A reflection on school shootings

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - 1:29pm

The below reflection is from reader westcoastjan.

In 1975, she was witness to a shooting at her high school. Whenever a similar incident occurs, it understandably brings back the horror of the moment for her.

After the Viginia Tech shooting in 2007, she shared her reflections about the ordeal in Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, in hopes that it would give aid in helping others process and understand what those directy impacted are experiencing.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, she has asked me to republish that account here.

Jan writes: "The school shooting in Connecticut this past week had the effect, as always, of causing me to relive it again. My heart has been heavy, and bleeds for the lives that have not only been lost, but also for those that have been destroyed. One never gets over these things as they are life changing; a person is never the same again after going through such an experience."

She shares this with the wish that no family experience such senseless loss again.

June 21, 2007

Almost 32 years ago, a lone gunman walked into my high school, St. Pius X in Ottawa, and opened fire upon his own Grade 13 religion class. It was not his only crime that day. We later learned that earlier, he had raped and killed a young woman.

It was the shootings at Virginia Tech that took me back to that fall afternoon. There is absolutely nothing in the realm of normal human development that can prepare a person for a school shooting; nothing prepared me for the sight of my brother's best friend, chest full of shotgun pellets, each with a purple halo of bruising, labouring to draw a breath. Or for the sight of another friend, whose face was similarly marked by pellets and rapidly swelling to a grotesque size. If you were to ask him, I am sure my brother would tell you that nothing on Earth could have prepared him for the task of jumping over the near-headless, bloody body of the gunman, to make his desperate dash for help.

In some ways, we were lucky. The gunman could have killed many more, had he chosen to. To our family's great fortune, my brother, sitting smack dab in the middle of it all, was like an invisible island in a hail of pellets. The injured were all within feet of him. Fate dealt him a good hand that day.

However, it did not deal a good hand to one particular student, or his family. Having suffered serious injuries, he fought valiantly for about a month, with the entire school pulling hard for him, and praying even harder.

Weeks after the shooting, as we were finally beginning to get back to a sense of normalcy, we were at mass in the school chapel when someone rushed in and whispered into the ear of the priest. Great anguish washed over his face as he announced that the young man had just died. There was a huge, audible gasp as the young victim's sister jumped to her feet, and ran out the chapel door, with a look of stunned disbelief on her face. A friend ran out behind, to console her, hug her, and let the grief pour forth.

St. Pius X at that time was well-known for its great school spirit, strong Catholic faith, and championship football teams. The shooting only served to solidify and strengthen that bond. In the aftermath, there was a lot of crying, and anger, too. We grew that much closer after the shooting.

The funeral of the only shooting victim to die was unforgettable. Sombre, yet stoic, the entire student body filled the pews. Some of the surviving shooting victims were pallbearers. The parents of the young man who did the shooting sat in the front row. I cannot imagine what must have been going through their minds as they sat there, brave beyond comprehension, knowing their son was responsible for it all. There was much compassion for them, in spite of their connection to the tragedy. I sat beside my brother, to be near him, to share in his pain, even if in silence.

Following the recent Virginia Tech shooting, just as in 1975, and as in every shooting since, a predictable course of events unfolded. There was finger-pointing and blaming. There will be probes and formal inquiries.Debates will rage as the various camps stake out their places, digging in their heels as they adamantly insist on the correctness of their point of
view.

In taking his own life, the Virginia Tech gunman, like the one at our school, robbed us of any chance to find out from him why he chose to do this.

In spite of all the years, myriad inquiries, reports, commissions, and many more shootings, we still don't have a concrete answer for why these young men do what they do, shattering the lives of so many.

It seems to me that on the genetic level, something has gone horribly wrong in these people. Surely, these perpetrators of violence have a short circuit somewhere in the dark recesses of their minds. What else can explain how the vast majority of humans experience anger, rejection, and pain, yet have the necessary restraint that prevents them from taking it out on others in such a horrific manner?

Having mapped the human genome, researchers have begun to explore how defective or missing genes might contribute to disease and disabilities.

Would it be so much of a stretch to think that defective or missing genes cause a propensity to extreme violence?

While a scary thought, it makes sense to me. A genetic defect is the only way I can rationalize how a human being can inflict such horror on other human beings. It logically and reasonably decodes the actions of these gunmen, as well as all of the other repugnant violent offenders we have had to endure. In light of Virginia Tech, I wish that for once in our lives, people would let go of their pet causes in order to focus efforts on finding the true answer. We must, if we are to have any hope of preventing more of these senseless, devastating shootings.

We do have one valuable tool we use immediately. We can stop publishing the names and pictures of these deranged people. Doing so will take away the infamy they crave, and discourage the wannabes.

I called my brother the day after the Virginia Tech shooting. I just wanted to hear his voice. I never did reach him.

As usual, he was out and about, busy as ever in his day-to-day life as a business owner, husband, and father. I just wanted to tell him that I love him, and that I am so glad that he is still around.

We have never talked about the shooting. Perhaps one day we will.

© Copyright 2010 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

51 Comments

mobius's picture
mobius
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Dear Jan...

Thank you for sharing that.  The sense of loss, even as a survivor, must be incomprehensible. 

I was a studen at Dawson College in Montreal when the Ecole Polythechnique massacred took place in December of 1989.  Just after hearing the news, I remember a professor ordering a coffee at the student union cafe looked at me and said out of the blue, "it's as though we lost family". 

It makes me so sad that schools, the places where children are prepared for "the real world" seem also to disenfranchise some so horribly that their frustration grows to unexplanable heights.

This will take some time for me to get my head around.

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westcoastjan
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invitation to discussion

Hi Mobius, thanks for the kind words. You too have been touched by being close to a tragic situation.

I have submitted this with the intent of stimulating discussion. In the vast internet world, I feel that on this site, with the mature and reasoned people that participate here, we have a chance of some intelligent and respectful discussion on what is without a doubt a hot button subject. I would ask everyone who wishes to participate in this discussion to do your best to keep your passions in check.

I think everyone can agree that something has to change. In both Canada and the US we have dearly held constitutional rights. The two big ones that apply to this discussion are human rights and the rights to bear arms. Everytime another school shooting happens I wonder to myself if there is anyway possible way to find a compromise between the rights of the individual and the rights of society? How do we balance those? Can we balance them? Or are these tragedies just one example of the price that we have to pay for those enshrined rights?

We have to try to change something. I am not willing to just give up and say it's hopeless because the lobbyists are too powerful. And because the price is too high. Change can happen, and it can start with each one of us. One person at a time we can move in the right direction to find balance.

Jan

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RJE
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Oh Jan, just so well written,

Oh Jan, just so well written, the emotions, the words, your heart pouring out that it is indeed so hard to even internalize, and yet these are the every days of so many people throughout the world. This was tough I'm sure and YES, the reality of this incident brings forward all things witnessed and lived through. They are not pleasant memories and the outrage is the seeds of future justice. We will have our moments still, and we can only pray that it will be the last time, and the people say enough already, ENOUGH! Very courageous Jan.

Lovingly Given

BOB

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Change is good

but changing the 2nd Amendment isn't the answer. The answer is changing society as a whole. The 2nd Amendment is in force to allow the citizens of the United States to fight tyrany from their own government when needed. That time seems to be coming soon.

Look at the statistics from England in regards to gun control. Gun deaths have quadrupled since the citizen was disarmed. Why do you think this is? Does anyone really believe that gun violence will stop if the avg. citizen doesn't have access to guns? Naive thought process at best.

If you've ever traveled to a 3rd world country, one in which only the Federal Police are legally allowed to have guns, you'll mostly find a society that is beholden to both the corrupt government in power at the time, or armed gangster/mobs, that have taken control of the area from the Federals. And unfortunately, the countries that don’t have this scenario, are the communist/fascist societies, in which the government brutally controls the populace.

Then I watch countries like Australia and New Zealand, where their citizens are slowly pacified to the point of believing everything their government blows up their asses, and taking it without a whimper. If the citizens of those countries ever woke up, and realized they're being led to a life of servitude to the elite, they'll have ZERO means to fight back.

For those of you that don't live in the US, you won't understand what will happen if the 2nd Amendment is repealed. First, there will be civil war. Second, the government will then take full control of the citizen, not in the way that you see in Canada, or Australia. But it will take control in a Police State atmosphere, where government will brutally control the masses.

