• Evan Curtin

Fully Stigmated: They cry mental illness pulled the trigger!!!

Most of you have heard about the recent mass shootings in El Paso, TX. and Dayton, OH which took even more innocent lives. I live just down the road from Dayton and many in my community were effected. It seems as though not a day goes by where we hear about some "mentally ill" person "randomly" going on a killing rampage and leaving so many survivors to ask the question "why?" and all those who don't have an answer are just left saying "thoughts and prayers"!!! Well thoughts and prayers only do so much and as for the person being "mentally ill", that is not only all too convenient but makes all those truly struggling with mental illness to look dangerous even though most of them are far from it. To point out that mass shootings are caused by a lax in the mental health system is not only stigmatizing but ignorant and irresponsible, especially when the person responsible for cuts in funding is the very person questioning the "lax". I've encountered many violent people throughout my life and what I've found is the vast majority of them did not have a mental health diagnosis nor did they show signs of one. They were mostly angry people or just downright bullies. It is possible these shooters had a mental illness or disturbance of their thought patterns but to label them so by default is just not cool. I also have a mental illness...does that make me dangerous. I'd like to think not!!! Especially unprovoked. And there are so many hurting people out there who are just needing a little help and understanding rather than being demonized for a label they didn't even give themselves. I wrote a poem, where I try to make a little sense of why someone might plan such a heinous act as taking so many innocent lives... I must warn you it's fairly hardcore but I think it is a deep and important message. here goes:

Fully Stigmated: They Cry Mental Illness Pulled the Trigger

They say it's mental illness that pulled the trigger

But I cry the real illness is something Bigger

As he walks through the halls feeling the walls closing in

His anger builds well below his skin

As laughter and punches protrude into his soul

An innocent child's purpose goes out of control

He starts making lists of all the hateful fists

He's taken too much for one child to bear

All his hopeful dreams have turned to nightmares

He plays video games but prefers Oregon Trail

He says it takes brains to know all it entails

He's been to the river and read the gospel twice

He know's nothing of the trigger

but at this point it sounds nice

He's a sensitive loner not too many friends

When will the bullying come to an end

So he checks his list, checks it thrice

Deciding who's truly been naughty or nice

And he puts it aside and says,

"I'll never do the chore!"

Then one day there's a sale at the Superstore

"I'll take one of those and 10 boxes of shells.

They say I'm full of sin and crazy,

well we're all going to hell!!!"

"I never thought it would be this easy," he says

"to clear em all out!"

"I'll go down in history and show 'em

what I'm all about!"

So he prepares for the perfect moment

and says with a shout...



As he entered the party and he looked around

No one he liked was anywhere to be found

This was a new kind of school,

different from the one he hated

He felt he would teach them ALL...Fully Automated

As he pulled the trigger

All his hopes and dreams were gone

His life ended in that moment

As he planned it all along

And the real shame of it all

Is that all the lives he took

Were more valuable than Gold

or any autobiographical book

Society is shaken by another senseless act

But it made sense to him

when he made that ANGRY pact

So again I say it's easy to blame it on mental defect

Did mental illness really pull the trigger

or was it willful neglect

The next time a child says:

"I'm tired of all this pain!"

Reach out to him and help

Rather than label him insane!!!

You might just save some lives.

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