I was hesitant to post this, but as I think about this latest murderous rampage in California, I am compelled to write out my thoughts, just try to straighten them out for myself.

A commonality in most of these horrible incidents is that the murderer has been taking, or has taken in the recent past, psychotropic drugs. Does this show that the drugs cause psychotic behavior, or that the person taking them had exhibited that behavior, thus causing the prescription? Or could it be that these drugs are unnecessarily prescribed and are causing the behavior? I'm not saying this lightly, because I take Wellbutrin for anxiety and depression myself. It has helped me more than I can say. I wouldn't want these drugs to be banned because some people who use them seem to have had a mental break.  Another common aspect in these crimes is that the perpetrators are often young people who are on psychotropic drugs, sometimes more than one at a time. Is it possible that an undeveloped and immature brain can't handle drugs like this?

A lot of people seem to think that if guns are banned, these types of crimes won't occur. I don't agree. Criminals by definition do not obey laws. If someone is determined to go out and kill people, they'll find a way. Christopher Krumm is an example of that. He used knives and a bow to kill his father and his father's girlfriend. The argument to that viewpoint is that removal of the firearm will cause a lower fatality rate, just because a gun can shoot faster than a person can manually wield a knife or other types of weapons. That is true. Chris Krumm had applied for a handgun permit, which was pending when he committed his murders. Had he been in possession of  a gun, who knows how many people he might have killed. In this case, existing gun laws may have saved lives. But maybe Chris had no intention of killing anyone other than those close to him. We can't know, because he killed himself with one of his own knives.

What you don't often hear about are cases where an armed individual was able to save themselves and others from an assailant. It's just not newsworthy enough for big news stations to waste time on, yet just a quick Google search will result in numerous cases where this has happened. Also, we have had free and unrestrained access to guns in the US for literally centuries, but these massive killings seem to be fairly recent, and since gun laws have been passed. I just am not convinced that availability of guns is the cause of these rampages.

This latest killer had made several videos talking about how girls didn't like him, even though he had a BMW and expensive clothes and thought he was very handsome. He seems to be amazed that this isn't enough to bring him love and sex. I'm not even sure how to explain what I am thinking about this. Maybe when material possessions and looks are the most important things in the world to someone, more than kindness and caring and compassion, and the world around them says, "this is the way to get girls, this is the way to have power", and then it doesn't work - it leaves them empty and hopeless. And they turn to what they know, which is violence, which leads to another thought that keeps running through my mind-

Movies and shows about murderers, such as "Dexter" and Patrick Bateman (American Psycho). These are serial killers who are portrayed as heroes. Two murderers have referenced these particular characters in their videos and writings. Violence is celebrated in our culture. I would go so far as too say it is venerated. Movies, TV shows, video games, novels, websites, portray the most vile acts against humanity. Imagine a child raised on this- allowed to absorb violence as a fact of life, from a young age parked in front of a video game or the TV with no one deciding on appropriate material for his age. I know of a 3 year old who watches a popular zombie show with his adults. It's a gore-fest, and his adults see nothing wrong with this.

And then there are bullies- so many of these kids who kill have been bullied on top of all the rest, which is just a lesser form of the killing spree. It's taking power over another person by force, either mental or physical.

And maybe this won't affect most kids, but some of those kids with other problems, or brain chemistry issues, it will, and they will look on human life as expendable. I think our very society is producing these killers. Money runs the world, and Hollywood isn't going to stop producing violent money-makers, and doctors aren't going to stop prescribing drugs, and advertisers aren't going to stop telling people their products will change lives.

I wish I had an answer.


Popular posts from this blog

Cooking Tip: Easy Baked Potatoes for a Crowd

Book Review: If You Were Here by Jen Lancaster

Book Review: My Mother was Nuts by Penny Marshall