William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Were Medications Responsible For The Connecticut Lanza Murders?

Some are speculating that the evil, and thank God dead, Adam Lanza was on SSRIs, which are medications designed to mess with your mind (in the pleasantest of ways), and that these drugs somehow caused, or were instrumental in causing, his soulless rampage.

I say “thank God” he is dead for the sake of the parents and family of those murdered who will at least be spared the years of nauseating news reports of Lanza’s “alleged” crimes, and of his interminable trial where he would have been called a “suspect” and where his “sad” life story would have been repeated endlessly by a camera-mugging lawyer anxious for the publicity.

But back to a possible cause: was it drugs? I have no idea. It would be very difficult to tell. It is doubtful an autopsy would unambiguously reveal neural pathways corrupted by the meds that would have made Lanza become the embodiment of evil. Thus evidence of a different kind is needed. What would that be?

Well, we could look at the mall shootings in Oregon, the murders in the Colorado theater, the slayings at Virgina Tech, the horror of Columbine, the heartlessness of Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, the Amish school killings, and on and on, and check whether these men—for they were all men, mostly young—were taking these kinds of medications, for how long, and other information, which we discuss in a moment.

We could remark on the coincidence that an increase in the frequency of these mass murders matched an increase in the prescribing of these drugs (“Johnny won’t sit still in class. Here is a lovely pill.”). And recall that before the widespread use of these drugs was also a time when gun laws were much less onerous and crimes of this nature were exceedingly rare.

Though not nonexistent. The worst incident was in 1927 in a Michigan school (38 dead), done by a man with a knife and a car.

Incidentally, I recall, growing up in northern Michigan, well before the use of these drugs, people bringing guns to school or in their cars, especially near the opening of deer season. Nobody thought anything of it; certainly, nobody was ever shot. A gun in school now would be unthinkable.

But is this increase in drug use and the increase in shootings and the increase in restrictive gun laws coincidental or causative?

Again, it is very difficult to know. Certainly if every one of these evil murderers were found to be on similar medication regimes we would have strong, positive evidence the drugs were at least a contributing factor. This is because we would marry that information with the knowledge that, as stated above, these drugs are meant to mess with our minds.

The evidence would not be conclusive, though. For what if these drugs were as good as touted? I mean, what if doctors got to several, maybe many, young men and medicated them in time to stop them from going on a killing spree? To know that, we’d have to collect an astonishing amount of information on the enormously variable people who have been taking theses drugs. It must run to the hundreds of thousands by now, maybe even millions, with varying dosages, situations, medical histories, etc.

Even this wouldn’t be enough, because we would still be left with the counterfactual: if this set of young men were not given the drugs, they would have killed. That is just something that cannot be known with any kind of certainty. The same holds for the gun laws. We noted an increase in mass murders with an increase in gun laws, but what if gun laws prevented many more such incidents? That’s another counterfactual, and by definition we can never know a counterfactual with certainty.

Its possible to gain information probabilistically, though. We could collect gun law information and the medical histories of drug-taking mass murderers, drug-taking non-mass-murders, and a sample of non-drug-taking mass-murders and non-mass-murderers, and use that to tell us how likely it is the drugs were a cause, or whether the drugs and laws helped prevent crimes.

Just imagine the hurdles, the ambiguities, the differing ways to model such data, the unconscious biases the investigators who have secret wishes and agendas would bring (yes, even though they are scientists). This would be a project of immense proportion. I hope somebody who has the funds does it.

Meanwhile, please join me in praying for the families. May the Lord grant them peace.

Update Reports are now that Lanza was not taking drugs. How about divorce or just pure evil as a cause? This shows how difficult it is to pin something down.

