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Don’t Blame The Shooting In Tucson On The Psychiatrically Labeled

One of the only defenses available to people who intentionally kill other people is the insanity defense. Already the media is interviewing people diagnosing insanity in the case of Jared Lee Loughner, the young man who killed 6 people and wounded 14 others in Tucson over the weekend.

I was in Virginia in 2007 when Seung-Hui Cho killed himself after killing 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus. People labeled “mentally ill” have been paying for Cho’s crimes ever since in that state. The Virginia Tech tragedy was used as an excuse for legislators to change the law there. Whatever constitutional protections people had who were facing civil commitment proceedings then, they have fewer such protections as a result of this legislation today.

Had the state had a living body to take to trial back in 2007, I have no doubt that the attorneys for the defendant would not have been able to win on an insanity defense. I am much less certain that the same thing will prove true in the case of Mr. Loughner. I think the prosecutors will be doing all that they can to try to make his a capital murder case.

The fact of the matter is that a person with a psychiatric label is less likely to commit a violent crime than a person without such a label. These highly publicized and exceptional cases of mass murder fuel a media frenzy that is intent on blaming such crimes on innocent people who have absolutely nothing to do with them. The fascists in NAZI Germany laid blame for everything under the sun on jews in the 30s and 40s, and here you’ve got people blaming people with first hand experience of the mental health/illness system for stupid acts of violence perpetuated by a lone gunman in the 21st century. Neither one of these groups gunned down any of those 20 people killed and injured in Tucson.

A terrorist group called The Mentally Ill didn’t kill those people in Arizona. Jared Lee Loughner killed them, and Jared Lee Loughner is the only person who should be held accountable. He wasn’t possessed by a demon called Mental illness either. He went and he bought a gun–something he couldn’t have done if he’d been detained for any length of time in a mental health facility. He went and he used this gun on a politician and her supporters. This isn’t a mental health matter, and it shouldn’t be treated as such. We shouldn’t be making any more innocent people suffer for his crime, and so let’s not blame this crime he committed on people labeled “mentally ill”.

8 Responses

  1. I agree. This man had NO record of “mental illness”. He had not been examined by any “mental health” professional. Therefore, he was able to purchase a gun at a gunstore legally. I remember a time when my own personal physician felt I was a danger to her, after my “diagnosis”. She dropped me immediately as a patient, and I was barred from the practice, and all other University of Michigan physician offices. I was allowed to be seen only at University Hospital, where they had security. I never made a threat to her, or anyone else, either verbally or in writing. This man committed pre-meditated murder. Pure and simple.

    • He had never been in mental health treatment. He was able to buy a gun without questions being raised. I hate to think what blaming this man’s behavior on his state of mind could do for civil liberties in this country. We used to value individualism. I see a great threat to our freedom coming, not from the kooks, but from the people who over react to violent crimes of this sort. I envision people equating non-conformity with “mental disturbance” and “mental disturbance” with violence. Eventually they will be carting off everybody who is not in uniform.

  2. Unfortunately, this gunman will become another post[er] child for the Treatment Advocacy Center.

    This of course, is in spite of increasing evidence showing the link between psychotropic drugs and an increase in violence (recent PLoS study)… Peter Breggin, M.D. has warned of the dangers of these drugs for years… to deaf ears by “advocates” and the NAMI crowd.

    What about the gunman at Fort Hood?
    What about Major Nidal Malik Hasan?

    He killed 12 and injured 31….
    There was no doubt he had “access to treatment”…
    In fact, he had plenty of access…
    He was a psychiatrist !!!

    “Treatment” ?

    Are we ever going to be honest enough to call this what it is –
    Mistreatment !!!

    A wake-up call to anyone who donates money to the Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), and time/money to that National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)….

    The wake-up call is simple:

    Psychiatric drugs are dangerous.
    The men and women who prescribe them, like candy, especially to infants, children, the elderly, and military service members are not doctors…
    They are monsters in lab coats.

    Look no further than Major Nidal Malik Hasan.
    Hardly a poster child for “treatment.”

    Duane Sherry, M.S.

