Archive for December, 2012

Dec 19 2012

Research: Guns, School Violence, and God (lessness)

We are all devastated by the school shooting in Connecticut.

Most of us understand there is no place in civilian life for automatic weapons at all…they are weapons of mass destruction. Sensible gun control reform is needed.

While simple ideas like more police, restrictive laws or arming teachers with guns seem like great ideas, they are not the solution suggested by the scientific research.

Here is what the research has found related to these violent and deadly school shootings:

  • Some of this violence could be PREVENTABLE
  • Shooters are always male, 14-20 years old
    • The shooting is an attempt to “finally fit in”, rather than an expression of anger
      • Other kids know violence will happen, but do NOT tell adults
      • Shooters have troubled history, prior problems with anger and authority, being bullied, and are taking psychiatric medications, such as ritalin
      • Shooters have a doctor/psychiatrists who prescribe these meds, but apparently are unable to diagnose the possibility of violence
      • Shooters have a history of torturing animals
      • God or godlessness, school metal detectors, and gun laws essentially have very little to do with school violence
      • Guns used in school shootings are most often stolen (like in Connecticut).
      • Effective prevention includes educating young people and their parents of the risk involved with threats of violence
      • And creating ways for young people to anonymously report threats of violence

      In one of the violent situations, the shooter told his peers, “you will know who lives and dies Monday…” Several of these peers stayed home from school on that Monday, but obviously did not tell anyone about the possible danger.

      We can do all we can about making gun ownership safe, but the most effective solution here may be to create ways for young people to reveal any suspicions or info they have to prevent violence.

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Dec 15 2012

Unimaginable Grief

The details are becoming known about the senseless violence in Connecticut. It wasn’t a father or the older brother…it was a 20 year old young man with some type of personality disorder.

The personality disorder begins to offer some type of explanation. Was it autism? Was there some type of conflict with his mother, as is being suggested in the media?

We will begin to know more as the day unfolds and people begin to talk about what they know.

It’s important for us and our elected leaders to deconstruct what happened and why. We may never fully understand the reasons for what happened, but there are details that can help us do whatever we can to prevent such tragedies in the future.

This was not a random act of violence. Some of the facts in the media need to be explored…

  • were the guns used owned by his mother
  • why did she have the guns
  • was there some type of problem between the shooter and his mother
  • why did the shooter’s cousins feel convinced right away it was him and not his older brother
  • was their substance abuse involved
  • what role did the family’s wealth play
  • what role did the father play in all this

It’s a tragedy beyond belief. We have to do everything we can to prevent this from happening again.

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Dec 14 2012

Witnessing/Experiencing Family Violence: Why a 20 year old Might Want to Kill His Parents

We now are learning the killer went to the school to kill his mother…he did so…and the children in her class and many others. His father was found shot and killed in his home.
Another person was apprehended in the woods, also wearing camouflage…others are missing.

Again, we can only guess….but there are many reasons why a young adult (he was 20yo) son would want to kill his parents.

His parents were divorced, so we can imagine he witnessed some type of conflict in his family which led to his parents being divorced. Did he see his parents yelling and screaming…or worse?

Likely, there was a lot of alcohol abuse.
This happens all the time in our society and around the world. Children are the innocent victims of the emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and violence in their homes. These are serious mental health issues professionals like myself and others are trained to deal with.

Having participated and led several psychodrama retreats for men over the years, there was always a small group of men who had been exposed to way too much in their families and/or extremely abused themselves.

What did they act out in the psychodramas? Often they had internalized, rageful images of fighting back against an abusive father, sometimes a mother. They were not pretty scenes…and often involved the type of violence one might not want to acknowledge.
Sons who are abused by their parents become enraged, but as young people, are too small to act their rage out in any way. Plus our brains have a protective feature of storing this type of emotional memory¬† in a way that enables us to “forget” it, even as we remember the visual images of our abuse.

Later in life, these emotional memories can flood back…and cause this sort of unbelievable violence.

We will find out more as the day unfolds and enough for us to understand more about what influenced this deranged killer.

We are already learning enough to know that he was a young guy, only 20yo. The deranged and psychotic violence he enacted certainly has roots somewhere in his life.

The type of serious mental illness professionals could have helped him with. We do it all the time.

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Dec 14 2012

Why Would the Killer Want to Kill His Mother?

We now are learning the killer went to the school to kill his mother…he did so…and the children in her class and many others.

Another person was apprehended in the woods, also wearing camaflauge…others are missing.

Again, we can only guess….but there are many reasons why a young adult (he was 24yo) son would want to kill his parents.

Sons who are abused by their parents become enraged, but as young people, are too small to act their rage out in any way. Plus our brains have a protective feature of storing this type of emotional memory¬† in a way that enables us to “forget” it, even as we remember the visual images of our abuse.

Later in life, these emotional memories can flood back…and cause this sort of unbelievable violence.

We will find out more as the day unfolds and enough for us to understand more about what influenced this deranged killer.

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Dec 14 2012

Murder in the Classroom: How Many More Children Need to Die Before America Realizes This is a Mental Health Problem?

Look at the terror in the faces of these children.
As republican leaders all over our country fight to cut back essential services and prevent the best reform of our healthcare system in history, multiple school children were killed in Connecticut.

We know nothing of the shooter right now, except he was one of the students’ father.

What can we guess? He was a very unhealthy person…maybe chronically mentally ill…or experiencing a psychotic episode for the first time.

I’m not sure if there is any research about the mental health status of these shooters, but following each case, it sure seems like these are really unhealthy people.

Do they all have a doctor who has cared for and about them? We don’t know that…our mental health system, like our healthcare system as a whole is deeply flawed, fragmented and incredibly inept, given the riches of our country.

Those republicans across the country all have great benefits…if they become depressed or need treatment for alcoholism (I can recommend a few), they just need to pull out their insurance card.

They are privileged.

Obama has succeeded in creating reform…despite the best efforts of republicans to demonize the new law through lies and racist undertones(Obamacare…you know, Obama is black, blacks are bad, so the new law is bad).

We can only imagine what would be different today if the deranged father who killed so many people went to his doctor’s office instead or had been meeting regularly with his therapist to discuss his mood and thinking…

children who are dead now, may still be alive.

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Dec 11 2012

Organizational Narcissism, 2DAYFM, and Suicide

Organizational Narcissism = “Culture of we really don’t care about how you feel…and will use you, then discard you…”

Details about other abusive and bullying radio shows from 2DAYFM radio station are beginning to emerge. Before the phone call related to the tragic suicide of a hard-working nurse, the station had programs mocking poor people and emotionally abusing a 14 year old female rape victim.

So, the other victims are the DJ’s who were “doing their job” following the directives and influences of the radio station’s culture of shock and awe and disregard for human dignity.There have been many apologies by the radio station and also a televised interview with apologies by the two DJ’s.

It’s easy to have empathy for these two human beings. Making a mistake which involves the loss of life will be difficult for the rest of their lives. However, it’s impossible to compare with the grief of the husband, children, family and friends of the nurse who died.

There are many ethical and emerging legal issues related to this tragedy. HIndsight is 20-20, but certainly the DJ’s especially will regret their irresponsible phone calls.

For what it’s worth, the female DJ looks very different in the apology interview…she is wearing a conservative dress and her looks much more subdued.

This seems a little hint about the powerfully negative role western culture played in all this..her willingness to buy into the idea she should be very sexy and follow the bidding of more powerful men, such as the ones in management control of this radio station.

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