And again, for those that don't live in the US, you won't understand, that the police forces, and intelligence forces within the US, are much more brutal than what you see in most 1st world countries. I watch the riots in Spain, Italy, Greece, and even Egypt. If that were to happen, and the citizens were throwing medium sized firecrackers, and Molotov cocktails, our police/intelligence forces would CRUSH the resistance with BRUTAL force. Egypt would look like a playground in comparison to what the US Police would do in that situation. The only thing that keeps them from doing this, is that the police/government knows that they're outgunned. In the US, we have our own MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) of sorts.

Lastly, look at the circumstances of this tragedy, as well as the Aurora shooting. We're not hearing the whole story, and won't. The MSM is spinning this story in ways to help the elite gain control of the population. Propaganda at it's finest. Almost like another 9/11 (False Flag).

Lastly (Part 2), I'm a father of a 9yo and 7yo. When I heard about this shooting, and who the victims were, it truly wrenched my gut/heart, and I cried knowing that a parent was going to find out their child isn't coming home. Awful, Awful feeling! 20 little girls and boys won't grow up, and the devastation in the lives of their living relatives is.....Horrible...no words.

There’s so much more to this situation, especially in way (and more importantly, why) the world is being pushed to perceive it, that it would take a book at this point to explain. But overreaction is the one thing that the elite are counting on, from both the citizens of the country (world), and the government. But it’s the LAST thing that should take place at this time.

Peace

RJE's picture
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Peace indeed...

Peace

BOB

LogansRun's picture
LogansRun
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Here's more to ponder....

What no one dares to say....

Think about it.

Doug's picture
Doug
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Maybe reason for hope

I have difficulty understanding how people can remain so polarized on the issue of gun control.  I see a lot of fault in both extremes.  The "cold dead hands" crowd believes everything the NRA "blows up their asses" and the anti-gun crowd displays an abyssmal ignorance of the basics of gun operations, safety precautions followed by the vast vast majority of gun owners and the current state of gun control laws (mostly at the state level).  And neither crowd is willing to sit down with the other side and reason together.  The whole issue is emblematic of the sorry state of politics in this country.

However, over the weekend I have detected, not only in the media but also among politicians, a willingness to sit down and do something reasonable that might actually help.  A senator from W. Va. (I don't remember his name at the moment) who has the NRA's highest rating, is a gun owner and a hunter, and has come out publicly and said that it is time to agree to some reasonable restrictions (large capacity mags) that might at least reduce the carnage one loon can do.  And, perhaps we can start rethinking the now decades long reduction in mental health care funding and deinstitutionalization.  There are a lot of unstable people out there who need treatment.

Bottom line, reasonable people of good will can accomplish a lot.

Doug

ao's picture
ao
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problem>reaction>solution

LogansRun wrote:

but changing the 2nd Amendment isn't the answer. The answer is changing society as a whole. The 2nd Amendment is in force to allow the citizens of the United States to fight tyrany from their own government when needed. That time seems to be coming soon.

Look at the statistics from England in regards to gun control. Gun deaths have quadrupled since the citizen was disarmed. Why do you think this is? Does anyone really believe that gun violence will stop if the avg. citizen doesn't have access to guns? Naive thought process at best.

If you've ever traveled to a 3rd world country, one in which only the Federal Police are legally allowed to have guns, you'll mostly find a society that is beholden to both the corrupt government in power at the time, or armed gangster/mobs, that have taken control of the area from the Federals. And unfortunately, the countries that don’t have this scenario, are the communist/fascist societies, in which the government brutally controls the populace.

Then I watch countries like Australia and New Zealand, where their citizens are slowly pacified to the point of believing everything their government blows up their asses, and taking it without a whimper. If the citizens of those countries ever woke up, and realized they're being led to a life of servitude to the elite, they'll have ZERO means to fight back.

For those of you that don't live in the US, you won't understand what will happen if the 2nd Amendment is repealed. First, there will be civil war. Second, the government will then take full control of the citizen, not in the way that you see in Canada, or Australia. But it will take control in a Police State atmosphere, where government will brutally control the masses.

And again, for those that don't live in the US, you won't understand, that the police forces, and intelligence forces within the US, are much more brutal than what you see in most 1st world countries. I watch the riots in Spain, Italy, Greece, and even Egypt. If that were to happen, and the citizens were throwing medium sized firecrackers, and Molotov cocktails, our police/intelligence forces would CRUSH the resistance with BRUTAL force. Egypt would look like a playground in comparison to what the US Police would do in that situation. The only thing that keeps them from doing this, is that the police/government knows that they're outgunned. In the US, we have our own MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) of sorts.

Lastly, look at the circumstances of this tragedy, as well as the Aurora shooting. We're not hearing the whole story, and won't. The MSM is spinning this story in ways to help the elite gain control of the population. Propaganda at it's finest. Almost like another 9/11 (False Flag).

Lastly (Part 2), I'm a father of a 9yo and 7yo. When I heard about this shooting, and who the victims were, it truly wrenched my gut/heart, and I cried knowing that a parent was going to find out their child isn't coming home. Awful, Awful feeling! 20 little girls and boys won't grow up, and the devastation in the lives of their living relatives is.....Horrible...no words.

There’s so much more to this situation, especially in way (and more importantly, why) the world is being pushed to perceive it, that it would take a book at this point to explain. But overreaction is the one thing that the elite are counting on, from both the citizens of the country (world), and the government. But it’s the LAST thing that should take place at this time.

Peace

Well stated.  Indeed, it would take a book to explain.  But I fear that the gullible and malleable public will fall for the problem>reaction>solution scenario that they're being steered towards.  Everything from the psychological to the sociological to the pharmaceutical to the moral to the spiritual is involved here.  But I personally don't have the time or desire to "write the book" LR is talking about.  There is no one with a heart who is not devastated by what has occurred but stop, step back, and think ... REALLY THINK ... and investigate. 

Just from the pharmaceutical point of view, ponder this information from a comment on a Daily Bell article:

"Here's a depressing list of some of the murderous rampages caused by psychiatric prescription drugs. I found this on Michaels Rivero's "What Really Happened" site: 

Nobody is saying that Asperger's or Autism is the cause of the violence. It is the medications used to treat those conditions that have a long record of triggering suicide and violence. 

Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Colombine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public. 



Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded. 



Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event. 



Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac. 



Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft. 



Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days. 



Jarred Viktor, age 15, stabbed his grandmother 61 times after 5 days on Paxil. 



Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment. 



Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others. 



A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school. 



Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded. 



A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another. 



Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others. 



TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates. 



Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat. 



James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a.22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers. 



Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania. 



Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) - school shooting in El Cajon, California. 



Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times. 



Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman. 



Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister. 



Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications. 



Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. 



Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants. 



Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled. 



Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself. 



Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide - hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002. 



Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. 



Kara's parents said '…. the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…'). 



Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002, (Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.) 



Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage. 



Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet. 



Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill. 



Woody ____, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms. 



A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased. 



Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and 'other drugs for the conditions.'. 



Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine. 



Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system. 



Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School - then he committed suicide. 



Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone. 


Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school."

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Thanks

Thanks for your post, LR.

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Thanks again -- What no one dares to say

Thanks again, LR, for your reference to the video putting in perspective, among other things, the killings by the US government in undeclared wars around the world.   Not to mention the killing of the unborn.  Oops!  I cannot say that here!  This post might not survive moderation.  How far down have we fallen!

[Moderator's note: This post is a violation of the forum guidelinesDiscussion of abortion in the past always led to threads exploding in flames. It was only after much hesitation and deliberation that we finally banned the topic. Allowing users to have occasional "freebie" violations of the rules for the purpose of expressing their views on this subject (for or against) would be intensely unfair to other users who might wish to respond with differing views.  Appropriate corrective action has been taken with this user.]

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LogansRun wrote:What no one

LogansRun wrote:

What no one dares to say....

Think about it.

To say nothing of 56,000,000 slaughtered fetuses.

[Moderator's note: This post is a violation of the forum guidelinesAppropriate corrective action has been taken with this user.]

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Kunstler has something to say too

Jim Kunstler gave his thoughts about the massacre in his blog post this morning:

or what it's worth, the Newtown Massacre to me is largely about the failure of men in America, and in particular the failure of men to raise up male children into men. The tragic monster that Mr. Lanza grow up into lived with Mom and ended up parking four bullets in her brain. Imagine the tensions in that monster. It's not an accident that the commercial fantasies represented in movies and television aimed at boys are populated by legions of super-heroes. This sort of grandiosity -- the wish to project supernatural powers -- is exactly what you get in boys who have not developed competence in any reality-based, meaningful realm of endeavor -- and I wouldn't necessarily include school, such as it is in our time, as a reality-based, meaningful realm of endeavor, since it is mostly a brutally boring accreditation process.

