As a family member of a victim of the Columbine shootings, my heart breaks for the parents of Eric and Dylan. My heart also breaks for the parents of the Aurora shooter, the parents of Jared Loughner (shooter of Gabby Giffords, etc) and the countless others who watched their children self destruct before their very eyes. To have no sympathy for those parents is to have absolutely no idea what it means to be mentally ill. And that is what this blog is all about. Those shooters were wrong. What they did was horrible. But as a society we need to do a better job of accepting that the mentally ill are all around us. And the severely mentally ill are capable of such acts of violence. Just as you do not get to "choose" not to have cancer, you do not get to "choose" to not be mentally ill. It happens. Brains malfunction. Psychosis sets in. AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH PARENTING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Thank you Cathy for having the courage to speak up. I am deeply sorry you and your family have experienced such a tragic loss of one of your own. Your pain is unimaginable, but your compassion is an example to us all. Thank you.
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Since there’s been a discussion about mental illness and violent crimes, I thought it was important to point out that the vast majority of those who are suffering from a mental illness who are not abusing drugs or alcohol and are receiving treatment are statistically no more violent or dangerous than the rest of the population. People with a mental illness are more likely to harm themselves—or to be harmed—than they are to hurt other people.