An Ugly Day Indeed…

An ugly day indeed…

Margaret C. Morley, February 11, 2016

 

Yes, this is most certainly the ugliest of days.  As a rule, I just don’t sleep well at night.  The hours of 3:00 – 5:00 a.m. are usually my time to get caught up on work, reading and watching news reports, and worry.  Usually, the things I am worried about are pretty petty.  However, when I woke up last night and saw the news of an active shooter and a stand-off situation in the nearby City of Fargo, my worries became quite serious.  I had a friend who had messaged me that she was on “lock-down” while out at the HoDo, and several other alerts telling me that all of downtown Fargo was in danger.  I have many friends and loved ones who live in that area, and the thought of any of them in any kind of danger set my heart racing.

I’m lucky.  No one I know or love was hurt.  Others are not so lucky.  Details are still unfolding, but Officer Jason Moszer, a 33-year-old six year veteran with the Fargo Police Department, sustained a gunshot wound that will be fatal.  News reports tell us that his wife, young children, and other family, friends, and colleagues are saying their goodbyes.  This is tragic. Officer Moszer gave his LIFE while on duty protecting others.  Is Officer Moszer a hero?  Undoubtedly.  Was the Officer’s death senseless?  Again, undoubtedly.

Those who know me well know that I am a Democrat.  Please don’t jump to conclusions and think this is going to be a typical “Liberal femiNazi rant against guns, cops, and God.”  I am not anti-anything except anti-hate.  Yes, I’m a female Democrat from North Dakota.  I’m also a gun owner, a member of the NRA, and a strong supporter of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Again, I don’t know all the facts surrounding this still-developing news story.  However, I do know two things for certain.  One, a police office for the City of Fargo is going to die because he was shot in the line of duty.  Two, the alleged gunman is already dead, presumably from a gunshot wound.  Reports say that this stand-off was eight hours long, and that the alleged gunman was in his residence and that his own family was present during this incident.  How frightened they must have been, to see the man who was the head of their household act this way.  My heart, prayers, and a donation have been sent out to the family of Officer Moszer, and that will continue.  However, let us not forget the alleged gunman’s family and the devastation, guilt, and grief that they must be feeling.  The suspect’s name has now been released. A quick background search shows that he had a history of violent crimes dating back to 1988.  I didn’t know this man, but I’ve got to think that there was some sort of mental illness at play here.

So, what you thought might be an anti-gun rant is not that at all.  This is a mental health crisis rant.  WHEN we will stop sweeping mental illness under the rug, tell folks who are suffering to “soldier on”, and judgmentally shake our heads and think the worst of the one who is ill? Our own state agency in charge of workman’s compensation doesn’t even consider mental illness as a viable “disability”, even when the mental illness is due to circumstances of employment.  SO WRONG.  People need to work because they have to earn money.  If everyone around you tells you your illness isn’t real, you start to believe it yourself.  People are afraid to seek legitimate medical help, so they self-medicate in any way they can to bring relief.  If you had cancer or any other physical disease and chose to not seek help from a doctor and instead just “soldiered on and toughened up” — you’d eventually die.  Mental illness, left untreated, will eventually cause a complete breakdown.

What would it take for YOU to snap?  To think that getting a gun and hurting yourself, your family, strangers, and police officers is the only way out?  I hope to God you never have to find out.

I encourage anyone who is suffering to get the help they need. I will pray that someday this country will eliminate the archaic stigma that goes along with anyone who has a mental illness.