend themselves.

I will of course completely support the magical removal of all guns everywhere.


MLE said...

Thank you for writing such a thoughtful post about this really tough subject.

And also, happy birthday!

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

First of all, Happy Birthday. Second, yeah, I wouldn't shut up either. I have read some articles that have infuriated me.

Bethany said...

Happy Birthday!

This is the first I've heard about silence for a day thus I haven't given it any thought. My first reaction is I probably won't do it.

I'm glad to hear about the date change for the book club. My job just instituted a "no blog related computer time at all, ever" policy. But I only work until 11am on Tuesdays so I will be able to participate.

CPA Mom said...

Thanks for posting on this. I don't understand what it will accomplish for everyone to NOT blog for an entire day. I just don't get it. And I respect the tragedy. I agree with just about everything you wrote above. I even did a tribute post myself and wore the colors Friday. But won't it be more helpful to TALK about what is going on and LOOK for solutions? I just don't get it.

Lisa said...

Yes. I don't quite get it either.