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Guns Donít Kill People But Big Pharma Does
5 years ago

Guns Don’t Kill People But Big Pharma Does

Purported Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter Adam Lanza was, according to a man reported to be his uncle, on the antipsychotic drug Fanapt. The “uncle” turned out to be a fraud, but given that most news reports describe Lanza as being emotionally or mentally disturbed, it’s quite likely he was on some sort of mind-altering drug or drug combination.

Documented side effects of Fanapt are aggression, confusion, delirium, hostility, impulse-control disorder, mania, mood swings, paranoia, panic attack and suicide. Sound familiar?

Gun grabbers have gone almost apoplectic since the shooting, blaming the (misnamed) assault rifle—which was reportedly still in Lanza’s car when police arrived at the school—for the deaths of the children and teacher. Lanza has since been pushed into the memory hole—along with the man in camouflage plucked from the nearby woods and many other anomalies— and the focus has been on the AR15 and its links in other recent mass shootings.

But there is another common denominator in mass shootings: psychotropic drugs. Aurora movie theater shooter James Holmes, Columbine killer Eric Harris, and a host of other mass murdering young killers were on some type of psychotropic drugs when they committed their crimes.

According to a study published in the journal PLoS One and based on the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System, the following mind-altering drugs are most frequently linked to violence:

10.  Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) is an antidepressant associated with 7.9 times more violence than many other drugs.

9.  Venlafaxine (Effexor) is related to Pristiq and is an antidepressant also used in treating those with anxiety disorders. Effexor is 8.3 times more associated with violent behavior than other drugs.

8.  Fluvoxamine (Luvox) is an antidepressant that affects serotonin (SSRI), and is 8.4 times more likely to be linked to violence than other medications

7.  Triazolam (Halcion) can be addictive and is a benzodiazepine that supposedly treats insomnia. It’s 8.7 times more likely to be associated with violence than other medications.

6.  Atomoxetine (Strattera) is often prescribed to tread ADHD and is 9 times more likely to be associated with violence.

5.  Mefoquine (Lariam) treats malaria and sometimes products bizarre behavior, and is 9.5 times more likely to be linked to violence.

4.  Amphetamines come in many forms and are often used to treat ADHD (even to children not diagnosed with ADHD). They are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence.

3.  Paroxetine (Paxil) is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressant. Many users experience severe withdrawal symptoms and are more likely to produce children with birth defects as well as 10.3 times more likely to be linked to violence than other medications.

2.  Fluoxetine (Prozac) is a household name for a powerful SSRI antidepressant linked with 10.9 times more violence than other drugs.

1.  Varenicline (Chantix) is administered to smokers to supposedly help curb cigarette cravings, but it’s a whopping 18 times more likely to be linked to violent behavior than other drugs.

Guns Donít Kill People But Big Pharma Does
5 years ago

Big Pharma is killing everything from babies to adults by the thousands, but no one seems interested in banning these drugs or holding Big Pharma and prescribing physicians accountable. The Food and Drug Administration, which approves these drugs, recognizes that more 100,000 adverse drug reaction (ADR) deaths occur each year. ADRs is the fourth leading cause of death, ahead of pulmonary disease, diabetes, AIDS, pneumonia, accidents and automobile deaths.

Drug companies bribe doctors to prescribe their medications and use fake studies to sell their efficacy. The drug company GlaxoSmithKline was recently fined a mere $93,000 in Argentina for killing 14 babies during illegal lab vaccine trials in which the company falsified parental authorizations so that the babies could participate without legitimate parental permission. According to one pediatrician working at the public hospital  when GSK began recruiting babies for their illegal human trials, not only did GSK force illiterate parents into handing over their children, but they also “recruited” several doctors working at the hospital into their cause. The actual number of children affected may run in the thousands.

According to a study published in Human and Experimental Toxicology, the more vaccinated a baby is the more likely he is to die or suffer serious reaction.

Yet lawful gun owners are becoming the scapegoat for the mess Big Pharma is creating and more draconian, liberty stealing laws will likely result from the shooting.

5 years ago



[Think about it. A twenty-four- (or, twenty-) year-old male should "be out" partying with a different "chick" every night. But, NO! Mr. Lanza kills his mother and many others. A "loner" would do that after having a lifetime of sadness and facing constant ridicule. Any drugs taken, happened later in Mr. Lanza's life].

