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Monday, February 19, 2018


Last week Americans were presented with another horrific mass shooting of innocent school kids by another deranged young man with a gun.  And in the media dog bit man again.  Predictably the press came up with the formula answer for every act of violence in our country:  abolish the 2nd Amendment. This got old long ago.  We have seen it all before - the distraught, hysterical mothers, the sobbing kids, the chanting of “NO MORE GUNS” (whatever that even means), and abuse of everyone who defends the Constitution.  Ad nauseum.


Of course no parent should ever have to go through something like this, but there are countless reasons why gun control is the last thing we should be thinking.  Our 2nd Amendment was written into our Bill of Rights for good reason.  It was not only to allow citizens to protect themselves from others’ acts of violence but as a bulwark against tyranny.  Don’t laugh.  America is probably the last bastion of freedom to own arms - in other words to secure one’s own safety and that of his family.  You might wonder on occasion, when you read about mass raping of young women by gangs of immigrant men  in Germany or Sweden, why it hasn’t happened here yet.  It might yet.  Don’t discount the possibility.  But if it is tried on a street in America it is highly likely that someone witnessing such an atrocity would get out his gun and put a stop to it.  More than once jihad has been thwarted by an armed bypasser who was in the right place at the right time.  You might remember having read about some of them, but that is for another discussion.  The focus now is school shootings by American kids.  


Firstly, those who would grab guns and repeal the 2nd Amendment don’t seem to consider the fact that MURDER, and MASS MURDER are already illegal.  A person who would not hesitate to break a law against murder is even less likely to obediently take his gun in and turn it over to authorities - or comply if the authorities knocked on his door.  So the net result of “getting rid of the guns” would be to skew the percentage of criminals with guns versus law-abiding citizens with guns heavily toward the criminals.  It would give criminals the advantage and the knowledge that there would be no one to stop their rampages.  Gun grabbing is the thing we most of all must NOT do!


Second, developing the same theme, we possibly could do a lot of good by encouraging classroom teachers and other school staff to arm themselves and get good training in using guns.  Take the little signs off the doors that indicate a “gun-free zone”.  Why would you send a message to violent criminals that there is no one on site with a gun?  Instead, start a program in your local school to provide a bonus to teachers who have training and guns, provided they keep them on their persons.  This is better than hiring armed guards.  A shooter who plans such an attack will begin by taking out the guard at the door.  He then knows he will be the ONLY ONE ON THE PREMISES WITH A GUN.  It has been said that a gun-free zone is a safe zone for a killer.  He knows he cannot be stopped.  If he even suspects that the teacher is armed and ready to shoot, or maybe the teacher across the hall or the principal, he will likely act out some other way.  If not, hey, he will be shot before he kills innocent victims.


There are other problems with security guards.  Not to impugn the many reputable people who take difficult jobs to protect us, but there have been many instances where people in such positions are not well-enough vetted.  We have made mistakes in the hiring of some teachers.  Hiring the wrong security guard could be worse.  Some troubled people seek this kind of work.  Conceivably we could hire someone and arm him and find he is there to shoot.


Ordinary citizens should be encouraged to get arms and keep them on their persons.  This would protect everyone (something like ‘herd immunity’ in communicable diseases).  


So first, encourage the widespread ownership and expertise in the use of guns in the general population.  This will stack the odds better for everyone.  


Next, let’s explore what the common thread in these vicious attacks might be.  It has been said before and here I say it again:  widespread use of prescription psychotropic drugs.  Again, don’t brush this off.  There are some out there who think that anyone who is troubled would just be fine if they got their meds. Not true, for these medications often have some frightening side effects, whether the patient is on them or in withdrawal.  These are known to include mania, psychosis, violence and suicidal and homicidal ideation.  This is not random stuff.  Twenty-seven international drug regulatory agencies have issued warnings about such side effects.  There have been more than 37 school shootings or similar violent acts by perpetrators using these drugs.  The result?  Over 172 wounded, 97 killed.  And note that these figures do not include cases where the information on drug use was not reported to the public.  I include the recent case in Parkland, Florida, because it is known that the perpetrator had received, off-and-on, “mental health treatment”.  Anyone who knows anything about “mental health treatment” in America, is aware that there is almost NO chance that the patient is not prescribed these psychiatric drugs.  


A recent article counts 36 incidents of violence in schools - all involving the use of psychiatric drugs by the criminal and now we have one more.  Including the Parkland incident, there have been 33 such acts in America, 1 in France, 2 in Finland and 1 in Japan, all involving drugs - antidepressants, drugs for anxiety, ADHD, and other psychiatric or emotional problems.  Do any of these names ring a bell?  Ritalin? Zoloft? Prozac? Paxil? How about Wellbutrin?  Vyvanse? Seroquel? Risperdal? Xanax? Lexapro? Trazodone? Effexor? Anafranil?  All of these drugs have been implicated in the conduct of violent acts and mass murders in schools.  Many, including the Parkland shooter, have been taking these and other drugs that have been “undisclosed” to the public.  The number of cases reflects ONLY those in which prescription drug use was present.


As one who has worked in a clinic where these drugs were regularly prescribed, I can tell you it would be very rare for a patient to visit a psychologist and not leave with a prescription for something like these drugs.  They’re not all alike, and some people mix them, which could create a real hell.  These drugs may have legitimate uses in some rare cases.  But we should question  their use in such a general way.  Should the people taking them be more closely monitored?  Should these presciptions be signed off on by more than one person?  Clnics which once provided only counseling and a personal kind of therapy (psychologists do not prescribe drugs) are now employing nurse practitioners for the sole purpose of writing prescriptions.  Should nurses be prescribing at all?   This is a veritable gold mine - firstly for the pharmaceutical companies and secondly for their well-paid stooges in the medical profession.  This is what we need to police.  We should not forget either that Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter, was also taking psychiatric drugs.


Before we undertake to strip Americans of their right to self protection, a right we have had since the beginning of our nationhood, and one which is becoming ever more relevant to our safety and survival, let’s explore the mental health facet of this issue with respect to medications which were unavailable and unheard of back when our schools were reasonably safe and we didn’t hear of these horrible crimes.



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