The writing is in his usual over-the-top style, but I personally think he's on to something, although there is probably more to it also.

Thoughts?

Steve

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my two cents

I am so pleased to see a few people opening up this discussion. Some good points have already been made, but then I would expect no less from the good folks on this site.

I would like to share my perspective, which as you can imagine, has been given a lot of thought over the years. Some of my thoughts have evolved since I wrote this essay 4-1/2 years ago.

I will come right out and say upfront that I am no longer in favour of gun control. I was when younger, but that came out of anger and immaturity. The reality is there are so many guns in the world now that it really does not matter what kind of controls are in place. If some deranged individual is intent on getting a gun, they will be able to find one. I do maintain the belief that guns do not kill people; people kill people. In a perfect world, absolutely I would love for there to be no guns. But that is not our reality. Perhaps some tweaks can be made around who can own what guns, but again, if they want it, they will find a way to get it. To pursue this avenue would be to waste time, effort and money trying to control something that can't be controlled - like the war on drugs.

Human rights are sacred in our society. Even though at times you would not know it (racism, discrimination etc) they are still sacred enough that I cannot even contemplate a situation where a question might be raised as to the stability of an individual, with the insinuation that that individual might "do something crazy" and we should lock them up or something. To have that actually happen, well, that is just not going to happen, at least at long as we have human rights. How can it? We can never, with any certainty, know who the ticking time bomb is, and who isn't. So this is a non-starter too.

My thoughts have evolved to the point that I now believe the only way we can deal with these things is to do exactly what we are doing on this site - creating a new ideology that focuses on the things that truly matter. We need this ideology to spread like wildfire!

There are so many angry people in this world. They are angry because they are being left out, left behind, disenfranchised, trod upon, bullied, blamed and outsourced. Kids are routinely torn between divorced parents, made pawns in the game, and never learn what real love is. So much so that we now regularly self-medicate or medicate those who we can no longer cope with, having bought into the marketing ploys of big pharma (thank you ao!). Our socio-economic model has evolved to the point that little value is placed on people themselves. We are just a bunch of sheeple. Governments routinely off-load the mentally ill into society; we pay daycare and eldercare workers peanuts to take care of those we love; we worship the almighty dollar more than our family, friends, and community. But this happens because we let it happen. We are complicit.

If people would get off of the damn consumerist bandwagon and quit trying to spend their way to prosperity, they would have time to focus on what is truly important. They could own a smaller house, and maybe only one car (if that) so only one person has to earn an income, and the other can stay home to raise the kids. A bonus is this would ease the unemployment situation. The person at home would then have the time to pay attention to their kids, to love them the way they need to be loved and nurtured; they would have the time to grow and cook wholesome food; they might actually have time to have family dinners - imagine!  They would have time to take their kids to the park and play with them, instead of using the boob-tube and/or nintendo or whatever this gaming crap is to babysit; they would know each other so well that they would be able to recognize when something was not right, and someone needed help, and they would be in a community/society that would help them to get that help.

Is this a pipe dream? I really don't know. But I do know that large scale change starts with individuals. We are all a piece of the puzzle. Imagine if we could channel to Chris and his team all of the money that is spent on the gun lobby, the anti-gun lobby and all of the other "causes", which I mentioned in my essay. Just imagine getting this so very important message of the 3E's into as many homes as we can. If you can imagine that, then you can imagine our solution. So let's not waste our time trying to change a system that is broken. Let us channel our efforts into building something new. From the grassroots up.

I also realize that we cannot completely guard against this kind of senseless violence. It is indeed the price we must pay for our freedom. How I wish it were not so.

I thank you all for your support and input. Keep doing what you are doing. We will always be able to hold our heads high and say "at least I tried to make the world a better place".

Jan

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ao I respect your opinion

ao

I respect your opinion and, just fyi, I usually counter the psychotropic medication theory of violence with the following kind of study

: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19860121
"Studies conducted on convicted murderers suggested that about half of them were under the heavy influence of alcohol at the time of perpetration of murder. "

Most antidepressants are prescribed by primary care doctors, gynecologists; pediatricians do a lot of the ritalin prescribing. Psychiatrists for various reasons are not the front line for psych meds.

Alcohol still the most dangerous drug.  Still your point is well made and worth considering.  Psych meds have to be closely monitored and do not affect kids in the same way as adults.

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thc0655
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Thanks for sharing Jan

Thanks for sharing Jan.  I'll share a few of my thoughts in no particular order.

1.  There have always been and will always be disturbed people, and some of them will commit murder and/or suicide, by whatever means available to them. What is relatively new is disturbed people intent on murder then suicide who are additionally motivated to become famous by their last deeds of killing as an expression of their anger.  These disturbed people KNOW that the US mainstream media will make them world famous, but only if they can kill a large enough number of innocent people, preferrably children.  This is new and this should be the focus of our first and best efforts to address the trend.  The solution is to deprive the lunatics of the possibility of becoming famous.  The Newtown shooter might still have killed his mother and then himself, but he wouldn't have killed school children if he hadn't known he would be rewarded with posthumous fame.  The self-righteous and largely left wing MSM have this completely within their power to do, but the profit motive is stopping them so they reframe the issue as one involving guns as the source of the problem.  Decades ago there was an extended debate in US society and mainstream media about publishing the names of juvenile offenders, juvenile victims and sexual assault victims.  After a great deal of time and angst, the media decided to censor themselves and not print the names of these people when reporting on their crimes.  Now we have to have another debate about doing the following when reporting on mass murders: A. Never mention the killer's name.  B. Never show the killer's picture.  C. Never go into detail about the killer's grievances.  DENY THEM THE FAME THEY CRAVE and we'll put an end to this insanity.  (The best proof of these things is the Virginia Tech shooter.  After he committed his first planned murder, he hurried over to the campus post office to mail a video tape and other materials he had previously prepared to the local media outlet so they could make him famous.  Then he went and mowed people down to make sure his material was disseminated far and wide.  And the media obliged him!, and therefore motivated the Newtown shooter and others.)  And look how easy this would be to accomplish.  No laws need be passed.  No money need be spent.  No rights need be infringed.  No law enforcement resources need be expended trying to be everywhere there are unarmed innocent people (everywhere?).  There IS one HUGE obstacle to accomplishing this guaranteed-to-work step: the MSM are vehemently opposed to this because they rake in huge amounts of money by covering these events and satisfying the public's morbid fascination with these killers.  The MSM's eyeball counts skyrocket when they cover these events and they rake in the advertising money.  Undoubtedly they will fear the loss of that revenue if they were to follow these steps.  First, I think following my 3 rules would still give them 90% of the viewer/readership they get now.  Second, they should be ashamed to insist on breaking these rules for the sake of profit.  

2.  If I have my facts straight, schools in Israel don't have these kinds of incidents, in spite of being in a constant state of war.  This is because a minority of Israeli teachers carry firearms at school and are trained and determined to use them to defend their children.  The last time Israeli school children were successfully killed while at school was during a field trip to Jordan.  Jordan would not allow Israeli teachers to bring their weapons into Jordan so they were left behind.  During their short time in Jordan the school bus was raked with gunfire killing and wounding adults and children.  These mass killers may be crazy but they are apparently not stupid: they go to schools to become famous mass murderers because everybody knows schools are GUN-FREE ZONES!!!  And in Newtown it was a kindergarten class, not a class of teenagers who might have resisted violently with their bare hands and improvised weapons.  Trained adults carrying guns in school won't actually solve this mass murder problem.  It will only displace it to some other venue that has guaranteed unarmed victims.  Still it would be an improvement to displace these mass murders away from schools.  The killers would go somewhere else (which is why we have to deprive them of the opportunity to get famous).  This is why these disturbed individuals don't go to police stations to commit mass murder -- they know they will be resisted immediately with deadly force.  Remember: they don't want a fight.  They want a stage.

