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Monday, December 17, 2012

What Are We Gonna Do?

Sorry to be heavy, folks.  I promise to have some great crafts for you soon. But today, Miss Ginger heart is in other places.

No cute pictures or funny videos.  Just worry.

Worry about our country, and the epidemic of crazed shootings we are suffering.  Half the country seems to think we should ban guns; the rest are crazy trying to defend their right to bear arms.  (I'm pretty sure our forefathers never anticipated the killing machines our military has invented to fire off multiple rounds in seconds.)

The way Miss Ginger sees it, there are 2 elements to a mass killing: guns, and mental illness.  And no matter what laws our congress passes, on this Earth, and in this country, there will always be guns and mental illness.  The problem arises when we put them in the same room together.  So how do we fix it?  That part is not something Miss Ginger can solve... if she had that answer, she wouldn't have time to be writing this silly little lifestyle/drag/craft blog.  But, Miss Ginger does know something she can do:  DEMAND MORE!!  More attention from Congress! More attention from our President! More attention from the medical community, the scientific community, and the business community!  We can't just roll over and say "oh, well!"

Regardless of what anyone may think or hear, Obamacare is a small step in the right direction, in that it will provide medical insurance to help with the expenses of treatment for mental illness.  Now I know it's not the vaccine to end all violence, but if a person has access to health care, they may be able to treat depression, schizophrenia, or other mental conditions that can escalate without care.  And with health insurance, when a routine illness like the flu comes along, they are more likely to see a doctor who may then recognize signs that more assessment of their mental state is needed.

But we must demand MORE! When a patient sees a doctor in most clinics, they are routinely screened for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other common disorders that the patient may or may not have. These are not symptomatic diseases, so blood testing is the only way to find them.  We think nothing of testing for or treating these conditions.

But what about mental illness?  Have you ever been screened for it?  Has your doctor ever recommended treatment?  No?  You know why?  These aren't big money makers for big pharma!  You've all seen ads on TV to treat high cholesterol, impotence, even urinary incontinence!  But do you ever see an ad for a drug that treats schizophrenia?  Bipolar disorder?  Panic disorder?  Nope.  Taboo. Not glamorous. 

The assessment tools used to diagnose mental illness are specialized, time consuming, and expensive.  Most "family practitioners", the doctors we see most often, aren't of the mindset to consider mental illness, unless the patient shows clear signs of instability.  Even then, most doctors would rather perform a "digital rectal" than approach a patient about the possibility of mental illness!

We, as a society, need to DEMAND MORE attention to the discussion, assessment, and treatment of mental illness!  Through open and frank dialogue with physicians and patients, we can make a difference in how and when the conditions are treated!

Now, on to guns.  Don't worry, you can keep your fucking pistol in your handbag, and no one wants to take away your precious squirrel rifle, though for the life of Miss Ginger she doesn't understand America's love affair with guns.  But that single shot rifle, or even that relatively low caliber revolver aren't what worries Miss Ginger, nor is that what massacres scores of people in minutes.  Miss Ginger is talking about weapons that load themselves automatically, spraying exploding bullets into crowds of people.  It's illegal to hunt deer with those things, and they would blow a duck to bits, so why the hell does anyone need those?  Best case scenario, they are outlawed except for military and police personnel.  Since Miss Ginger knows the NRA's lobbyists will never allow that to happen, we should at least recognize that it's not the gun that kills a person... it's the bullets.  So, let's limit the amount of bullets anyone can buy for those things.  And while we're at it, before they could own or carry the gun or the bullets, they should be thoroughly screened for signs of mental illness, with follow-up screening at renewal intervals, just to be sure.

What else can we do?  We can't just sit by and let this happen in America.  Miss Ginger wants to know how she and the rest of Ginger Nation can help end, or at least reduce, these senseless killings!!


Kailyn said...

Have you seen that old Chris Rock stand-routine? He suggested that we start charging $5,000 or something like that for each bullet. Make them so expensive that people will think twice before using them.

Bob said...

I think you summed it up in two words: Demand MORE.

mrs.missalaineus said...

yes. well said. DEMAND MORE!


Beth said...

Wonderfully said, Miss G. I stand ready to make phone calls and write letters to my legislators as we move forward with common sense solutions to this problem. We can do better than this, and we MUST do better.

Kyle Leach said...

Awesome post Miss G! We do, all, need to demand more and expect more.


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