5 years ago

   I'm a loner so does that mean I'm going to go out and kill people because you categorize people that are loners in that kind of a behavior. I love being creative and have been written about for that. Some of my work has been in magazines and on magazine covers since in the late seventies. Right now I totally appreciate being alone because I hated relationships and the effort it took to get along with other human beings. Look at the posts in this group and others and show me where anybody with an once of common sense would want to be involved in any way with the writer's of stuff seen in these posts show. I mean I have asked many married males if their wives ever could see anything right about them. Most reply that they did before they were married. Another question to males, "Have you ever been able to make sense to a woman?" The answer is always, "No."

   There's no drugs involved with that. From Adam Lanza eyes his parents separated around 1990 and divorced around 2009. His father remarried and that is when Adam Lanza would not have anything to do with him anymore. Now I grew up a male and had a father who was an excellent role model for me. My mother had most of the female behaviors displayed in these groups with complaining about everything that's wrong with everybody and everything in life. I'm no different then Adam Lanza in hating my mother for her behavior. But Adam lost any chance of having a male role model when his father remarried and withdrew into his own shell looking for answers. Who was he suppose to turn to that would honestly let him be himself and that would accept that without trying to do anything about it? He was a genius to some and a 'nut-cake' to others. Let's face it there are more in our society that seen him as a 'nut-cake' then there are that could see him as a 'genius.'

This was really suicide and a careful look at suicide is that people have no one to turn to and lived their entire lives without any 'hope' so they're is so much anger in them that they lash out like Adam Lanza did killing children after he killed in mother. 

5 years ago

Well, married, maybe not. But debate is kinda sexy!

"New" theory: people who *should* or *would* otherwise jump all over Big Pharma and other kinds of environmental toxins, i.e. the Democrats, get all the air sucked out of the room by the strong gun control lobby within their party's ranks. Primary causes are lost in the shuffle of demonizing guns. If I'm to have any optimism, maybe they'll start agitating about the drugs, once they hit a complete brick wall of trying to get any gun control legislation passed. Like, if they're prevented from having their fetish, they might start to deal with reality.

Unfortunately the Republicans aren't likely to go after Big Pharma because it would probably mean spending money on mental health care, and they're cheap bastards.

This is why I don't like the Democrat / Republican duopoly. There are issues for which both parties are mostly incapable of reaching solutions.

5 years ago

When Clinton was elected to a second term after his "I did not have sex with that woman" lie, the news told of disgruntled and confused public opinion. A news analyst said, "People always pick a known evil over the unknown." So our country is full of known evils in the minds of those who get to chose who they want to follow when they do things like vote or react to what they are told the problems are they have to deal with. It's kind  of hard for me to think political parties are the problem when they could be eliminated and something else would still rule people's minds which would enable others to control and manipulate them. 

5 years ago

You make a good point Ken about "known" evils.  That way, it's easy for people to pretend they're taking action.  One could say that a meme, when sufficiently popular, masks or even wipes out other memes.  Political parties can't be gotten rid of.  What we could theoretically have, however, is more of them.  It will take another Great Depression to get any serious Socialist or Green party in this country though.

5 years ago

There are far too many people who dramatize everything, exaggerate facts and make everything negative about a political figure they dislike.  In the era of Obama, it has gone over-the-top; I understood it during the campaign.  But, it is over and done with and the people made up their minds and went with Obama again.


The GOP did not look appealing to the majority of the American voters.  They mistrusted that 47% statement and saw that party align with the 2%.  Even today, the republicans want to gut social security and medicare and call these programs entitlements.


They are NOT entitlements; people work and pay into these programs and they are a security net for senior.  They have been expanded by the democratic party which has damaged them considerably. 


Social security was gutted by presidents who stole from their revenues and used SS as a piggy bank and not a dollar was put back by these thieves.


Any party calling social security an entitlement is not representative of my philosophy.

I will not support any person who wants to gut SS or privatize it.   Privatize it with Wall st., are you kidding me?


The same old bull shyte all the time and I am going to state this very clearly:  I am sick and tired of Obama hatred and bashing.  For me, it is not good for my health and mental well being.  I will not participate in this because there are far too many problems in this country and Obama is not the devil who created them either.


