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Can We Fix Mental Illness?

I hate politicians who embrace the banal as the solution for problems that are beyond solution. They should be chained together and tossed into the ocean (hopefully inside a bag weighted with cement blocks). There are those nitwits who insist that all we need is more gun laws. We need, they pontificate, to ban assault weapons and require more background checks. They spew this blather while ignoring, in the case of the Connecticut killer, the fact that that the guns used were acquired in a state with onerous gun laws. The guns were obtained by the killer’s mother after undergoing a background investigation and waiting period. More gun laws will not prevent the murder of 20 kindergarteners.

The problem is one of mental illness. The Anarchist Soccer Mom published a testimonial that is must reading:

Three days before 20 year-old Adam Lanza killed his mother, then opened fire on a classroom full of Connecticut kindergartners, my 13-year old son Michael (name changed) missed his bus because he was wearing the wrong color pants.

“I can wear these pants,” he said, his tone increasingly belligerent, the black-hole pupils of his eyes swallowing the blue irises.

“They are navy blue,” I told him. “Your school’s dress code says black or khaki pants only.”

“They told me I could wear these,” he insisted. “You’re a stupid bitch. I can wear whatever pants I want to. This is America. I have rights!”

“You can’t wear whatever pants you want to,” I said, my tone affable, reasonable. “And you definitely cannot call me a stupid bitch. You’re grounded from electronics for the rest of the day. Now get in the car, and I will take you to school.”

I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.

A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.

That conflict ended with three burly police officers and a paramedic wrestling my son onto a gurney for an expensive ambulance ride to the local emergency room. The mental hospital didn’t have any beds that day, and Michael calmed down nicely in the ER, so they sent us home with a prescription for Zyprexa and a follow-up visit with a local pediatric psychiatrist.

We still don’t know what’s wrong with Michael. Autism spectrum, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant or Intermittent Explosive Disorder have all been tossed around at various meetings with probation officers and social workers and counselors and teachers and school administrators. He’s been on a slew of antipsychotic and mood altering pharmaceuticals, a Russian novel of behavioral plans. Nothing seems to work.

Please take time to read the full post. This mother confronts a problem that cannot be solved by passing a new law. The cause of her son’s mental illness could be related to the consumption of wheat or genetics or a combination of the two. Cure? Perhaps none. Treatment consists of medicating and hoping the kid will cooperate and take the pills. Easier in theory and difficult in practice.

I wish there was a magic solution to such problems. There is not. I ache for the parents who grieve for the lost of their little ones. Those children did not deserve to die like this. But, deserve or not, they are dead. It is natural to seek for answers and solutions in the wake of such a horror.

So, what is the answer?

  • MG6

    http://mobile.wnd.com/2012/12/how-to-stop-the-slaughter-of-the-innocents/

    Check the photo, it’s from an Israel school outing.

  • Hokma

    There are no gun laws that would have prevented this.

    While Mr. Lead From Behind is predictably passing the buck to his political party to come up with some knee-jerk feel-good gun laws or phony bans, they are completely ignoring what is now clearly the cause and it is mental health and our system.

    Lanza’s mother was preparing to commit him and he snapped.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/12/18/fear-being-committed-may-have-caused-connecticut-madman-to-snap/

    Where was the family to pull together and help?
    Where was the system to better deal with this process?

    But left wing idiots will have their feel-good moment when a band-aid is passed, while it will be a matter of time when we have another massacre.

    • Susan Bernard

      There is a good case to be made that if Lanza did not have an assault weapon and extra large clips, he would not have as easily been able to kill as many people as he did as fast as he did. The cops were there in 10 minutes.

      It is also a little nuts to say that if we cannot prevent every death from guns or this shooting then we should therefore do nothing about the crazy lax gun laws in this country, a country were 30,000 die from guns every year, far outstripping on a per capita basis every other developed country with the only difference being the lax gun laws in America.

      • Hokma

        So your argument is that he would not have been able to kill as many people as he did. Or as fast as he did? Is that it? Go to hell you moron.

        And I told you to stop using bullshit research of other countries which are useless because of the source.

  • MG6
  • bbf
    • Hokma

      The mistake she made was that she took her son to a psychologist and not a psychiatrist as she told the psychologist she first spoke to after her son’s death. Psychologists are not medical doctors and I was not aware that they can prescribe any medication.

      And, yes, if you take medication you should not have it can result in what happened.

  • MG6

    “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.”

    Thomas Jefferson

  • MG6

    Lets talk about our own government Fast and Furious debacle!
    How many Mexican and American lives were lost at the hands of the Obama Adm. Let’s talk about the gun running in the ME by this administration. How many lives lost there…thousands?

  • Deapster

    California infamously closed its state mental hospital because ACLU lawsuit demands that required then Governor Reagan to carry out this legal mandate.

    At that time BigPharm convinced social progressives that drugs could take care of all mental illness and behavior threats to the rest of society.

    Wrong. It is time to re-open state institutions and recognize One Flew Over the CooCoo’s Nest was NOT a documentary — but it made it “cute” to coddle those who still needed to be institutionalized.

    This is not a gun problem; it is a mental health/drug problem.

  • Pat Douglas

    “They spew this blather while ignoring, in the case of the Connecticut killer, the fact that that the guns used were acquired in a state with onerous gun laws. The guns were obtained by the killer’s mother after undergoing a background investigation and waiting period.”

    Yeah, the mother should not have even have had those guns. There was no need for her to have a military assault rifle and clips that held extra ammo. There is no need for people to have all the guns they do in America.

    The U.K. has very few guns and very few gun deaths and they have all the same mental health issues in the population and the same violent culture (movies, video games, etc.) the big difference is much more restrictive guns laws. It is pretty much the same in all OECD countries.

    “This mother confronts a problem that cannot be solved by passing a new law.”

    Yes, much of the gun violence in this country can be solved by passing new more restrictive gun laws.

