Miriam Carey’s Final Moments Have Left More Questions Than Answers

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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.

President Obama Made Emotional Plea for a Transformation in our Nation

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Theme:– A Conversation on Gun Violence, Bias and Mental Illness

Over the past year there’s been a repeat of violent events that have rocked the soul. From the urban blocks of Chicago to the quiet streets of Newtown many have had to cry and ask why. The same question was asked after the Navy Yard shooting. Recently, the President made an emotional plea for change.

The FBI provided updates on the shooter’s state of mind. It seems he was affected by paranoia and delusion. They say he acted alone but it’s still unclear whether his actions were triggered by other factors. Getting to the root of such senselessness is a hard nut to crack. But the President says it’s gotta happen.

He reminded the families that he’s been to five such memorial services in the recent past. He appealed to the collective pain to forge a transformation in our nation which has 10 times as many gun-related tragedies than other developed countries. Just thinking about such a stat can lead to an air of despair.

In a sense that could be the dilemma we face as a community. How does despair get flushed-out the air? The FBI and HVAC guys aren’t sure. Maybe some of the gun violence ties to a sense of feeling boxed-in. Some see no way out of urban distress while others wrestle with deep bouts of mental duress.

The response we take to stemming the tide should force us to zoom in on the sources and effects of despair. This is not necessarily a trivial thing. It’s hard to know what’s going on inside someone’s head. But, President Obama knows it might be made easier by a greater sense of shared purpose as a nation.

Footnote: One way of promoting ‘anti-violence’ is by being ‘pro-purpose’ so others won’t describe you as being ‘anti Second Amendment.’