Why did our beloved Reagan rob social security blind?  Not a word about this; but he was not the only one; they all did.


Nice to read intelligent conversation Brandon. 

5 years ago

   So I have a friend who I suspect is a dealer. The guy's got a heart of gold but a background that shaped him. He brought me a 19 year old female once for a a birthday present and is always offering more of the same. This last week I helped him out with something and we got talking. His theory on sex is he just wants to have as much of it as he can before he can't anymore. So he's usually involved with about a half dozen females at the same time for just sex. In our last visit he told how he's down to two because it was costing him to much with having so many. So when I shared my version about this which wasn't meant to make him look wrong in any way, I brought up that everyone I have been sexually involved with proved to me that's all they were any good for. I mentioned I was burned out with sex because there was never as much of a hint of those involvements ever being a relationship. 

    So this friend of mine probably has females that give sex to whoever pays for their drugs. The thing about this is it's reality and my youngest daughter who killed herself was doing that in the late seventies already as she left it all in writing. So this is a known evil. Even my ex told me how she just wanted to be wanted sexually in some of her choice making. These are known evils. My main point about this is these sort of known evils rule the minds of the citizens in our country so we're all in a self-inflicted slavery which there's no escaping. Fighting and disagreeing constantly keep us there so live with it until rock bottom is reached and decent answers would be looked at with a collective purpose of doing what's best for every human being on this earth without any kind of division.

5 years ago

    Deep / personal insight there, Ken.  The link with Big Pharma would be addiction to prescription drugs, which I've heard is pretty popular with some high schoolers nowadays.

    I watched a friend of mine go through powerful drug regimens after he tried to commit suicide. For 2 years on some particular regimen, he was a zombie.  We used to have lively debates face to face at coffee houses, rather like the ones we do here online.  For those 2 years I'd say a lot, realize I was the only one talking, stop talking, and he'd just be staring at the table.  It was frightening.  He eventually changed his medications around and got something that left him normal.  I think it took some years of weaning, actually, to transition to something he'd become fearfully dependent on.

5 years ago

So I had a daughter who did commit suicide and actually it was on today's date in 1984. In my case she had been attempting to kill herself for seven years and it was that seven years of trying to encourage another human being to want to live when I didn't exactly enjoy living myself that much that completely changed my mindset. Surely you have to understand I couldn't write the stuff I do without insights coming from someplace I've been in life.

In my case my daughter was my responsibility who I fully understood I couldn't renege on. Unbeknown to me my daughter left how she seen her life unfold in writing plus i have letters from her and her mother to which I have put together with how I seen life unfolding through my eyes. I had also put effort into learning public speaking so all this adds up to how I see life through those experiences. In your friend's case as in my daughters case it's how we perceive events in our lives and as I brought up in speaking if anybody really wanted to help a suicidal person make sure one's own perceptions are correct first and then share how our own perceptions are arrived at but never force your own perception on another because that would be denying them their own use of free choice in accepting a perception. If one took this thinking to what's going on in our country it's really forcing perceptions on others denying people free choice in accepting those perceptions.

Right now our society is conditioned to protect and defend themselves and for any kind of constructive change to happen that has to be considered first and foremost. 

I'd like to add if any attention is given to say your friend or even those that did the shooting in Conn., Colo, or even the one we had in Arizona they usually say they were mentally ill while I see them as very smart people who don't actually have anywhere to turn to share their honest feelings with where they wouldn't be judged mentally ill or something like that. It's that not having anybody or anywhere to turn that angers them and that anger comes out with doing the killings of others so all the gun control in the world would never solve the problem society faces by not having the intelligence to understand human behaviors. In my case I had to intentionally earn my daughter's trust and respect which she told me in my good bye letter that I was the only one who kept her hanging on for years by keeping the focus on her dreams when she no longer believed in them. It's simple really but look at how the metal health field along with others complicated it. To me our society is fighting nightmares and isn't ready to have any dreams to shoot for yet.

5 years ago

We all experience Alienation.  A suicidal person, much moreso.

5 years ago

I have come late to this discussion, but what I have to say does mesh in with this particular article.