27 Comments

  1. In totally unrelated news …

    A man wielding a knife attacked students Friday at a school in central China, leaving 22 children and one adult injured, according to state-run media reports.
    [ … ]
    The attack marks the latest in a series of violent assaults at elementary schools in China. In 2010, a total of 18 children were killed in four separate attacks. On March 23 of that year, Zheng Minsheng attacked children at an elementary school in Fujian Province, killing eight.
    [ a litany of other attacks ]
    Some Chinese bloggers have blamed the lack of freedom of expression for the attacks [ … ] China’s lack of mental health care facilities may also be partly to blame for the attacks.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57559179/china-school-knife-attack-leaves-23-injured/

    [Stephen Jay] Gould stated that the human brain allows for a wide range of behaviors. Its flexibility “permits us to be aggressive or peaceful, dominant or submissive, spiteful or generous… Violence, sexism, and general nastiness are biological since they represent one subset of a possible range of behaviors. But peacefulness, equality, and kindness are just as biological—and we may see their influence increase if we can create social structures that permit them to flourish.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Jay_Gould#Opposition_to_sociobiology_and_evolutionary_psychology

  2. Sander van der Wal

    15 December 2012 at 3:40 pm

    There are a number of countries where lots of people have guns at home (Switserland, Finland), and a number of countries where this is not the case. That should give some indication.

  3. Drugs caused this? Maybe it was Satan. Anything or anyone but Danza.

    Would more gun laws help? Have they worked at all to stem killing sprees? The current laws place hurdles for ownership. They doubtlessly prevent spur of the moment purchases. Danza apparently planned this. Hurdles are only temporary obstacles for the determined.

    Speaking of other knee-jerk reactions, the local police pointlessly beefed up their school patrols (effective only for yesterday) as if this were a disease making its rounds.

    The CT shootings and similar are not novel experiences of the recent past. The first stanza from Carole King’s fictional Smackwater Jack written in 1971**:

    Now, Smackwater Jack he bought a shotgun
    ‘Cause he was in the mood for a little confrontation
    He just a-let it all hang loose, he didn’t think about the noose
    He couldn’t take no more abuse so he shot down the congregation.

    Yes, these are tragedies. One can only hope though for the quelling of the deep-seated urge to do Something or Anything. I’m not keeping my fingers crossed.

    **BTW: congrats to Carole for her Gershwin award.

  4. The Physicians’ Desk Reference lists the following common adverse reactions to SSRI antidepressants. None of these adverse reactions is listed as Rare.

    Manic Reaction (Mania, e.g., Kleptomania, Pyromania, Dipsomania, Nymphomania)
    Hypomania (e.g., poor judgment, over spending, impulsivity, etc.)
    Abnormal Thinking
    Hallucinations
    Personality Disorder
    Amnesia
    Agitation
    Psychosis
    Abnormal Dreams
    Emotional Lability
    Alcohol Abuse and/or Craving
    Hostility
    Paranoid Reactions
    Confusion
    Delusions
    Sleep Disorders
    Akathisia (Severe Inner Restlessness)
    Withdrawal Syndrome
    Impulsivity

  5. It’s also been reported that a common class of drugs (dopamine agonists) prescribed to control Parkinson’s disease symptoms increases the risk of gambling, excess shopping, compulsive sexual behavior and binge eating. Note that they don’t promote general impulsive behavior or disregard of consequences but those specific things. So go figure.

  6. To put some numbers on childhood death rates in the US …

    For children aged 5-9 years, deaths due to Assault and transport:

    Year Assault Transport Population
    1999 177 892 20.6mm
    2000 132 837 20.5mm
    2001 133 765 20.2mm
    2002 138 697 19.9mm
    2003 120 690 19.8mm
    2004 115 678 19.6mm
    2005 119 646 19.5mm
    2006 143 614 19.7mm
    2007 128 544 19.8mm
    2008 105 452 20.0mm
    2009 114 446 20.6mm

    http://wonder.cdc.gov/controller/datarequest/D79;jsessionid=3C8CBCC7340FDB51BF3D54CFA9470E91

  7. “But is this increase in drug use and the increase in shootings and the increase in restrictive gun laws coincidental or causative?”

