Sandy Hook Tragedy – Gun Laws? Mental Health Impact?

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a shock for everyone.  In a connected world, it doesn’t take six degrees of separation to know someone who lost a child.  I’m only one degree away from several people.  And, for those of us with kids, it really makes you look at your school and their processes.

I wanted to take a moment to say that my thoughts and prayers go out to those families and the community and to capture a few thoughts.

moment of silence

General Thought #1:  While we have a clear gun violence issue in this country (see infographic below), we’ve been slow to make any meaningful changes.  Will this finally push us over the edge?  I’m not sure.  Certainly, those that like to own guns believe it might as you can see the sales of guns have spiked in the past few days.  This seems like an opportunity for Obama to create a legacy for himself by changing this paradigm.

General Thought #2:  The other big question or potential impact here is whether this will change the way schools or society in general deal with mental health issues.  Even at the simplest level, I think about the stigma placed on people on anti-depressants.  People who have depression don’t often openly discuss it, but the reality is that 16% of Americans are taking an anti-depressant (almost 1 in 5).  If you assume there are many others that aren’t diagnosed or aren’t medicated, it becomes a significant population.

Interesting Video: The one thing I saw last night from a 9-year old was the video below which wasn’t made about Sandy Hook but was released and dedicated to them.  It covers the broader topic of bullying and violence including school violence.

Gun Violence in America

Browse more data visualization.

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