Archive for December, 2012

In light of last week’s shocking Newtown, CT school mass murders, and in context of yesterday’s NRA press conference, when will we realize that pistols, semi-automatic and assault rifles are WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction)?

We need to demand of our leaders to break the gridlock and do something to change the tide? As a physician who has lived and worked in some of our most violent, beleaguered neighborhoods, GUNS AND promoting combative, WAR-mongering MENTALITY are NOT the answers to this grave problem.

Listening to Wayne LaPierre, Chief Executive of the NRA, I was truly, clinically convinced that such people who make thoughtless statements as “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” should NOT be influencing national policy impacting our children and society at large. We adults who live in this really complicated, violent world know better than our 5 year-olds that discerning ‘good’ and ‘bad’ is quite a hard task.  By reducing the conversation to very arbitrary simplistic dichotomies such as ‘good guy’ vs. ‘bad guy’ this man shot his credibility in the face. We also know that there are many dysfunctional members of society who retaliate against society and their tormentors by seeking powerful, armed positions in the police and armed forces.

If we want to descend into ‘hell on earth’ and turn this freedom-loving nation into a police state, we could continue this dialogue to turn schools into public spaces ruled by MARTIAL LAW. For those of us who have born witness to war (real war with real tanks and ferocious military might destroying families, villages, whole countries, not to mention the environment and ecologies of those nations at war–think: Agent Orange whose ravages are seeped into the soil, air and sea of SE Asia), we would not be so quick to flippantly promote a state of martial law upon this great nation that hasn’t seen bloodshed nor battle on its own soil in over a century (except for in its concrete ghettos and inner cities).

I hope and pray in the new year and the post-Mayan ‘doomsday of 12/21/12’ era, that we can rise above this elementary school conversation and look beyond “bad guys vs good guys with guns” to impact reasonable, sustainable policies to ensure a safer, healthier society.  For the sake of our children, we MUST!

My first prescriptive is to put as much energy and funding into promoting mental health and teaching tolerance and acceptance in our schools. Support Mental Healthcare programs and teachers: 2 social programs that are first cut in any fiscal battle to balance state and federal budgets.

With a Public Health perspective,


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