    I could give a shit about your right to own guns. What about my rights to live in a less gun violent country?

    Those how only want to switch the discussion to mental illness are just doing the bidding for the gun industry lobbyist the NRA. Funny, your Republican Party has done everything they can in recent years to defund mental illness funding in this country.

    • Hokma

      “I could give a shit about your right to own guns. What about my rights to live in a less gun violent country?”

      Like Chicago?

      “Those how only want to switch the discussion to mental illness are just doing the bidding for the gun industry lobbyist, the NRA.”

      Go to hell moron.

      • Susan Bernard

        “Go to hell moron.:
        Another well thought out response from you. Quality.

        • Hokma

          What should we call you today scotty? PPAA, Lolam Pat or Sandra?

          Go back into your basement maggot.

          • Susan Bernard

            Another quality response from you. You are a class act.

    • Hokma

      They banned liquor in the 1920s and 1930s. How did that work out other than make a shit load of money for Al Capone and Joe Kennedy?

      The increased the drinking age to 21 in the late 1980s. How did that work out other than leading to uncontrolled drinking (binge)?

      Cocaine and heroin are banned substances. Any idea how easy it is to buy both?

      If the government bans a type of gun it will only make it easier to buy it through the black market.

      So how does that feel-good, knee-jerk, band-aid work out for you now moron?

      And the UK has had the biggest increase in gun related homicides since it enacted more stringent laws.

      • Susan Bernard

        I guess the 58 gun deaths in the U.K. in 2011 versus the 9,000 in America suggest the stricter gun laws in the U.K. are not working. You are a genius.

        • Hokma

          your google search faux research is worthless, has nothing to do with reality, but makes left wings nuts like you feel good.

    • HObama HObamanana

      No reason to allow people to have guns beyond hunting rifles in this country period.

      I don’t suppose our Constitution means a damned thing to you.

      A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

      • MG6

        Also, “those who turn their guns into plows will be govern by those who are armed.”
        Thomas Jefferson.

      • Susan Bernard

        Where exactly in that statement does it say that individuals have the right to own guns? It talks about a militia. Where exactly in that statement does it say that individuals can own assault rifles? If it does, then the constitution should be changed.

        • Hokma

          The Supreme Court said it does timer and again. But to know that requires at least a secondary education.

          • Susan Bernard

            The SCOTUS is wrong. By the way the NRA did not even bother to take the ban on assault weapons legislation to the courts because they knew they would lose. The Federal government has every right to regulate firearms. The SCOTUS has never said the Federal government cannot regulate firearms. It is all about where you draw the line. The SCOTUS has only ever said individuals have a right to own guns, but it has not said the government cannot inact more strict guns laws.

            • Hokma

              “The SCOTUS is wrong”

              Really. The please entertain us with your judicial intellect and insight to explain why.

              Who said the government doesn’t have the right to regulate? The fact is that they do a piss poor job of it.

              But what the left wing polititards are doing will either be ineffective or counter-productive. But it takes a brain to understand that.

              • Susan Bernard

                “Who said the government doesn’t have the right to regulate? The fact is that they do a piss poor job of it. ”

                I agree they need more and better gun regulation and they need to enforce the regulations that current exist in order to do a better job at it.

    • MG6
  • MG6

    As I worked as PO and have monitored teens as well as adults, I have dealt with kids who are more the capable of killing. I recall a young one who I had to place in custody bc of his violent behavior toward anyone. His sister had to leave the home bc he was sexually aggressive with her. Yes, he was a sexoffender multipl times over beginning at a very young age. His father couldn’t control him and his mother was in fear of him.
    I had a young girl who at the age of 7 tried to kill her mother with a knife while she was sleeping. I could go on with more horror stories but….The criminal system is full of these kids.
    PS. One can kill by many different means. Who knows how many serial killers (not caught yet walk) among us now.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ND2FCCGVV2IZTTAZQTXKJTCPNI Ruth

      thanks for your interesting comments. i recall being in a home in a median income neighborhood for a business reason. there are certainly gangs active there. i chanced to look at their older i suppose teenage son sitting on the couch. i would have nodded and greeted him, but he had the coldest eyes i have ever seen. it is odd but i still think about it because i walked out thinking to myself i had just looked into the eyes of a killer.

  • HELENK2
  • driguana

    No, my opinion about guns has not changed. I used to own guns and
    hunt but got rid of my guns when I had kids. The bigger problem is how
    to deal with mentally different people. I’ve got lots of experience in
    that category.

    As the father of a 31 year old Down Syndrome son, I can attest to the
    difficulty of raising and protecting a mentally different individual.
    First of all, a Down Syndrome person is very unlikely to have either the
    inclination or ability to load a firearm and plan an attack on a
    school, so I have never really had to worry about that. In fact, my son
    has never liked weapons of any kind…guns, bows and arrows,
    slingshots….whatever. Fact of the matter is, he rarely shows any
    aggressive tendencies at all.

    This, also, is not to say that he is not “smart” in his own way….he
    is very smart…..he has elementary reading capacity, is meticulously
    organized, is very artistic and has incredible capacity to figure out
    electronics. He has a good life, works at a lunch program at the Senior
    Center and is devoted to his family and friends.

    The real issue is his protection and basic “security” issues….from
    harming himself or being taken advantage of by some around him. This has
    been the interesting lesson. Two important factors come into play…the
    family and the community. Fortunately (or unfortunately as some may feel
    about Santa Fe), we live in a smaller town. I’ve lived here for almost
    40 years and have been involved in teaching, government and broadcasting
    so I have some notoriety. Regardless, I also know the mentally
    different community quite well. Families here are very strong, if not
    interrelated so everyone tends to help out. My own family is very large
    and everyone over the years has helped in some capacity. Most
    importantly, though, the community keeps a certain eye out for those
    needing help, especially the disabled. If my son were ever lost, for
    example, I wouldn’t worry too much about his being found and returned,
    as all of his immediate neighbors know who he is and where he
    belongs.When families become shattered and separated, some of that
    protection seems to dissipate. It does take a family sometimes to help
    out. And a community of not only tolerant people but informed residents
    also needs to be in place, Unfortunately, in many communities, people
    don’t want to be involved in other people’s business and would be afraid
    to be involved….not here.

