Turning My Back on Evil, Even When It’s In Florida

It’s 6:00pm on February 15th, 2018. The day after Valentine’s Day. I spent the day avoiding the news. It was everywhere, so avoiding it was difficult.

Avoiding the news as much as possible means I know very little about the shooter of yesterday’s school shooting in Florida.

I have taken to turning my back on perpetrators of mass shootings. They simply don’t warrant my attention. However, I wanted to address a few misconceptions. Not everyone will agree with me. But as a person living with schizophrenia, I often live with stigma. People think all kinds of things. They do not always have very good mental health backgrounds.

So let’s set a few things straight:

  1. People with severe mental illness, like those who are on Social Security and are required to have someone manage their funds, are not legally allowed to purchase guns.
  2. Approximately 1 in 4 people live with mental illness. That’s a lot of people. Most people who live with mental illness are not violent.
  3. People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.
  4. Many people who carry out mass shootings want the attention. I refuse to give it to them. So should you. Experts recommend this. Don’t spend your day sifting through all the articles on whoever carried out this terrible act of violence. It’s not good for you or for them.
  5. Giving mass shooters attention simply encourages copycat shooters.

I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day in spite of the horrific tragedy that happened yesterday. If you have further misconceptions you’d like addressed, please leave them in comments.

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