Why we stand against the SAFE ACT
We want our state and our nation to address the causes of the current nation-wide wave of violence effectively and with fair policies.
But, it is unfair to point at people with mental disabilities as the cause of all that violence and as a threat to ‘national security’. We are none of those. The statistics show that we are more likely to suffer the violence inherent in the prejudice against people with all types of disabilities, than to dish it out.
The SAFE Act was passed in 20 minutes late at night and right after the horrific Boston shooting last year. Clearly, it was intended as a quick placebo for a terrified society demanding action from politicians to control what it incorrectly perceives as the source of the wave of violence: guns and mental illness.
So, we must repudiate any policy that scapegoats us in the interest of political gains for our current elected officials of both parties at both the state and national levels.
The SAFE Act is not a law; it is a witch-hunt and ‘saves’ no one.
The SAFE Act is being used to limit the civil rights of, not only the ‘persistent and chronically mentally ill’, but of anyone who may seek mental health services for the first time. (See Side by side: SAFE Act and OMH.) The names reported per the SAFE Act mandate goes to the FBI, and from there they quietly seep up to Department of Homeland Security list of ‘possible terrorists’. In the ‘land of the free’, being in that list is terrifying in itself.
The causes of violence in a society are deep and complicated. But this much we can say: the government and its bureaucratic agencies inflict violence on the population in a form that passes as ‘lawful’ and ‘for your own good’, in the form of POLITICAL violence. Daily police brutality, violation to personal integrity by police searching your body to protect you from the ‘terrorists’, 911 calls for the police to pick up an EDP (’emotionally disturbed person’) usually ends with the EDP being killed by the police…this is a system out of control.
See next how OMH is violating the SAFE ACT to grab power to limit our civil rights.