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22 December 2012

The Hidden Tragedy of the Newtown Massacre

I'm just one person but that Newtown school shooting really really got to me--the most beautiful and precious among us, the ones we're supposed to protect and nurture, gunned down, so senselessly and horribly. 
Have you ever spent time with six or seven-year-old children? That's such a precious and wonderful age. Just having these children around us is such a blessing, and for their families to go through something like this--it's unimaginable for me.
Just one week out, I still cannot process very much about the event. I'm barely able to look at the pictures of those children and adults who were murdered. All I can do is offer a silent prayer for their souls and for the families affected--and for the rest of us.
So how do we as a nation go on? 
Why do we not stop everything we're doing and ask what's wrong? 
How do we stop these all too common shootings from occurring again? 
These questions are inevitable. The answers more problematic.
The left says we need more top-down, Harvard-Soviet* style government control. Less freedom. Less liberty. More Laws. Protect us from ourselves. We can no longer trust in freedom anymore--it's just too dangerous--as if gun laws will ever take guns out of the criminals' hands.
The Conservatives say we need more mental health screening. Can you imagine that? I've heard statistics that  as high as 95% of these mass shooters over the last twenty years are on psychiatric medication for anti-anxiety, depression, attention-deficit disorder, etc., all taking drugs which have common side-effects such as suicide and violent behavior.**
And when we give these drugs to anyone under the age of twenty-five, whose brains and nervous systems aren't fully developed, we're literally playing Russian Roulette. It's all a grand experiment with no evidence that these drugs make any of our lives any better--there was a recent study in England concluding that people on placebos did as well as people on anti-depressants--the drugs may, however, help us fit in and function in a totally dysfunctional and twisted world--or the Procrustean bed of a school system for a young child or a rush-hour commute for the rest of us, but here we go, willingly damaging our brains, especially the young males among us who are far more likely to be medicated than females. Not only do these drugs damage the brain, they damage the liver. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the liver holds and releases anger and repressed emotions, until it all explodes.  What a toxic and lethal combination.
Instead of just talking about gun control, whatever that means, I'd like to see the discussion also focus on some form of limitations on the prescription of psychiatric medication.  Take an already fragile mind that has been beaten down and bullied by life and add a drug that creates dramatic changes in the brain and you'll very likely push them over the edge, especially when coupled with an entertainment and political culture that literally swim in fantastic violence every minute of every day. We've been at war for at least twenty years in my view, not just the hot war of the last decade or so. I would also count the sanctions against Iraq during the 90s, sanctions which killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children as part of an official government policy which advocated (and still advocates) the most severe and brutal violence and the complete disregard of children's lives by the way, but I digress.
We force vaccines, far more than in past years, many of which contain neurotoxins, damaging the brains and nervous systems of infants, then the children grow up, eating a diet filled with dangerous food additives (like artifical sweetners, excitotoxins and High-Fructose Corn Syrup) and nutritional deficiencies (especially of healthy fats) that further affect brain fitness
Additionally, we "protect" children from the sun, thereby limiting Vitamin D (another key brain health nutrient) even as more and more schools cut physical fitness programs (video games are not exercise), and we wonder why our children are suffering from all these relatively "new" ailments. 
And is it any wonder that almost all of these shooters are male? 
When you also realize that just being a boy is now a crime in most elementary schools, where you've got school psychiatrists selling bogus diagnoses like ADD or ADHD and depression in school-age children and punishing boys for being boys, you see the scope of the problem--and we're going in the opposite direction, getting farther and farther away from sanity.  
I believe the male energy, the yang to refer back Chinese Medicine and philosophy, has been much maligned in our culture for a very long time, and what it means to be male among us is now a completely diseased and distorted entity. 
Boys are raised with the belief quite simply that there's something wrong with them, reinforced at every level. 
I lived through the ideas that were hatched in the 60s and 70s and implemented in the 90s, the halcyon days of so-called equal-opportunity initiatives, where if one were a male, they need not apply for many academic and government jobs. These policies destroyed lives. I was flat out told, candidly of course, by one member of a hiring committee that I could not and would not ever be hired because I was male. Seriously, what does one do with that information? 
And today, there are very few areas of our culture where the expression of male energy is still acceptable or even welcome. Couple that with the destruction of the nuclear family and the middle class, and as a consequence, the inherent lack of healthy male role models in all classes, and you've got a generation or two of boys and men who are completely lost and thoroughly confused, but they do sense some veiled threat against them.
I just don't understand how to move the level of dialogue into a deeper more meaningful and useful direction, one that might offer solutions.  
Certainly, nothing I've said can fully explain the Newtown tragedy as some events are truly beyond the scope of human comprehension, but these ideas need to be explored--brought up at PTA and school board meetings, not just in the useless halls of Congress.  
And parents need to stop advocating responsibility for allowing so-called experts to pump their kids full of dangerous drugs mostly for convenience sake.
There are perhaps hundreds of causes for this type of violence, but the notions that just limiting guns, for example, or increasing mental health screening aren't going to get us anywhere. To understand how a human mind gets to that level of disease, perversion, dysfunction, and even pure evil if you will, is not an easy task, but we seem to be ignoring so many important aspects that desperately need to be explored.
*Writer/philospher Nassim Nicolas Taleb often uses the phrase "Harvard-Soviet" in his new book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. He is usually describing top-down academic or governmental policies designed to protect us from something that create more problems than they solve.
** Researcher Gary Null has written at length about the connection of psychiatric medication to school shootings.The 95% estimate is his projection.