    Correlation is not causation as we are constantly reminded,… but it is the only way to bet.

  8. I am very sad to hear the news, Matt.
    I’ve been watching the school age kids, for 13 years.

  9. Briggs, How about doing a little analysis [to corroborate one I recently read but lost the links to]: dig into the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), available on-line, and work out some stats for the probability of being involved in a violent crime involving a firearm; and,

    relative to that, estimate the probability that a firearm is used to thwart or stop a violent crime (i.e. the presence of firearms is directly contributing to reduced crime);

    and then compare those figures to something readily grasped by the masses — the probability of getting struck by lightning.

    What you’ll find is that the objective data shows very conclusively that, despite the drama & carnage of recent spree shootings/killings, the odds of anyone getting shot in such an event remain well below that of getting struck by lightning; also, the use of firearms to thwart violent crimes is also very significant–on par, somewhat, with the offsetting injury caused by firearm use by criminals. That’s if this same analysis was done correctly by someone blogging somewhere shortly after the recent movie theater spree shooting, and, if my memory is at all accurate (as I recall, the carnage from violent crime might be 50% greater if not for armed citizens that intervene before law enforcement can respond).

    What the recent spree shooting is illustrating is the human tendency to attribute great weight & significance to sudden, noisy, dramatic, etc. events leading to damage & death. Its the same psychological mechanism that leads people (many anyway) to discount their risk of not wearing seat belts (or any behavior having a rather high risk of injury/death) vs. flying in a plane (very low risk of death or injury…but the occasional crash makes the risks appear much greater than they are). People discount their actual risks when the injuries appear more abstract & diffuse.

    For extra credit dig up the data for how killers achieved comparable outcomes (mass murder) when firearms were not readily available and/or were too crude to enable a spree shooting. Then see if you want to publish that….for what should be obvious reasons….

  10. Alternative explanation: The guy, kid really, that did the killing was resentful at the mother, killed her, and then out of spite killed the kids he perceived she was more fond of than him. The sort of psycho behavior that comes from an immature kid–especially one that never learned or assimilated proper values & morals, and, was desensitized to violence.

    In other words, just the sort of contributing factors many have noted becoming a problem a generation ago. For example:

    Anthropologist M. Mead (one famous name of several noting much the same thing) observed, in the late 50s/early 60s, that the family structure in the USA was changing fundamentally: younger, more immature kids marrying & raising children earlier–and devoting less time to raising them & instilling proper morals & social values because they are too busy working/pursuing careers. Kids don’t raise well-adjusted kids. And television, etc. even then was providing poor moral guidance/eroding social values.

    Augmenting that is a more mobile society, with families and their children becoming much more isolated even in the early 60s–resulting in a lack of the usual extended family networks that could provide a variety of social support. That kind of social & emotional isolation is even more true today.

    One of M. Mead’s interviews is at: http://www.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/05/16/whats-happening-to-the-american-family–interview

    Desensitization to violence: Humans have what appears to be a natural aversion to killing other humans. Military training works very hard to overcome this (and in the Civil War [USA], WW-II, etc. this was a clear factor to the outcome of battles–something the military worked hard to develop desensitization techniques that did work by Vietnam). Today, television & video game violence is very effectively de-sensitizing kid’s natural aversion to inflicting pain & worse.

    Any doubt about any of that, review: “On Killing….,” by LtCol Dave Grossman; website: http://www.killology.com; his book, “Stop Teaching Our Kids to Kill” covers part of the above, but enough is in essay form available in the website.

    What we’re seeing in modern US society is a type of grand-scale immaturity: Liberalism (check out: http://www.libertymind.com & read the book from there), a fundamental breakdown in the family structure (50% divorce rate, child-parents, etc.), and radically increased presentations of violence (TV & video games) that effectively aligns in presentation style with that the military developed to desensitize soldiers from the [apparently] in-born aversion to killing others.

