From Prozac to Parkland- Are Psychiatric Drugs Causing Mass Shootings??.-
While mass killers generally have guns in their hands, another commonality is that they often have psychiatric drugs in their blood. The difference, though, is that it isn’t guns that have the side effect of “homicidal ideation.”
If you develop digestive problems after a change in diet, do you look for the cause in foods you always ate or the new ones you started eating? While the answer is obvious, this common sense is painfully uncommon when analyzing the new phenomenon of continual mass shootings: Many blame the long-present “foods” — guns in this case — and ignore the new diet whose embrace coincided with the problem. And part of what’s new is the widespread use of psychiatric drugs.
As a case in point, the Parkland, Florida, shooter (I won’t use his name and help provide the fame he craved), who murdered 17 on Valentine’s Day, was on medication for emotional issues, his aunt related. This is now a familiar story, too. As WND.com’s David Kupelian put it Thursday, the following is par for the course: As information about a “perpetrator emerges, a relative confides to a newspaper that the ‘troubled youth’ who committed the mass murder was on psychiatric medications — you know, those powerful, little understood, mind-altering drugs with fearsome side effects including ‘suicidal ideation’ and even ‘homicidal ideation.’”
Yet, Kupelian laments, the media have little appetite for exploring this issue. Politicians don’t, either. Unlike with guns, legal drugs aren’t a sexy issue that can be used to scare people and win votes. Moreover, as The Guardian reported last year, “Pharmaceutical companies spend far more than any other industry to influence politicians,” having poured “close to $2.5bn into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade.” This dwarfs the “gun lobby’s” political contributions, mind you.
But what about pharmaceuticals’ contributions to mass shootings? Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation, but it can provide clues as to where causation may lie — and the correlation between mass shooters and psychiatric drug use certainly exists.
Consider Newtown, Connecticut, killer Adam Lanza (I will provide the names of perpetrators of older incidents), who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. He also was on medication, according to family friend Louise Tambascio. That’s all we heard about it, however; as Kupelian points out, there “was little journalistic curiosity or follow-up.”
But there should be. As Kupelian also informs, “Fact: A disturbing number of perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on — or just recently coming off of — psychiatric medications.” He then provides some examples (all quotations are Kupelian’s):
• “Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox — like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and many others, a modern and widely prescribed type of antidepressant drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.” Along with fellow student Dylan Klebold, Harris shot 13 to death and wounded 24 in a headline-grabbing 1999 rampage. “Luvox manufacturer Solvay Pharmaceuticals concedes that during short-term controlled clinical trials, 4 percent of children and youth taking Luvox — that’s one in 25 — developed mania, a dangerous and violence-prone mental derangement characterized by extreme excitement and delusion.”
• Twenty-five-year-old Patrick Purdy murdered five children and wounded 30 in a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, California, in 1989. He’d been taking “Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, as well as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine.”
• “Kip Kinkel, 15, murdered his parents in 1998 and the next day went to his school, Thurston High in Springfield, Oregon, and opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others. He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.”
WND’s Leo Hohmann adds to the picture, having reported in 2015 (all quotations are his):
• “Aaron Ray Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, allegedly opened fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University in June 2014, killing one student and wounding two others.” Ybarra “said he’d been prescribed with Prozac and Risperdal to help him with his problems.”
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