    • We need to get the truth out there. The TAC’s view is thoroughly at odds with the idea of constitutional rights, and people who have dealt with them realise this. The fact of the matter is that your chance of being murdered by a stranger labeled schizophrenic is about 1 in 14,300,000, in other words, you are 3Xs more likely to be struck by lightning. These stats I gleaned from reading the following excellent article at MSNBC, ‘Mental illness’ not an explanation for violence. We need more articles, and blog posts, of this sort to counteract the malevolent misuse to which shootings of this sort have been put in the media. Everytime a person uses the internet to inform people about the truth, they are doing something positive to clean up the disinformation, and end this type of scapegoating abusive mistreatment.

  3. Oh, one last thing…

    Friends don’t let friends join NAMI.


    • We can’t always help the NAMI mamies who bore us, even if sometimes we would like to throw them out into the streets.

      Understand I’m not disagreeing with you. NAMI has taken enough blood money from the drug companies to be considered a Big Pharma front group. NAMI, in this way, consciously or not, has to be responsible for much of the damage being done to people through the promotion of these often harmful chemical products.

      Psychiatric drugs cause traffic accidents. These drugs effect the senses in a negative fashion. Some people chose not to drive under the influence of some of these substances. There’s another reason to tell folks:

      Friends don’t let friends join NAMI!

  4. We know the guy’s a criminal but does he have a chemical imbalance? I’m sure most lay psychiatrists, and there must be about 100 million of those in the US alone, would say so. Especially when they are told this every day by the media.

    The other day some idiots minor fuck up was reported on the news and I thought, “Why did they even bother to report that?” But then of course I remembered. It was so they could finish the short piece telling us that he was taken off to the wack shack. Just to remind us that anyone who does something stupid is likely to have a mental illness. It doesn’t matter that he’s been unfairly fired or evicted or ripped off, he must have a chemical imbalance.

    It’s a pity that you have the death penalty, even if not in ?Arizona, and that many of your prisons are brutal and overfull. IOW if there was no death penalty and prisons were better there would be less of the notion for the need for the insanity defense.

    A good prison can be a very safe and sensible place for a person who has committed even the craziest of crimes to be. Strict and sensible staff, rules and routine are conducive to mental health even for the craziest person.

    In such an environment it needn’t be assumed that the person has a mental illness that requires drugging. No one should be forcibly drugged in prison.

    This applies also to people who are placed on remand because they are found to be “unfit to plead”. They are more likely to straighten up on remand in prison without drugs than drugged in a forensic facility.

    I’m certain this could work. But I’m also certain that this is the very reason the shrinks wouldn’t have it. It would destroy the propaganda they work so hard to maintain.

    • They didn’t “catch” him until he’d commited a violent crime. If they’d “caught” him before he commited this violent act, then you could call him “mentally ill”. That’s all Mental Health Law is in most cases, pre-crime law. Mental health professionals are our new soothsayers.

      I’ve gotten into the paper for piddly non-reasons like trespassing. When the newspapers do that, you can expect a lot of next to nothing passing for news. People need a reason to express their narrow-mindedness and moral prudery, the news gives them all sorts of excuses to do so.

      It is a pity we have the death penalty. It is also a pity that we have such a thriving gun culture. The old west is right down the street in some instances. Some of these guns are not hunting instruments, at least, not if the animal you’re hunting isn’t human. Playing up to gun collectors, legislatively, in such instances, isn’t simply being absurd, it’s rank folly.

      Our prisons are not safe places, not in this country anyway. Men and women get assaulted on a daily basis behind bars. Prison gangs rule and do battle in some places. You’ve also got these stupid 3 strikes laws that are one of the reasons we have a prison over population problem. It may depend on where you’re sent, but people don’t always have control over those matters.

      I agree with you that nobody should be forcibly drugged in prison. Unfortunately, I don’t think all prison officials agree wtih you, and I imagine the laws and protections regarding this matter differ from place to place.

      I don’t think anybody should forcibly drugged. These drugs are harmful, and there are better ways to deal with violent and unruly behavior.

      Shrinks get their bread and butter pushing pharmaceuticals. The idea that “mental illness” is an inherited brain disease is a part of their pitch. What people don’t realize is that this is theory, and that there is no proof to support it. I see hope in the number psychiatrists who express something other than a mainstream position, but this is a relative matter. We’re waiting here for the pendulum to swing back toward other methods of treatment.

      When creating drug habits is your primary method of treatment, I think some people are going to realize that doing so is not always a healthy matter, mentally or physically, and that they’re supposed to be concerned about overall health.

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