    Psychotropic drugs may be a factor, but seems unlikely given so many other factors being so dominant and entirely in line with predictions made a generation ago by a number of smart/perceptive people who saw this sort of thing coming before many of us reading this were born.

  11. It’s always good to look at numbers and we (in the US) have ready access to lots of them. These are from 2011.

    Intentional self-harm (suicide) by discharge of firearms: 19,766
    Intentional self-harm (suicide) by other and unspecified means and their sequelae: 18,519

    Assault (homicide) by discharge of firearms: 11,101
    Assault (homicide) by other and unspecified means and their sequelae: 4,852

    Injury by firearms: 32,163

    Drug induced deaths: 40,239
    Alcohol-induced deaths: 26,256

    Age adjusted US death rates (from a chart)
    o 1980: 1040
    o 2011: 750

    From …
    National Vital Statistics Reports
    Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2011
    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_06.pdf

  12. This has to be the most asinine blog I’ve ever read.
    As a one who is medicated for Bipolar disorder, I must say, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

  13. “Call your doctor if you have unusual changes in mood, behavior, or thoughts of suicide. Antidepressants CAN INCREASE these in children, teens, and young adults.”
    oh and limiting access to guns might be a good requirement to add for those taking these powerful psychotropic drugs. Like Katharine pointed out…a lot of people do take these without problems…but to deny that they could be a potential factor would not be prudent either. the perpetrators of some of the most notorious school shootings in the world were on antidepressants…As more and more people are given SSRIs to combat depression, mounting evidence suggests that the side effects of SSRIs can lead to violent behavior and suicide. IMO these mass murders are essentially “going out in a blaze of glory” suicide mindsets. To them the world is their enemy. Many of the high fatality school shootings of the past 10 years have involved shooters who had been prescribed SSRIs.
    click to see the extensive list: http://www.ssristories.com/index.php

  14. What about the cats? Any of ‘em implicated yet? An sutopsy should look for evidence of Toxoplasma gondii infection in the shooter’s brain.

    How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy, by By Kathleen McAuliffe, The Atlantic magazine March 2012.

  15. Or the societal pressures are increasing that cause depression leading to increased prescription of anti-depressants and the same societal pressures provoke unstable young men into acts of violence. This is not equivalent to “it’s society’s fault”, it could be a natural reaction to a perception that the planet is over-populated. I’ve no idea. I suspect no-one else has either.

  16. Guns, drugs and social pressures are irrelevancies. The problem in all these case is the inability of our psychologists and social workers to deal with seriously disturbed people. The inability is due in part to asinine, anti-scientific and dangerous federal laws that have turned the mad loose on society. The other part is the ideology of psychologists and social workers who believe that disturbed people should be allowed to manage their own illness.

    What is needed is to identify the disturbed, and place them under close supervision, including involuntary medication. If we are not willing to face the actual problem (instead of ignorant prattle about guns, drugs and social pressure) these incidents will continue.

  17. It is very odd someone like a statistician familiar with the ‘correlation does not necessarily mean cause-effect relationship’ would post a hypothesis so poorly supported by objective facts!

    Someone posted the following analysis on Mother Jones (a comment by “1actJohn2012″ 9/28/2012, 7:07 am [I may have missed the time] — http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation#comment-665486526 … takes a while to keep adding pages to get to this entry);

    GUN-RELATED SPREE KILLING — RARER THAN GETTING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
    As noted, getting struck by lightning (a benchmark the vast majority of the population equates to being a proxy for “zero” probability) greatly exceeds getting killed in a spree killing:
    Over 1981 – 2010, on average only 10 percent of people who get struck by lightning die–that works out to 54 people/year. About 540 people are getting struck by
    lightning, on average, per year (or about five times the amount of the worst gun spree crime listed…or…between ten & 15 times the rough average of what the cited gun violence causes). For 2001-2010 the figures are a bit lower; for 2011 the estimate is only 40 died & 360 were injured.
    Lightning Strike Source: http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/medical.htm

    THE FACT that guns are becoming more pervasive in the population AND more deadly (arguable, but assume true) — just reinforces the extraordinarily extreme rarity of this kind of violence (rare both in its frequency of occurrence AND rare in terms of the number of victims resulting).