    I say this in the context of a community where gun ownership is very
    very high. Practically everyone I know owns at least one gun….many are
    hunters. We have numerous gun-related incidents. From what I can tell of
    the recent statistics, most violent, gun-related incidents have to do
    with drugs and alcohol…..which does not mean that there is not some kind
    of mentally related issue. One of the places with the highest incident
    of gun related deaths and violence is a very small community just north
    of here that happens to be one of the heroin crossroads of the
    southwest.

    My point here is that there are multiple issues related in solving
    this problem but I would suggest that that starting point for doing this
    and understanding the problems begins with families and neighborhoods
    and communities of families….not an easy task in itself. So many
    problems in this country need to be resolved from the bottom up….not
    with top-down pronouncements. Once again, that requires leadership….who
    are the leaders and when will they step up? Making everything
    “political” is becoming ridiculous!

  • TeakWoodKite

    ….Just wondering how you found this blog “theAnarchistSoccermom”
    (back to reading and pondering that such a person exists)

  • HARP2

    Comment from another site that makes sense.

    —————————————————-

    Deranged
    mass murderers have one common objective. To become famous by going
    out with a bang. Elimination of this objective is the easiest and most
    effective solution to stopping this madness. NO FAME NO GAIN is an
    initiative that starts right here right now! Let’s get all media to
    stop publishing or broadcasting the name or likeness of the madmen.

    There is precedent as well. H.R. 4727 was signed into law by Jimmy
    Carter to protect the privacy of rape victims. The press cannot
    publishes the name or likeness of a rape victims. This is a good law
    that made sense. No Fame No Gain makes sense as well.

    In the case of individuals who seek fame at the expense of innocent
    men, women and children, NO FAME NO GAIN eliminates there goal thus
    making the act total pointless. Their evil is carefully planned to
    achieve maximum amounts of press. Killing during a midnight movie
    premier dress like a character in the film or slaughtering elementary
    students. Their acts are going through a “one-upmanship” as of late.
    The obvious intent is to ensure they get the most amount of press.

    The added benefit of this “ban” is the victim’s families will not
    have to endure watching their loved one’s killer get national press.

    No Fame No Gain is an easy volunteer solution. This takes one
    network to sign on. All others will follow including the internet
    folks. This is too important to ignore anymore.

    There is no downside. No opposition. None. Let’s get it done!

  • HObama HObamanana

    It is obvious that this murderer had severe mental problems for most of his life. One has to wonder why he was not under the care of competent medical professionals before he became an adult. His father and brother knew he had problems. Can we completely absolve them of responsibility? And how “with it” was his mother to keep weapons like that in a home with a child she knew was completely unstable? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame his mother for what he did, but what the hell was she thinking? Or was she unstable as well?

  • win43

    That’s strange, new gun laws worked GREAT for Australia: http://www.slate.com/blogs/crime/2012/12/16/gun_control_after_connecticut_shooting_could_australia_s_laws_provide_a.html

    Gun control laws aren’t a panacea, and mental health issues absolutely do loom large. But when a mentally ill person kills 27 people, including 20 children, using an arsenal that included a military-grade assault rifle, it takes a special kind of burying one’s head in the sand to say that regulation of firearms plays NO role in the solution.

    Now have fun calling me names and rationalizing doing precisely nothing — because face it, doing nothing is exactly what you’re advocating; that’s why there is hand-wringing about mental health but NO policy proposal in Larry’s post. At least there’s some hope that this time, the grown ups will decide to do something about it.

    • HObama HObamanana

      Typical lunatic left response. No military-grade assault rifle was used to commit these murders.

      • win43

        A Bushmaster AR-15 is absolute military-grade. Functionally, it’s nothing more or less than a semi-automatic M16.

        • HObama HObamanana

          If I am wrong about it being used to murder children I apologize. The reports have been conflicting, as this rifle was initially reported to have been found in his car. Regardless, an insane person committed these murders. Remove the insanity and there are no murders regardless of access to weapons.

          Those that use the “hunting” litmus test to weigh and determine gun laws have not read the 2nd Amendment.

          • Samuel McCracken

            The most liberal, worthless network (MSNBC) reports (with others) that the rifle was most certainly in the back seat of the automobile.For once I think I will believe that report! This certainly NOT a gun issue, like most everyone else has echoed, you need to get the disturbed off the streets. I would also like to use this moment to soapbox for a moment. Yes there are many. many people out there struggling with mental illness, but lets don’t lump everyone in the same category as these savages in Colorado and CT. One final piece of business, for the gun banning crowd: OK, what would keep an average Joe in average shape from getting a run of the mill, flea market grade cheap-o samurai sword and pulling off the same ghastly crime? Nothing in my opinion. It could of been worse in this scenario, he wouldn’t of ran out of ‘ammo’ and couldn’t fall on the sword to end it. Not trying to be ghoulish here, but think about it for a moment.
            Thank you.

            • Hokma

              What these knee-jerk liberal do-gooders fail to understand that when you “ban” something and make it illegal you make it more available for those who should not get it.

        • TeakWoodKite

          Funtionally it fires a bullet, which was caused by a human pulling the trigger.

          • win43

            Right. It takes a human being and a gun to lead to a gunshot.

            Why can’t we address BOTH parts of that equation?

            • TeakWoodKite

              It only takes a human. The gun is not pulling the trigger by itself. It is not a two part equation.

