Chicken or egg -- violence or medication?
There’s a cycle in this country that goes like this: Shooting, call for gun control, Democratic rail against Republican refusal to pass senseless gun control, and brief lull and calm before the next shooting and gun control storm.
The latest in this scene, of course, played in Orlando. Barely had the dead and injured been carted from Pulse when President Obama was making his anti-Second Amendment case, pulling at liberal heartstrings while entering classic scold mode: “This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or a movie theater, or in a nightclub. And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be. And to actively do nothing is a decision as well,” he said.
But actively doing something that’s useless is a decision, too – and one that seems more political back-patting than truly helpful. Not to state the obvious, but once again, guns don’t kill people. People carrying guns kill people. And denying the main reasons why people carrying guns kill people won’t solve the killing problem.
Orlando’s shootings seem based in radical Islamism. Obama doesn’t like to admit that, so for a time, the nation has to suffer another round of Who-Dunnit, a game involving the White House, a complicit media and a grouping of equally dopey left-leaning bureaucrats who all join in the reindeer fun and act like passing gun control laws and censoring 9-1-1 emergency calls will stop the jihad. So it goes; the Team Obama version of the war on terror.
But deceptions run deeper when it comes to gun control. For instance: The anti-Second Amendment crowd may slide this under the radar, but according to Linda Lagemann, a former licensed clinical psychologist with 23 years of experience who presently serves as a commissioner with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, dozens of recent cases of high-profile shooters have shared more than an affinity for guns – they’ve shared a pill-popping background that included the taking of psychotropic drugs, some at least which were medically and legally prescribed.
There was James Holmes, who was taking Zoloft as he murdered 12 and wounded 70 during an Aurora, Colorado, massacre in 2012, Lagemann said in an email. There was Ivan Lopez, the Army soldier who killed three and injured 16 at Fort Hood in 2014, all while taking prescribed doses of Ambien, the blog DC Clothesline reported.
Others are tracking the ties, as well. As CBS News reminded, there was Dylann Storm Roof, the 2015 South Carolina church shooter, found with the anti-pain Suboxone. As Western Journalism pointed, there was Elliot Rodger, the 2014 Isla Vista, California, college shooter on Xanax and Vicodin. And as the Washington Post reported, there was even Eric Harris, from way back in 1999, whose dead body after committing the Columbine High School shootings was found to contain the anti-depressant, anti-anxiety Luvox.
There are more – plenty more. So rather than using every instance of gun-related murders in this nation as a jumping point to push more gun control, wouldn’t it seem worthwhile – after ruling out radical Islamism, that is – to at least take a look at psychotropic prescriptions and research whether they’re precursors to violence? Even medical experts admit these drugs aren’t always helpful.
In January, the Food and Drug Administration announced the approval of Adzenys XR-ODT, an amphetamine extended-release oral tablet to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in patients aged six or older. Part of its labeling, as described on RxList, warned of its potential to “exacerbate symptoms of behavior disturbance” in those with a “pre-existing psychotic disorder,” as well as its chances to cause a “manic episode in patients with bipolar disorder.” Worse, the label cautioned that even “at recommended doses, [the pill] may cause psychotic or manic symptoms,” including “hallucinations, delusional thinking or mania in patients without prior history of psychotic illness or mania.”
But guns are the problem? Seems like pill control might be the better argument.