Like most of the country, I have been glued to my TV these past few days watching Sandy Hook. I have watched the same footage over and over. I have listened to the reports, the speculation and a LOT of dialogue. Most of the conversation is about guns, which inevitably leads to the politics and calls for reform.
I don't believe this is a gun control issue. This is a health care issue. The conversation needs to be about mental health and its surrounding stigmata.
It isn't easy to get help for psychological disorders. Insurance coverage is often limited or non-existent and you risk alienation by your loved ones. 5 years ago when I decided to get help, I battled a family not supportive of therapy, a fear that my job would find out and limited number of providers. I had good insurance coverage at the time and called 9 doctors before I found someone who was covered by my insurance, accepting new patients and had a next available appointment sooner than 4 months out. At a very dark time in my life I was turned away by doctor after doctor and even once I found one, then spent months battling my insurance company over coverage regarding the dosage of meds my doctor was prescribing. Telling NJhusband about my panic disorder while we were dating was one of the hardest things I have had to do. Feeling and navigating the reactions of his friends was a close second. Living with a behavioral disorder is hard enough. It doesn't need to be made any harder by the government, the insurance companies or society.
When shootings happen, out of deference for the victims, we try not to focus on the man behind the gun. Maybe instead we could focus on him more before he gets to the point of seeking a gun.