Category Archives: colorado shootings

The NYT got it wrong in ‘When the Mentally Ill Own Guns’


Ok. Look, it’s December 29. I’m not in the mood for fancy arse commentaries here today. After all, year-in-year out only a handful of internet pedestrians walk by this site, so I can expect less visitors at this time, the end of the year.

So, the only comment I have about that NYT’s editorial, to which readers are not allowed to comment, is the following:

If this is true…

Most mentally ill persons are not violent, though The Times’s analysis of 180 confiscation cases in Connecticut (dealing with people posing an imminent risk of injury to themselves or others) found that close to 40 percent of those cases involved people with serious mental illness.

then logic dictates that it is the other 60%, the ‘sane’ ones, whom you need to deal with. Those are the ones on whom you need to focus to confiscate their guns if any guns are going to be taken away. Why focus on the minority? The 60% sane ones are a “threat to themselves or others”, that’s more than the 40% who are non-violent mentally ill.

There, I said it.

Happy New Years to all the crazies. Let’s make it our new year resolution to  scare the hell out of the politicians this new year.

 

CONNECTICUT SHOOTING: Some thoughts


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Here we are again in a painfully too familiar situation. You can blame the NRA or the mentally ill  for this latest installment of collective pain.

But, what we are witnessing is a society falling apart at the seams since the very beginning of this millennium. It’s not the fault of the mentally ill, on the contrary, our personal, and ultimately collective mental illness, is the outcome of a society rapidly decomposing since the last 12 years.

This horror we just witnessed didn’t happen in a social vacuum nor are our reactions to this horror, impulsive and emotional as they may be, unrelated to this social decomposing we are experiencing.

The first automatic explanation for these killings  is ‘this is the act of a deranged, mentally disturbed maniac. We need to lock them all up and throw the key away.’ There’s your mental health policy.

That’s a problem because that’s a knee-jerk reaction. It blames not the problem but the consequence created by the problem. The problem is our decomposing society and the consequence is the collective and personal mental illness which outcome is self-inflicted pain and suffering, collective and personal pain and suffering.

WE ARE NOT NUMBER ONE

It’s not difficult to see how our social political decisions are to be blamed for this horror. These social policies we enact (economical, health, prison and legal systems) have an impact not only on our health, but on the safety of our children.

Take for example the fact floated around for a while now, that the USA is in the #37 spot of nations’ quality of health  (according to the UN). This could contribute an angle to explain  why 20 children were massacred in the USA by a citizen, not by a an Islamist terrorist. Our nation’s low position compared to other nations’ health system happens because of our own health policies decisions. We think we are ahead when in reality we are falling way behind the Western nations. It’s not welfare nor Social Security nor Medicaid nor the ‘free loaders’ the ones to be blamed.

We vote for politicians that feed from the NRA and the Pharma and the big Health Insurance industry and Wall Street…those with the capital letters are the ones that make the laws that the lawmakers sign blindly and  that will control how inaccessible and useless the health services available will be. Oh, and how stereotyping those services will be: ‘you receive mental health services? Then you are a potential mass murderer. We must take your civil and personal rights away.’

Social Security and ‘the free loader’ and the mentally ill are not the cause of our pains.

THE HSBC CASE

Look for the connections between this latest horror and our policies in the status of our ‘social contract’.

Do you think that the recent HSBC bank corruption case, where not one from that bank set a foot in a court to face the charges of laundering billions of dollars for the drug cartels, has no impact on our mental health and our social fabric?

I think it does; it may be too subtle for you to notice in your daily hustle and bustle,  but it’s impact is there.

When the laws are unfair and the few can evade them with impunity and with the help of our ‘leaders’, they act as an acid that eats into our trust of our government. Remember, the government is supposed to represent us. If it is corrupt, it means that we as a people are corrupted. We act accordingly.

A MILLENNIUM OF WAR

We have been living in a state of war since the beginning of this millennium. Do you think that has no impact on our personal and collective mental health? Give it a thought.

These connections have been weaved together for the last 20 years, at a minimum, and for the last 12 for sure. There is now a fiscal cliff  for you to jump off. Funny the metaphor used by our leaders: a cliff.