Until now, I have held back from commenting on the issues emanating from the tragedy which unfolded at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. One reason is that I have to wait until someone can take dictation, however, the main reason is that as someone who was born in Scotland, educated in England and Italy and lived in New Zealand, it would be presumptuous of me to advise American citizens on how to apply the second amendment and/or protect themselves from gun crime.

However, part of my DNA is American (maternal great grandmother) and I care deeply for the American people and what they have fought and died for (a fact that large parts of the world often forgets). I also have extensive experience with disaffected, mentally ill and violent young people.

As you are all probably aware, gun laws in the the UK are extremely strict. Nevertheless, we have had similar events occur over here. The weapon of choice amongst young people (mainly teenagers) is a knife, despite the fact that the law prohibits even the carrying of edged weapons (when I was fit, my chosen sport was fencing and I was fortunate to participate in international competition). My weapons (foil and epee) had to be declared and when carrying them (in their case) in public places I had to show a special pass). Gun clubs over here are popular and yet the vast majority of gun crime is not committed by those who hold such weapons legally, but those who obtain them illegally. Therefore, even if we were to ban the use of guns altogether, criminals would still use them.

Despite the fact that many of the first wave of  immigrants to the USA came from the UK, in the ‘old’ country, the history and circumstances are very different  than in the USA . I therefore grow impatient with people in the UK who attempt to give advice to the USA as to what restrictions should apply to gun ownership.

I grew up in the Highlands of Scotland. As was the custom in my family, I was trained in the use of firearms at an early age and held a shotgun licence from the age of 12 and a firearms licence from the age of 14. I never used a firearm against wildlife, but enjoyed trap shooting. That was my choice, but many members of my family were (and still are) members of shooting parties, but none of them have ever used a gun in anger. The gun room is full of weapons that could be used to kill people, but have never been used for this purpose in modern times.

The point of all this is to agree with those who say that it is person who handles the gun and the ammunition that kills, not the weapon itself. The problems occur when you bring together someone who should have been filtered out of ever carrying a gun, yet by some means they acquire one, then tragedies will occur.

The UK which has some of the strictest firearms legislation in the world has seen several massacres where firearms were deployed:

The 1987 Hungerford massacre occurred in Hungerford, Berkshire, England, on 19 August 1987. The gunman, 27-year-old Michael Robert Ryan, armed with two semi-automatic rifles and a handgun, shot and killed sixteen people including his mother, and wounded fifteen others, then fatally shot himself.

The Dunblane school massacre occurred at Dunblane Primary School in the Scottish town of Dunblane on 13 March 1996. The gunman, 43-year-old Thomas Hamilton (aged 43), entered the school armed with four handguns, shooting and killing sixteen children and one adult before committing suicide.

The 2010 Cumbria shootings was a killing spree that occurred on 2 June 2010 when a lone gunman, Derrick Bird, killed 12 people and injured 11 others before killing himself in Cumbria, England. The series of attacks began in mid-morning in the village of Lamplugh and moved to nearby Frizington, Whitehaven, Egremont, Gosforth and Seascale, sparking a major manhunt by the Cumbria Constabulary, with assistance from Civil Nuclear Constabulary officers. Bird, a 52-year-old local taxi driver, was later found dead in a forested area, having abandoned his vehicle in the village of Boot. Two weapons that appeared to have been used in the shootings were recovered.

Hardly a day goes by without someone ventures an opinion on the USA, gun ownership, mass killings, guns used in furtherance of a crime and most poplar of all, how the USA has lost the plot and you are all gong to hell in a hand basket. What is missing here is some sensible debate, conducted in full awareness of the facts and some of the facts are available in the form of statistics. I have attached a summary of a recent analysis of gun ownership and gun use in several countries. You will see that there are many other countries where the use of guns is almost a national pastime. Strangely enough, this does not seem to apply to the USA.

In the USA, due to history and the issues faced by immigrants to a new and often hostile frontier, those living the dream also needed to arm themselves against the nightmare of attack, They also needed to eat and game was plentiful. The founding fathers were realists and they knew that living in the New World of America was not the same as as stroll around a genteel park in the countryside. Add to this the threat to the new nation’s freedoms from outside and the right to bear arms was seen as essential.

contd .....

