header image

[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 1
1990 - President George H.W. Bush and Sheriff Sherman Block dedicate new North County Correctional Facility in Castaic [story]
ribbon cutting


The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Feb 21, 2015

JenniferFischerEvery once and awhile, wisdom comes from unexpected places – like, say, a comic book movie.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

– Uncle Ben in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man”

I learned, thanks to Wikipedia, that those words in the world of Spider-Man originated in Amazing Fantasy No. 15 as a narrative caption: “With great power there must also come – great responsibility!” I further discovered that the quote is originally attributed to Voltaire, a 19th-century revolutionary and writer who was sickened by the abuse of power by the privileged while so many of the masses suffered in poverty.

That line has rumbled through my head a lot lately, particularly in relation to some key local events, namely recent gun homicides (and suicide) in our valley.

It’s no news to anyone that gun violence in the United States is staggering – so staggering, in fact, that some international politicians consider the U.S. to be an unsafe travel destination because of the percentage of people killed each year in mass shootings.

Typically, the types of countries that receive travel warnings are those that are actively at war – think Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. So it’s telling that some consider the U.S. to be an unsafe travel destination.

But let’s consider that just in our valley over the last couple of weeks, there have been two shootings, resulting in three deaths – in one of the safest cities in America. A murder-suicide in one case, and in another case, a young woman allegedly killed her brother, wounded her father and shot at another person.

While I understand the roots of the Second Amendment, and that the right to bear arms is seen by many as a key freedom promised in the Constitution, I keep hearing the words of Uncle Ben – I mean Voltaire – echoing through my head: “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Guns are powerful. They are deadly, and if a society insists on defending its citizens’ rights to bear these powerful items, then I think that same society should also insist on making sure it fosters the type of society and builds the type of citizenry that can handle such a responsibility.

Mental health is a major issue in our nation. Estimates are that 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness or struggle with mental health issues. In all likelihood, the number of Americans struggling with emotional instability or true mental wellness is probably higher, since there is a lot of stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Our society has not and does not prioritize mental health. It goes unrecognized. We don’t provide quality mental health treatment at affordable rates, nor do we prioritize it in our workplaces where overwork is not just common, but all too often expected.

It seems to me that if, as a nation, we want to maintain our commitment to the Second Amendment, which so many people fiercely seek to defend, we need to have an equally fierce commitment to building a society that is mentally and emotionally healthy, where holistic wellness is honored and mental illness is no longer stigmatized.

If we want the power that comes with bearing arms, we need to make sure we are equally committed to a society that is responsible enough to handle that right.

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

7 Comments

  1. dennis says:

    The founding fathers knew that governments kill people!!Some 300millon in the twentieth century and the first thing they did was take there guns and the criminals still had there guns.In order to keep our government in the checks and balances we have THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS AND THAT RIGHT SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED UPON!!So if any one doesn’t understand this your stupid and Brian dead!! get off my guns and what part of the kings English dont you understand ??Shall not be infringed upon!!

  2. Javi says:

    What about all those car accidents? Using your logic, nobody should have a car either, they might hit a pedestrian or another car or drive off a cliff. Lady, if you don’t want own or use firearms, then exercise your freedom and don’t. But don’t tell the rest of us what we can or can’t do. Take your nanny state ideals to someplace where they are appreciated, like England or Australia.

  3. Dave Warburton says:

    Dennis puts a nice exclamation point on Jennifer Fischer’s essay, doesn’t he? Thanks, Dennis. I hope Brian isn’t dead, after,all.

  4. Rmg says:

    Interesting. Maybe if the liberals hadn’t destroyed the moral fiber in this country we wouldn’t have so many mental cases. Children today are raised with no values and believe they are entitled.

  5. Thank you for writing this article. I am a law-abiding gun owner and I fear for this great nation! Mental health is a HUGE issue and I think it should be a top priority. Instead of spending countless tax dollars to fund the anti-gun campaigns, they should be funding a mental health initiative!

  6. Harold A. Maio says:

    —-stigma

    Whenever someone asserts a “stigma”, I sense immediately their malevolence.

    Whenever someone repeats a “stigma”, I sense immediately their naiveté.

    Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor
    khmaio@earthlink.net

  7. Abraham Collins says:

    A vote is also a powerful thing. Predicating a condition on whether or not you can vote would violate your right to suffrage.

    Arms are the same thing as votes: rights. You can’t predicate conditions on rights. Sure, you can revoke rights through due process of law, but you can’t burden the exercise of a right to the law-abiding.

