Friday, January 11, 2013

Maybe, just maybe the guns aren't the problem....

Despite the myriad of studies, Federal & State crime data and testimony from law enforcement indicating that additional restrictions on gun ownership does not significantly reduce crime and/or violence the easiest target when there is a tragic shooting is guns & gun ownership. It's more difficult to look at other causes for violence be they societal, medical/psychological or cultural because looking at those forces people to look at themselves and that's hard. Often, the right thing to do is the thing that is difficult to do and in this case it's the discussion of mental illness and prescription medications.

Unless you are a serious shooting sports enthusiast you probably don't know the name John Noveske. He was the owner of Noveske Rifleworks in Oregon. His company builds civilian spec Semi-Automatic rifles, Military & Police spec rifles and accessories for both. The company is highly respected in Law Enforcement and Military circles and among civilian shooting sports enthusiasts as extremely innovative and highly responsive to their customers. On January 4th of this year, Mr. Noveske died in a car accident. His last external communication to his friends and customers via his facebook page is posted below....

DISCLAIMER: This is second-hand information. There may be errors.

Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold's medical records have never been made available to the public.

Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather's girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family's Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara's parents said ".... the damn doctor wouldn't take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil...")

Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002,
(Gareth's father could not accept his son's death and killed himself.)

Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family's detached garage.

Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and "other drugs for the conditions."

Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.
Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his
New York high school.

Missing from list... 3 of 4 of the most recent offenders were known to have taken some form of medication for "issues"....

What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21...... killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az?

What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24..... killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado?

Was Jacob Tyler Roberts, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or on some form of medication?

What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct

Now, I'm not a doctor. I cannot say that the link here is simply correlation or causation. Additionally, there's a lot of moving parts here. Are the drugs being taken properly? Has the person been correctly diagnosed? Are the right drugs being prescribed? Is the person taking other substances in concert, either prescribed or illicit that are impacting their mental state? I'm fully aware of the validity of these questions but that so many of these violent offenders share the factor of "on prescribed medication for a psychological issue" is too prevalent to not discuss. That this issue does not share equal time with the discussion of the tool used to harm others is I think a major mistake and is I'd think part of the reason why gun restrictions don't reduce crime and violence since we know that criminals and the mentally ill tend not to follow laws.

I suspect that many on the anti-gun side and frankly, many on the pro-2A side as well, don't want to discuss the issue of mental illness and prescription drugs lest they be forced to judge themselves for putting their children on these drugs....or taking them themselves.


  1. You could also ask if it's the med, the underlying condition, or is probablility in play here because such a high percentage are prescirbed anti-depressants? But in any case, it's an interesting observation.

  2. True, The simple truth is that the left will always attack the Constitution and freedom, despite any truth that might enter the equation. The Constitution hampers everything they plan to create. Great write up!