5 years ago

Research shows that the USA has 88.8 firearms per 100 citizens (some in this 100 will possess more than one weapon and others have none) and the rest of the world are of course horrified by this .... However, a review of the rest of the statistics shows that despite this high ratio, the actual deaths from firearms used in furtherance of a crime is a surprisingly low at 2.9 per 100, 000 citizens!! This means that despite the high gun ownership , the vast majority of those who bear arms do so peacefully, sensibly and with due regard for safety.

In the attached graphic the USA is highlighted in yellow and the next group of nations (highlighted in pink) is where gun ownership is far less than in the USA, but homicide by firearm is as high or even higher than in the USA. The group highlighted in orange shows a level of gun crime and deaths that dwarf the statistics relating to the USA. In a country that shares a border with the USA, Mexico has fewer people who own guns and yet homicide by firearms is far greater - almost three times higher. In Guatemala there are even fewer guns in private ownership (13.1 compared to the USA figure of 88.8) and yet a record of deaths from firearms way above that of the USA. If the USA was a seething mass of gun-happy lunatics then why are the figures of 2.97 homicide by firearm in the USA so low in comparison to the 34.81 in Guatemala?

Honduras is by far the worst example of the misuse of firearms showing that in a society where only 5.5 per 100 of the population own a gun, 68.43 people per 100,000 citizens were gunned down.  

So, how does the USA deal with the latest lethal events involving firearms ... apply a ban or devise some kind of filter? Should everyone (including members of legitimate gun clubs or farmers be compelled by law to hand in their guns? If so, how do you persuade criminals and the mentally disturbed to do likewise?

The answer to the last question is probably “you can’t”.

Strengthening the criteria for granting of licence applications may be part of the answer, but here in the UK, despite strict laws, mistakes still occur and some who cannot be trusted with any potentially lethal weapon have managed to obtain a firearms’ licence. However, we don’t face the situation which American citizens often face - that is the threat to peaceful citizens from heavily armed criminals who carry a weapon, especially in areas where they know that the general population are unarmed, be it is a private residence or public place.

It may surprise those who know my professional background to hear that I rarely prescribe certain mind-altering drugs to patients. One reason is that drugs often impose a barrier between the patient and the doctor. Any medication which is necessary to help them function in society must also be prescribed on the basis that it will not exacerbate the very behaviours that really require skilled therapy to alleviate. The big drug companies however, are ruthless in their drive to get their products into health care and will work hard to persuade medical practitioners of the efficacy of their range.

The truth is, that most prescription drugs do not work as claimed and therapy, either in the context of the patient living at home, or within a hospital, is often bypassed in favour of the ‘chemical cosh’. Put together a drugged population of individuals who already suffer from an escalating personality disorder and some access to weapons, this then places the majority who are peaceful, law-abiding citizens, at risk. If you then rush through legislation to prohibit even the legal right to own arms, it could become open season on anyone who cannot defend themselves or their vulnerable neighbours. More, much more thought on the part of government needs to be given to dealing with anti-social behaviour of all types rather than penalising law-abiding citizens who are the victims of a system that either ignores the breakdown of society or allows the media to feed the fantasies of the disturbed.

5 years ago

This is from a news article.

      "Two days before Assad’s speech, US troops began to arrive in Turkey to man Patriot missile defense batteries near the Syrian border. The dispatch of 27 personnel Friday to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base to survey the Patriot deployment is a first step towards launching an air campaign to establish no-fly zones, similar to that waged to depose Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya."

   Our US government has been giving guns and weapons to people to overthrow their governments along with bombing and killing, with drones, humans that they only tell us are our enemies. We're into wars like they will go on eternally. This is non-stop in our news. Fighting about issues is another way of life in the US. So people have this going into their minds like a subliminal message displaying a behavior for our whole society to follow. I can not see where a government that role models fighting and arguing and bad mouthing others all the time could ever come up with a solution to something like the gun issue when their own behaviors role model a dysfunctional behavior all the time. Maybe the words from a song fit in here, "I'm going to be like you dad" or written to fit in here, "I'm going to be like you government." The reality of all this is that the people have enabled this to go on for a long time now 

5 years ago

    But Ken, AFAIAC the Second Amendment advocates have already solved these problems.  The main reason for the yelling and screaming is to make sure that we don't lose ground, that the other side is not allowed to brainwash everyone unchallenged.  Recent SCOTUS decisions are all pretty much pro Second Amendment, and despite media hoopla, I'm not convinced that Fienstein's new attempt at a ban is going to get legs.  We'll see.

    It's not correct to call everything dysfunction.  Sometimes, you have a sworn enemy and you must fight them.  The beauty of our country is we can generally do that without bloodshed.  We have a power sharing arrangement here.  Democracy is getting your say, not your way.  On most issues, roughly half the country doesn't agree with you.

    It's a pity that the air gets sucked out of the room, when other approaches such as increasing mental health services would be more effective.  But the nice, patient, kindly explaining approach doesn't always work.  Then you have to use force, which in our country means using the law.

5 years ago

So do you consider yourself functional or is my reading "It's not correct to call everything dysfunctional," not have any right to question your credibility with what I read? I mean who gave you the right to include me in what your write?

5 years ago

Plenty functional here.  How many sworn enemies do I have?

- homophobics who seek to put legal restrictions on LGBTs

- people who wish to get rid of all guns in the USA, or who wish to gradually lead us there

- people who suppress free speech, the right to peaceful assembly, and voting

Probably a few more, but I'm too tired to put the right nuances on my environmental toxin concerns.

If you're saying you're not a Second Amendment advocate, that's fine.  I didn't say you were.  I am.  I'm part of the "we" I'm referring to.

5 years ago

Are you gay?

When I write do you consider I have the right to to generalize and include everybody thinks and reasons the same as I do? In my life I had to deal with so many dysfunctional behaviors that I am of the opinion our society has let dysfunctional behaviors override functional behaviors. Reading some of what you write leads me to believe your behavior is dysfunctional because there is so much outside of you that is to blame for what's going on inside of you in what you place in your posts.

5 years ago

    What if I was?  Doesn't change a damn thing.  Next you'll ask if I'm black.

    As for the other stuff, you're projecting.  You don't like something I've said for some reason.  I don't even know what it is; some kind of "speaking out of turn" in your mind.  Something has hit your buttons.  'Fraid you'll just have to deal with it.

5 years ago

I already have dealt with it which clearly ought to show in my posts!

Emerson wrote; "Character always shows, If you do something, that shows and if you don't do something that also shows." 

'Perceiving' would be a better choice of words then 'projecting.' I'm perceiving your reasoning from what you write and evaluating how you think and what is behind your developing that kind of thinking. Then from what I perceive I reason whether or not I believe from my own life's experiences your reasoning is good or bad for the whole society. I had to learn to do this filling my role as a husband and a father by observing every word said and behavior displayed by everybody in my family. I wish that could've been all I had to do this with but then I was in business for myself and had to do this with employees and customers. I even ended up speaking in front of a committee in a state capital because I learned I had to be responsible and accountable for my role in life everywhere I was at the time. So I draw from experiences from my life in dealing with you and everybody I encounter and that is what's going on in my mind.

5 years ago

Ken, the bottom line is you didn't like that I said fighting someone and being oppositional to them is legitimate at times.  Rather than accept this common sense reality, you call people / me dysfunctional.  Then you did a very poor job proving that I'm dysfunctional, providing no evidence whatsoever.  Dysfunctional is just your "word," a label you apply to people.  Since you've had all this life experience, maybe you could stand to be more humble to it and less judgmental.

5 years ago



the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through thesenses the normal limits to human perception.

• the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way the perception of pain.

• a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression Hollywood's perception of the tastes of the American public we need to challenge many popular perceptions of old age.

• intuitive understanding and insight “He wouldn't have accepted,” said my mother with unusual perception.

• Psychology Zoology the neurophysiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli.

5 years ago

I am surprised that there has been no comment (but some positive feedback) to my last post illustrating the statistics relating to gun ownership compared to homicide by firearms across twelve nations. In my opinion, such data shows that despite the hysteria in the press and elsewhere, the greatest threat to the citizens of the USA is not firearms per se, but a minority who would use any means to threaten others to get their own way or satisfy a fantasy. In comparison to many other nations, the legitimate gun owning citizens of the USA appear to be remarkably stable (and remember, part of my job is to define just who qualifies as sane and who is not).

The group which should be under scrutiny here are individuals who present with certain personality traits that appear to run counter to others of the same age and background. This is not to suggest a ‘witch hunt’ of those who are simply perceived as ‘different’ from the ‘norm’ as the concept of ‘normality’ is a dependent variable of circumstance. What is important is for parents, teachers, youth leaders, law enforcement and others to be observant and willing to discuss across disciplines, what, if anything may need to be addressed and by whom.

I am not simply speculating here, as I am a member of such a monitoring group of professionals who meet monthly to discuss behavioural issues in schools, the home, the general community and in specific groups (such as the scouts). The differing experiences of the committee members are part of the group’s strength in that quite often, we hear from parents that they are not aware of how their son or daughter behaves in different settings. A child who is described as ’well behaved’ at home, may behave differently in school where they are very antisocial or violent. It concerns me that quite often, after an catastrophic event in which many victims have died, people start to come forward (too late) to say the perpetrator was always  ‘a bit weird’ or ‘a loner’.

We have had this problem in the UK too. After the massacres I listed in my last post, there were many reports in the press of people who knew the perpetrator and now admitted (too late) how concerned they had been for years about the behaviour of a man who had just killed or injured dozens of people.

Ken, you refer to the term ‘functional’ which is an area worth investigating. When we apply this term to most human beings, it is necessary to indicate under what circumstances this occurs. For instance, only a minority of human beings are dysfunctional across several fronts. If a dysfunction occurs in a particular setting then the outcome may be fairly benign, but in a different setting can be catastrophic. You often hear people describe a piece of equipment as ‘dysfunctional’ (such as a washing machine). However, when the term is used in relation to people, then it carries a very different meaning. In modern psychiatry, ‘dysfunctional behaviour’ is often used in place of the term ‘mental illness’.

It is important therefore, that in order to identify and monitor anyone who may at some point pose a threat to the safety of others, we use precise semantics. To refer to a population the size of the USA as ‘dysfunctional’ (as we have read in the various news reports describing the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School), is way off the mark. In using such a broad brush we risk devaluing the term to the point where everyone could be described as ‘dysfunctional’ in some aspects of their lives. The person who used the gun was dysfunctional, but the nation in which he was born and educated him is not. The cause may be specific to his home circumstances.

The main failing of society in this context, is, as in the UK, a failure to identify accurately and monitor those who are falling apart and take adequate steps to contain the threat. What these steps are is far more urgent than the rush to ban all weapons and criminalise those who disagree. We are in danger of cutting down the tree to salvage the leaves rather than the wood.

This post was modified from its original form on 13 Jan, 15:15
5 years ago

James, I was politely trying to not be a forum hog and allow your well researched statistics to stand for themselves.  Then unfortunately Ken and I got into it for reasons that are not exactly clear to me, and were a distraction from the subject matter.

5 years ago

To respond to your last point about monitoring... there's a main Care2 article right now, about teachers being bullied, not just students.  An argument could be made that the US educational system is a malaria infested swamp that needs to be drained.

5 years ago

   James, you are a member of a professional group monitoring while I am a member of a unprofessional group of human beings that fall into the category of either having functional or dysfunctional behaviors such as alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts and an endless list. I intentionally did not respond to what you wrote because for starters it displayed insecurity to me by posting statistics in the first place instead what's coming from your heart about matters.

   A older woman checking people out in the check out line said it best as she had problems with the person before me. "Book learned," she said, "Ain't got a lick of common sense."

   I'm older and went through life's experiences that do not show in your posts. I can empathize with you being paralyzed but in the mental health field I can not. I am seeing your words being used like you are an authority about mental health which even in this last post you wrote about being in a group of professionals, which I see as disconnected and insecure. The reason I feel this way is it takes earning trust and respect of any human being for them to feel secure enough in any form of relationship with them. Only with security can any type of health issue be handle decently. By displaying being an authority figure is like presenting oneself as a false god to people and does not in any way work for the betterment of human behavior. That in my mind is trying to control and manipulate instead of earning trust and respect.

   To take this further I lost a daughter to suicide. She left everything in writing of how she seen her life unfold. Never in my life did I have to give up 'me' for another human being like I did in encouraging her to want to live instead of killing herself. She includes in her writing experiences with the mental health field which you have displayed your credentials that you are a part of professionally. Yes I have strong feelings about what I consider ignorance that the mental health field presents to society as professionalism. It stinks!

