And over at the Harlequin Romance Author Blog, Claire Baxter is April's Spotlight in Six. There's a mini-interview, and a chance to win a copy of her latest book!
I don't often get political on this blog but I'm going to today. Brace yourselves...I'm fired up.
The headline here today reads:
HUNT FOR DAD: Mounties delayed warning of 'dangerous' suspect on loose after three children slain in Merritt, B.C. (Calgary Sun)
First of all, what a tragedy. Three children, in kindergarten, grade 2 and grade 4, murdered. I can't imagine what the mother is going through. I really can't. Most of the time I can empathize with people but this is one time it's just too big for me to comprehend.
But it's this headline that really ticks me this morning. The whole "mounties delayed warning" thing. Because that puts the focus on a few hours when the real issue is the YEARS of not delaying, but IGNORING warnings about this man.
From the story: "Schoenborn had been charged last week with making threats at a Merritt school and was barred from accessing the building, but not his own kids"..."He was held by RCMP for much of last Thursday, but released on order of a justice of the peace". My ISP homepage news stated that he wasn't considered a serious threat so they let him go. Hmmm. Interesting.
Well, maybe you could say that if this guy didn't have a RECORD A MILE LONG. Or that he'd actually been arrested IN MERRITT three times last week, and was barred from contact with the school, the administration, and any other child except his own. His arrest record includes DUI infractions, further driving while suspended, a Sexual Assault charge - which was dropped with the condition he stay away from the woman - and then a breach of that very agreement, and uttering threats. A constable is quoted having said "There was no reason for us to foresee these circumstances at all."
And to that I say, bullshit.
A twenty hour delay in issuing a warning to the public isn't anywhere near as bad to me as the delay....no, the utter failure...of a system to fix this situation. Not once was there a mention of jail time. Oh, the guy got a few fines. And told, hey, don't do this again. And yeah, oh wait, he's mentally unstable. YOU THINK?
One of two things should have happened a long time ago. Either he should have gone to jail, or, he should have had help and at the very least a psych evaluation. Medical assistance. Guess what. Mental illness is an ILLNESS. It can be treated! But hey, that costs money. And time. Nevermind the cost and turmoil and tragedy of three children being dead. Boy, I'm some glad we saved that money.
When we were having problems earlier this year I was told that there was "nothing we could do until someone got hurt."
Well, someone's hurt now, and I thank God it's not me and mine, but there's something intrinsically wrong with this system.
Here endeth the rant. And thoughts and prayers to the community of Merritt and the mother of these three angels.