    HOW ABOUT JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE — KILLING A FELON (“self-defense”) IN THE ACT OF COMMITTING A FELONY:- BY A PRIVATE CITIZEN: Between 2006-2010 (latest complete data) this occurred between 192 – 232 times per year. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports:
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj

    CITIZENS STOP VIOLENT FELONIOUS CRIME IN THE ACT VIA USE OF FIREARMS AT A RATE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE GREATER THAN FIREARM CRIME OF THE TYPE SENSATIONALIZED IN THIS ARTICLE. THAT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT.

    Private citizens account for this type of crime-stopping about half as often as police (data below) — In other words, about one out of three violent felonious acts are stopped by private citizens using firearms; police account for the other two out of three crime-stopping acts using firearms.
    – BY LAW ENFORCEMENT: Between 2006-2010 (latest complete data) this occurred between 373 to 411 times per year. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports:
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj

    SO, what’s worse — the exceedingly rare occurrence of a deranged spree killer–which occurs less, an order of magnitude less, than lighting strike, or, the killing of felons in the act of committing a felony–which occurs roughly four times more often. THAT ought to be a rhetorical question–the tradeoff is clear: When the law abiding citizenry is armed, significantly more violent criminals are stopped and more innocent would-be victims are saved than innocent victims result.

    ANALOGY: One can tally the cases of malpractice & related causes of death occurring in hospitals, the figure is high–much higher than gun violence–and just as easily & stupidly conclude that hospitals ought to be shut down…just think of all those poor victims there! Of course, most people are smart enough to appreciate the overall net benefit greatly exceeds the shortfalls, so next to nobody makes this logical error. But the comparative numbers for gun ownership are skewed even more in favor of gun ownership for net social benefit. SPREE Killings & the like are certainly dramatic and emotional…but they are extraordinarily rare and the amount of actual violence, in the grand scheme of things, is trivial.

    HOW ABOUT JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE — KILLING A FELON (“self-defense”) IN THE ACT OF COMMITTING A FELONY:
    – BY A PRIVATE CITIZEN: Between 2006-2010 (latest complete data) this occurred between 192 – 232 times per year. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports:
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj

    PRIVATE CITIZENS STOP VIOLENT FELONIOUS CRIME IN THE ACT VIA USE OF FIREARMS AT A RATE ORDERS OF MAGNITUDE GREATER THAN FIREARM CRIME OF THE TYPE SENSATIONALIZED IN THIS ARTICLE. THAT IS A DOCUMENTED FACT. Private citizens account for this type of crime-stopping about half as often as police (data below) — In other words, about one out of three violent felonious acts are stopped by private citizens using firearms; police account for the other two out of three crime-stopping acts using firearms.
    – BY LAW ENFORCEMENT: Between 2006-2010 (latest complete data) this occurred between 373 to 411 times per year. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reports:
    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj

    SO, what’s worse — the exceedingly rare occurrence of a deranged spree killer–which occurs less, an order of magnitude less, than lighting strike, or, the killing of felons in the act of committing a felony–which occurs roughly four times more often.
    THAT ought to be a rhetorical question–the tradeoff is clear: When the law abiding citizenry is armed, significantly more violent criminals are stopped and more innocent would-be victims are saved than innocent victims result.

    ANALOGY: One can tally the cases of malpractice & related causes of death occurring in hospitals, the figure is high–much higher than gun violence–and just as easily & stupidly conclude that hospitals ought to be shut down…just think of all those poor victims there! Of course, most people are smart enough to appreciate the overall net benefit greatly exceeds the shortfalls, so next to nobody makes this logical error. But the comparative numbers for gun ownership are skewed even more in favor of gun ownership for net social benefit.

