Mental Health and Homicides — 11 Comments

  1. An area that you must include in your investigation is violent gaming and violence in the media, and how long term exposure affects children, especially those identified above. See books written by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman.

    • I intend to look into this. From a different study of mass murderers (one exploring the relevance of the “warrior gene”) we know that prepubescent exposure to graphic violence in the real world is one of the factors. I have a hunch that graphic game violence could be a substitute.

      • Thanks. Going to repost this on my facebook as I think it was squashed when I put it up on the 3rd.

  2. Thank you for taking on the controversial subject of psychotropic drugs, their effect on dangerous people, and the lack of institutional supervision for those who need it.

  3. I am going to suggest an avenue of investigation. In the past did we have fewer people suffering these disorders, or were they just better controlled? I believe the latter.
    A key difference over the last 30 to 40 years is more permissive parenting, particularly at younger ages. Children do not learn that inappropriate behaviors have consequences… consequences they don’t like. It is imperative to learn this *before* the illness manifests. While this is important for all children, I think it may be so much more so for those with impaired moral judgment. If they learn there are unsavory consequences for doing things they are told not to do, even if they don’t recognize it as “wrong”, they will refrain because they will view the consequences of their actions as a form of “self-injury”. Is it 100% effective? Obviously not, but it does provide an alternative reason for self control in many.
    Having grown up in one generation, and raised children in the other, this seems obvious to me, where perhaps it may not to those who are product of, and were not harmed by permissive parenting. The problem is, they cannot perceive the harm it does to those who have a warped social conscience.

  4. Well written piece on this important issue. I definitely encourage you to stick a pitchfork deep into this issue of mental illness, psychotropic medications, deinstitutionalization and also please include broken and dysfunctional family units, specifically fatherlessness. I believe only one single mass shooter in the past quarter century was raised with their own biological father being present in the home.

  5. “so researchers can begin finding clusters of influences for mass murder.”

    It’s important to keep in mind that all this attention is aimed at “preventing tragedies before they occur.” That’s important work, but it’s imperative to keep in mind that this should not be our only approach, because not only will we never see perfection here, we will never even get close to it.

    If society aimed solely at preventing automobile accidents or fires from occurring, we would never have invented airbags, smoke detectors, or sprinkler systems, strategies that save an immense number of lives that fall through the first sieve.

    Just as engineers have asked themselves how best to ameliorate the consequences of auto accidents or fires *after they have already begun,* we need to make sure society pays attention to this same question with respect to mass murderers. And we all know the answer: stop violating the human rights of victims and bystanders by depriving them of their means of self-defense. We need to insist on this, and we need in an organized fashion to begin slapping down the crybullies who scream that this solution is somehow unthinkable.

  6. Aren’t also most “terrorist” and other mass/spree killers reported (where known) as having been on recreational and/or unprescribed medicinal drugs, mainly (often a cocktail of) steroids, SSRIs and cannabis.

    See the Peter Hitchens blog in the UK Mail on Sunday for more on that.

    BTW Am I missing something or is there no (longer a) button for your Gun Facts e-book download?

    • We have yet to encounter data in this regard.

      And, yes, we have discontinued the book format. of Gun Facts. The PDF downloads and paperback sales were dropping why site visits were rising, showing a growing preference for the web site content. We decided to focus our attention to the website.

  7. On a separate issue, which may already have been addressed, one of the main arguments for gun-ownership, but hardest to prove, is that it discourages crime.

    It is said that what I think you call “home invasion” – burglary of homes while occupied, is extremely rare in the US, but is very commonplace in the UK.

    All other things being equal such home invasions should be very popular with criminals as the home owners are home with their car, car keys, wallet, cash, credit cards, wedding and engagement rings…

    Of course, things are not equal: in the States half of homes contain firearms (as in Switzerland, if not many more) while in the UK almost none do, and if they do they are locked away in very secure storage, usually disassembled, with components and ammunition in separate storage.

    So how do the rates for home invasions vary between UK and US (and Switzerland?), which would give you the numbers for one crime deterred by gun ownership.

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