Addicting Info is one of the leading liberal websites that use any story possible to advocate gun control. That was proven on February 19, when they posted a link on their Facebook page with a tag line that reads, "Singer Mindy McCready's Death Highlights Tragic Statistic. More Guns=More Deaths." Before the funeral, while her death is still raw to her friends and family, Addicting Info politicized her death.
The article by Lorraine Devon White even acknowledges that McCready attempted suicide before. In 2005, McCready overdosed on drugs and alcohol, and tried again a few months later. In 2008, she spent time in hospital for slitting her wrists. Addicting Info did not turn their attention to her mental health history, or the insufficient care she received. They capitalized on the fact that she ended her life with a gun.
White writes, "Drugs, alcohol and razor blades could not compete with that most efficient of killers: a gun. And the last time Mindy McCready attempted suicide she finally got it "right"; she picked up a weapon that wouldn't let her down. And it didn't." Sure, I'll admit guns are deadly, but guns are not the only way to kill yourself quickly. Tony Scott jumped off a bridge, Kevin Carter, the photo-journalist who famously snapped the shot of the vulture waiting for the starving African child to die, used carbon monoxide poisoning to end his life.
A portion of a Boston Globe article was posted that showed, "the number of gun deaths by suicide in the United States outnumbered homicides 19,392 to 11,078." White uses her entire article to make the entire issue about guns, while ignoring the fact that the mental health care system in the United States is a sad joke.
According to National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors,from 2009-2012, States have cut $4 billion dollars from mental health programs. Lawmakers have sacrificed mental health care to fix deficits, and the results have been disastrous for the 1 in 4 Americans who suffer from mental illness.
In response to the Sandy Hook shooting, Keith Ablow wrote on Fox News.com that the mental health care system is, "a profound national embarrassment." And he is right. "45 million American adults suffer from mental illness. Eleven million of those cases are considered serious. " Daniel Lippman of the Huffington Post reported, "In fiscal year 2012 alone, 31 states that gave their numbers to (NASMHPD)... reported cutting more than $840 million." These facts are sickening, and the statistics are staggering. The lack of commitment by state governments to mental health is having deadly consequences.
Cost cutting measures by cheap insurance companies have overwhelmed doctors, who are part of a system that sends patients out the door as soon as they walk in. As Ablow wrote, "Sadly, most inpatient hospitalizations are no more today than a rush to switch medications and get patients to "contract for safety" (to promise they won't kill themselves or others--even if they don't mean it) so they can be thrown out by insurance company reviewers and the clinicians who too often blindly do their bidding. "
Mindy McCready attempted suicide three times previously, rumours suggested she killed her boyfriend; she had her children taken away. Her friends mentioned that she was in a real bad place emotionally, and mentally. The signs that she was a threat to herself were there, yet when she admitted herself into a treatment facility, she was released after only one day.
Making the debate centre around guns is a dangerous distraction that ignores the root causes of a suicide. Politicizing a tragic death is beyond reprehensible, and for that, Addicting Info, and any publication that advocates gun control in the wake of a suicide, should be ashamed of themselves.
The gun debate is polarizing, and highly emotional. Both sides ignore the real issues to express their own agendas. Yes, Mindy McCready ended her life by the barrel of a gun, but to turn her suicide as a reason to install gun control, sullies her name and turns her into a prop for gun control. She was a human being, a talented singer, a mother, and a friend. Politicizing a suicide is beyond classless, and shows a lack of character.
Ignoring issues of mental health have had dire consequences. Sitting back and allowing governments to continually cut mental health care, has not given the mentally ill proper treatment. The blame for McCready's suicide does not fall on the laps of gun manufacturers; it falls on the lap of America's poor mental health system.