    SPREE Killings & the like are certainly dramatic and emotional…but they are extraordinarily rare and the amount of actual violence, in the grand scheme of things, is trivial.

  18. For some reason the links from the above article did not all copy over — but the FBI’s UCR is still independenly accessible on-line.

    ANOTHER person at the Mother Jones comments posted the following:

     Shall we look at the FBI report from several years ago?

    Violent Encounters – A study of Felonious Assaults on our nations law enforcement officers, USDOJ, FBI, National Institute of Justice, August 2006

    http : //www . American firearms . org / downloads / fbi_rc_1to3.pdf
    http : //www . American firearms . org / downloads / fbi_rc_4.pdf
    http : //www . American firearms . org / downloads / fbi_rc_5to6.pdf
    http : //www . American firearms . org / downloads / fbi_rc_7to8.pdf
    http : //www . American firearms . org / downloads / fbi_rc_9.pdf

    You can and read the National Sciences Foundation report from 2004 on gun control laws, a study that was formed by the anti-gun Clinton Administration so just like the Ludwig & Cooke study noted below, doesn’t prove any effect of gun control laws, especially the ban on semi-auto rifles that look evil on violent crime, but then you have better data and facts than these experts who by chance, are anti-gun, yeah, they are, sucks for the antis when their own study hurts their position, LOL! ”

    An Updated Assessment of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban: Impacts on Gun Markets and Gun Violence, 1994-2003, National Institute of
    Justice, June 2004
    http : //www . ncjrs . gov / pdffiles1 / nij / grants / 204431.pdf

    E.G. Government admits the ban didn’t do didley squat Firearm Violence, a critical Review” 2004, just take the spaces out, and google the last one, it will pull up some more inconvenient for you facts.

    Yeah, sad that the violent crime rate with a rifle that looks evil was less than 2% before 1994, 2% from 1994-2004, and less than 2% since 2004 to today. But then again one can actually review FBI UCR data in 2010 and see there were 358 murders committed with rifles of all types, single shot, bolt action, pump, and semi auto, of which the semi auto accounted for roughly 162 of those deaths.

    Approximatley 92% of those by the bad guys, so sad. There have only been two deaths by illegal use of a full auto weapon in the last 8 decades, both by police officers. All while deaths by hand, fist, feet, blunt instrument and knives, accounted for somewhere around 1,900 lives in 2010. Making a mountain out of a mole hill is the anti gun extremists expertise.

    When [are] you going to register and ban hands, feet, knives, and anything that can be used as a blunt instrument?

  19. you made some really valid points ken…and backed it up with data…i appreciate your comments.

  20. I wanted to also point out that A series of uncoordinated mass stabbings, hammer attacks, and cleaver attacks have occurred in the People’s Republic of China beginning in 2010 – 2011.

    March 2010, Zheng Minsheng 41, murdered eight children with a knife in an elementary school

    April 2010 another knife-wielding man named Chen Kangbing, 33 at a Primary School wounded 16 students and a teacher.

    May 2010 An attacker named Wu Huanming 48, killed seven children and two adults and injured 11 other persons with a cleaver at a kindergarten

    there were 3 more similar incidents Aug 2010 – Sept 2011

    i think we’re all trying to connect the dots here in search of answers but i think we’re falling sort of connecting the last dot when we simply ignore the real side effects of these very powerful psychotropic drugs on the human mind. The facts show these type incidents are a global phenomenon…as the above data shows…. gun control is not the solutions as it will not stop mass murder or similar attacks on the public. It’s obvious that all of these incidents involve men, usually in a certain age bracket, suffering from some sort of mental issues…but mental illness is not new.. the rampant prescribing of these powerful psychotropic drugs is. reading the news and watching TV advertisements for psychotropic drugs makes you wonder if Americans are in the midst of a raging epidemic of mental illness…a shocking 46 percent of Americans now fit a diagnosis for some form of mental illness. fueled by big pharm…almost every behavior and condition is now being slapped with a label for which some pharmaceuticals is called for. Are Psychiatric Drugs Making Mental Illness Worse?Long-term studies now indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed. it used to be that depression was typically a self-limiting illness. Even in cases severe enough to require hospitalization, people would get better in six or eight months; they would recover and often never relapse, or if they did it would be years down the road and, again, self-limiting.

