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Dec 10 2007

Do *you* feel safe?

In case you haven’t heard, there have been three fatal shootings in the last week, two of them here in Colorado. Then there was the hostage situation at the Hillary Clinton HQ in New Hampshire a few weeks ago. Thankfully no one was hurt there.

What’s going on here?

All four of these incidents had one thing in common. They happened in completely normal places, not an airport, not a courthouse, not a place you’d think something like this would happen. A shopping mall in Omaha? How much more middle America could this be? I’ve been to that mall, many times. It’s a good place to stop to stretch on the trek to Tom’s parents’ house. A school for missionaries? A church?

Where are we safe?

And though the details of yesterday’s shootings are still sketchy, I’m willing to bet they have something else in common with the other two incidents.

I am willing to bet the shooter(s) at the missionary school and the church had a history of mental illness.

No one likes to talk about mental illness, for whatever reason, it’s “scary.” But I believe we are hitting a crisis point with mental illness in this country. There are not enough services available, and those that are available are very expensive and/or not covered by insurance. Something needs to be done. I don’t know what, I’m not an expert in this field, but there is no safety net anymore. Who knows if there ever was a safety net.

I feel safe in my world, but how much of that is me thinking “it could never happen to me?” When will that bubble burst? And who will it affect? And how?

And why?

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