Monday, January 10, 2011

From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Tucson

The tragic events in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend has sparked another debate involving gun control, mental illness, and "how can this be allowed to happen again?" The latest information from over the weekend states that they believe that it is a lone gunman who killed 6 people and wounded 14 others during a meet-and-greet session with the local US congresswoman.

The name of the suspect in custody is Jared Lee Loughner. A article called "Massacre suspect 'mentally disturbed,' former teacher says" gives a profile of this person:
In a statement issued Saturday night, Pima Community College said Loughner was suspended after a series of run-ins with campus police between February and September, capped by the discovery of a YouTube video in which he accused the college of operating unconstitutionally. Loughner quit school after the suspension, the college said -- and it warned him that to return, he had to present a doctor's note stating that his presence would not be "a danger to himself or others."
Man, this sounds really familiar, doesn't it? All too familiar. In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings back in 2007 (has it already been almost four years since that happened?), I wrote a series of posts outlining my opinion about mental illness, gun control, and the lack of society's responsibility to finally fix the problem.

I encourage you to read them, including "Mental Health Care Delivery in US," "Depression = Murderer?" and "Privacy Laws Need Scrutinized." I'll end this post with some chilling statements from 2007 from a blog post entitled, "Can The Cycle Be Broken." These same words can be applied to the Tucson tragedy over the weekend. They are as true now as they were then...
Of course, people are outraged by this situation. I'm outraged by what happened. But, I've seen this too many times. We are shocked by what happened, we mourn the victims, we blame whomever we need to blame for what happened, then we go back to our apathy until the next tragedy happens. Well, I'm sick and tired of this useless cycle. Instead of outrage turning into apathy, let's turn outrage into action. And, I'm not talking about knee-jerk reactions...

Um, uh, wait a minute. As I think about things now, I'm thinking about what realistically can happen? Would it mean a radical change in American culture? A culture that celebrates violence? A culture that makes celebrities out of people like Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and Cho Seung-Hui. Unfortunately, this is a culture that shirks at the idea of accountability. A culture that believes that it's someone else's job to fix the problem. A country and culture that feels no personal investment to fix its own problems. Am I wrong here? Please tell me I'm wrong...


L K Tucker said...

If you want to start changing things begin with the medical and psychiatric community.

Over forty years ago designers and engineers discovered a problem that could cause metal breaks for office workers. Instead of evaluating what it is that causes them the medical community deny the problem exists.

The Virginia Tech, Redlake School, Jokela Finland school, and Atlanta Day Trader shooters all created the problem.

When Jason Weed had a psychotic break after taking a seminar known to cause mental problems and shot a mail carrier the two psychiatrists hired to evaluate him threw out that information and made up their own psychosocial psychobabble explanation. Landmark Education, who teaches the seminar, has a warning on their current site about this phenomenon but they claim not to know the cause

VisionAndPsychosis.Net has pages with examples and explanations of the phenomenon.

Stephen Schaunt said...

Nowadays, we experience different crimes and tragedies and whether we find ways to be safe, we really cannot avoid these kinds of circumstances. In my hometown in Oakland, there are cases reported of different crimes that's why victims of these crimes run to an accident lawyer (Oakland area) or our neighboring town of Bay Area, injury attorneys are the persons that they always count on to help them solve their cases.

American Journal of Medicine said...

It's amazing to me how many people are in denial about the convergence of forces that allowed this to happen in Tucson: lack of mental health services in Arizona, lax gun laws (including Constitutional Carry), and fiery hate rhetoric. Now our intelligent, moderate Congresswoman fights for her life.

Pamela Powers
AJM Managing Editor