    You can’t put a psychological examination before any rights enumerated in the United States Constitution. That would render them to privileges.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Monday, Mar 1, 2021
Spring is upon us, and with it comes longer days, greener hillsides, and warmer temperatures that invite outdoor exploration.
Monday, Feb 22, 2021
Helping our students stay on track to complete their goals remains our top priority. To that end, we are offering a wide variety of classes this spring designed to do just that.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
We are closing in on a year since the coronavirus pandemic forced shutdowns and restrictions here in Santa Clarita and around the globe.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
The Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative has continued to actively serve our veteran community throughout the COVID–19 pandemic which began one year ago.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
There are a variety of virtual opportunities available for residents of all ages with the Santa Clarita Public Library.
Thursday, Jan 28, 2021
Launched in 2017, Canyons Promise helps students achieve their educational goals by paying tuition and fees for up to two years of full-time study.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the city of Santa Clarita will launch its “Guard That Auto” campaign this spring to combat an increase in grand theft auto over the past year.
Santa Clarita, Sheriff’s Station to Launch ‘Guard That Auto’ Anti-Theft Campaign
The Saugus High School academic decathlon team will advance to the state competition after placing in the top 10 in the county competition.
Saugus High Advances in State Academic Decathlon
Spring is upon us, and with it comes longer days, greener hillsides, and warmer temperatures that invite outdoor exploration.
Mayor’s March Message: Enjoy Spring in Santa Clarita
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Santa Clarita Sister Cities program, invites local students to submit artwork, poetry, essays/creative writing, photographs, or music for the 2021 Sister Cities International Young Artists and Authors Showcase.
Young Artists Invited to Submit Works in 2021 Sister Cities International Showcase
In a rush to bring children back to California schools after a year of closed campuses, Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers said Monday the state will offer $2 billion to school districts willing to reopen next month.
Newsom, Lawmakers Cut Deal to Reopen California Schools by April
The race to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County despite vaccine shortages is cutthroat and most people don’t even know they’re in the competition.
COVID-19 Vaccine Shortages Highlight Health Inequities in L.A. County
1990 - President George H.W. Bush and Sheriff Sherman Block dedicate new North County Correctional Facility in Castaic [story]
ribbon cutting
1890 - Jenkins ranch hands Dolores Cook and George Walton of Castaic slain by rival William Chormicle and W.A. Gardener [story]
Dolores Cook
1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
Winifred Westover
The Sand Canyon Resort project is scheduled to return before the Santa Clarita Planning Commission Tuesday with a series of revisions, following multiple concerns raised by both commissioners and residents.
Modified Sand Canyon Resort Project Up for Review
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 144 new deaths and 1,838 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 26,045 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total 26,045; Nearly 2 Million Doses Administered in County
The Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles announced on Feb. 26 that Kenya Yarbrough will lead its newly-created and first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, Access, and Advocacy Initiative.
Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles Launches First-Ever Diversity and Advocacy Department
The Valley Industry Association will welcome College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook as the keynote speaker for the March VIA Virtual Series taking place Tuesday, March 16, from 11:00 a.m to 12:15 p.m.
March 16: VIA Virtual Series with Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook
The city of Santa Clarita’s Planning Commission will hold a regular meeting virtually Tuesday, March 2, at 6:00 p.m.
March 2: Planning Commission Virtual Regular Meeting
The Child and Family Center's Domestic Violence Program is set to host its fourth annual "Night of Expression" art exhibit on Saturday, Feb. 27, in recognition of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.
Feb. 27: Child and Family Center to Host Virtual Teen Dating Violence Awareness Art Exhibit
California Department of Public Health officials announced on Feb. 26 that California is on track to create the capacity to administer 3 million vaccinations per week by March 1.
State on Track to Reach Capacity Goal of 3 Million Vaccines Per Week, Pending Available Supply
Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital is set to host events and classes in March to celebrate National Nutrition Month.
Henry Mayo to Host Events, Classes for National Nutrition Month
The college district received the best rating possible in an independent audit of its general obligation bond expenditures.
Independent Audit Finds College District in Full Compliance
After being shuttered for almost a year due to pandemic restrictions, Mountasia Family Fun Center has been purchased by MB2 Group.
MB2 Group Purchases Mountasia Family Fun Center
The California Department of Motor Vehicles announced a new round of extensions for commercial driver’s licenses expiring through May 31 that will help commercial drivers focus on delivering essential products and supplies during the COVID-19 emergency.
DMV Extends Expiring Commercial Driver’s Licenses Through May
1923 - U.S. release of Charles Chaplin film "The Pilgrim," partially shot at Saugus Train Station & Newhall First Presbyterian Church [watch]
The Pilgrim
Fry's Electronics, the consumer electronics retailer, announced Wednesday that it is going out of business after nearly 36 years.
Fry’s Electronics Closing All Its Stores
The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA) announced Thursday the upcoming launch of the Los Angeles Online Dispute Resolution (LA-ODR) program, in collaboration with the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County and its Dispute Resolution Program (DRP), and the Center for Conflict Resolution.
L.A. County Launches Program to Help Litigants Settle Cases Online
A former manager of the Valencia COVID-19 testing lab is being sued by the operator for breaching her contract after she accused the company of poor performance.
PerkinElmer Suing Whistleblower for Breach of Contract
%d bloggers like this: