Monday, January 07, 2013

Mental Illness, Mass Killings&The Media

David Kupleian of WND, raises some great points in this throughal article, while asking questions many of us have been asking.

Since last month’s horrifying and heartbreaking school massacre in Newtown, Conn., politicians and the press have, as everyone knows, been totally obsessed with firearms. Indeed, President Obama has vowed to impose strong new gun-control measures on the nation – very soon, with or without Congress.

Other possible factors – from violent video games to the “failure of our mental-health system” to the unintended consequences of making schools “gun-free zones” – have taken a back seat to guns. Within hours of the gruesome mega-crime, the media had provided extensive, round-the-clock coverage of precisely which firearms, manufacturers and calibers the perpetrator had used, how he had obtained them from his mother, where they were originally purchased, and so on.

But where, I’d like to ask my colleagues in the media, is the reporting about the psychiatric medications the perpetrator – who had been under treatment for mental-health problems – may have been taking? After all, Mark and Louise Tambascio, family friends of the shooter and his mother, were interviewed on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” during which Louise Tambascio told correspondent Scott Pelley: “I know he was on medication and everything, but she homeschooled him at home cause he couldn’t deal with the school classes sometimes, so she just homeschooled

It has been more than three weeks since the shooting. We know all about the guns he used, but what “medication” may he have used? (One brief mini-hoax emerged when the New York Daily News published a story claiming the shooter, according to his uncle, had been on the controversial antipsychotic drug Fanapt. That story was quickly withdrawn after the “uncle” turned out to be a fraudster with no relation to the murderer.) Adam at home. And that was her life.” And here, Tambascio tells ABC News, “I knew he was on medication, but that’s all I know.”

So, what is the truth? Where is the journalistic curiosity? Where is the follow-up? Where is the police report, the medical examiner’s report, the interviews with his doctor and others?

Regardless of what medication Adam Lanza may have been taking or not taking, we know he was mentally unstable and the real issue is identifying those who may pose a danger to themselves and others and providing proper care for them. Putting them on medications isn't always the best solution, especially when you consider the potential for 'rare adverse effects', and prescribing them to someone who poses a danger/threat to themselves or others. Some people are just plain evil and choose to do bad things, like rob banks, rape people, and kill people.

We don't know if he was actually mentally ill or just plain evil, but I would say if he did suffer from mental illness, he suffered a severe form of either schizophrenia or personality disorder that was undiagnosed because of his aspergers syndrome. In my opinion, severe mental illness is a form of evil that takes over ones sense of right and wrong, jeopardizing their free will and causes them to act impulsive, out of control, violently or otherwise out of what is socially acceptable in society. Anytime someone poses a danger to themselves or others and you fear them or fear leaving them alone, I believe they must be evaluated and institutionalized. Of course the ACLU disagrees and this is why we have over 50% of the mentally ill in our prison system and another 50% or more of homeless people on the streets.

Obviously his mother spending most of her time with him wasn't enough. Adam Lanza needed to be institutionalized a long time ago, so that he received the proper medical treatment, such as therapy and 24 hour supervision. Perhaps after his mother took him out of high school to home school him is when he should have been institutionalized, because he is said to have had outbursts, that were abnormal for his age and maturity, requiring his mother to have someone watch/babysit him when she was not at home. She even told them not to leave him alone for a minute to use the bathroom. That sounds like someone you can not trust to leave alone and one person could not be expected to care for someone like that without risking some sort of danger. She may have thought he was more of a danger to himself than others, but he obviously had the potential to pose a danger to others as the WND article states those with suicidal tendencies tend to become homicidal and then take their own lives, as happens in most of these violent, mass murders. 

But the most disturbing question of all is that if his mother knew he was a danger to at least himself, why did she teach him to use guns and ever keep them in her home?? Why didn't she have him institutionalized sooner? Sadly, we will never know the answer to these questions because she was his first victim, since he shot her four times in the head. 

He may have stolen the key for the gun lock or knew how to break into the lock or had access to it, we don't know how he got the guns and ammo out yet, but we do know he stole them from his mother who had them registered under her name and that he refused a background check when he tried to purchase his own gun. Thus proving gun control laws would not have prevented him from committing this crime since the weapons were stolen. In addition, the type of gun used at the school, which has been questioned in various reports, the AR15, would not have been banned under the 1994 assault weapons ban. But, if he had been institutionalized and under 24 hour supervision he would have never been able to escape and commit such a heinous crime.

The public and the families of the victims deserve to know: What treatment was he given? Was he on medication for anything other than aspergers, or a personality disorder, as he is reported to have had by his brother. How can we recognize these people before they act out and before the lives of others are endangered? Parents need to know in case they believe they have a child like this, who could potentially become another mass murderer. 

There are many unanswered questions. Why we don't know and may never know could have a lot to do with pharmaceutical companies paying off victims before it goes to court and the lack of our media asking the right questions and pursuing these cases, because they rather move on to the next big story rather than followup on these cases or the media covers-up for those, like Obama, that seek to protect their agenda and push an agenda to confiscate guns or establish more gun control laws


In a future article, I will discuss some of the issues regarding gun control, mental health and immorality and will soon post another article discussing the issue of legislating morality.

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