3.  I have never been involved in one of these mass shootings but I am exposed to the drip,drip,drip of daily shootings in Philadelphia where citizens have been killing each other this year at a rate of one per day.  This is another fact the MSM and the Leader of the Free World are silent on.  It happens from time to time but it's rare that a citizen with a concealed carry permit commits an unjustified shooting or killing.  Nearly all our killings are with stolen guns, carried by people without permits or having criminal backgrounds that would disqualify from even touching a gun.  They commit a gun crime before they even leave the house to go shoot somebody.  I'll let you know the next time we get a killing or shooting that doesn't fit those categories.  These people will not be stopped or even slowed down by ANY conceivable restrictions.

4.  The Second Amendment is not about hunting or target shooting.  The 2A recognizes our divine right to defend ourselves first from our own tyrannical government (if it were to come to that), and then from external enemies who might invade us (we're all in the Militia), and third from common criminals roaming the land.  Armed self-defense is a divine, inalienable right.  Whatever the cost is, I'm willing to pay it.  (We don't have to infringe on that to stop these mass murders, though.)

Tom

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It's not about the gun

Well considered comments.

Obviously the gun didn't walk in and start killing.

School shootings can be considered copy cat events, period.  The media frenzy that ensues when something like this happens puts the idea in the next mind.

Also, look at what is fed to our society on the idiot box.  My wife, bless her heart, uses headphones to watch TV, so that I can read or surf in peace.  When I happen to look at the idiot box, if a commercial isn't playing, then someone is pointing a gun at someone else.

The problem is not with our tools, but with our society.

Regarding the second amendment, if you think citizens are going to successfully fight our corrupt, unresponsive government, you might want to look at the military commanded by the government.  Guns won't do it.  I'm not even convinced that we can vote them out entirely without military rule being established.

Also, we aren't going to hunt for our food.  We've had wild animals out numbered for decades.

The primary reason to own guns as I see it is protection against roving bands of miscreants should society break down to that extent.

We need to start changing the way we think and what we do for "entertainment."  That would address the root cause of the problem.  Even then, this sort of thing won't go away entirely.  It existed before TV and the press and will continue to exist to some extent as long as mankind does.

We can't eliminate it.  We can make it harder at the price of most of the rest of our so called freedom. All we have to do is implement some insane, cost prohibitive idea like the TSA and Homeland Security and then for a handfull of years, we may have a bit more security while we walk through metal detectors and get frisked to go anywhere.  The higest price, however, will be going broke even faster.  But apparently few people seem worried about that.

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Methods and Outcomes

Denise,

I was only able to read the abstract of the study. The findings do appear to validate a gut feeling that I have about alcohol and gun violence. However, not being able to read the entire study and the fact that it was done in Croatia and the sample was 177 leads me to ask more questions and give the consensus of the study little weight.

The same can be said for automobile deaths in the U.S. "Alcohol plays a significant roll in vehicular deaths."

Yes, alcohol is the most commonly abused drug. Yes, it's roll in the commission of violent acts cannot be ignored. The issue here is that the drug (alcohol) is being abused. AO's point is that the violent acts committed by those taking psychotropic drugs were committed when they were taking them as prescribed by a "health care professional."

I am not sure if there have been any studies done to verify AO's anecdotal evidence. Again, my gut tells me, most likely not because large well constructed studies take money and I am sure big pharma could quash any study linking them to violent deaths. (Think big tobacco)

However, I think the point AO was trying to make was that it is more than coincidence that suicidal/homicidal events take place when someone is on psychotropics! And, we (society) far too many times resort to "popping a pill" to control our children instead of parenting them.

~ Peace

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Really?  Don't you think the

Really?  Don't you think the government would have already tried to confiscate the weapons, if they thought they could without a fight....and it being a fight they couldn't win?  There are 300m people in this country, and approx. 75-100m of those own weapons.  There are over 350m weapons in the US alone.  Our standing military is less than 1m (all military combined).  

And of those 800k in the military, how many are going to turn on their own citizens due to an order from their commander?  

I think you're overestimating what the government can do at this time.  There's a reason they've reverted to media propaganda, set up events, and the like to push their agenda.  

Again, with the US Citizen armed like we are, has created a M.A.D. scenario.  Take the guns away from the citizen, and you have unchecked tyrany.

LesPhelps wrote:

Regarding the second amendment, if you think citizens are going to successfully fight our corrupt, unresponsive government, you might want to look at the military commanded by the government.  Guns won't do it.  I'm not even convinced that we can vote them out entirely without military rule being established.

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parenting

Many years ago my own son was hyperactive and creative, had terrible problems with impulse control and loved violent video games that would make him even more unpredictable.  While he was not violent, he would act on an impulse without thinking through the consequences.  I would never ever ever have had a gun in the house: I was sure that if we had one there would have been some kind of accident somewhere.   Raising him was quite a challenge, and fortunately he has grown up to be a responsible young man.  What he could have done with a repeating rifle defies immagination.  

The man in the store that sells a gun doesn't know the family he sells to or know that someone in that home might take the gun and go ballistic with it.  I know my son would have figured out how to coax a gun out of a cabinet--it would have eaten at him until he had done it.  I am so glad that I don't have blood on my hands nor does he.

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My Thoughts

Jan, thank you for sharing your perspective and personal experience pertaining to the shooting that happened at St. Pius X in Ottawa in 1975.  I am also from Ottawa, and currently reside in Hastings County, eastern Ontario.  I agree with you that "we cannot completely guard against this type of senseless violence," but there are a number of ways that the risks can be mitigated.  There will always be individuals in any society who are potentially capable of committing a horrific act.  We don't know what the precursor was in the case of Adam Lanza, whether his mental illness, marginalization, or some specific event.  That likely will remain unknowable.  One thing that we do know is that he obtained and used three weapons owned by his mother, all of which would have been restricted in Canada.  I happen to believe that there is merit to the idea of restricting or prohibiting certain firearms outside the police and military, namely those weapons that are specifically designed for killing people.  In spite of that, I support the right to legitimate ownership and use of firearms.  In the rural area where I live, I do own a legal firearm and crossbow which I use for hunting.  Many of my neighbours own firearms for similar purposes.  Shotguns and sporting rifles can legally be acquired after passing a course and obtaining an acquisition license, which confers a right of possession only.  Anyone wanting to hunt must pass a second course and obtain a hunting license.  Handguns and semi-automatic rifles are restricted and may only be obtained by individuals who have passed a Restricted Weapons Course and a background check by the RCMP.  A transport permit is required to move a restricted weapon, even to a shooting range, and it cannot be used for hunting.  Exceptions apply to certain occupations such as prospectors, trappers and bush pilots who need to carry restricted weapons for protection against predators.  All fully automatic rifles and short-barreled rifles and shotguns are strictly prohibited, as are certain types of ammunition.  I believe that the restrictions and prohibitions of certain weapons has limited the number of cases of firearms-related violence in Canada, even though I cannot prove that this is the case.  While organized criminals may still be able to smuggle or otherwise obtain them, it would make it significantly more inconvenient for the Adam Lanzas of this world who seem to be the ones perpetrating the mass murders.  I am hoping that this latest tragedy in the USA will result in constructive debate that will lead to restrictions there, which I believe would be conducive to reducing the frequency and severity of these events going forward.  It is a sensitive subject based on other comments I have read on this site.  However, there needs to be a cultural shift away from the fear that seems to be at the root of the problem, in the guise of constitutional rights, and that will take some brave leadership to achieve.

Frank

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You're right on the mark Tom.

I wish I could articulate my views as well as you and others here at PP do. I would like to add some of my thoughts here. How can we get the main stream news to report the positives about our right to carry (for example when a law abiding citizen prevents a crime using their firearm, isn't that news). I believe that if the news media were saturated with the positives, society might start moving back toward acceptance of the second amendment and criminals may be more fearful.

Without the second amendment, we will lose all the others in short order.

Herb

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military vs. citizens

In the ongoing question of whether the military would turn against it's own citizens, I think so.  There is no real competition with the military in the ability to train and shape the mindsets especially of young men.  There would be a very strong institutional bias to follow orders especially if the soldier next to you is doing so, and particularly if the leadership is able to exploit existing regional, ethnic or sociological animosities.  And, even more emphatically, if one of the soldiers' compatriots has been shot or harmed by citizens other soldiers would be predisposed to fire on the citizens.  Don't forget, National Guardsmen did fire on and kill Kent State students even without such motivations.

Bottom line in such a conflict, no matter how many guns are in the hands of citizens across the country, is that the military is quite capable of bringing overwhelming firepower to individual situations that citizens would be unable to resist in the absence of military organizations of their own.  Small largely isolated "militia" groups would not cut it.  As in nearly all military conflicts, those with the resources win.