              So if I said you need to put your fingers in the car door jam and close the door on them…(ouch), you want to blame the door or the fact that your fingers where in the wrong place when the door closed on them?

              I had a neighbor once who went away on vaction and asked another neighbor’s kid to feed his cats. The kid decided to go through two locked doors and loaded a shot gun that he then killed his buddy with. “Accidentally”.
              The gun had nothing to do with the choices that kid made that killed his buddy. He did.

    • HARP2

      Please explain to us dummies. Just exactly what IS a military grade assault rifle.

      • win43

        If the words “military grade” are going to become a sticking point, just ignore them. Christ.

        It means a big-ass fucking assault rifle that nobody outside of law enforcement or the military has any earthly need for.

        • HARP2

          You do realize that any semi-automatic can be easily turned into fully automatic quite easily.

        • TeakWoodKite

          I think you are wrong. Need? Tell that to an Afghani.

          • win43

            You are comparing living in the United States to living in Afghanistan? Really? Guy in the Helmand Province needs an assault rifle to protect himself — which he very well might, frankly — and therefore a guy in Tulsa, Oklahoma (or Newtown, CT) does, too?

            That’s REALLY what you’re arguing right now?

            • buzzlatte3

              What’s wrong with comparisons? You’re using them to tout the UK and Australia. It’s apples and oranges.

      • KenoshaMarge

        Might also “explain” to us dummies about how more laws will prevent crazies and criminals from getting guns, military grade or not, and killing people.

        Factual weaponry for defending the 2nd Amendment.

        Laws matter only to the law-abiding, which means that they have zero effect on insane people and/or criminals. Note that the US has a violent crime rate per 100,000 of just 470 which puts us below every single single country in this list – all of which have far more restrictive gun laws than the US.

        • win43

          Not sure how they’re defining “violent crime,” especially because you aren’t providing a link.

          But I can tell you that the U.S. has a gun homicide rate nearly 20 times higher than other first-world Western countries. Leading to an overall homicide rate 7 times higher than the rest of the developed world. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20571454

          20 times higher. And you’re correct: those other countries do indeed have much more restrictive gun laws than the U.S. Which apparently work very well for them.

          • KenoshaMarge

            Do you have cognitive dissonance? No, their very restrictive gun laws don’t work any better for them than ours do.

            Ewww, shame on me for responding to troll spew!

            • win43

              Then why are their murder rates, especially their rates of murder by firearm, so much lower than ours?

              If the goal of gun control laws is to reduce gun homicides, and you have a lower gun homicide rate than a country (the U.S.) with less restrictive gun control laws, it seems to me you’ve succeeded quite clearly.

    • Hokma

      I would not call left wingers like Mayor (shoot from the lip) Bloomers and Dick (the ongoing Chicago massacres) Dirtbag grown ups in this. Or any left winger who believes that banning assault weapons will eliminate these kind of massacres. That is not a grown up – that is a willfully ignorant jerk.

      You can make a lot of money by taking a bet that within one year of a ban on assault weapons that there will be a very lucrative illegal market for those guns and those who want it will be able to access it much more easily. That is not conjecture – that is a fact.

      When they banned liquor with the 18th amendment, consumption went down for months until what became a very lucrative underground market developed and consumption shot up as high as it was pre-prohibition until the amendment was repealed.

      When they increased the drinking age to 21 for alcohol it did nothing for actual consumption and only forced under 21ers to drink in private which resulted in binge drinking and tied the hands of college administrators who still cannot openly counsel and advise most of their students on the matter.

      If people want cocaine or PCP the fact that they are illegal by the government means nothing.

      I don’t know why someone in an urban or suburban community needs an assault weapon but I do know for a fact that if the government bans them all they will be doing is enabling an even bigger illegal gun trade that they then cannot control.

      Having said that, I can say that we have much more stringent regulation over the use of an automobile than we do over a gun.

      I mentioned in a prior thread that I once had the occasion of meeting the CEO of a major firearms manufacturer who had most recently been an exec at a major automobile manufacturer. He was surprised that law enforcement can better track a specific automobile than they can a firearm. That needs to change.

      Also mostly current laws are not enforced including lying on applications. And then there is the issue of online sales which I think needs to be better monitored.

      But the reason Newtown happened was not because of the gun or type of gun. It was because we do not treat mental illness like we do physical illness and still attach a stigma to that.

      The biggest culprits of that are liberals who think that mentally ill people are just “challenged” and need to be understood (not treated). This kid – like the one in Aurora and like the one in Tuscon and like the two in Colorado – needed emergency professional help and not a hug and understanding.

      Then there is the culture of violence from video games to excessively violent movies to goth culture to gangster rap “music” which is a very common thread in all these incidents. If they are going to start banning guns then they better start also banning the most popular video games and all Quentin Tarantino movies and lock up Russell Simmons.

      Then there is the break up of the family unit with about 40% rate of divorce. This kid’s parents were divorced and he had not spoken to his older brother in 2 years. That is a condition that cannot be overlooked or minimized.

      Government can’t fix this. All they can do is analyze, advise, and direct. I hope that Obama takes Senator Lieberman’s advice and creates a serious commission on mass violence so that it can be better analyzed and more serious recommendations can result rather than ignorant knee-jerk band-aids that will make some feel good but will result in reverse consequences.

      • win43

        The number of guns already out there, and the attendant issues of a black market, are absolutely problems that would have to be addressed as part of any meaningful reform. And I agree with you that band-aids aren’t what’s needed — although, politicians being what they are, that’s unfortunately what we’re most likely to get. I don’t have a lot of hope that this will get fixed any time soon.

        But to the extent you’re arguing that a sensible, functioning regime of gun control laws is impossible, you’re wrong. Nearly every other developed country in the West has one. It’s just that we’re not one of them. It would take a long time and a mix of approaches — including serious restrictions on the manufacture and sale of new weapons, combined with aggressive efforts to remove existing guns from, well, circulation — but it isn’t impossible to do here what so many other countries have already done for themselves.

