Friday, January 25, 2013

Gun control and mental health policies: Lucinda Roy's perspective

With the inauguration just over and gun control and mental health policies still on everyone's mind, there is no better time to look to Lucinda Roy and her book NO RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT.

Roy is a creative writing and literature professor at Virginia Tech. She tried to seek help for Seung-Hui Cho prior to his rampage shooting in 2007 that resulted in the deaths of 32 students and faculty members. After the shooting, she wrote NO RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT: What We've Learned from the Tragedy at Virginia Tech (Three Rivers Press, 2010). The book discusses what America and higher education institutions can learn from the shooting, and how we might be able to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future.

In the wake of the shootings in Tucson, Arizona, in 2011; Aurora, Colorado, this past summer; and, most recently, Newtown, Connecticut; Roy has shared her unique insight on gun violence and how we as a country can respond. Below, we present a round-up of her articles and interviews:

Earlier this week, ABC News interviewed Roy regarding gun control and mental health as part of their Up Close series with Diana Williams. In the interview, Roy explains her experience trying to get mental health help for Seung-Hui Cho and why she has not been surprised that shootings have continued occurring since the 2007 tragedy. You can view the video below:

Soon after the Newtown shooting, Roy wrote an article in USA Today about how not be cowed into assuming that intervention is futile. She offers concrete measures America ought to take to prevent shootings from occurring, including tackling gun control, creating a national oversight group to respond to shootings, and each of us making individual efforts to speak to friends, students, family members, children, etc. about their happiness. Read more here.

Roy also wrote an article for The Guardian in response to Newtown. Here, she discusses the role guns play in American culture and why gun control is so contentious today.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel compiled a series of videos on mental illness after Newtown, which are available at this link. Below, you can view Roy's video, in which she speaks on the importance of listening to individuals who may warrant concern and knowing when to seek help.

After the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, in which James Holmes opened fire on a movie theater screening The Dark Knight Rises, Roy wrote an article for USA Today about the possible connections between violence in media and violent shootings. She also discusses how The Dark Knight “made sadism seductive.” Read it here.

In response to the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, in which Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and wounded thirteen others, including then-Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Roy wrote an article for The Chronicle of Higher Education. In it, she analyzes the response of Pima Community College, which suspended Loughner several months prior to the shooting. Read the article here.

For more information on Lucinda Roy and NO RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT, you can visit the publisher's page here, or Roy's website here.

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