Think Progress has two unusually good articles on tap -- one about mental illness and the other about guns... guns and the NRA. I'm going to resist making much of a comment on either one.
The first is an interview with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen and Bradley Cooper. Cooper's name you probably recognize. Dr. Van Dahlen has been and continues to be part of a group coordinating mental health care for veterans. They are interviewed by Alyssa Rosenberg of the Center for American Progress and together make more sense about the issues of mental illness and community than many of us have seen so far.
It is, in fact, the response of community to problems that go beyond the individual and affect the whole community that is, I think, the key to mental illness and violence in our society.
Here's Van Dahlen:
The issue is having people in someone’s life who are consistent, who care. The police officer in this story was somebody who actually was willing to try when he could to be helpful, rather than just “Okay, I’m taking you back in.” And unfortunately, that’s not often the case in communities, nor is it the case that we’ve got teacher who have the knowledge, even though they care about the kids, they may not understand. So they’re not going to be the one that says “Maybe something else is going on here.” It’s educating all the way down the line in our communities so these folks are identified and have access and it’s part of our normal conversation. It should not be the case that someone has to keep feeling like “I’m going to try to keep it together, I’m going to try to keep it together.” We see this obviously with the service members, that whole culture, trying to keep it together when they can’t. Our society, unfortunately, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on people, and sometimes, they blow. ...Think Progress
Then, just a roll of the mouse away, is the horror report on the NRA enemies list published at the end of 2012.
The list is frightening, funny. Talk about community! The NRA goes after the heroes of our communities ... and the church goers... and selected entertainers, including Art Garfunkel (Art Garfunkel?) and Boyz II Men.
Oh, and the American Nurses Association. Gun lovers: you don't want to be out at night, alone, when nurses are running wild in the streets, that's for sure...