So, perhaps we can dispense with the possibilities of domestic military conflicts, and try to focus on how to keep children safe.

On that question I would decidedly go with those advocating socialization from the bottom up encouraging strengthening of community bonds and responsibility toward others.  Start with network building and interdependencies between individuals, families, neighborhoods and communities.  I don't think there is any top-down policy change that could effectively prevent these episodes of mass violence.

Because I am writing as I'm thinking, the above paragraph is rather generalized and would need fleshing out with concrete institutions writ small such as farmers' markets, programs focused on volunteering for community improvement tasks, events that bring people together for recreation and participatory democracy.  As it turns out, some of these institutions are already in place, but are deprived of real community involvement.  I guess that's where creativity comes into play, figuring out how to build the community ties that will strengthen the larger social network through inclusiveness and shared effort.

Something to think about.

Doug

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thc0655
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Self-responsibility

Of course, "Personal Safety and Home Defense" starts with each of us being responsible for the common sense safety measures we take at home, even before we start thinking about and preparing for attacks from the outside.

Has anyone found reliable information on how the Newtown shooter accessed his mother's guns?  The media coverage has so far been confusing and contradictory on this and several other critical issues, which I assume is the result of a small town police department finding itself suddenly in front of the ravenous national media.  If you're going to have firearms, they have to first and foremost be secured from unauthorized access by family members and visitors in the home.  The shooter's mother may have gotten ahead of herself in preparing for attacks from the outside by not securing her weapons from her own family, especially a son who had "issues."  On the other hand, she may have had everything locked up in a safe only to have her son break into it during the night or open it with a key/combination she didn't realize he had.

The same should be said of fire hazards in our homes.  Ditto: structural soundness of the home's physical features.  I go into a lot of homes from the ghetto to the upper class and am constantly amazed at the simple hazards people become comfortable living with which come back to bite them in the rearend (hence my presence in their home).  And you might think allowing obvious dangers to exist in one's home would be more prevalent among the lower classes in which education and clear thinking might be less prevalent, but my experience says that is not the case.  

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Folks, it's a rogue incident

Folks, it's a rogue incident just like we would have rogue shooters in the police department and military. The superior numbers in society, the police force and the military WOULD NOT fire on American citizens!!!

Get over it. 

You conspiracy theorists (about EVERYTHING) are just that.

This is a painful incident is all and NOT a reason to give up our rights to bear arms. So sorry to be so blunt but this shit happens every day all over American cities with race on race crimes over bloody drug turf, and it is the reason we have armed ourselves against the rogue shooters. NOT the vast majority of people who are responsible citizens. Due the math, this doesn't even register on the radar screen, and it doesn't mean I am insensitive either it's just we are mourning this incident and after a bit nothing will happen and shouldn't.

My guess, this incident drives up the sales of guns not lowers them. We'll see.

Perspective Folks. My wife had a patient, 58 like me, who yesterday had his knee replaced. His wife was sitting at his side as the man slept off his drugs and surgery. She fell asleep content he was relaxed and taken care of. She awoke and he was dead, he through a clot to his lungs. A rogue and unfortunate incident. The same emotions of helplessness and pain was present in that room, and sorrow. Shit just happens sometimes and it is horrible.

Respectfully Given

BOB

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mobius
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Article : "I am Adam Lanzas mother"

I found this article useful and hopefully more constructive in the debate of "what is going on..."

Please consider this article from the Huffiington Post:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents

greetings, Joanne.

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Doug
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gun buys

I just spoke to a gun dealer I know.  He said the phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting AR's.  Sometimes he isn't able to get through to NICS for background checks.  They are reportedly swamped with calls for checks.  A medium sized police dept today ordered ARs for everyone of its officers (Don't ask me whether the dept is buying them or the officers, but I find that a little more chilling than other citizens buying them).

I think this time it really is different.

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Mobias, my Father...

...was a beautiful Man before he entered the War, World War ll and every year around the holidays we held our collective breaths as that was the trigger that sent him back to the Battle of the Bulge. His Sisters and Brothers told me so. So many battles fought but "that was the one". they all agreed. He was commissioned a tank Commander on the battle field. My Mother kept things under wrap and just took care of her Man.

Mental illness and the brain is something that can't be understood, cannot be sympathised on because it's not a broken arm or leg that is seen. When the wiring gets crossed you just can't understand no matter how you try. Nobody understands how the brain is wired, nobody. As the years went along, and time distanced my Pops from that crazy War things were better but it took awhile, and for the rest of the year he hung in there pretty well.

I read somewhere that over 3000 plus deaths occur each year to teens 19 or under. Roughly 2/3rd were homocides and 1/3 were suicides. Accidental shootings were kids playing with guns and they were quite young. All tragic all mattered.

Just a well timed piece you put up, and is so sad what mental illness means to those who love these Folks so much.

Thank you

BOB

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Medications and Shootings

Modern psychiatric medications are powerful and tricky. As somebody who takes two; Effexor and Zispin, for years, and who talks to other patients, I should know. They've probably saved my life by countering severe anxiety and depression. The fact is the same drug will have different effects on different people. What will alliviate depression in one, may make it worse in another,or make them suicidal or homicidal!

Most of these drugs are prescribed because they work for a cohort of people. Often prescribing is simply informed trial and error. And of course monitoring the patient is crucial. The chances are, much more suicidal or homicidal behavior has been prevented than has ever been caused by these drugs.

Thanks for telling us your story Jan. I hope as time goes by you may find it less of a burden.

Declan

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thc0655 wrote: Has anyone

thc0655 wrote:

Has anyone found reliable information on how the Newtown shooter accessed his mother's guns?  The media coverage has so far been confusing and contradictory on this and several other critical issues, which I assume is the result of a small town police department finding itself suddenly in front of the ravenous national media.

I was thinking the same thing. One of the mom's friends said that she though her son was losing it. Then why not hide the guns? I read another article that the shooter was taking an anti-pyschotic drug Fanapt. Alarm bells should have been going off to the mom.

As for the media coverage, you are not kidding. Living only 10 miles away, I haven't been able to watch more than 5 minutes of the non-stop local media coverage. It's too much to handle. But there are so many inaccuracies and inconsistencies that came out on Friday when the story 1st broke, and now you hardly hear anything.

Some stuff I heard or read on Friday in the various local media outlets:

He killed his father in New Jersey first, then drove to CT to murder the mom. - not true

The mom was a teacher at the school - not true.

The shooter got into an altercation at the school 3 days prior. - not true

Someone was escorted out of the woods from behind the school in handcuffs - never heard a thing about that again.

The medical examiner said the bullets were from a rifle. Yet, the police said the shooter had 2 handguns on him, and a rifle was in the car.

I don't want to sound conspiracy theories(they are going around the internet), but can the media check and double check it's stories and sources correct before reporting it? Even the poor brother was 1st implicated because the shooter had his ID on him.  I already knew to take whatever the media said with a grain of salt, but this incident is way out there for the media. I did read pretty much any available state trooper was called to Newtown. Not sure if there were mixups between the local and state police in the confusion of it all.

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Easy Button

Grandma's Comments

1. People want to point their finger assign blame, in this case it's guns, regulate guns, solve the problem so no one will be afraid and go back to their routine lives. Easy, quick, simple, only how many of us believe the plan will work?

2. Death and violence are big, big business and are now mainstream. The crime scene shows have gotten progressively more graphic over the years, Lord of The Rings is marketed to grade school kids and some of the movies are exceptionally violent. Movies are violent, video games are violent and who in their right mind goes to all those horror shows that depict torture and death? Our governments priority isn't on children it is on war. Perhaps we should be surprised that there aren't more shootings.

3. It seems like the oceans are sick, bees and bats are sick, animals are dying and going extinct, people are sick, we as a species must be doing something wrong. Our focus should be to leave a decent world to our children, and I fear we are failing them. My hope is, that with this website, each of you, wise use of our future and much hard work might make it possible for our children to thrive someday. However war and the love of money cant be our priority.

My 2 cents.
AkGranny

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Something the Media Missed

On the Friday of the Sandy Hook Shooting a plot to kill students in Oklahoma was uncovered by a student and reported. The suspect was arrested. Where is the media coverage? The student who stopped this is a hero. One way to stop future violence is to reward and encourage behavior that prevents violence.