1 comment:

  1. You make some very important points in the article. There is no doubt that gun control or mental evaluations for the purchase of guns will eliminate the horrific actions we are seeing in these school murders. Medications for mental health as well as physical problems are over prescribed by physicians and misused by patients. But if we are to be effective in ferreting out the cause of such behavior and attempting to remedy what society has created in these killers, we must discuss the issues in a very serious and rational way. There are medications that should not be given to some people, but in the same light, there are those that can bring the life back into others. Physical abnormalities in the natural chemical production of the human brain can cause that chemical production to be off balance. In such cases, temporary use of medications can and do help the body's production of the natural form found in our brains thus returning someone back to their before trauma state allowing them to stop the medications and maintain good mental health.

    The foods we eat, the lack of proper supervision for our children, violence in the media, and socio-economic conditions all play just as important roles in the mental health of the nation and the world. Just like one cannot treat a wound that keeps getting reopened, one cannot treat one or two symptoms if the others are still in force.

    What I have seen in the shooters has been a terrible loneliness, a feeling of being outcast, different, ignored, and alienated. I've seen it from their parents, from their peers, teachers, and other sources that should be nurturing and protective of them. Divorce, both parents working to make that almighty dollar when they should be home loving their children, video and internet interaction instead of physical real contact with others makes the real world seem virtual to some. They think you get up after you are killed to play again, though not consciously they start to believe they are invincible or that the attention they need can be derived from such noticeable behaviors as we've seen in these shootings.

    It will be the parents, the police, teachers, and other leaders who must make changes in how they see and interact with youth. Teaching civic responsibility because everyone must be responsible for themselves AND others around them to make a difference in these children who grow into murderers. They use to be able to look up to such people, to strive to be just like Dad or the cop that protects them from harm,now...Dad is gone, Mom works too, and the cops treat them like they are guilty until proven innocent. So they find themselves trying to be the most talked about mass murderer in history instead because that makes them important, valid, and unforgettable.
    Leaders today, politicians, sports personalities, and successful business people are bigger criminals than the criminals, they cheat, lie, steal blatantly.

    Make the video games more violent to get the attention of the consumer or rather their children, the target. Any wonder they see violence as a way to achieve what they need?

    ReplyDelete

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