All the focus on the small number of people with mental illness who are violent serves to make us feel safer by displacing and limiting the threat of violence to a small, well-defined group. But the sad and frightening truth is that the vast majority of homicides are carried out by outwardly normal people in the grip of all too ordinary human aggression to whom we provide nearly unfettered access to deadly force.
--A Misguided Focus on Mental Illness in Gun Control Debate - NYTimes.com (via dendroica)
For the second year in a row, more American soldiers—both enlisted men and women and veterans—committed suicide than were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Also, Milwaukeeans: have you heard of Dryhootch? It is a coffee shop on Brady that was opened by a group of Vietnam veterans who wanted to help soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan (as well as veterans from all eras). In addition to just being a place to hang out, it offers many services for veterans and their families, including support groups, a legal clinic, and resources related to mental health. I’ve been meaning to post something about it for a while (and sadly, this picture is what reminded me to do so). They are particularly focused on helping veterans who are not eligible for military benefits because of the circumstances of their discharges (including those discharged under DADT). Spread the word!
I sometimes read obituaries in the morning (is that weird?) and today I read one that has been on my mind all day. It reminded me to be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
The author of the obituary frequently writes about mental health issues for the local paper and she wrote this article with honesty and compassion. I don’t know the man who passed, but his story was interesting and inspiring; I thought I’d share it in case others find something interesting and inspiring in it, too. You can read the obituary here.