Episode 15

18 Dec

Just a quick update to let you know that the latest episode of Bitter Infertiles is now live. This is a great episode wherein we speak with Cristy’s amazing infertility therapist, Denise Sterchi (aka Dee, if you follow Cristy’s blog), about some of the emotional challenges we face through infertility. Of course we’re only able to touch upon the tippy tip of that iceberg, but what we do talk about it quite powerful. If you’ve fallen behind on your Bitter Infertiles listening, I strongly encourage you to jump on this one. We’re proud of it. It’s great.

In the beginning of the episode though, we do talk about the tragedy at Newtown. This is something that has deeply affected every parent out there, and even though many of us in this community can’t yet call ourselves parents, in the way we work so hard to achieve our children – we are honorary parents. And you don’t have to be a parent to be stricken and sickened by this terrible tragedy.

In this section, we talk a lot about mental health, which I agree is incredibly – incredibly – important, but it’s also possible to get the impression that we think stricter gun legislation won’t help or doesn’t matter. I can’t speak for my fellow Bitter Infertiles hosts, but I want to just make it clear here that I am not in agreement with that. I know it’s taboo but I’m going to get a little political here: I do think we need to regulate this industry in a stricter way and I do think it could have made a difference in the case of Newtown. Here is a great piece on two key ideas almost everyone can agree with: mental health screenings before gun purchases and more accountable gun distribution and retailing. Personally, I’d love to see more sweeping changes, like what they did in Australia following the 1996 massacre. There hasn’t been a single mass shooting since.

I’m not sure I can agree with the statement that mental health is the “root cause” of this tragedy, because in my opinion (just mine!), it wouldn’t have mattered how sick the shooter was if he couldn’t get his hands on those guns.  Yes, he could have found other ways to injure but few things cause as much harm as semi-automatic weapons. Do you know what those are? Those are guns that automatically reload the bullet for you, making it easy to pump out multiple bullets in quick succession. Which sadly, is just what he did into those tiny bodies. I can’t understand why these killing machines are accessible to the public (we can have those, and not marijuana?), but they are. The mass stabbing at a school in China on the same day? Perfect example. A sick person in need of help, wanting to do harm, with access only to a lesser weapon. Yes, he did get his hands on a weapon but the only thing that matters to me is that none, not one, of those 23 children died.

I don’t want to be divisive here, that is the least of my intentions. Because I know that if any single change is to come from Newtown (and I sure hope it’s more than one), we have to work together. We have to be a community, just as Cristy said, and look out for one another. I just feel strongly that these two issues are inextricably linked where it comes to mass shootings. And as I commented on Cristy’s latest blog post, I get uncomfortable when I see anyone beating the drum for any one issue over another (especially as I’ve seen gun advocates using mental health as an excuse to skip right over the issue of gun control).

Both of these factors (plus those which are unknown) are so important and deserve equal time under the light of scrutiny. I’d like to see is someone leading the charge on looking at the epidemic of mass shootings in this country from a holistic point of view and then tying that to action. Otherwise, I seriously fear nothing will ever change. If the loss of those 20 precious lives in Newtown doesn’t start to incite some change, I can’t think what will. That’s what terrifies me most.

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9 Responses to “Episode 15”

  1. nonsequiturchica December 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    Agreed, agreed, agreed. We can regulate cigarettes, driving a car, and 10 million other things, but then allow basically anyone to get a gun. We need reform and regulations YESTERDAY.

    • Shelley December 18, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

      If only the right to drive a car was as closely monitored and regulated as owning and operating a gun.

  2. Cristy December 18, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    I’m currently out of town, so I haven’t had the ability to respond to comments with my last post or in regards to recent news from newton, but I think your point is a valid one. Mainly, we need to address BOTH issues. Yes, gun control is important and I do believe that we need to reassess who we sell firearms to (frankly, I think handguns should be banned all together). But, I also firmly believe that mental health is not being addressed. Too often, people don’t intervene assuming it’s not their role to criticize other people’s parenting. What struck me with the Stranger article is that the mother needs help, but probably more broadly then just her son. With the details that are coming out about Nancy Lanza, it’s clear that this was a long time brewing.

    The reason I pushed for not talking about it for a couple of days was that so we could mourn the dead and this tragedy. But now I think we need action, on both fronts. Yes, we need to focus on firearms, but I truly believe that if we don’t address the mental health piece, we are fooling ourselves into a false sense if security

    • Shelley December 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm #

      I agree. It’s both.

  3. Kate @ Infertile First Mom December 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm #

    These are eloquently and diplomatically conveyed points. And I agree 100%!

  4. Esperanza December 18, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

    I just want you to know I agree with you 100%. Thanks for saying this.

  5. chon December 19, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    I am loving what I am hearing here. Yes yes yes

  6. Ms. Future PharmD December 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    A friend talked about how much more heavily we regulate operating a car than we do operating a gun (and that needs to change). You need a license to drive a car, insurance against the damage it might do to others, and we keep a public record of misuses of a car (and we fine for minor misuses before we get to something big and arrest you). If you’re unhealthy and can’t safely operate a care, you aren’t allowed a license. For guns, mental health needs to be a factor in that licensing process. Thanks for a lovely, well considered post.

  7. jjiraffe December 20, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    Huge old word. Thanks for this post.

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