Huge step forward
In the wake of the Gibson family tragedy, I feel compelled to say how proud I am to be a part of the Winnipeg community.
Throughout the coverage in all forms of the media and the public in general, there has been not a whisper of laying blame or sensationalism. Instead there has been an outpouring of overwhelming sadness and empathy, as well as suggestions for resources for other women who find themselves in such unspeakable pain, along with the assurance that help is possible.
What a huge step forward in understanding mental-health issues and showing it the kindness it deserves.
Why would the Free Press publish a front page like you did on July 30? Such a beautiful mother-daughter picture, such a blatant reminder to an already devastated city of citizens crying for the family and this tremendous tragedy.
Why can you not just report without exploiting?
Regarding Gary Lombaert's July 30 letter of the day, Same cause, different response, both tragedies were unimaginable. The incident Lombaert describes as a middle-aged Asian immigrant taking the life of a stranger refers to the brutal killing of my nephew, Tim McLean.
One of the significant differences in these two tragedies is that one was witnessed by many onlookers whose lives will never be the same. They will be traumatized for the rest of their lives. Brian Gibson will not have to sit in yearly review board hearings with the killer of his wife and children.
I am very sorry for the Gibson family's loss and have prayed for their healing. I am also not agreeing or disagreeing with Lombaert's views. He is correct in saying "mental illness is mental illness no matter whom it strikes."
But I am wondering why the Free Press would choose to print this as the letter of the day on the fifth anniversary of his death. Our family is re-victimized by the press once again.
I am disturbed that a reader states that people sympathize with Lisa Gibson because she was a pretty young white woman, while they were outraged by Vince Li because he is a middle-aged Asian man.
Gibson sought help when she realized she had problems. She even apparently suggested that she be treated in a facility to protect her children. From what I recall, Li had previously had problems and had not sought treatment. There is nothing similar in these two situations.
Your July 30 sidebar Help for postpartum depression is a good resource for women in Winnipeg. It is important to also recognize that obstetricians, pediatricians, social workers, nurses on the maternal newborn units and in ambulatory care in the Winnipeg birthing hospitals are also excellent resources for women to obtain help for women's postpartum mental-health issues.
DR. MARGARET MORRIS
WRHA Women's Health Program
I want to commend your paper for the respectful reporting on the Lisa Gibson story.
Janice Isopp has it right (Leaders send weak signals, Letters, July 23). Not one person in government wants to rectify the aboriginal situation.
Politicians just want their pension so they can retire before they are forced to make any decision. But once the decision is made, there will be a whole lot of people out of work.
There are more people employed to look after aboriginals than there are aboriginals on welfare. Our government has suppressed the aboriginals so badly, but they are slowly turning around.
The message our leaders are sending out is that it's OK to do whatever you want to human beings. All you have to do is buy them off or just say "sorry." Well, news flash, the bogeyman is catching up with you.
Real spanking agenda
I for one fully agree with Randy Kroeker when he writes that he appreciates "how difficult it is to translate academic research into something that is understandable to the newspaper readership" (A meaningless number, Letters, July 20).
Prof. Tracie Afifi's real agenda appears to be to change Canada's laws on spanking. But to conclude that spanking has health risks is stretching her research results a bit too far.
Acting out of habit
The final comment by Ron Corner in your July 29 story When gangsters rule the streets strikes me as ironic: "And we're all creatures of habit."
Our lawmakers are certainly creatures of habit with their hidebound attitude in dealing with the drug problem. Alcohol prohibition failed to eliminate drinking and created a thriving criminal enterprise to supply demand.
The same thing has happened with drug prohibition, and politicians cannot, or will not, concede that a new approach is needed.
When thousands of serving police officers and sitting judges, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, think it's time for decriminalization, we should listen.
Sensible and courageous
Congratulations to the sensible and courageous writer Don Marks (Canada's history of denial, July 24). I believe my job description as a human being doesn't include feeling guilty for the sins of others.
Rather, I think my responsibility (in my own small way) is to help the victims, regardless of who, what or where they are.
I'd call it universal compassion, and in terms of effectiveness it's about as far away as you can get from the world's worst motivator: guilt by association and it's natural defensive offspring, denial.
Marks is unequivocally right. I'm also sure he would agree that the change in attitude he advocates will, unfortunately, require a paradigm shift in people's thinking.