My other thought on this is to place highly trained and screened armed rofessionals (similar to sky marshals) in schools. And let it be known that they are there. This will be a deterrent, and I don't mind my tax dollars going to protect our schools. 

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McSociety is not sustainable.

AkGrannyWGrit wrote:
Grandma's Comments 1. People want to point their finger assign blame,[...] 2. Death and violence are big, big business and are now mainstream [...]. It seems like the oceans are sick, bees and bats are sick, animals are dying and going extinct, people are sick, we as a species must be doing something wrong. Our focus should be to leave a decent world to our children, and I fear we are failing them. My hope is, that with this website, each of you, wise use of our future and much hard work might make it possible for our children to thrive someday. However war and the love of money cant be our priority. My 2 cents. AkGranny

Totally agree with your point AkGranny.  What I want to write next ties to what RJE posted about his father & the struggle with mental illness.

Doing things the right way usually and initially more time consuming but reaps its rewards in the end.  My uncle (actually my father's cousin) lied about his age and volunteered at 15 years to fight in WWII.  He too has endured traumas that were not discussed -- it was the code of that time and it just wasn't done.  He suffered a shrapnel wound to the head.  In the years following when he returned to civilian life, he functioned and was idiosyncratic but later I learned that he also suffered from alcohol abuse.

On a last visit to Canada he told me about some of the horrible things that he experienced but there was also good - letters from a family in Amsterdam thanking him personally for his contribution, or rather his sacrifice for thier freedom.  He told me that is if that is his legacy to this world, we will die a happy man.

Trying to find balance in these trying times, I promise myself to make a difference in positive change (taken from Mrs. Becca Martenson).  But using that lens to judge my actions as a person, mother, wife, friend, boss, employee, etc...I hope to infect a little good where I can.

A good evening to you all.

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Some get it

Akgranny gits it.

Jan said...
""A genetic defect is the only way I can rationalize how a human being can inflict such horror on other human beings.""

Come on the US inflicts injustice everyday throughout the world. How many countries is our military in? The US wants violence, the US needs violent people to go to Iraq to search for WMD's and protect the elites shares of the global multinationals. Why are video games so big? That is training for war. Iraq, afghan, Syria, Libya, Yemen wars. CIA blows away who ever uncovers the scam perpetrated on the rest of us. Ever hear of Palestinians having the homes plowed by bulldozers. What kind of human can do that? Who drives a dozer over Rachel Cory? 500,000 dead Iraqies because of sanctions due to saddam wanting to drop the usd as their oil currency. Same for Libya. 1400 per day die of lung cancer. heart disease approaches that. Greed and money equals killing and war.

The only reason to buy an assault weapon is just in case you want to blow away a bunch of people someday when you give up. We buy Alcohol to get drunk. We buy Weed to get high. We buy Coffee to get a kick. We shop to feel good about ourselves. We eat to calm our emotions and sadness. we buy red corvettes to get laid and guns to kill things.

We are killing ourselves and the Earth in many ways. Heard of meat centered diet.

All I want to do is grow lettuce and stare at the sun. Does anything else really mean anything? Love is only thing that matters, when you can live in peace and not own a gun, When you can share your bounty freely, when you love your mother, mother earth. When you can walk into a diner and say I love everyone here even if they look funny.

2 more days until the ends, party on.

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a rebuttal for you

Hi Organic Vegan Raw,

You make a few good points, and had you read my post (#14, titled My two cents) you might have seen that we are sort of on the same wave length.

But that is a very small sort of... where I live, in Victoria BC, we have a rather well earned reputation for being Canada's hot bed of eco-minded, vegan/vegetarian minded, peace loving tree huggers. This in the midst of the logging capital of Canada. They don't call us "Lotusland" for nothing. We are very active and engaged people in all of the areas you are likely to believe in, and we are the ones who are by and large behind the protest of the Northern Gateway pipeline. If you want to see radical, come on over. I know you will find many people in my environs to rub shoulders with.

But you know what, some of the people in our community who command the least respect are the over the top vegans. Why? Because there is too much emotional rant, and too little substance to those rants, and too little intelligent debate.

Your post is a prime example. I will counter you as follows: the people who have made the decisions to invade other countries, start wars, arm rebels, exploit countries and their resources, undermine, support, or otherwise manipulate the politics/foreign policies of other soverign nations were all made by coldly rational, intelligent people. Whether or not that rationality is valid or not is beside the point.They knew, and know full well what they are doing. It is called geopolitics.

A person who walks into a school and kills 20 sweet, innocent, beautiful children, and some adults too, is not by any stretch of the imagination a rational person. Not in my books. Do not compare geopolitical decision making to that which is in the minds of the irrational few who, due to unknown reasons, which I hypothesize are defective genetics, make what I see to be highly irrational decisions.

Think about it - it is a numbers game. How many of us can enter life as perfect human specimens, free of defects? I sure didn't. I got a bum pair of ears. What did you get?

Like you, I would like nothing more than to lie in the grass, look up at the big blue sky, go in and eat my home grown organic lettuce, and not have a care in the world. But that is not reality. We are all a part of this world, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly.

What do you propose we do? Seriously. In my working life I am a manager. I have always told my staff, you get to come into my office to complain, but make sure that in addition to the complaint, you bring a solution with you. That really cut down on the whining....

So, please tell us, what are you doing to counteract the negative in this world which you so vociferously rant against? Or are you just sleeping in the daisy patch hoping that it will all go away?

Jan

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Time2help
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This time it's different

Doug wrote:

I just spoke to a gun dealer I know.  He said the phone has been ringing off the hook with people wanting AR's.  Sometimes he isn't able to get through to NICS for background checks.  They are reportedly swamped with calls for checks.  A medium sized police dept today ordered ARs for everyone of its officers (Don't ask me whether the dept is buying them or the officers, but I find that a little more chilling than other citizens buying them).

I think this time it really is different.

Walked into the range/store today and was greeted with bare white walls.  About a third of the AR models were left, AK's were gone, spares, magazines for most sold out.  Place was packed.  Chatted with one of the sales staff behind the counter and stock in the rear is pretty much gone, she said the same for online sales - stock everywhere is drying up fast.

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tictac1
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wow

This place used to be a bastion of critical thinking, what happened?

As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, you cannot separate the morality of a people from the actions of its government.  One is an extension of the other.  Our actions overseas reflect the general morality (or lack thereof) of our society.

A societal loss of morality, as we have witnessed, leads to widespread fraud, larceny, murder, etc.  Because a few of these crimes makes no sense is irrelevant, they are symptomatic of a much larger, systemic problem.  Band-aids like armed guards, gun laws, greater market oversight and the like will make little difference.

So long as we, as a society, continue to deny the problem, the symptoms will only get worse, band-aids not withstanding.

As for the issue of guns and violence, let's not forget the second ammendment is in place not to protect hunting, but to give the people the ability to violently oppose tyrannical goverment.  Personally, I do not like guns, but they are a necessary evil in a world that contains individuals that would readily rape and murder for no other reason than they can.  Such people have always existed, in fact, entire societies of people like that have existed!

If you don't think our society has tanked, look at what people pay for: video games that are essentially mass murder simulators, movies that glorify violence of all sorts or portray gratuitous torture, maiming, etc, drugs both legal and illegal to numb themselves.  Look at what we do:  send troops to countries over commerce and empire, use legislation to steal from and oppress our neighbors, treat the homeless like a lower caste (I know, I work with them), treat our farm animals like punching bags for our amusement, I could go on but why?  The evidence is in plain sight for those willing to see it.

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r
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Ease of Use versus Effective Use

My daughter was going to first grade in a small elementary school in Somerset, NJ.  I remember having to buzz in to enter the school.  After buzzing in there was a big black guy who watched while you entered your name and time in.  I grant you that if this guy is armed that would be enough to discourage an Adam Lanza.  This is good news for security companies as we will need guards for elementary schools, high schools and colleges, hospitals, movie theaters, and everywhere else people are defenseless.  You can argue that we have no better alternative, but why this is something to look forward to I don't know.

"... I have argued elsewhere that the imagined safety of owning a gun is illusionary for most ordinary people. Part of this illusion concerns the dual concepts of: (a) ease of use, balanced by (b) apparent ease of effective use.  These are not the same; and because of this much confusion results.  Under the ease of usecriterion, most low caliber handguns are easy to use.  You point and pull the trigger.  Low caliber handguns have virtually no kick-back.  This ease of use makes them the weapon for choice for teenage gangs and the non-organized-crime-drug sub-culture —when was the last time you heard of a drive-by knifing

But the ease of use is not the same as ease of effective use.  Those drive-by shootings often miss the real target and kill bystanders.  This is because it is not easy to be an effective pistol shooter.  Unless one regularly puts in practice time at a firing range and engages in emergency drills, the risk of being ineffective with one’s firearm and causing injury to innocents is significant.