   Let me give you an example of that. I went to a meeting that was to present statistics about teen suicide which was put on by a state university. It was held at a local high school and like your post these statistics were presented to the public as facts. In the audience I evaluated at least six teenage girls I would have bet anything on that they were looking for answers in dealing with their own suicidal thoughts. What in God's name do you honestly expect these stupid statistics to accomplish? I mean do you think humans are machines that you can just write manuals about and that's the end of the problems humans face?

   Get serious! Human beings share their lives together and the inner actions we have with one another shape our characters. Life wouldn't be life without that and no books or professionalisms of any sort can deny that. It's the controlling and attempting to manipulate life that is taught that denies that with those dumb statistics. 

   As far as Brandon goes, I have already raised my children and don't need to raise anymore. Look at calling me a 'nobody' which is included in what was written here in this group. If I'm a 'nobody' and in your mind you react to the words of a 'nobody' the way I've seen in just this group there is no way I would ever consider that a functional behavior. There's enough other fools around to buy into that kind of behavior, but I'm passing on it.

5 years ago

Brandon - We too have a problem here in the UK of teachers being bullied by pupils and not all the bullies are teenagers either. The knee-jerk reaction to this by the media is that the abolition of corporal punishment is to blame, neatly body-swerving the possibility that the media has made a major contribution to the behaviour of impressionable people, most of who are of school age.

There is no simple answer as to cause, as the increase in aggression which walks hand in hand with lack of respect for benign authority can stem from a multiple interplay of factors. Any one from a list that includes poor parenting / deprived circumstances / peer group pressure / diet / witnessing violence and antisocial behaviour in the media or immediate neighbourhood / drugs / inexperienced teachers / lack of investment in education / physical and sexual abuse / mental health problems stemming from congenital or acquired brain damage can prove to be fertile ground in which to nurture the epidemic of anti-social behaviour which is creeping through all levels of society.

The fact is that approximately 96% of violent crimes are perpetrated by people who do not have mental disorders, so we need to examine more closely the social factors that trigger behaviour usually associated with poor mental health.

The small percentage of those who commit violent crimes and are found to suffer a mental disorder are well represented in the homicide by firearm incidents. Add to this, the use of guns by mentally healthy but socially crippled criminals, signposts the fact that it is these groups which should be the main focus of any legislation affecting gun ownership.

But then, what do I know

5 years ago

    To add to the list of theories, try that TV became far more exciting than classrooms round about the 1970s with Sesame Street.  Then video games became far more exciting again.  Media gives really engaging and addicting stimulation, whereas the classroom typically gives nothing + bad posture + lack of exercise + poor diet in the cafeteria.

   Ken, not everything is about you personally.  Statistics, for instance.

5 years ago

   James, I live next to what was a Junior High School. I was brought up in a family that was complete which means I had a father who did did fulfill his male role in the family. Yet in our society I can not see where there is any sign of that and to me I think family is where one learns to be part of society. The reason I brought up living next to a school is that I have been physically assaulted twice and it's unbelievable how fear has taken over everybody's life. The first was by a fifteen year old and a woman who I had been standing up for witnessed the assault. She told the police about it when it first happened yet the police are so incompetent that they and the entire judicial system puts more effort into covering up their incompetence then they ever will at trying to be competent. When I pushed like crazy to get this in the courts this woman denied seeing anything so it was my word against a fifteen year old's. A fifteen year old has more rights and sympathy then I as a retired person has. To stand up to these behaviors now I have to just stand there and not even defend myself with not giving into fear in any way regardless of what could happen. 

   The second assault was by a guy with no more room for tattoos on his body. He got out of prison four months before this happened. Calling the police that time I realized they and the system they operate on isn't working. The cop told me they didn't want to see me get hurt and I raised my bloody arm up in disgust of hearing that. Then responded, "If he just got out of prison four months before this and he's still this way I'm better off with getting hurt." But I grew up fighting so to me this is just another day in Paradise. In my mind I believe it's going to take more people standing up to the responsibility of being in society and overcoming their fears to make any kind of change for the better. For me personally I question myself what's the lesser of the two evils, that's what somebody could do to me versus what I would do to myself living in fear of what somebody could do to me?

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