The Real Social Justice Issue: Taking Care of the Violent Mentally Ill | Anne Hendershott | Catholic World Report
Seriously troubled people and their families need help—to protect themselves and others.
In the aftermath of the heartbreaking school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, the editors at the National Catholic Reporter have joined with the leaders of the Soros-supported advocacy organization Catholics United to demand further restrictions on gun ownership. Ignoring the fact that Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, they have declared that a commitment to social justice demands that we “face up to intransigent special interests and engage in a serious discussion of how to end—permanently—the cycle of gun violence in America.
Gun control advocates continue to believe that if we just outlaw guns, we will end these acts of senseless violence. Claiming that gun control will “prevent yet another American family from having to go through Christmas without the loved ones they lost to gun violence,” the progressive Catholics at the National Catholic Reporter have joined President Obama in what the president now promises will be “meaningful action” on gun control.
The debate on gun control may be a good one if it reminds us once again exactly who these shooters are. Rather than focusing exclusively on guns themselves, the debate will be fruitful if we begin to pay closer attention to those who are committing these violent acts. A true commitment to social justice demands that we begin to take notice of the real health and safety needs of the mentally ill living among us. While progressives claim the moral high ground in their calls for gun control, they tend to ignore the fact that progressive policies on mental illness may have contributed to this dark day in Newtown.
For more than 40 years, we have been defining down the risks posed by the violent mentally ill.