Vol. 15, No. 18 – June 1– June 14, 2022 – Opinion/Editorial

The attempt by Breezy Gledhill to rid her body of cancer is not going very well. Four months of chemo (time spent, sick days, loss of hair) has produced no results to reduce the size of the cancer so that it can be surgically removed.

She now needs to try different medical solutions that will not be covered (or very little) by her insurance company. As she sighed, “The insurance company is going to decide if I live or die!” A new medication called Keytruda – that might help – has just been rejected by her insurance company.

Breezy needs our help.

Those who love this wonderful lady don’t want it left in the hands of the insurance company whether to determine if she lives or dies. We are asking for financial help for her through a “gofundme” account that has been set up. We are asking for financial donations in any amount. This will assist her with getting the medicine she needs, and with managing through this difficult time.

Please consider sharing your love and concerns for Breezy by donating. Thank you.

https://gofund.me/16976479 or gofundme – Breezy Gledhill

This is the last issue (for now?) that Jill Forman will be writing for the Breeze. As stated in her last Bookmark article in this issue, “Your intrepid reporter is taking a break.” Her contributions to the paper have been very important so she will be missed. I will still continue to bug her to write an occasional article for us.

As you all certainly know, there have been two mass shootings recently by 18-year-olds. In the recent one 19 students and 2 teachers were killed and 17 others were wounded. Earlier that day, the shooter Salvador Ramos severely wounded his grandmother, shooting her in the forehead.

Ramos had legally purchased two AR-15 high-powered assault rifles and 375 rounds of ammunition as soon as he was allowed to purchase these in Texas when he was 18.

It’s impossible to even imagine how a first responder felt upon entering a classroom full of dead kids. It’s hard for me to stop imagining it, and I wasn’t even there. It will haunt those who saw it (and some of those who didn’t) for the rest of their lives.

I don’t understand why gun owners can be opposed to a 30-day waiting period to try to verify whether an individual should own a firearm gun. Certainly an 18-year-old could wait a month before buying 2 high powered rifles. And I still question why anyone (other then law enforcement) needs to own an AR-15 high-powered rifle to begin with.

A check of his background would have shown:

  • He quit high school
  • Quit his job
  • Parents kicked him out
  • A loner
  • Students were afraid of him
  • Posted scary stuff on social media

Perhaps, after 30-days, maybe he would have settled down or obtained some help with his troubled life.

The AR-15, like its military version, is designed to kill people quickly and in large numbers, hence the term assault-style rifle. In my opinion, they have no valid recreational use, and civilians should not be allowed to own them.

A quote from a Republican politician who, as always, never deals with the realty of our gun culture stated, “Two days ago, as you know, a mentally ill teenager called Salvador Ramos murdered 19 children and teachers in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.” Is this 18-year-old (like the previous 18-year-old) truly mentally ill, or is this just a way to deflect and not change gun laws, pushing this on to mental illness.

They may not be mentally ill at all, but more likely in a mental crisis. This is quite different from being mentally ill. Politicians should not use mental illness as an excuse for our gun crisis. This “excuse” is harmful and not supported by any scientific evidence or studies. This is a complex problem without easy solutions, but blaming mental illness is not the answer. It just inflicts damaging stigma on those who suffer from clinical defined mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and persistent depressive disorder.

I do agree that there is a great need for many more mental health facilities (and living spaces) for the mentally ill, but this would not stop this country’s mass shootings. The mentally ill are much more apt to be the victim of crimes than the perpetrators.

Joel Dvoskin, a clinical and forensic psychologist who served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Reducing Gun Violence told ABC News,

“Absent specific evidence, careful consideration should be given to social and contextual factors that might interact with any mental health issue before concluding that an active shooting was ’caused’ by mental illness. In short, declarations that all active shooters must simply be mentally ill are misleading and unhelpful.”

We do need to increase the mental health treatment centers but that wouldn’t mean that kids in crisis would even attend them.

Perhaps visiting our outdated gun laws and requiring wait times, and background checks, is the answer. I don’t know, but I do know more gun ownership (especially of high-powered rifles) is not the solution.

Research in California, conducted over a 12-year period, shows that having a handgun for personal protection does not make you safer. The research showed those who lived with an owner of a handgun were two times as likely to die by homicide as those living without guns. Those who live with a gun owner were almost three times more likely to be killed with a firearm then those with no gun present. Those that were killed in their homes were likely to die at the hands of their spouse or other intimate partners. And the risk is mostly to women 85% of the victims living with handgun owners were women. The study was published in the journal of Annals of Internal Medicine.

It is true that “people kill people,” but it is a hell of a lot easier with an AR-15 then it is with a six-shooter. Perhaps the writers of the constitution would have considered this?

Note: I certainly hope to hear from readers regarding this. [email protected]


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