Going into work this morning I went through my usual routine, make coffee, grab the paper, walk the dog while reading the paper, and then finally driving my hour commute to work. I immediately get a call from my frantic mother who is shouting about how her favorite show runner-up committed suicide and how tragic it was. So I Googled it. I knew my mom had always been a fan of ‘MasterChef’ and watched it religiously each week. In High School I usually had to sit and endure whatever cooking reality show she had on. So I recognized the runner-up’s face.
I started reading about him and all the opportunities he had, then I start to look at his picture and recaps of the show. He didn’t look sad? I try to dig deeper to know more about him and why he would do such a thing.
Then I found something that stuck with me all day. His parent’s reaction to his death.
“His family blames the lack of mental health treatment facilities and the easy access to guns as factors in his tragic death,” according to CNN.
I can understand the immediate shock of the press knocking at your front door asking what happened and wanting to blame anything but your own son. But blaming the gun?
Joshua Marks died from gunshot wounds to his head in an alley in Illinois. He was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and, according to his family, there was a lack of mental facilities that would take his insurance.
Understandably, his parents are blaming the system.
However, that’s not the part that struck me as unusual. The parents are also blaming easy access to guns as part of the reason their son lost his life.
This is not uncommon at all. In the case of Trayvon Martin, his mother also said gun laws are to blame in her son’s very public death trial.
What about the shooter? What about the man or woman who knowingly picks up a gun and fires it at someone?
I was baffled.
Another story I found in Atlanta said a father has been accused of killing his 18-month-old son after the child was apparently shot in the chest by a BB gun.
Guess who the mother blamed?
Gun control has been such a major topic recently due to the mass shootings that have taken place over the last few years. Many people feel that guns are the reason behind so many unnecessary deaths.
This is a common debate that I cannot seem to answer myself. If guns weren’t available to young Joshua Marks, would he still be here today? Or would his depression lead him to find an alternative way?
Would his parents then blame easy access to pills? Bridges? Rope?
This seems to be something we will be debating for a long time in American politics.
My answer would be to get your family the help they need before they reach for a gun. If that was available to Marks, he could possibly still be here today.