        • Hokma

          No, I am saying that meaningful and sensible guns laws are possible but not if you call banning something that is already available a fix. I would rather not ban it but place more stringent controls on it.

          The only way to limit with the illegal market is to make sure qualified people can still purchase guns legally.

          You will never get rid of illegal weapons as long as their are street gangs. Most of the weapons in Chicago crimes by gangs are gotten illegally.

          You have people lying on applications and never being prosecuted. You have loopholes in gun shows which I think should be closed.

          But unless something is not done about those other issues, none of these laws will prevent another massacre.

          • win43

            Kudos to you for recognizing that guns and gangs are a bigger deal than mass shootings, although the latter gets much more media attention. Particularly when dealing with guns used for organized crime and the drug trade, the illegal market is a more significant problem than the legal market. (Although, I do not think the Adam Lanzas of the world are very likely to obtain assault weapons through black markets; had his mother not owned these weapons legally, it appears very doubtful that Lanza would ever have laid his hands on them. I’ll set that aside, though.)

            But I’m not following your reasoning on why “the only way to limit the illegal market is to make sure qualified people can still purchase guns legally.”

            First, who is “qualified?” It seems to me that you can outlaw selling AR-15s to criminals or the insane, and then there will be a black market for those people. Or you can outlaw selling them to everyone, and there will be a black market… used only by criminals (and, to a lesser extent, the insane). Either way, you’ve got basically the same black market, with the same problems.

            • Alan Davis

              What about putting an extremely heavy tax on ammunition? Like a cigarette tax.

              • Hokma

                That’s one thing that could work. Good one.

            • Hokma

              I’m not a gun person so I can’t speak with a ounce of authority about what an assault rifle is or for what the purpose they are used.

              As far as the black market, that cannot be eliminated in an open society. Common criminals are a law enforcement issue regardless of where they get guns from. The epidemic in Chicago cannot be resolved by focusing on the guns – only on the criminals.

              Almost all people who purchase these weapons legally do not commit crimes. It is those few who use it in the commission of murder that are the problem.

              People like this Lanza or Holmes are very smart and resourceful. If Lanza’s mother did not have weapons, I have no doubt that he would have found access another way to get an assault rifle.

              If an arms manufacturer (and ironically at one time most used to be in Connecticut for some reason) is making a certain firearm for whatever reason they sell them them to lots of buyers including arms dealers. I don’t know the distribution channel of arms but they do sell them inside and outside the U.S. and the U.S. cannot prohibit them from manufacturing something that will be sold elsewhere (and then somehow finds its way back here illegally).

              This is an ongoing issue when it comes to illegal drugs like cocaine. Because we ban it we cannot control it.

            • Fred82

              And the criminals would have assault weapons while law abiding citizens didn’t.

              Do you not see a problem there?

        • HARP2

          Better check your research.

          Data out from the UK, where guns are banned, shows gun crime has soared by 35 percent.

          The Government’s latest crime figures were condemned as “truly
          terrible” by the Tories today as it emerged that gun crime in England
          and Wales soared by 35% last year.

          Criminals used handguns in 46% more offenses, Home Office statistics revealed.

          • Scorpio

            Quite right Harp! There are recent satistics showing the UK to be the most violent country in European Union.

            Official crime figures show that the UK also has a worse rate for all types of crime/violence than the US and South Africa….Widely considered one of the worlds most dangerous countries!

            Google it win43. These satistics were released last week!

          • Pat Douglas

            There were 58 gun murders in the U.K. in 2011, actually down 18% from 2010.

            2010 gun murders in the U.S.: 8,775

            If the U.K. per capita gun murder rate was applied to the U.S. it would translate into only 290 gun murders in the U.S. instead of the nearly 9,000 that occur every year.

            The strict gun laws in the U.K. do actually work, despite what you say in your ridiculous comment.

            You are either purposely being very deceptive in your comment or you are just dumb.

            • Hokma

              The move to the UK maggot.

            • Hokma

              That is a bullshit study.

              What Harp shows is UK government stats

              Go back into your basement and practice your google searches.

  • getfitnow

    The decline in our culture is undeniable. The loss of the sense of the sanctity of life is deplorable. The arrogance of the “educated elite” pretending to know all there is to know is simply astonishing. If we don´t find a way to regain some sense of right and wrong and realize that there must be limits to our cultural behavior we will surely self-destruct.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/what-if-nothing-or-nobody-is-to-blame-for-adam-lanza-guns-video-games-autism-or-authorities-20121217

    • DianaLC

      I agree with you on this. However, I am still not sure that a culture more like what I experienced as a child would prevent all this. Again, I am reminded of the crazy, greedy son here in CO when I was young who decided it was o.k. to blow up an entire planeload of people to kill his mother for her money.

      I am also reminded of the far greater number of young men who watch these shows, play these games, etc., and who can indeed separate fantasy from reality and who never would dream of doing something like this.

      I don’t like our culture as it is nowadays. I do wish for a return to more sexual restraint, for more concern about personal dignity. I don’t know how to put it. Perhaps it’s a sense of what we used to call propriety, decency, decorum.
      I would like a return to some sense that I was taught in Sunday school that we needed to show the “son of man/son of God” in our behavior and to view our bodies as the temples of our souls.
      But mental illness does indeed exist, and until neuroscience progresses far more than it has already, we have to find ways to deal with the people affected by it.

    • HObama HObamanana

      The ones that piss me off the most are the holier than thou Hollywood elites who one week tell us they are overjoyed to be portrayed shooting white people and the next week tell us how violence in movies influences our culture. Such brave, wise role models.

