When James Holmes (pictured above) recently went on a rampage during the midnight airing of Dark Knight at a theater in Aurora Colorado, twelve people lost their lives and scores were injured. Affected families of those who killed were left to try and pick up their lives as they now must endure the nightmare of funerals, media intrusion and grief beyond understanding.
Yet, at some point, people will begin to question just what happened in the mind of the 24-year old who was once a neuroscience student. Is he crazy? That perhaps goes without saying, yet he was still able to carefully plan and execute twelve hapless and innocent movie goers while injuring and thus changing the lives of as many as fifty others. His insane actions will now cause many to rethink about going to public venues, especially movie theaters. Likely, there will be hot debates over renewed interest in gun control and other security actions that will seek to further limit individual freedoms under the persona of protectionism.
But, none of these will address the true problem that is happening right in the midst of our society, and that is helping our mentally ill population. The scope of those who suffer some form of mental illness is truly breathtaking; according to a national survey conducted in the early 1990s and again a decade later, the number of people suffering some form of mental illness is about one in four American adults! Even more shocking is the fact that health facilities are woefully understaffed with literally millions of sick people falling through the cracks and receiving little or no care. Indeed, there are people with advanced neurosis who are allowed to walk the streets at will, purchase firearms and sometimes maim and kill as we have seen in the case of James Homes.
Sadly, at a time when the entire safety net for health care of all forms is rapidly unraveling, insane things like what happened in Aurora are bound to happen more frequently. Also sadly enough, we have far too many ‘knee jerk leaders’ like New York’s Mayor Bloomberg (who I feel suffers from some form of retardation) and who has had a hard on for gun control all his adult life now using this tragic event to further their own political agendas.