A colleague of mine in our criminal justice program, Michael Bolton (who was an Arlington County police officer for more than 20 years), told me that even experienced police officers need constant practice or they will not be allowed to carry guns.  He told me that often experienced officers thought that such check-ups were not necessary, but Bolton assured me that the regulations were there for a fact-based reason: guns carry such a high damage coefficient, and are so difficult to use effectively — particularly in emergency situations — that they should only be in the hands of people competent to carry them. This reality of the difficulty of effective use is often dismissed by the general public because of the simple ease of use.  Most ordinary citizens do not credit the need for constant training and practice in order to be responsible gun owners.

How many civilians who wish to carry guns would submit to semi-annual range reviews and emergency drills in order to keep their licenses?  Without such continuing education and documented competency, a gun owner is very likely to falsely believe that he is safe and protected (because of ease of use and high damage coefficient) when he really is not (because guns require a high skill level in order to be used effectively).  Those who fall short of such accountability standards are a public health threat that is more dangerous than their constructed worldview of fear."

Comments?

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ao
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comments

r wrote:

My daughter was going to first grade in a small elementary school in Somerset, NJ.  I remember having to buzz in to enter the school.  After buzzing in there was a big black guy who watched while you entered your name and time in.  I grant you that if this guy is armed that would be enough to discourage an Adam Lanza.  This is good news for security companies as we will need guards for elementary schools, high schools and colleges, hospitals, movie theaters, and everywhere else people are defenseless.  You can argue that we have no better alternative, but why this is something to look forward to I don't know.

"... I have argued elsewhere that the imagined safety of owning a gun is illusionary for most ordinary people. Part of this illusion concerns the dual concepts of: (a) ease of use, balanced by (b) apparent ease of effective use.  These are not the same; and because of this much confusion results.  Under the ease of usecriterion, most low caliber handguns are easy to use.  You point and pull the trigger.  Low caliber handguns have virtually no kick-back.  This ease of use makes them the weapon for choice for teenage gangs and the non-organized-crime-drug sub-culture —when was the last time you heard of a drive-by knifing

But the ease of use is not the same as ease of effective use.  Those drive-by shootings often miss the real target and kill bystanders.  This is because it is not easy to be an effective pistol shooter.  Unless one regularly puts in practice time at a firing range and engages in emergency drills, the risk of being ineffective with one’s firearm and causing injury to innocents is significant.

A colleague of mine in our criminal justice program, Michael Bolton (who was an Arlington County police officer for more than 20 years), told me that even experienced police officers need constant practice or they will not be allowed to carry guns.  He told me that often experienced officers thought that such check-ups were not necessary, but Bolton assured me that the regulations were there for a fact-based reason: guns carry such a high damage coefficient, and are so difficult to use effectively — particularly in emergency situations — that they should only be in the hands of people competent to carry them. This reality of the difficulty of effective use is often dismissed by the general public because of the simple ease of use.  Most ordinary citizens do not credit the need for constant training and practice in order to be responsible gun owners.

How many civilians who wish to carry guns would submit to semi-annual range reviews and emergency drills in order to keep their licenses?  Without such continuing education and documented competency, a gun owner is very likely to falsely believe that he is safe and protected (because of ease of use and high damage coefficient) when he really is not (because guns require a high skill level in order to be used effectively).  Those who fall short of such accountability standards are a public health threat that is more dangerous than their constructed worldview of fear."

Comments?

First, with regards to the quoted statement, the same logic could be applied to automobiles.  Most people are not skilled drivers and very few drivers fully understand the dynamics, capabilities, and limitations of their vehicles.  I think of this everytime I see a soccer mom with a frenzied look in her eye blast past me on treacherous, icey roads with a 3 ton SUV.  Now THAT's dangerous!  I have a far greater chance of being taken out by her than by a gangbanger's drive-by.  But we don't have semi-annual testing for automobile driving competency and they are just as lethal.  In fact, statistically, they are more lethal.

Second, with regards to firearm fatalities, the majority of those in this country are suicides, not homicides.  And the number of homicides are far less (by a factor of about 2 1/2) than the number of automobile fatalities.  I don't hear anyone wanting to ban fast moving (rapid firing), heavy weight (high capacity) motor vehicles for the purpose of saving people, only for cutting down on carbon emissions.

Third, the misinformed parties who make such statements do not seem to understand the true purpose of the Second Amendment nor the impending political path of this country.  I'll take my liberty over my safety any day.

Fourth, if one looks at some countries with very strict gun control such as Mexico, the only ones who have guns are the drug cartels and criminals.  I guess that's somehow better because at least you know that there's very little chance of being shot by the average law abiding citizen.:-(

Fifth, if firearms, ammunition, and large capacity magazines can't be legally purchased, they can always be illegally manufactured, especially for more monied criminal interests.

Sixth, if you look at criminals such as Bonnie and Clyde, they obtained some of their most lethal weapons (i.e. sawed-off BARs) from robbing a National Guard armory.  Someone I don't think an FBI background check would've helped there.

Seventh, although states are supposed to report their mentally ill to the authorities, the State of Rhode Island, for example, doesn't have a single mentally ill person listed with the FBI if one runs a background check.  Somehow, before we jump the gun on new, nonsensical, draconian gun laws, we should begin properly enforcing the ones already in place.

Eighth, instead of putting restrictions on guns for honest citizens, how about banning government black-ops from using "voice of God" or psychotronic weapons or MK Ultra/Monarch programming mind control techniques to mess with people's minds and potentially induce violence?  How about banning tax payer paid government shills who, immediately after events such as the Sandy Hook shooting, are all revved up and ready to go and come online in brand new Twitter accounts, tweeting vociferously about how something must be done and we need to ban guns now?  Gee, now that seems genuine and spontaneous, doesn't it?

Ninth, how about lobbying for pharmaceutical company funded but independent investigations into the unique influence psychotropic drugs may have on 15-25 year old males with the elevated testosterone level characteristic of that age and other possible adverse interactuibs of those drugs with brain chemicals associated with borderline personality disorders?  Maybe it should be illegal to give that cohort those drugs?

Tenth, what a remarkable coincidence that the efforts of Obama, Holder, Clinton, and Calderon (to blame American gun stores and suppliers for weapons found in Mexico) fell on their face, thereby squelching their attempt to utilize the problem/reaction/solution scenario to institute stricter gun control and now, by pure circumstance, the Sandy Hook shooting neatly fulfills that role.  Will coincidences never end? 

I could go on and on.

P.S.

r,

Having lived in Somerset (but moving before my child came of school age), I think one probably faced more danger from fellow students than from people outside the school.;-)

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ao
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Posts: 2220
I don't agree

RJE wrote:

Folks, it's a rogue incident just like we would have rogue shooters in the police department and military. The superior numbers in society, the police force and the military WOULD NOT fire on American citizens!!!

Get over it. 

You conspiracy theorists (about EVERYTHING) are just that.

This is a painful incident is all and NOT a reason to give up our rights to bear arms. So sorry to be so blunt but this shit happens every day all over American cities with race on race crimes over bloody drug turf, and it is the reason we have armed ourselves against the rogue shooters. NOT the vast majority of people who are responsible citizens. Due the math, this doesn't even register on the radar screen, and it doesn't mean I am insensitive either it's just we are mourning this incident and after a bit nothing will happen and shouldn't.

My guess, this incident drives up the sales of guns not lowers them. We'll see.

Perspective Folks. My wife had a patient, 58 like me, who yesterday had his knee replaced. His wife was sitting at his side as the man slept off his drugs and surgery. She fell asleep content he was relaxed and taken care of. She awoke and he was dead, he through a clot to his lungs. A rogue and unfortunate incident. The same emotions of helplessness and pain was present in that room, and sorrow. Shit just happens sometimes and it is horrible.

Respectfully Given

BOB

Bob,

First, it's not a rogue incident.  It's a fairly consistent pattern that's been repeated multiple times ... too many times in fact to be purely coincidence or "rogue".

