Stilton Jarlsberg writing at HopeNChange.com is a multi-talented satirist/ essayist. He invokes humor and profundity. Today’s essay reposted here is a timely and sincere advocacy for a better response to the recent mass murder spree in California. Jarlsberg points out that real progress toward a better mental health focus to prevent such atrocities has been thwarted by Nancy Pelosi for the worst political reasons: Jarlsberg’s cartoon panels are provocative, often irreverent, especially when none is deserved! Today’s essay is serious stuff.
First things first: Elliot Rodger’s murderous rampage is a human tragedy which shouldn’t be used as a political football by either side. It was neither access to guns nor an oversexualized Hollywood culture which made this pathetic 22 year old manboy into a killer – it was his insanity.
Which is why today’s Hope n’ Change, including the “too soon, too sick” cartoon above, isn’t about the specifics of the Elliot Rodger case, but rather about the need to try to do something realistic about the underlying insanity…and stopping murderous rampages before they happen.
Pennsylvania Republican Representative Tim Murphy, a psychologist, has spent over a year analyzing the failures of our mental health system and laws, and crafted a reform bill which might help find and treat those who are dangerously unstable. He has worked with Republicans and Democrats, and his bill enjoys broad bipartisan support.
Or we should say “enjoyed.” Because Nancy Pelosi is doing all she can to kill it and telling Democrats to withdraw their support. (Note: please follow the link to the full Wall Street Journal story about this that appeared two weeks ago – well before Rodger’s appalling crimes.)
But why would Pelosi want to scuttle the bill? Because in an election year, she doesn’t want the Republicans to have even a single example of bipartisan success – even on something as serious and important as this.
Moreover, by putting an emphasis on mental health and psychiatric intervention, the bill is a reminder that the killings are actually done by a human being rather than an inanimate object like a gun (and in this case, Rodger used knives, guns, and a car to commit his heinous acts). Put simply, Pelosi would rather bolster her anti-gun arguments with more mass murders than allow members of her own party to help prevent those murders.
Despicable. Unspeakable. Unacceptable.
There are serious-minded people, Republicans and Democrats, who want to genuinely reform our mental health laws right now to save lives. They should be allowed to do so without the unnecessary obstacle of Nancy Pelosi’s partisan politicking and, yes, insanity.