  • Theymustbemorons

    Larry, thank you for your extensive quoting of and link to this article. In the days since the shootings, I’ve noticed a number of articles attempting to demonize Adam Lanza’s mother. Only in the last day or so are some articles mentioning Adam’s mental problems and his mother’s increasing difficulties in handling him. For all our much publicized attempts at inclusion and tolerance and understanding, etc. severe mental illness is still in the closet, even in families making aggressive attempts to seek help. Don’t know what’s to be done. But we live in an era where taking the easy way out to make bad situations better is the norm. Until there’s some breakthrough in curing or lessening the effects of severe mental illness, we can only maintain “a better normal” with the use of certain powerful drugs. The care and maintenance in such cases requires tremendous resources and an army of highly trained professionals as well as an educated public. We can’t kid ourselves into believing we have any of that. In the end, our “leaders” conclude that we need more gun control. And that’s pretty much it. I believe there’s no way a 20-year old with Adam’s background should be allowed to assemble such an arsenal. No way. But in his condition he could have taken a kitchen knife to his Mother and then gone into the school to do some damage. Years ago I had a good friend who’s daughter was in a mental hospital. She suffered from schizophrenia. She was allowed home from time to time on “passes” to visit her parents when the doctors thought she was under control. On one of those visits, during the holidays, she almost killed my friend, her father, with kitchen knife. She died in the mental hospital. She hung herself. Who cares about these folks and their families who pretty much suffer in silence? We label them as “weapons,” throw mud on their family members and we pretty much want our lives untouched by their problems. Not possible. Sooner or later, whether we like it or not, we are touched by these problems.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001348291128 Sharon Pealer

    I live in Ct and have perhaps more direct access to the coverage than many. One story that has not made much notice is that the mother was a survivalist. I suspect that there is much more to this story than has been told by the police as interviews with friends and neighbors tell a story of a woman who never allowed anyone into her home. Now I will also mention that my own son has Asperger syndrome. The age of the young man in question is very close to that of my son. At the time my son was diagnosed the syndrome had only recently been recognized here in the U.S. and most insurance companies would not even pay the five grand the testing cost. We got lucky and the school system stepped up and covered the cost. Once I had a name for what I was dealing with I dove into learning all I could about it.
    I am writing because there have been many hints about what was going wrong in this young man’s life. Most with the syndrome do not handle change well, he had suffered through major changes in the last few years of his life including the loss of contact with his father and his brother. Proper diagnosis would have helped the parents to expose him to changes regularly which might have helped him deal with them in a better manner. One other thing of note is that while those affected by the syndrome might not be able to recognize the feelings or emotions of others, they are sensitive to the pressures those emotions bring. The descent into survivalism of his mother would have been a major pressure on him. She is reported to have told one friend shortly before the day of the shootings that she was losing him. He was in effect shutting off the pressures and living in his own mind. It is quite possible that he never showed any outward sign that he was going to do anything like this, so hospitalization may not have been an option. Sadly I don’t believe that this family ever did get the help that a definitive diagnosis would have allowed. This case is not much different than what I heard from my husband’s parents about him when he was a child and all the testing in the world came up with lots of other things, but never hit on this diagnosis. He had terrible temper tantrums and to this day holds tightly to memories of the teasing he went through as a child. I use the same techniques on him as with my son, but the failure to start when he was young makes it harder for him to adjust and see things that my son sees. Everyone asks why did this young man choose the first grade class, to be honest I suspect that his memories of the way he felt in first grade are the cause. It would have been the first time he was subjected to the long hours of exposure to being different than others since even now most schools start full day in first grade.

    • Hokma

      That is the most substantive explanation I have heard.

      I was getting a sense that this family was dysfunctional and you note that with this condition it can result in serious consequences.

      While you are doing what is right for your child, the question is how does a child get the treatment they need when the parents fail to access it? Particularly when it cam become a matter of safety in the community?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001348291128 Sharon Pealer

        This is where it becomes a problem. The best place to have this problem discovered and training begin does seem to be the schools and in the home. Much of the training needs to be constant, the same at home and school. This will not begin until and unless the parents agree to undergo the rigorous testing that is done. The testing will indicate just how the child is affected and then a plan of treatment can be designed specific to that child. I hesitate to say what the solution can be because that would entail more involvement of the state in what should be a familial decision. Sometimes the parents do not want to admit that the child might need help and that is sad. The beautiful mind of that child may then never be shared outside that child’s own head. When it becomes a matter of safety for the community then the authorities must step in, but like in this case it is often too late. I do not mean in any way that most of these children will injure others, I do know however that many of these children are prone to suffer from depression and could hurt themselves.

        • Hokma

          Over lunch I just saw a panel of parents who have children with this condition and one doctor who runs a center for brain management. It was pretty much what you said and how difficult and challenging it is. One parent said she had to hire an attorney to get the care her child needed.

          It took a long time for society to deal rationally and effectively with children with downe syndrome instead of institutionalizing them.

          After these massacres I think the focus needs to be more on young people with a variety of physical/mental disabilities and how to make sure they are properly treated and cared for.

    • DianaLC

      May you receive all the help, understanding, empathy and kindness you need. Having a child like your son means that you were somehow also given a great challenge that God or the higher powers (however you want to put it) felt you could handle. And it seems to me that you are taking your responsibilities seriously. It’s probably harder than you let on, and I’m sure you often don’t get the understanding and compassion you need. I want to say “God bless you” and I hope that does not offend your religious beliefs.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001348291128 Sharon Pealer

        You did not offend in any way, I am Christian and I do believe that somehow God saw something in me that would allow my son to reach the full potential of his brilliant mind. It was not always easy and we still have things that escape my son’s attention. Last semester he forgot to check that his registration for classes at college went through, and after two weeks of going to each class he found out that he was not registered. He did take care of it himself, but it was stressful. My son has learned for the most part his shortfalls in relating to people and I have worked with him for years by exaggerating emotions so he kind of “gets it”. He is an adult now and has even formed “friendships” that he values. He has found a place for himself to shine and thrive in his chosen career and I believe he will do quite well. Thank you.

