In Order to form a more perfect Union

Julius Givens
4 min readMay 27, 2022
Preamble detail from a Dunlap & Claypoole original printing of the United States Constitution, 1787

On April 29th, 2014 in Waseca, Wisconsin a concerned citizen called 911 to report that she noticed a young man in an unusual manner walk through her backyard and into a storage locker nearby. When officers arrived to the storage locker to investigate the 911 call, they found seventeen-year-old John LaDue standing next to what appeared to be bomb making materials. At LaDue’s home and in his bedroom, police found an assault rifle, handgun, and other already made explosive devices.

LaDue would later confess to a plot to kill his family, bomb his school, take out weapons on his classmates, and set a fire to distract first responders that may respond to the active shooter incident at his school. Below is an excerpt from his hours-long confession.

LaDue: First off, I wasn’t bullied at all. I don’t even think I’ve been bullied in my life.

Officer: Okay.

LaDue: I have good parents, I live in a good town, I think I’m just really mentally ill and no one’s noticed and I’ve been trying to hide it.

LaDue continues later to say,

LaDue: I was planning to dispose of my family, too.

Officer: Why would you dispose of your family? What have they done?

LaDue: They did nothing wrong, I just wanted as many victims as possible.

A common but not always nexus of mass shootings, especially in schools, environments of worship, and public places of commerce is mental illness. In The United States we have a mental health crisis and a gun violence crisis that in union have accumulated into a national security threat. Every child gun-down in their classroom weakens the integrity of our diplomacy. Every mother shot while shopping at the local business decreases our ability to raise and nurture a new generation of children. Every father riddled with bullets on the streets of urban cities cripples the underlying framework of a healthy community.

Gun violence causes fear and paralyzes neighborhoods. In the first five months of 2022, 17,000+ people have been killed by gun violence in the United States. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) calculates that the economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United…

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Julius Givens

A Chicago Police Officer committed to the three most important aspects of policing: Public Trust, Police Accountability, and Police Effectiveness.