If we are going to talk about mental health as it relates to gun violence, we need to acknowledge the facts. Boys tend to develop schizophrenia in their teens and early twenties, girs a few years later. There really is no arguing this point.
Gun-owning parents who have even the slightest concern about their child’s mental health need to remove weapons from the home at the first sign of concern. But they don’t do it. Why? Because we are real good at denial. We don’t want to believe that our kid may be sick. That only happens to other people.
So while Washington DC talking heads go on about melting down all the guns or arming all the teachers, they are missing the point. We have a recognition problem. We do not (or don’t want to) recognize a dangerous situation as it is developing. Like so many things, if we as a society can educate and motivate parents, we could avoid so much suffering.
“Mental Health Services” are delivered after a problem is identified. 911 is called after shots are fired. We as a society need to learn how to identify and solve the ingredients of problems before they become problems.
And you’ve got to act if you get that feeling in your gut. It’s easy to get rid of a gun. The police will probably stop by and take it away if you just ask. Sometimes they’ll even give you a gift card in exchange.