Letter: Another mass shooting, and another failure

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This is in response to a recent shooting by a 15-year old in Kentucky, and all other frequent similar events.

We – the parents, the extended family, the neighbors, the teachers, the other observers – all of us have failed.

Who did we fail? We failed the injured and the killed. We failed their families and friends. We failed the neighborhoods and the towns. But the saddest thing is we failed the shooter!

Who cares? We all should. If we had not failed him, we would not have failed all the others; this tragedy would not have happened.

Did he – the shooter – become so overwhelmed that the only way out that he could see was to die? Was he enraged, or severely depressed, that no one cared about him? No one noticed him? No one would help him. Did he think that if he died, no one would care? That no one would even notice?

Did he decide that the only way his death – and through that, his life – would be noticed, would be if he took others with him. If so, it worked. He is invisible no more.

We need to start recognizing the signs of mental health issues earlier, and treating them earlier, before tragedy happens. We need to identify at-risk populations, and intervene earlier.

Do we want to remain a country where one problem is allowed to mushroom until it explodes, and one or many lives are lost – time after time? Or will we strive for education and prevention; while identifying and treating already existing mental issues?

Carol Mickus