Just a few questions for faithful readers



West Words’ recent column, “Firearm Controversy Isn’t Easy to Resolve” stirred up almost as much controversy as the one on Duck Dynasty. My initial inclination was to respond in the readers’ posting area at the bottom of the column. As always, I ran long in my post and decided to turn the response into a column.

Two Quick Queries

But first I have questions regarding the gun controversy column.

1. Do these comments belong to the column “Firearm Controversy Isn’t Easy to Resolve,” or did they somehow get transferred from someone else’s political editorial?

2. The only reference to the column I can find is Miraculous Mutha’s “Nice article Karen. Thanks.” Best I can tell, most of the comments were bounced back and forth between Miraculous and Mr. Parsons, not surprisingly, the two readers who post comments regularly.

Make no mistake, I am grateful for their faithfulness, even when they disagree. Through the years there have been any number of editorial opinions and columns that were interesting enough but not nearly as fascinating as the comments posted by readers.

Forgive my possible naivety, but the column we’re discussing isn’t about politics, partisanship, right-wingers, Tea Partiers, or any other political issue. It is about needy children in dysfunctional families. I.e., Children, Families, Mental Illness, Schools, Education, Compassion and a Solution to a national disease threatening our nation’s children as surely – and certainly as deadly – as Europe’s devastating Black Plague in the 1300s.

More than 20 million Europeans – almost one-third of the continent’s population – died. But the plague, like our nation’s trend toward innocent assassins, started in a small way – one infected rat, one man, and one ship in Sicily that multiplied exponentially to 20 million people dying horrible deaths.

The previous column posited that “the right to bear arms…is uniquely complicated…and is less about guns than it is about young people growing up with anger, neglect, abuse, and no one to diagnose their mental illness and help them heal or cope.

“Strong action is needed to identify these troubled children and help them navigate into a sane and safe life. Otherwise we will lose far more than the 20 six-and-seven-year-olds and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
If you, dear readers, interpret those comments as relating to Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, or any other political issue, please re-read the first column and enlighten me.

Martin Luther King and I…

I have a dream that has lingered for more than a decade. Imagine a program operating through the social and civil services of our educational system to provide a solidly conceived and dynamically designed testing system for kids in kindergarten through high school. Public and private schools alike.

This program might address familial problems, nutrition and health issues, abuse in all its awful manifestations, and any other challenges parents and children confront. It could be as simple as identifying near-sightedness or food allergies. It might discover physical or sexual abuse. It may find an environment embedding itself into a little brain and beginning to control his anger, frustration, and dangerous tendencies.

Sometimes the wealthiest parents bring up a sadly neglected child. Sometimes the poorest parents bring up the smartest, brightest child. It’s all about love. Love a child and prove it through your actions, your hugs, your words, and your desire for all things good for her.

All things good for your child

Under “all things good for your child” is the category of physical and mental health. It may seem easy to identify measles, chicken pox, asthma, and other childhood diseases – or at least be aware that medical advice is required. Not so much when a child’s developing brain has a problem.

Most parents can’t initially recognize their child’s Attention Deficit Disorder, Manic/Depressive Disorder, Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, and dozens of other mental challenges, all of which can have a devastating effect.

We have a child in our family who has dealt with one of these diseases, and so I speak with a certain amount of knowledge gained painfully through experience. My dream is to develop a program to help children and parents who struggle with these disabilities and diseases before things start to happen and every heart breaks.

It may start in a small way, but in my dream it blossoms and then explodes into a program saving untold numbers of lives and children…and hearts. No budgetary dollar could be better spent.

9 Responses to "Just a few questions for faithful readers"

  1. Dean Parsons   January 13, 2014 at 12:54 AM

    Marvelous murtha, you should know just how bad public education is, it has failed you miserably.
    You have managed to blame the conservatives, the Rebublicans and the Tea Party for ever ill conceived matter that has happen in the last 5 years to the Democrats, even when they do it theirselves.
    The Republicans no matter how bad they are in your opinion should not be blamed for what Obama has failed in. Do not blame the conservatives for his failure in leadership or the Tea Party.
    Why not put the blame where it lies in your mixed up head for blaming us for the horrible mess the liberal idiots have created..

  2. Miraculous Mutha   January 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    Oh! It wasn’t a political column? Well it was full of political goodies to munch on. Okay then a program to identify children with needs. The teachers used to do that for us, but things have changed over the years. We have all witnessed politicians many pledges to education, and we hear Republicans every day claiming public education is a waste of money. Education is near the bottom of their list, and logic tells us the special needs children will fall below that, clumped in with the sick and the elderly. If someone should ever accomplish a program to help identify special needs, the next budget will abandon them.
    We all know the priority goes to funneling money from poor people to rich people. It is a bad policy and common sense should tell us this policy will reap a bad crop.

  3. Dean Parsons   January 9, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    Ms Taylor
    I do not know where the answer lies in Mental health treatment except in prayer.
    For the average family it is a long expensive road just to get a person evaluated by a psychiatrist. They do not hang out at your local doc in the box clinic. Plus in my days if you had health insurance, they would merely say it is a pre-existing condition. And refuse to pay.
    So that leaves only one-way to get help. Get on your knees & beg the County judge for help in getting a temporary admittance to the nearest State Hospital. Which at this day & age consit of about 6 weeks or 90 days until they can get the subject quieten down enough taking his or her pills.
    And then kicked out without any or little followup on their welfare.ones. The State requires the subject to be released as soon as they are stable.
    With-out constant attention from loved ones with guardianship. Without the guardianship you are helpless in their care and there is nothing you can do.
    In most cases you become the villian to the loved one or family you are trying to help. I have been down that road, it is a hard road to travel.

