Once the essential Who, What, Where and When facts are announced (49 seconds, tops), more bloviating follows in the form of conjecture, idealistic rhetoric and hypotheticals mixed with predictable mis- and disinformation intended to fortify a political agenda. Out come the Same Old Same Old “solutions” that either violate the Constitution or other (HIPPA) laws or cost incalculable amounts of unavailable revenue and “political will”.
Eventually, the tragedy tails out in a cloud of “Why’s” and “If Only’s” - until the next time.
Rinse. Repeat. The script writes itself.
The Missing Link - Pragmatic Answers - remain hidden. The only tangible results are in the heart-breaking frustration of the survivors and snarky political points scored by the Usual Suspects who come out their holes to claim a few minutes of Fame.
After 50 years toiling in “The Business”, covering the violence of civil rights demonstrations, anti-war riots, suicides and a panalopy of murders and mayhem, the only significant change in coverage has been method and tone. The speed of new technology hasn’t added a wit (or half-wit) of fact-based curiosity to Network News departments unless it’s Trump-Russian. Individual reporters who have the elusive Investigative gene are rare and generally kept in strict isolation until needed.
Against this background, it was whiplash-startling today to witness a rare Live, on-camera revelation of the Missing Link! But first, see if you can spot it hiding in plain sight while studiously ignored by the integrity-challenged management of the Fourth Estate.
Consider the following history:
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, while taking Prozac, killed his favorite aunt.
• 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 classmates.
• 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, for no apparent motive, killed a woman.
• Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledgehammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic's file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.
• 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 ladder at the family's 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 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 in his closet.
• Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.
• Woody __, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death, his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of
• 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 benzodiazepine.
• 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, 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 known to have taken these same meds:
• Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21...... killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az?
• James Eagan Holmes on, age 24..... killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado?
• Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or?
• Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct?
Only readers lacking that keen sense for the obvious will miss the culprit here. Kudos to Herb London, President of the London Center for Policy Research. Appearing on Fox Business News with Stuart Varney, who plainly stated he had no answers, asked London for his take and received this response:
“ Three-fourths of the population of the United State is taking psychotropic drugs. But all we focus on are guns. Violence is built into the very nature of popular culture. Entertainment? Violent. Rap music? Violent. It’s all around us. We in the US tend to ignore these matters and look at one issue: guns. But it’s not just guns, it is an environment where violence is promoted.”
Two reasons News Outlets are terminally reluctant to connect the dots between school mass murders and kids on prescribed drugs like those listed above:
1. The old Newsroom cliché cum axiom:” If It Bleeds, It Leads.” Nothing seizes a Viewers’ attention than an Anchor’s piously intoned trope: “We must warn our viewers, some scenes may be difficult to watch…”. (Ratings = Advertising Revenue)
2. Advertising Revenue
When you ingest your next full helping of ABCCBSNBCCNNFOX News, observe the number of commercials for Viagra, SeeAlice, Lipizzaner, FaithandBegorium and a medicine chest full of other strangely named pills and liquids with Warning Disclaimers speed-read by the off-stage announcer. Do you think Pfizer (Prozac, Zoloft, Xanax), Paxil, Wellbutrin (GlaxoSmithKline), Ritalin (Novartis), Lexapro (Forest), Luvox (Abbott Labs) , Ambien (Sanofi) would appreciate having their advertising dollars spent on reporting they may be the manufactures of certain medications occasionally having serious anti-social side-effects on young patients? Similarly, would health care providers and their doctors want similar exposure?
While there is an understandably strong public resistance to having personal medical records revealed to an over-reaching government in order to exercise the basic human right to bear arms, there may be a more acceptable way for the prospective firearms purchaser and his/her doctor to acknowledge any prescribed psychotropic medications. Ignoring the information will go a long way in failing to find a workable solution that everyone wants: protection of freedom and the innocent without sacrificing either. Right now, none of the old worn-out “solutions” are workable or acceptable in what is purported to be a “Free Society”.
Let the discussion begin. This time let’s include the previously Missing Link.