  • KenoshaMarge

    Politicians embrace “banal” solutions because for some reason we think that the pinheads we elect can fix anything and everything. No matter how obvious the facts are to the contrary.

    If they espouse some pet hobby horse, i.e. gun control, a certain portion of the public will climb on that hobby horse and take a ride with the pin-headed/banal pol.

    There is no easy, perhaps no, solution. There will never be one at all as long as people use the blood of innocents and the sick-minds of killers to play politics.

    My heart aches for the mother in your piece. What is she to do? What can she do? She and her family live in terror and there is no one there for them. Perhaps some “gun control” obsessive-compulsive can offer her a solution.

  • Dave L.

    The last election and the happenings since prove that this country has a lot of mentally ill persons walking around. We had people threatening to burn down country if Obama wasn’t reelected. We see so called news reporters blathering nonsense that tip a mentally unstable person off the edge, our schools are no longer learning institutions, the homeless and jobless rates do nothing to help the mental stability of the population.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ND2FCCGVV2IZTTAZQTXKJTCPNI Ruth

    i had a family member commit suicide. for years he had struggled often very well to live a normal life. but the depression and despair would arise again. what does a family do? we tried to get help but he was an adult who would make his own decisions. often there are threats of violence from our suffering family members. i never thought to blame the gun for what he did. i knew if not a gun then something else would have done the deed he wanted.

    • DianaLC

      Ruth, depressives often fall into two categories: those who take their sadness and anger out only on themselves and those who couple their depression with homicidal tendencies.
      I agree that all we can do is feel a sense of pain and sympathy for all who are affected by mental illness.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ND2FCCGVV2IZTTAZQTXKJTCPNI Ruth

        thanks dianaLC

  • buzzlatte3

    The answer isn’t more gun control. The answer is in rebuilding the system that was once in place to handle the identified mentally ill that were/are a danger to themselves and others. USA Today had an article. From professional experience, I can say that parents have little to no support once the child is no longer school age. There is an article featured on http://www.thegatewaypundit.com about this, also.

    • DianaLC

      buzzlatte3, I have to agree with you on this. People in the U.S. do not want to think about forcibly making someone give up his/her independence. I feel great sympathy and sorrow for the mother Larry cited. I will go read the entire story, but I do know that she will indeed not get any help after the boy ages out of the school system because of the way laws are in our country. That boy will go off to endanger other people and may ultimately cause much harm.
      I’ve mentioned the severely schizophrenic woman who was the mother of the three girls I reaised. Not only did her treatment of them as their mother during the early formative years of their lives affect their behavioral patterns negatively, I could list incident after incident when she caused havoc and pain in the lives she touched as she roamed about the country and lived often at homeless shelters. She had SSI but often was unable to figure out how to get her payments or forgot about them. She did as usual for schizophrenics and became an alcoholic and was completely addicted to cigarettes, and just recently died of cirrhosis of the liver.
      Because of SS intervention for many of the times she caused havoc and for the years it took under the law to take her parental rights away, citizens through their taxes funded hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawyers and social workers and police officers, etc.
      The only period during the over twenty years that I was also in some way involved in her life that she appeared stable was a time when she was on a carefully monitored and maintained schedule of drug therapy and behavioral therapy. The problem with that for many people with her condidtion is that they then begin to feel they no longer “need” the help. That happened with her so many times, I was told, and once she got off her behavior was worse than before. It’s a downward spiral. I also understand that finding the right drugs and the right levels for each person is a hard process to go through because each case is so different.
      In my higher mind, I felt terribly sorry for her, as she was born with that terrible condition–into a family whose father suffered from it. Her own family rejected her because of the danger and turmoil she represented; and as I had to deal with her over the years, I grew to feel afraid of her a little and just plain resentful also of the turmoil she brought into my life.
      There was enough of the mother instinct in her that made her respect me because of what I was doing for her girls, and she never let out her anger on me. But I often witnessed the terrible anger she let loose on others. And I know of the anger she sometimes let out on the girls when they visited her during her court-ordered visitation weekends. Mostly though, the damage she did to them was just from being out of her rational mind: taking babies out to sunbathe, taping menstrual pads to the baby for diapers, using up all the medication for a daughter’s ear infection on herself instead, allowing young girls to jump up and down in the back seat of her car without the doors locked, so that one fell out onto the street. I could go on.
      I eventually came to the same conclusion. She needed to be in a lockdown facility. I know the stereotype of those, as in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” I know from reading stories and reports about them as they were when it was easily possible to have people committed who did not need to be, as in the case of many women whose husbands didn’t like how they acted for some reason.
      But surely for the safety of our country, we could come up with something better along that line that will allow them to live out their lives without endangering ours.

      • HObama HObamanana

        Here’s the rub. A mentally incapable person may receive SSI benefits because the federal government has determined that the person is mentally incapable of functioning in society. Yet that same federal government will insist that said same mentally incapable person has the right to determine whether or not to seek and participate in treatment, regardless of the severity of the mental incapacity.

        • DianaLC

          Yes, it’s an insane world of govt. employee regulators.
          Before the youngest girl was put into my home, every time one of those incidents I described occurred and I knew about it–really, a baby with scabs all over her face and body from being taken out to sunbathe?– I called the Social Services office to beg that they send out a visiting nurse or something on a regular basis. They always just told me that I had to tell them when she did something dangerous. Go figure.
          It wasn’t until the mother was thrown into jail for car theft and the little girl had severe pneumonia from living in an unheated camper trailer during a severe winter that she was then put into my home. That was enough time for that little girl to be pretty damaged already mentally and emotionally.

          • buzzlatte3

            For six months I worked in a group home setting for developmentally disabled women over 18. About half of the residents had been displaced out of state residential care (programs discontinued in a money saving wave) and the others were coming from the Special Education settings when they were 18.

