In September 2010, my son Lance Gross committed suicide during a bipolar episode. Having lost my son to suicide, I have a desire to help prevent suicide.
I asked Sen. Roz Baker to introduce a bill for a 72-hour involuntary committal, based on a law in Pennsylvania that saved my son many times. I wanted to memorialize my son by calling the law "Lance's Law."
When speaking with Baker, she told me that Hawaii doesn't name laws after people. I replied that the law was needed, whatever it was called. I was told that the law would not pass as it took away a person's right to make that decision for themself. I replied that the mentally ill mind wasn't capable of making that decision.
Imagine my surprise when, overnight, we have the Steven Tyler Act. The lawmakers are sucking up to the rich and famous. Tyler is an old man; his body shows it even if he cannot grasp it. He needs to have the ability to accept his age and all that comes with it and grow up and cover up.
Shame on the lawmakers for passing the law because it involved the rich and famous.
Shame on them for ignoring the suicide problem in Hawaii and not passing a law that would help many.
I may have been listened to if I was rich and famous. I am just a grieving mother who wants to prevent suicide and help the people it affects.