I’m listening to the audio book of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and I’m in love with the voice of Hazel, the 16 year old cancer patient. Driving down Florida’s turnpike in the torrential rain, hazard lights flashing, white knuckles gripping, I hear Hazel describing what it feels like to be young and dying and in love.

Hazel says things like awesomesauce, which according to the urban dictionary means “more awesome than awesome.” As in “that home churned Georgia peach ice cream is awesomesauce!”

Does adding the word “sauce” at the end magnify a word’s meaning?

Like annoyingsauce or stupidsauce?

When things get really crazy, are they crazysauce?

What about all the school shootings that have happened like rapid fire in the past weeks?

Is that because of some people with guns who are crazysauce?

Is it primarily mental illness that causes an otherwise normal person to violently murder innocent people?

Listening to public opinion it seems to be commonly argued that one reason these mass shootings keep happening is because too many people are crazysauce.

Therefore one solution to mass shootings being proposed is to improve our mental healthcare system.

Yesterday a friend and I were talking about this and she said something provocative I can’t stop wondering about. She suggested that focusing on an individual shooter’s mental health is actually scapegoating…that is, we blame an individual so that we as a society don’t take any blame.

That kid. He was cray cray, crazysauce, nuts, deranged, a mental case, psycho, off his meds.

Yes it is individuals who commit the crime. But when the mass shootings reoccur so often in the same society it is no longer just about an individual’s behavior or his mental health. It is something else.

And that something else is scary because it’s all of us. We are all responsible.

Yes, we need desperately to improve mental healthcare, to make it more affordable and to reduce the stigma of mental illness so that more people get help.

Could it be that these mass shooters are not crazysauce, but the new normal in America, land of the free?

A majority of people with mental illness are more at risk of self-injury than a risk to others, more likely to cut themselves than cut another person, more likely to shoot themselves than shoot other people.

From what we know about the recent mass shooters there does seem to be a link to mental illness, but it’s not the cause of the shootings.

If mental illness causes mass shootings, then we need a pill asap to make people anti-homocidal like there’s a pill to make people anti-suicidal.

It’s complexsauce.

As a person who loves family and friends who have severe mental illness, I can’t stay quiet about how quickly people equate the shooters with people who have mental illness.

It was already hard to admit to having a mental illness. Now you’ve got to deal with the added stigma of being a possible mass shooter, too.

According to NAMI one out of every four people will have experienced some form of mental illness. Does that mean that one out of every four of us will be a mass shooter?

That would be crazysauce.

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

One thought on “Crazysauce

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