    When antidepressants were introduced, it was with the intent that they would help people recover from depression more quickly. Unfortunately, what we’re now seeing, and have been seeing since antidepressants were introduced, is patients recovering faster but relapsing more, or recovering only partially and transitioning into a festering state of chronic depression that never really resolves.

    we need to connect the final dot and not stop at gun control and the obvious and apparent mental illness but really take a closer look at the final dot and take a closer look at the statistics regarding these pharmaceuticals and their effect on the mind…it at least warrants some serious discussion.

  21. my brother committed homicide in July 2004. he went into mania then a schizo episode where he believed a man was going to rob our home. he was prescribed different types of ssri meds prior. no trouble with the law ever and the same age as this guy. he was given samples for 4 yrs and quit taking them prior to this. the stuff messes them up I saw it happen unfortunately not until it was too late

  22. Comparing to China? Americans, but not Chinese, are born with the right to keep and bear arms. China has a total ban on private gun ownership. Many Chinese believe that owning a gun is crime. It’s a developing country with a population four times larger. A stressful environment. If anything, I can’t imagine what the frequency of occurrence and the death tolls would have been if those violent mass murderers had used a “more efficient” semi-automatic rifle, instead of a knife.

    Anyone who commits murder has mental problem. There is no doubt that Lanza was a deeply disturbed young man. However, does anyone have any confirmation that he was on or had stopped taking psychoactive medications?

    BTW, statistically speaking, one may learn from rare events, but can hardly use them to make generalizations.

  23. Briggs

    18 December 2012 at 3:51 pm

    All,

    Good article from Anne Hendershott: The Real Social Justice Issue: Taking Care of the Violent Mentally Ill.

  24. Did the article in the first link (“Some are speculating”) change? It never mentions drugs of any kind. *Who* is speculating about SSRI?

  25. the china information bears some relevance in that it’s …1) a global issue…. experiencing 6 mass murder attacks in schools in only 2 years…and 2) it’s pertinent that guns didn’t play a role. it’s of course obvious that guns would inflict much more damage. One could speculate …that if guns were unavailable these homicidal men would resort to using other blunt objects or with the easy of acquiring bomb making instructions and supplies …coupled with what seems like the intent to inflict as much damage as possible,…. the events could potentially cause much more loss of life.

    Inside a piece in New York magazine they report Adam Lanza’s uncle said the boy was prescribed Fanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/adam-lanza-taking-antipsychotic-fanapt-2012-12#ixzz2FVkqq1TP

    From Drugs.com, side effects of the drug Fanapt:

    Psychiatric

    Psychiatric side effects including restlessness, aggression, and delusion have been reported frequently. Hostility, decreased libido, paranoia, anorgasmia, confusional state, mania, catatonia, mood swings, panic attack, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bulimia nervosa, delirium, polydipsia psychogenic, impulse-control disorder, and major depression have been reported infrequently.

  26. Just a month ago PRWeb described drug induced violence as “medicine’s best kept secret.”
    http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/11/prweb10120425.htm

    it’s Pharmageddon out there and people still are in the dark about the use and abuse of these dangerous psychotropic drugs.

    check out this short video:
    The TRUE SOURCE of RANDOM & MASS SHOOTINGS and VIOLENCE
    http://youtu.be/UhO0Pul_FcE

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhO0Pul_FcE&w=560&h=315

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