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No More Thoughts and Prayers — Let’s Address the Violence and Mental Health Crises

Enough Thoughts and Prayers! We Need to Address the Violence and Mental Health Crisis

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[Leer en español]

It happened again, an anti-social, mentally deranged man took the lives of U.S. citizens patriotically celebrating Independence Day in Illinois. The moment, the situation, the date chosen, should alert us to what has been happening in the country in the last decade: an increase in stigmatization and hatred on the part of Americans towards their own country, which has been transmitted in schools and left-leaning media.

We have an educational, cultural, values, and public health crisis, it is not guns that are killing people, it is mental dissociates who, with guns, SUVs, or whatever instruments they have at their disposal, lash out at innocent citizens out of hatred for the world, the country, or themselves, and until we have serious debates about this crisis of identity, psychopathy, and violence, we will continue to send useless thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased. 

It is impossible to have a serious debate about violence in America when one of the parties in question believes that eliminating guns will magically make all the country’s problems go away; in Illinois, where the new shooting occurred, assault weapons are banned, and that did not stop the mentally ill man from committing his savage act, since, oh surprise, a criminal doesn’t care about laws.

On Sunday, there was also a mass shooting in a Denmark shopping mall. Denmark restricts the concealed carry of weapons, particularly the same weapon which was used for the attack. I insist, as long as we have politicians trying to make the population believe that the problems are the guns and not the criminals, we will continue to send thoughts and prayers until a bullet hits us. 

We need to have serious debates about violence, enforce laws to prevent criminals from getting out of prison easily, have every violent person removed from society, also self defense lessons for civilians, and of course psychiatric treatment, and not continue to allow hatred of America to continue to be spread in the country through “education”. 

Please let’s stop sending thoughts and prayers to the victims, and start having responsible debates for the future of the country. We can agree on mid-points: widespread background checks for gun acquisition, among other checkpoints; however, this, without corresponding actions to address our mental health crisis and docility against criminals who come in and out of prison like their homes, will make like water in a sieve. 

The problem is the violent mentally deranged, not the instrument they use for their misdeeds! The sooner we come to grips with this, the closer we will be to finding solutions.

Emmanuel Rincón is a lawyer, writer, novelist and essayist. He has won several international literary awards. He is Editor-at-large at El American // Emmanuel Rincón es abogado, escritor, novelista y ensayista. Ganador de diversos premios literarios internacionales. Es editor-at-large en El American

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