    In the usual rut & lifestyle of a mentally ill person that means with-in 2 to 3 weeks they are right back where they started from.
    If they are a drinker it also means they throw away the pill that helps them so they can drink without getting sick.

  4. Karen Taylor   January 7, 2014 at 2:27 PM

    Thanks for your interesting reply, Mr. Parsons. I’m well aware of the political hijinks often occurring in political circles, lobbying, high-money interests, etc. When each of us (remember, it starts with me – and you) makes identifying health-needy children a priority for our elected officials, then mental health may have a chance of gaining appropriate importance.

    Ask the parent of a seven-year-old killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School how important mental health programs might have been if the deranged killer had had early diagnosis and follow-up care.

    I’m grateful you think I need prayers to support this cause. I covet yours for our smallest, most vulnerable citizens.

  5. Dean Parsons   January 4, 2014 at 8:00 AM

    Ms Talyor
    I wish you luck on your journey to change the way things are in this State. The politial special interest groups in this State will shoot down any sort of spending bill aimed at mental health issues. If it is not highway spending, water issues or keeping spending down. It has little chance of getting out of some obscure lobby.
    I have personally watched a Special interest group changed the licensing of heavy trucks in the State to put most of the trailer license fees on the power units by wine & dinning the State DOT. I was there & helped them drink. So do not think for one minute that politics can or will stay out out it.
    In the ealy 60s it mental health spending was a State wide hot issue, it was shot down never to rise again. I do wish you luck, but you need prayers.

  6. Karen Taylor   January 2, 2014 at 4:16 PM

    Maybe I’m having an extended brain burp, but I simply cannot connect the comments made by Miraculous Motha and Dean Parsons. You gentlemen seem to be obsessed with the idea of making my plea for an educational program that would identify mentally damaged children into some kind of political comment.

    Watch my lips: Not true.

    My call to action is a plea for the American legislative system, education system, health and human resources, and more, to become proactive in identifying children who need some extra help, whether it is with eyeglasses or bipolar disorder.

    This is about children’s health and well-being, and there’s not a smidgeon of political rancor involved.

  7. Dean Parsons   January 2, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Oh well, I love making a day for a lib.
    If the Country will not recognize the trouble we are in by the lawless gun grabbing President we have now. We will not be a free Country by the next election.
    As for as Mental health laws in Texas, We used to be the best in care but the State legislature stripped the funds out of it decades ago leaving nothing but the bare bones in treatment. You will find that the law makers will avoid any bills toward mental health relief.
    I am no stranger to mental health issues almost a life time of family heartaches that has ended only in death of the loved ones.

  8. Miraculous Mutha   January 2, 2014 at 9:51 AM

    Hello Karen, the answer is yes my remarks fit very well in the previous article since political issues comprised most of the article. The worst mental mindset of all is conservatism.
    We can blame it and the liars who purvey it for every last one of the school shootings and many others. Imagine the despair that must be going through young minds, and conservative lies are to blame. Or racism for it’s hatred of a black president in all the other instances.
    The child turns on the radio and they get Rush, Hannity, Beck, Huckabee, Oreilly…not a one of them have anything good to say. Certainly nothing a child should have to listen to. The proof is the damage conservatism has done to the minds of grown adults. As was mentioned in my reply to the previous article, school children are also hearing conservative rubbish from school teachers. Many preachers freely disburse pulpit politics. For some reason the Vatican and pulpit mongers feel it is their duty to meddle in matters where they have no expertise.
    Testing for childhood problems is a notable start, but many of us aren’t interested in solutions of money grubbing doctors whose primary motivation is their own financial gain.
    Possibly a program to expose our youth to guns, hunting, and the beauty of the outdoors which God has given us? By slaughtering magnificent animals, butchering them and throwing their pieces into a frying pan? Except conservative minded hunters abuse their hosts so badly that the welcome mats have been jerked away.
    We have created the World in which the children live. It will be up to us to recreate a better one. Putting a muzzle on lieing assed Republicans will be the best buy for the money.

    (note – heavily edited)

  9. Dean Parsons   December 30, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Ms Taylor! Do statements like this be belong in a reader reply? If so expect more inflammatory responces.

    “Quote Mental illness starts in many of these unfortunate children with their hate filled conservative religious right parents. It is all around us. Look up the local delinquents on facebook and you will see youngsters posting F Obama pics on their little pages. We know they did not get that from their school teachers or pastors. Or did they?
    Maybe the haters can be happy now that their miserable selves have company.”Quote

    May I asked just who is spreading hate & discord. Spending 33 years in nation-wide gun shows as a exhibitor & collector of antique Military arms. I have disposed of most of my collection in private sales & auctions on the east coast. And even personal C&R licensed sales to NRA directors. In the last 5 years because of the gungrabing windbags of little intelligence that cause most of the hate & discord in this County. Or perhaps at my age I have little patience with entitlement freaks.