Thursday, October 8, 2015

The Right to Bear Arms, Gun Laws and Mental Illness

Once again a cowardly psychotic killer takes a gun(s) to a gun-free zone and does the unthinkable. So what is the answer? Well, it should be noted that where the more stringent gun laws are, the more gun violence occurs. In Chicago, the city with arguably the strictest anti-ownership/anti-carry gun laws in the nation, they are approaching a new record this year (bucking the national trend downward) with already more than 2,000 shooting injuries and near 400 deaths. President Obama says it’s clearly a political issue, and Hillary Clinton wants another assault-weapon ban even though the first had no effect on gun crime at all; according to the FBI, there are five times more people killed with knives. The only demonstrational response that has worked has been to eliminate most gun-free zones and allow more citizens to carry firearms. But the anti-gun lobby doesn’t really care about public safety, they just want to eliminate gun ownership. Contrary to the anti-gun lobby, more law abiding citizens than ever are buying guns, which has resulted is the demonisation of the NRA as the cause; but  the NRA did nothing than their usual advocacy of gun safety and legal possession. Most citizens, even if they don't own a firearm, are comfortable in the fact they would be able to buy one if needed. The increase of gun sales was simply a reaction to Obama pushing for more restrictions on gun sales, showing President Obama may be the best thing that has ever come along for gun manufacturers.

Most of these mass, more accurately called "'rampage killers', tend to follow a definite pattern, what he called a "program for murder and suicide." The shooter, almost always a young man, enters an area filled with many people. He is heavily armed. He may begin by targeting a few specific victims, but he soon moves on to "indiscriminate killings where just killing people is the prime aim." He typically has no plan for escape and kills himself or is killed by police". What Mass Killers Want—And How to Stop Them We have also seen a trend that these rampage killers are on psychotropic drugs, showing a connection between mass killings and mental illness. Now certainly the vast majority of those with mental illness, or on mood stabilizing drugs are not violent, many of which live a unassuming normal life aided by these mood stabilizing drugs.

But, there has been a disturbing trend that school psychologist tend to diagnose the condition de jour, causing parents to demand request psychotropic drugs from their doctor.

The mother of the shooter Oregon Jr College stated that her son had Asbergers Syndrome (AS), a disability related to Autism. However if one has even a cursory understanding of AS, one would know that such a diagnoses was extremely unlikely. AS is also defined as a non-verbal learning disability, a child with AS would have inability to understand  non-verbal communication, such as body language or tone; a condition that results in a lack of eye contact. AS kids also have a very limited understanding of the world around them, and will become anxious if familiar routines are not followed and can be overwhelmed by sensory stimulation, sometimes called an AS meltdown. Further, AS kids tend to be internally motivated (rather than trying to fit in or receive praise). This leads AS kids with a lack of understanding social norms. And while an AS kid is capable of anger, it is usually directed at an individual an not something so removed as organized religion.

The age of the Oregon shooter shows that he was diagnosed with the condition de jour in the 1990's; every 15 years or so a different developmental disorder becomes the most commonly diagnosed disorder (the end result these diagnoses result in rampant over-medication). In the 1980's it was ADD and later ADHD (these two alone account for most the over-medication, often prescribed simply to control the child's behavior and not treat a disorder), in the 1990/2000's it was Asperger's Syndrome/ Autism Spectrum, and now since it appeared in the DSM-5, (The official list of recognized disorders) Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, or DMDD. While the shooters true disorder has not been released, the suspect did go by the online name "Lithium Love", and was reported to have been institutionalized for not taking his medication. Lithium is a powerful psychotropic mood stabilizer, most commonly used to treat Bipolar Disorder, a condition defined by extreme mood shifts. Bipolar Disorder can sometimes lead to related condition called Dysphoric Mania, where a person will experience depression and mania at the same time. This a full-blown psychosis ,where individuals  lose the ability to determine the difference between what is real and not real, they have visual and audio hallucinations, which can lead to extreme behaviors, such as paranoia, suicidal and/or homicidal tendencies, rage, extreme violence and/or a lashing out at imagined enemies. Progression of Psychosis in Bipolar Disorder

 "Mass shooters aim to tell a story through their actions. They create a narrative about how the world has forced them to act, and then must persuade themselves to believe it. The final step is crafting the story for others and telling it through spoken warnings beforehand, taunting words to victims or manifestos created for public airing." What Mass Killers Want—And How to Stop Them

There is not one gun restriction the anti-gun lobby has ever been proposed that can or will stop rampage killers or even gun crimes in general. The fact the laws that have been implemented tend to be a one size fits all in what is a multi-faceted that rarely resulted in any reduction in these crimes makes one wonders why the anti-gun lobby keeps demanding the same failed restrictions hoping for different result. Gun Laws and Crime: A Complex Relationship The only policies that have been shown to work in the real world is to arm the citizenry. Rampage killers, like other sociopaths, know enough to stay clear of locations were the targets may be armed. The result of  of doing away with these gun-free zones, will probably result in the citizenry stopping more gun crimes, instead it will result in criminals going elsewhere where they feel safe; but if a rampage killer does attack a group where one or more is armed, at the very least there will be some ability to stop the carnage.

So what is the answer? It's important to know that these rampage killer meticulously plan their attacks; often study previous rampage killings in great detail. Further they see a great rational in what they have planned. They often have paranoid delusions and see themselves as a victim of an unjust society.  The  Oregon rampage shooter posted A man who was known by no one is now known by everyone. His face splashed across every screen, his name across the lips of every person on the planet, all in the course of one day. Seems like the more people you kill, the more you’re in the limelight. To these rampage killers they often see the killings as a means to an end, and that end is to garner the largest audience possible. So the rampage killer of his act will try and out do previous mass killers to create more notoriety himself. And while fame is a objective by itself, the rampage killer wants everyone to know why he did what he did, his life story and grievances; so in many was mass media is as much to blame for this phenomena and anything else. The answer is to mitigate the audience; which means media needs to tone down their reporting. First law enforcement should shut down all social media attached to the suspect; the media should hold back the killers name and photo; the press already does this with juvenile suspects, so it could certainly do the same for rampage killers. Give all the attention to the victims and survivors, and be indifferent to the shooter. Report on the victims life stories, but not how they died; and praise the heroics of the survivors. Do not release any information on the shooters rational for the shooting (ie manifest); it generally won't make sense to the average citizen anyway. Hopefully, when those contemplating a rampage shooting, sees how little a shooter is reported on, and how their grievances are ignored they will pursue other avenues to place themselves in the limelight. 

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