Our leaders in Congress and the White House are about to push you off a cliff and you still can not make the connection between the Connecticut shooting and the fiscal cliff. You will go down the cliff blaming the mentally ill for the push.

Already people are complaining about the new health regulations making access to treatment more difficult. You can’t be with the devil and expect goodness to come out from  him. The devil is our nation’s financial system. They control just about  everything. What caused the Connecticut shooting?

DON’T TELL ME YOU BELIEVE SO

Maybe this kid who committed this crime  had no connections with the system.  Maybe it was simply that he was truly ‘crazy’. But, unless he was kept in a closet without contacts with humanity, he was a product of our society.

You must have had some experience with the system when it comes to mental health, at least  80% of Americans have, according to statistics.

Don’t tell me you think the system is reliable.  I won’t believe you believe so.

I feel sorry for those kids and their parents. One must be an insensitive jerk to not feel the pain. But, after the grieving, we must look at where we have arrived. And start making drastic changes to our political system.

Take the nation back from  the hands of the big financial hands.

Peace and mental health to all.

Nothing About Us Without Us!

I told you so.


I said in my previous post that this case of the Colorado shooting was going to show how the mental health system ignored this guy’s calls for help.

In Yahoo news it was reported today  that he sent his psychiatrist a description of his plans for the massacre. That means that he must have discussed this with him, must have given some signs of his emotional distress. If a psychiatrist could not notice this type of emotional disturbance, then what good are they? Typical of a mental health system teaming with stereotypes, ignorance and indifference to the calls for help of people in emotional distress, this guy probably went without attention. Yes, stereotypes about how the mentally ill looks like in the mental health system.

A psychiatrist stated publicly that this guy in court either had schizophrenia or was “faking” it. There’s your knowledge about mental illness. According to this ‘doctor’ most mentally ill fake their illness. Otherwise, why would this doctor make such a comment unless he has that prejudice? He just showed his ignorance.

This killer  is not a ‘lone wolf’, he is another victim, together with those he killed, of a mental health system that functions only in the interest of the big pharma. There is no such thing as a distressed person who can hide it all the time.  Distress always shows up. Suicidal ideations always show up. Our ignorance coupled to lack of resources make us indifferent to the pain of people in emotional distress. That’s what kills. Prejudice and stereotypes kill because, for example, relatives may feel ashamed of their kins’ illness and try to chalk it off to “moods” or “attitudes”.

I’m not proposing involuntary commitment. I’m pointing out that, as many of us know, if you HEAR the person and do meaningful intervention early, you may stop them from going off board. Maybe not cure them, but prevent tragedies.

The days when social work was a profession of ‘the heart’, a calling, so to speak, are gone. Now all is ‘evidence based’, meaning that if it cuts on profits then it should go.

You’ll see more about this as the case develops.

Colorado shootings and ‘normal’ reactions


Wow. I don’t know what scares me more: the shooter or the ‘normal’ reactions to cases like this.

The NYPD and the rest of the first world seems to be in panic. In Paris too there has been ‘beefing up’ of ‘security’ to protect Dark Night’s attendees. In other words, we have militarized our urban cities as a reaction to this unfortunate incident. That seems normal now-a-days. Our governments respond with super guns to one individual gone out of control. More excuses for more TSA, surveillance cameras, militarization of our police…

Have you read the comments online about this situation? Scary! People calling to hold the “crazies” under “control”. More ‘normal’ reactions to this.

Who is really out of control? Could it be that we are ALL out of control but we have accepted the militarized state as ‘normal’ and, consequently, don’t notice it?

Blame now the “crazies”. Our society will never assume the consequences of its failed human system. How our politics and economy affects people’s mental health to the point of driving some out of control will never be taken into consideration. We will make the “lone shooter” the lone responsible for the consequences of what we all fail to do: invest in humanity, not in wars and greed.

This guy is not an abstraction of society. What he did is framed within the troubled times we are experiencing with unnerving detachment. He is not a “lone shooter”.

Just wait and see the background of this tragedy unfold in a few days. I bet there were signs of distress ignored by our professional mental health system.

Only the individual carries the blames in this society.