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07/02/2015

Comments

Sally Watling

Well done Lynn. Thoughtful piece.

Ella Dyer

Thank you for sharing these sad but important details! We are constantly having this conversation, on both sides of the pond, and now we have some numbers to share.
Yes, we often refer to America as the wild, wild west.

Lynn Meakin

Great post, Lynn!

Don M. Herron

BONJOUR LYNN ET MERCI BEAUCOUP!!! You have hit the nail on the head between French and USA gun violence. Most of my American male friends are like me, a retired military serviceman, but living abroad has given me a different perspective on gun ownership, gun registration and psychological testing before gun ownership. I am convinced that my American friends, some for over 40 years, are afraid to have our government dictate what they can have or not have - but of course for 20 years in the military we were serving our USA government and obeyed its laws so this should be nothing new to them. I fully support your views on French and USA gun violence causes and its perpetuation via the horribly strong NRA. Another problem is many of our conservative American politicians follow the NRA dogma because the NRA funds those political campaignes who will support their gun lobby!!! Isn't that sad for those of us who vote them into office and then they cowtow to those wealthy lobbyists with lots of money?! You are a brave and bright lady to speak out on such a devisive and terrible American problem!!!! Congratulations Lynn, I will stand with you, Montelle

Mary

Well said.......totally agree with you!

Paula

The shooter in Charleston was, indeed a vicious racist, but his bigger problem was that he was psychotic. Like the shooter in the Denver movie theater, he was in dire need of competent mental health interventions before the killings started. The mental health professional community needs to rethink how they deal with their patients and the government must alot them the funds to do this.

Psychaitry has, in the last thirty years, claimed to treat mental illness with medication--not hospitalization. The government--starting with the Reagan administration--embraced this concept and began closing down expensive residential institutions. The result has been a large vulnerable population (who frequently choose not to take their medications) out on the streets and a small dangerous population that threatens everyone.

mark kane

Yes, Lynn, our culture has become fearful--of neighbors, strangers, ethnic groups, religions, lone wolves, attacks. Such threats are far more rare than road accidents, hospital mistakes, air and water pollution, child hunger and obesity. Yet, our citizens think they need guns to protect themselves from assaults. The media contribute by making tv news into a war of good people under siege by the forces of evil. I have watched almost no tv for years, so when I see and hear it (in airports, restaurants) I'm shocked by how hysterical the newsreaders are. The advertisements too. As you say it's a vicious circle and getting worse.

Connie Rice Allen

Hi Lynn,
I was wondering if you would be speaking about the Charleston shooting and here it is! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and I couldn't agree more. Of course, Monty has said it all so well so I don't need to repeat.
It it all just so sad here and I am sorry to say that I don't believe it will change any time soon. The folks from Newtown have consistently been at the forefront of this issue and, it seems to me, making very slow progress. Bottom line -- money speaks and holds the power.

Suzanne Hurst

I am so tired of the mental illness angle to these horrid murders. It is true that mental health is poorly handled in the US, but that doesn't equate to blaming mental illness instead of the easy access by anyone to guns. That has to be fixed, and not swept under the rug AGAIN.
Lynn, I totally agree with your words. I don't see how anyone can argue with the statistics you cite. I know that I've never felt as safe in any American city as I felt in Paris.
And back to mental illness, I've not read anything that said that the Charleston perp is psychotic. As long as Americans think that these things only happen because of the "crazies" amongst us, rather than our culture of violence, nothing will change.

Natalia

Thank you,Lynn,this is beautifully written and very thought provoking.
I remember back to the 60's,the Vietnam War,when "make love,not war" was a cry heard far and wide.
That these senseless acts of violence and cruelty are STILL happening does not speak well of mankind's progress(or lack of).
Such depressing events to say the least.
But! Perhaps hope still springs eternal.
Another flashback song from Peter,Paul,and Mary says it all."When will we ever learn??"

Johanna DeMay

Thank you for speaking out so clearly and decisively. The NRA claims that "guns don't kill people, people kill people." They are missing the point: PEOPLE WITH GUNS KILL PEOPLE.

Leslie in Oregon

Thank you for adding your very articulate voice and unique perspective (as an American living in France) to the clamor for gun control in the U.S. I have never felt at all like I need a gun to protect myself or my family, and I can't imagine valuing my property enough to be willing to shoot someone for it. At the same time, my sister, living in a similar community nearby, cannot imagine not having her armory of firearms at the ready to protect herself and her family. (Against what, I ask. Her answer: against all of the violent people out there who want something she has or who engage in random violence. She always carries a gun with her.) So far, I have found it impossible to put a dent in her apparent belief that having a gun at hand is a necessity in this world. Because the fear underlying her strongly-held belief is very deeply-rooted in her and those who share it, it is difficult to imagine how the majority of Americans, who are said to want more gun control, will prevail on this issue.

Marilyn

I totally agree with you Paula- the mental health system is broken in the US and we need to learn to treat people who have mental illnesses before tragedy (killings and suicides) happens.

Kerry Ann

Thanks for pointing out one of the biggest elements of the problem...homeless populations surged after the closing of mental hospitals, when patients were released to the care of families who were not equipped with knowledge or resources. Thankfully, this year under the Affordable Care Act, mental health has to be fully covered. Recognizing mental disorders and getting someone treatment is a huge hurdle our country has to tackle....you can't force a mentally competent adult who is not obviously dangerous into care, but they may worsen and by then it could be too late. Add in the car-centric isolation of American suburbia and it's too easy for people who need help to be under the radar, while desperate families have nowhere to turn. The tide is finally turning here, but the gun lobby has a death-grip on our government.

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