Sunday, May 25, 2014

Together We Can Bring on The Change By: Karen Pilarski

The devastating events in Isla Vista, CA has left people reeling with horror. Unfortunately this type of mental illness is prevalent in these tragic times.

With each breaking news story, are we becoming desensitized to violence?

I studied news writing in college. I understand the 'if it bleeds, it leads' mentality. The mass shooting are plastered all over the cable news and more attention is often given to the murderer than his/her victims.

I know people want answers, we need a resolution. The focus on the killer may help give a picture into his/her psyche.

Without warning, finger pointing and blaming begins and anger boils over. Are guns to blame or is it society's reactions to mental illnesses?

Every shooting has unique circumstances.

In my hometown of Milwaukee, Sierra Guyton was shot last week while playing on a playground. She was caught in the cross fire during a fight. She is ten years old. She is now brain dead and is clinging to life.

There was no mental illness. Only stupidity and carelessness of everything around the people who shot her.

In Isla Vista, a 22 year old named Elliott Rodgers, who was mentally disturbed created and unveiled his attack with knives and bullets. Before the attack there was YouTube videos that contained insane rants. He blamed everyone for his problems and failures.


The people on the streets had no ill will, they like Guyton were living their lives. In an instant lives changed and lives ended.

Each time blood is shed, we weep and exclaim "This has to stop!" Yet, no one knows how to make the madness and senseless actions diminish.

There are people calling for the right to carry or a ban on guns. Protests about better mental health screenings and treatment. 

It is a battle ground out in our world today. One minute people in a crowded movie theater are watching a movie or kids learning in school. The next minute bullets spray in the air.

My heart is heavy thinking of those who died and the ones struggling to live.

In my creative writing class we discussed Mariah Carey's songs. We analyzed "There's Got To Be A Way." 

"There's got to be a way
To connect this world today
Come together to relieve the pain
There's got to be a way
To unite this human race
And together we'll bring on a change."
Her strong words still have an effect on me in my 30's. Separately we are all spinning our wheels and not accomplishing our shared goal. Together, united we can make the change we seek.

Violence sometimes can't be prevented just as car crashes happen unexpectedly. In the meantime, hold your children close and thank the heavens above for each day with them.