Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness
Just over a week ago there was breaking news about a shooting near the Capitol. At first information was sketchy with parts of the D.C. area on lockdown. As word spread it was revealed that the incident started at a White House side street. Miriam Carey’s final moments have left more questions than answers.
It seems police on the scene felt a sense of danger. In the age of terror-alerts that we live in many are on guard and even on edge. Footage of the incident shows Carey driving frantically maybe even erratically from the scene. With police in hot pursuit, the vehicle ended up crashing outside a Capitol security gate.
We’re told no weapons were found in the vehicle. Actually, her 1-year old daughter was rescued after the gun-fire and police chase ended. Carey was clearly no threat to authorities. Her sisters say she was suffering from postpartum depression. So they’re wondering why things had to end in such a violent way.
Some experts feel that our system is not setup to effectively handle mental health issues. This might even carry-over into our gun reform debate and the associated stigmas. While Carey might have been dealing with depression, others are dealing with post-war, post-recession and post-incarceration blues.
Does the system provide enough public awareness on the faces & facets of mental illness? We provide training for army recruits on handling a weapon. We see lots of books and movies about managing relationship issues. Maybe it’s time the community ups its game in serving those handling other stresses.
Footnote: Stigmas associated mental illness can affect some people similar to how biases affect others. They feel like an outsider or even worst sometimes as an outcast.