Second, the police forces and military have already fired on American citizens multiple times in history.  What do you think Patton, MacArthur, and Eisenhower had in common besides being US Army, West Pointers, and WW2 generals?  They were participants in the 1932 Bonus Army "War" and acted violently upon US citizens, veterans no less, with tanks, cavalry, bayonets, and gas!  Similarly, a southern town that had a draft revolt in the early stages of WW2 was shot up by US military using weaponry as heavy as 50 cal machine guns.  Kent State was another example cited.  In Hurricane Katrina, law abiding citizens were made to give up their guns under threat of gun violence.  How many times does it have to happen for you to believe it's a distinct possiblity?

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RJE
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tictac1

You said:

"wow
This place used to be a bastion of critical thinking, what happened?"

I thought I would have to get my thesaurus out, Webster and all my tools just to ready myself for the message you intended to deliver. I actually found the opening thread to this topic from Jan to be far superior to your words however. Sorry, you didn't inspire or inform me of something illusive and I expected so much more, and I'm just a commoner. Go figure.

Respectfully Given

BOB

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ao, I actually find you amusing, funny even...

...as you remind me of a freshman college student who has been on the school debate team for a short while. 

He found some insights while copping some second hand smoke from the hash pipe. You know the kind, they can argue both points of view with such words as to appear to be an awakening when they actually can't see clear what is going to happen because it hasn't yet.

Me, I have history to suggest to me a course that WILL be taken, and I choose to believe in what has happened and project this into the future, with of course different variables. I wonder how history will be written when the Internet plays a roll into critical thinking for instance. For example: I wonder how the community of Americans would react to tyranny in real time? My guess, not very favorably. So it is why I can muse a different outcome than say that Freshman debater. Who incidentally revels in argueing both sides and has no firm footing himself.

The Civil Rights movement moved a nation because of television, and it is still a work in progress. Fact is so is Capitalism and Democracy but I still favor the system as it obviously needs more seasoning. I say lets change the inequities and build anew or take corrective actions. Sensible are my thoughts.

Anyways ao, I really enjoy your stuff so keep it up. It's a nice break from the serious things that I choose to focus on.

BOB

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ao
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you're welcome for the bit of levity in these challenging times

RJE wrote:

...as you remind me of a freshman college student who has been on the school debate team for a short while. 

He found some insights while copping some second hand smoke from the hash pipe. You know the kind, they can argue both points of view with such words as to appear to be an awakening when they actually can't see clear what is going to happen because it hasn't yet.

Me, I have history to suggest to me a course that WILL be taken, and I choose to believe in what has happened and project this into the future, with of course different variables. I wonder how history will be written when the Internet plays a roll into critical thinking for instance. For example: I wonder how the community of Americans would react to tyranny in real time? My guess, not very favorably. So it is why I can muse a different outcome than say that Freshman debater. Who incidentally revels in argueing both sides and has no firm footing himself.

The Civil Rights movement moved a nation because of television, and it is still a work in progress. Fact is so is Capitalism and Democracy but I still favor the system as it obviously needs more seasoning. I say lets change the inequities and build anew or take corrective actions. Sensible are my thoughts.

Anyways ao, I really enjoy your stuff so keep it up. It's a nice break from the serious things that I choose to focus on.

BOB

Bob,

I'm glad I make you happy.  Being easily amused is a virtue in my book and one of the things I find endearing about children.  The chance that this particular personality trait might be enhanced by the above mentioned smoke is something that can't be ruled out but it's never been a particular choice of mine nor has the consumption of alcohol but, of course, YMMV.

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Organic Raw Veggies
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Posts: 49
Some get it

Hey Jan, check out tic tac.

""As Thomas Jefferson pointed out, you cannot separate the morality of a people from the actions of its government.  One is an extension of the other.  Our actions overseas reflect the general morality (or lack thereof) of our society.""

What I do is put my energy in what I believe in. I vote with my dollars. I love all people. Mostly what I do is show people how to be happy, take back their lives from corporate masters. I show people that they can remove themselves from the chains of the medical, pharmaceutical industries and FDA propaganda and get healthy. They can cure almost anything except a gun shot wound with lifestyle and diet changes. Eating fast food is the same as eating death and greed. Global multinationals care not about you. They want your bank balance transferred to them. I no longer can do what I do not love. I want everyone to do what makes them happy.

I would fly on the no security airline. Wouldn't it be great to have a choice. I don't want my schools made into prisons. Do we build 12 ft walls around playgrounds? Cameras already watch me at many intersections. Bush created DHS. If guns are confiscated it will be by the repubs. Hood-winking most certain. So if guns are to protect against a tyrannical govt, where are all the gun owners? Remember 2008, it does get worse then this. When is the NRA going to give the word? I want to see 10 million gun owners right now in DC. Kick out all the politicians and jail all the bankers and CEOs.

Truth is guns owners will never use them against tyranny. Gun owners are sitting in their houses and shooting in their backyards. It is already too late...you've lost. Start eating healthy and then we can change the world together.

On fri 12/14 I was in an elementary school at 9:30am in my first graders class making gingerbread houses. I had the time of my life.

Since then us parents have decided to hold a post in the front entrance making sure people sign in.

Blessings.

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Organic Raw Veggies
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RJE
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Posts: 1369
ao, I so agree,...

...like the hypothetical debater, some children "say the damnedest things don't they" (think Art.L). So glad you don't drink it really is a senseless elixir.  ' Moderation' IN 'everything'    is key I think but like you I drink seldom to never.  The waffling gas is a long ago trial and tribulation. Worth the trip though.wink

Merry Christmas

BOB 

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humboldt pi
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Posts: 16
Meta study on psychiatric drugs #43 AO & #18 RNcarl

Dr. Peter Breggin has already completed a meta study on psychiatric drugs with regard to violence and suicidality and presented the results in testimony to the Congressional House Committee on Veteran Affairs, 24 February 2010.  You can read his scientific papers or view the video of his testimony at 

  Breggin.org  or Breggin.com  

There is a lot of information on both these sites, very worthwhile spending a little time there.  Another piece of the same picture is the Madoff/Picarow (sp?) stolen millions that in part built a grand neuroscience center at MIT.  ..money makes the world go 'round. 

A group of mental health professionals have established an approach without the side effects of unpredictable mind altering drugs:   http://www.empathictherapy.org/Founding-Guidelines.html 

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Organic Raw Veggies
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westcoastjan
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Posts: 466
thanks for the links

Hi Organic Vegan Raw,

I appreciate the links although I due to being profoundly deaf I have to tell you that I cannot understand song lyrics, and most of the other things people post from YouTube or Podcasts. I wish it were different because I miss a lot, especially with music, but it is what it is. But I do get a lot from the written word. Yes, there were many good points made in the articles.

Don't get me wrong - I am certain you are on the good team. I reacted strongly to your first post as the shootings cause such emotion. I think given my experience, I can be allowed that.

I used to belong to a program called "Wwoof" which stood for worldwide workers on organic farms. Essentially a barter system where one lives and works on farms in exchange for food and accommodation. I spent many months doing this both here in BC and in Europe. When a person joins a family, toils in their gardens, helps fix buildings and equipment, cooks and shares meals together, they learn to work together. They also quickly come to the understanding that even though we may come from different cultures, we are all essentially the same, and we all want the same things: shelter and food for our families, opportunities for education, and the basic freedoms to live a good and decent life.

One night, as I watched the sun set over the olive groves at the farm I was at in Italy, I thought to myself that what we really need to solve the ills of the world is to send all of the political leaders "wwoofing". Stick them all on a farm somewhere out there; make them toil together, cook together, and share a table together. They will at first be uncooperative, but in time, they would eventually come to an understanding that we are all in this together, and then they would then begin to work cooperatively.

It's a pipedream of course. But as long as there are people who are trying to effect positive change at the grassroots level, then we can maintain a bit of hope for the future. I have no faith that TPTB will do the right things to fix our problems. We must therefore find our own solutions. I too do not want to live in a world where we have armed teachers or other such crazy things. If ever there were a time for people to  wake up, this is it. We allowed it to go off the rails. It is up to us to get us back on track. One person at a time, one step at a time, it can be done.

Happy holidays,

Jan

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eexpo
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Joined: Jun 30 2011
Posts: 42
middle school murders

Can't help myself when I don't see the media all over ANOTHER murder at our nations middle schools.This time normalcy bias has seeped in and diluted the Sparks Nevada killing.Oh my my my.....

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