            By far, the women who had been in state residential treatment were more socialized, cooperative, had skills, and educated. Some even held down jobs outside of the group home. The women who had only public school special education services were often violent, oppositional, refused to take meds, ran off with men and “boyfriends”, got pregnant, and were constantly in a revolving door between probation officers, social workers, group home review boards, hospital emergency rooms, and kicked out of stores, cafes, off city buses, and generally not able to handle any sort of group situation well. Before I left, the state began emptying the mental illness wards. The group home would host a potential resident for an overnight stay. Even the regular residents would become frightened at the aggressiveness and “crazy behavior” (One spent the whole time talking to her breasts and asking for cigarettes) from the guest.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    New guns laws are not going to prevent something like this, in the Oregon mall shooting case, in this case, the guns were denied when the shooter went through the process and they were stopped, however they stole the guns, we have laws against stealing, people still do it, and in this case with such horrible endings.

    The family unit who has this mentally unstable person has to seek help and that help has to exist in society in ways of more resources etc for mentally unstable people, there are already laws on the book about background checks for people etc, but the people went and stole the weapons.

    There has to be more discussion about more resources and tracking of mentally ill people, to see how they are, if they are being treated etc, if not the family has to pressed. But then comes the issue, if the person is over 18, an adult, as was the case with the Aurora shootings, how can this be solved etc?
    I don’t know.
    I do think there needs to be discussion about having in each school some of the teachers, principle etc trained to use weapons, at least then they have something to fight back with. Of course the weapons need to be very careful made sure no kids get to it, but in emergencies, I think there have to be some weapons that can be accessed by school officials, who have been trained, to defend against horrible crimes. The school may be “gun free”, but then they are sitting ducks with absolutely no way of defending themselves if such a tragic event happens.

    The poor innocent little kids and the adults, what a horrible horrible tragedy.

    • Hokma

      We don’t need new guns laws – just enforce the ones we have.

      But I will say this. Law enforcement can find any car if they need to, but cannot do that as easily with a firearm. We know how many cars are sold every year, but we have no idea how many firearms are sold in total or by type. All we have are FBI background applications numbers.

      I think that is a problem. When you have a product that is manufactured to be lethal, then there has to be better tracking over that product than others and it is the opposite.

      We don’t know how many illegal guns are out there because we don’t even know how many legal guns there are.

      • TeakWoodKite

        Something to consider… but ” what is an “illegal gun”? They all started of on the right side of the law…

        • Hokma

          When a firearms manufacturers sells a gun into the trade some are sold through legitimate trade channels (gun stores) and some are not. How and where that works I really don’t know. Maybe they are stolen.

          But most guns used in violent crimes on the street by gangs are gotten illegally through illegal arms dealers.

          The point is that there is no way of tracking that.

          • HObama HObamanana

            But most guns used in violent crimes on the street by gangs are gotten illegally through illegal arms dealers.

            Or from your friendly neighborhood Attorney General.

          • TeakWoodKite

            Unless your the DOJ selling guns to drug cartels..only then you do not want anyone to know they are illegal. I get your point. :)

    • DianaLC

      As a teacher in a high school, I did know that we had a police department officer assigned to our building on a regular day-to-day basis. That officer did have a gun. I think that is typical in most large high schools.
      However, I really and truly would not want to rush into allowing most school district personnel to carry guns in the building. If you knew some of the school district employees I knew, teachers and administrators, you might hope as I do that they never get the right to carry a weapon into a classroom Their judgment was not as good as you might think sometimes.
      From all accounts, the teachers and personnel in the building this time were wonderful people. But I am also willing to be that they were also people who shunned the use of guns.

  • HARP2

    Before Connecticut tragedy, administration eliminated emergency preparedness program,let school violence prevention programs lapse

    Government officials told the Washington Guardian on Friday
    night that two Justice Department programs that had provided more than $200 million to schools for training, security equipment and police resources over the last decade weren’t renewed in 2011 and 2012, and that a separate program that provided $800 million to put police officers inside the schools was ended a few years earlier.

    http://www.washingtonguardian.com/washingtons-school-security-failure

    • buzzlatte3

      Or was it more shoveling of money to Obamacare? Tragic, no matter what.

    • Susan Bernard

      I agree we should provide more Federal funds for school safety.

      Funny I seem to recall that you and many others on NQ want to get rid of the Education Department. How do you square that circle? You are complaining about the cut in Federal funds to the Education Department to provide school safety grants and programs, but at the same time you want to get rid of the Education Department. How does that work? You also support a party that wants draconian cuts to exactly the kinds of Federal programs you are complaining that some Federal funds have been reduced? You make no sense.

      You seem to want government, but are unwilling to pay for it. Typical Republican or Tea Party person. Were you the one holding up the sign “Government keep your hands off my Medicare” at the Tea Party rallies.

      By the way if you actually read the article you link to it says many programs ended before Obama and in fact it was the Tea Party controlled House that blocked much of this Federal funding.

      • Hokma

        what does the so-called education dept have to do with any of this? what exactly is it they do? (hint: nothing)

  • HARP2

    Justice Department Killed Plans For Comprehensive Background Checks

    Some of these proposals made in a Justice Department study were:
    allowing the FBI access to other federal agencies’ information, as that would have enabled the FBI to make sure those who are banned from buying guns such as felons, drug users, mentally “defective” persons, domestic violence criminals, and illegal immigrants, would be noticed. Private sellers would be required, just as licensed firearms dealers are already, to check purchaser’s backgrounds. There would be mandatory jail time for those who buy guns for others who cannot pass a background check.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/12/16/Justice-Department-Aborted-Plans-For-Background-Checks

  • Popsmoke

    Deal with the issue as a family unit under guidence of mental health professionals. But deal with it as a family. We use to have family meetings when one of us went off the reservation. My parents did not blow off the slightest sign of any problems.
    There are no simple asnswers to any of it….