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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Binghamton, NY Shoot-out

Friday, I heard the dreadful news of 13 killed by a suspected gunman named Jiverly Wong. The 13 worked at the American Civic Association, an immigration services organization. Jiverly Wong then turned the gun on himself and died. When I first heard about the incident, I thought it might have been a hate crime. However, the story is exactly the opposite. Jiverly Wong was from Vietnam and had been taking English classes at the organization. Apparently, he changed his last name to Woong and was upset that people were picking at his inability to speak English. The workers at the organization said it wasn't a total shock that he did this crime, which tells me that he must have had erratic or suspicious behavior before. My question is, did they try to get him help? Did they report him? I was a Psychology major in school and I was interested in even attending medical school to study psychiatry. It really interests me to understand people. However, time and time again, people do not take psychiatric illnesses seriously. People just say that someone is "crazy" and just goes on with their lives and not deal with the problem more. A lot of people do not pay attention to the tell-tell signs of mental illnesses. Instead, we get the stories after the fact of these people killing other innocent people. Then all of a sudden it's a shock to everyone. No one would think that person could "do that". I really wish that our mental system could be updated to help people report unstable people. If someone is unstable or shows signs of violent, irrational behavior, others should be alerted about it. I don't know how logistical it would be, but more definitely has to be done with our mental system. I am reading more and more stories of people killing people. I read a story in NC where a former worker killed like 4 people at a nursing home. That person was unstable. Violent, mentally ill people do not need to have guns, but they do because of our gun laws. More really needs to be done about this. Especially now when people are losing their jobs, their homes, not able to take care of their families, people who may have had a few issues now have magnified issues. Stressors can really put people over the edge and do crazy things.

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