The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Letters to the Editor

January 8, 2013

Time to work together

DANVILLE — The tragedy of Newtown, Conn., is personal because we’re parents. Some of our worst fears were realized that day as we watched the stunning events unfold before us. Through our tears, we prayed that our children and our community never experience anything like that.

Two things have come out of it though and the first is the need for serious gun control legislation. The second is the state of mental health care in our nation. While no one is saying that horrific crimes occur because of mental illness, it has been pointed out that the assailant in Newtown may have required additional counseling which could possibly have prevented this event from occurring. Here’s the sad part and the reason for this letter. The possibility exists that a horrific event like Newtown or Columbine could happen here in Danville.

The reality is, our teachers, our principals and our first responders all have plans and have practiced drills for such an event and we don’t want to diminish their abilities. The responsibility is not all theirs, however, and so we as a community have to be proactive.

We, as a community, must come together and figure out what our responsibilities are. The facts are this, 3,000 kids a year die from gun violence and 3,000 people a month, non-children, die from gun violence a year. What this tells us is that we are not immune to such an event as Newtown. In fact, as a state, Illinois is cutting funding for Medicaid and mental health care. This places us in extra jeopardy because as services are removed or as funding is cut, people start slipping through the cracks.

I don’t need to keep painting the scenario but realize right now in our jails here in Danville, there are repeat offenders incarcerated simply because they have lost their Medicaid or have no health coverage for mental health or substance abuse services. In their situation, they’ve lost their Medicaid so they cannot get the necessary meds so they commit petty crimes, most unintentionally, they’re tossed back in jail and the cycle goes on.

The State’s Attorney’s office, Crosspoint, Prairie Center, the Center for Children Services/Aunt Martha’s and the Vermilion County Mental Health Board all are fighting to prevent the loss of services for this part of our community. The need dramatically outweighs the ability to meets the community’s needs.

The Vermilion County Mental Health board proposes having a community forum, a town hall meeting if you will, so we can get together and discuss what plans and safety nets are in effect right now and what our responsibilities are in such an event as Newtown.

As the discussion begins, it becomes imperative that we approach this meeting with an attitude free of judgment, one that is open and ready to face hard truths about ourselves and our behaviors.

We may be asked to change or to sacrifice but I, for one, will not look into my children’s faces and think that anything I have is more important than their safety. I ask that you join me in this conversation.

Harsha Gurujal of Danville is a member of the Vermilion County Mental Health Board.

Text Only
Letters to the Editor
  • Life spent helping others Life spent helping others Editor: For more than 50 years, on the first Sunday in March, they came from as far away as California, New York, Detroit, Dallas, the state of Florida and all throughout the Midwest to witness the glitz, glamour and fashion

    April 23, 2014

  • Wrong time for minimum wage hike Wrong time for minimum wage hike Supporters of raising minimum wage, despite good intentions, do not end up helping the ones who need it the most. An example would be a single mother of one child faces a marginal tax rate of 91 percent when her pay

    April 22, 2014

  • Son does well at Liberty

    Editor: My son, Nathaniel, attends school at Liberty Elementary School.

    April 20, 2014

  • Races charge too much Editor: Runners and walkers must beware this summer. Some 5K (3.1 mile) fundraising events will again be way overcharging. Most are put on for good causes, but it’s not a good cause to overcharge people for something they sweat for.

    April 20, 2014

  • Fight the proposed coal mine Fight the proposed coal mine Editor: In a single issue of St. Joseph's The Leader, dated March 5, one can find four events listed that testify to our love of the natural world: a bird walk, a lecture on freshwater mussels, a pre-K event at Homer Lake

    April 18, 2014

  • Searching for answers Searching for answers Editor: I'm certainly not saying the city's firefighters don't need or deserve an increase of funds, but I would like to better understand why. Why do they feel they need more personnel than the national average of 1.04 per 1000

    April 17, 2014

  • Advocate will be missed Editor: We at Community Blood Services of Illinois are saddened by the recent death of Patricia Black, a wonderful and dedicated employee who was known to a generation of local blood donors. Pat was a tireless advocate for the Danville Elks Blood Ban

    April 16, 2014

  • Social workers earn praise Editor: March was National Social Work month. The 2014 theme was "All People Matter." I personally want to say "thank you" to the social workers. I am a registered nurse and have worked in many different health care settings from acute hospital care

    April 13, 2014

  • Neighborhood going downhill Editor: Home owners and the few good rentals of southeast Danville are concerned about Fair Oaks in their neighborhood. Well, wake up people. Unless you have been in a coma or frozen for the past five years or more, these kinds of people and many wor

    April 13, 2014

  • Submit Your Letter!

    March 26, 2010

AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India
Must Read