954 Words, 3 minute, 47 sec read
18 August 2018
This is a continuation of my post on ‘Anger Not Mental Illness’.
Something went awry since the post was about a paragraph long.
So if you read that post I am sure you were disappointed. I will delete it and start anew.
Pictured above is Spec. Ivan Lopez in his helicopter in the Sinai Peninsula during his service with the 295th Infantry of the Puerto Rico National Guard.
Spec. Lopez is suspected of fatally shooting three people before killing himself at the Fort Hood Army Base in Texas on April 2, 2014.
The accounts of what lead up to the shooting spree that killed the innocent people vary.
The Guardian January 23, 2015, reports that Specialist Lopez two parents had died shortly before the shootings.
The military relied heavily on personnel to ‘self-report’ on their conditions.
The self-reporting of personal issues did not work because Spec Lopez did report to his supervisors about his depression, although he was undergoing treatment for the depression.
Other factors may have played a part as well. Spec Lopez, in conversations, said he had injured himself in combat in Iraq.
There was no proof of that claim.
However, whatever system there was to monitor Spec Lopez it didn’t work.
He had an argument with his supervisor about the leave he was expecting and when it was denied ‘blew up’.
He traveled two blocks and killed three people including himself.
According to the Washington Post, he pulled out his private 45 caliber pistol, shot up the office of the 49th Transportation Battalion wounding two soldiers.
Before killing himself, he killed three people and wounded 12 others.
The question is:
Did his mental state, i.e. depression cause him to set off this horrible attack?
The NRA has been foisting this theory on people at every chance it can.
‘Mentally ill people are the mass murders.’
Psychologist Laura L. Hayes disagrees.
She states this “relatively weak connection between mental illness and mass shootings,” does not override another position.
She states that “the connection between the inability to manage anger and violence,” is a stronger motivation.”
We have to look back to the 1980s for answers.
The 1980s were a time of massive deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill.
She was working toward her degree in clinical psychology and was training at a psychiatric hospital in Washington D.C.
She relates “one small, diminutive, the elderly patient sometimes wandered the halls.”
“She had been committed to the hospital after she stabbed someone in a supermarket.”
She was what is sometimes referred to as a revolving-patient: She was schizophrenic and heard frightening voices in her head.
When she became psychotic enough, she would be hospitalized, stabilized on medication, and then released back to the community.
There she would go off her medication, become psychotic, be re-hospitalized, stabilized again on medication, released, etc.”
It was the result of the introduction of the drug Thorazine. This was the first effective antipsychotic drug.
The abbreviated version is that in 1955 the total population was164 million people.
Of those 558,239 were hospitalized as mentally ill.
By 1994 the hospitalized population was 71,619. The true magnitude of the issue was that if the portion of the population in 1994 was equal to that of 1955, 885,010 people should have been hospitalized.
How many were hospitalized? 71,619.
Does that point to a problem?
Over three-fourths of the population should have been hospitalized in the same rules applied!
Back to our little, old lady, this is not intended as a pun or disparagement.
“She testified that she had become extremely upset in the grocery store before repeatedly stabbing the man in front of her in the checkout line.”
The hearing officer asked if she had been hearing voices at the time she stabbed the man. ‘Yes’, she replied, she had.
‘What were the voices telling you’ he inquired.
“She explained that the voices were telling her not to hurt the man, but he had gotten in the express checkout lane with more than 10 items, and that made her so mad that she couldn’t stop herself.”
This tale sounds a warning I think.
One that the NRA chose to ignore.
As we have seen so far in 2018
the Gun Violence Archive which tracks the statistics there have been 154 mass shootings thru the deaths at the Capital Gazette.
While getting absolute confirmation of the numbers varies on the criteria used to calculate them, this massive number of deaths is not acceptable in a civil society.
This will not be a debate about guns or no guns.
The facts that are available are simply stated.
Ms. Hayes, notes that “Violence is not a product of mental illness; violence is a product of anger”.
Some mass shootings occurred become some people had emotional problems.
It has become fashionable, i.e. The NRA, to blame mental illness for violent crimes.
“Violence is not a product of mental illness.”
“Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “Break” and commit crimes of passion.”
“Violent crimes are committed by violent people, who do not have the skills to manage their anger.”
Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence.
Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill.
“Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills.”
I thought I would throw this out there and let you follow the link to add to your insight in the conversation taking place.
Thanks for stopping.