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Connecticut shooting: It is time for “people control”

President Bush designated the 1990s as the Decade of the Brain: “to enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research” through “appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.” Thirteen years after the decade of the brain, the public is now aware that brain function is impaired in mental illness (including psychopathy) and addiction. Research has uncovered the brain regions involved in mental illnesses (including psychopathy) and addiction and the mechanism of action of many helpful medications.

Now this may still be difficult for some people to comprehend but, I say categorically that, “a 20 year old male who kills his mother, several other women and 20 five year old children does not have a normal brain.” I also ask, “when are our laws regarding mental illness going to catch up with our scientific knowledge of same?”

In the wake of the Newtown elementary school shootings, news commentators are talking about gun control and I claim no specific expertise in that matter. However it would be terrible if we didn’t take this time to also think about the problem of “civil rights” and mental illness. We need to institute “people control” in addition to gun control.

Many mental illnesses start in early adulthood, a time when young people are still financially and emotionally dependent on their families. Parents have no real power to compel a teenager into treatment much less a dependent young adult. The most parents can do is to expel the mentally ill teen or adult child from the home. What good does that do? Parents are rendered powerless by the government to help society and their children.

Doesn’t it seem logical that a dependent young person who has a brain problem severe enough to prevent self-care should be required to adhere to the decision making of parents who provide care? As current law stands, family members are not even allowed information about the dependent’s condition if they are in treatment. Does that make sense?

Empowering families also means accountability and education. If you have a mentally ill family member and you own weapons it is your responsibility to keep those weapons away from the mentally ill person.

Clearly the realities of family life no longer dictate that an individual member’s rights be considered in a vacuum. Sure “the right to refuse treatment” sounds good in theory but in practice it leads to suicide, murder and homelessness. Speaking of the homeless, many receive SSI or Social Security Disability. They are dependents of the state. Shouldn’t we all then have an interest in their treatment and possible return to productivity? Does it make sense for us to pay them to remain mentally ill, addicted and homeless?

Psychopathy is a mental illness that may manifest at any point from childhood through emergent adulthood. Furthermore, the individual symptoms of psychopathy as described by the psychopathy checklist contribute to crime and all forms of aggression. It is time we tackle psychopathy at all levels of severity as a mental health issue. Tackling it means treatment, public education and the empowerment of families to intervene. There is emerging evidence that treatment can lessen the severity of the condition. Supervision does reduce aggression and crime.

I have repeatedly said that psychopathic individuals could not do what they do without the help of their families. The Newtown school shooting is no exception to this because although the perpetrator killed his mother, the guns he used to kill legally belonged to her. He clearly should not have had access to weapons. We have yet to know the full extent of the mother’s lack of judgement when it came to her son’s disorder. But our laws and attitudes toward mentally ill individuals including those with psychopathy do not facilitate family education or responsibility.

In summary, since mental illness including psychopathy impairs judgement, creates dependency and predisposes to violence, mentally ill individuals should not have a blanket right to refuse treatment. The current criteria for compelled treatment are too restrictive. Families should be empowered to take both control and responsibility for the problems caused by mental illnesses including psychopathy.

See also Civil Commitment of Sociopaths, an article I wrote in 2010.


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Aquaman

Hi:

We have to remember you cannot label all individuals that have some type of a Mental Health Condition.
Yes it is easy to say yes ban them all.
The real problem is the lack of federal laws regarding the safe storage of firearms and ammunition. As well restricting assault type long arms.
In Canada, all firearms must be secured in a lock firearms approved storage unit, with ammunition clips remove and trigger locks place on each firearm. Then the ammunition of the firearms must be stored in a secured container, separate from the firearms.
The owner of these firearms are then responsible of the keys, etc. to access these firearms and ammunition.
A firearm when not in use must be securedly stored.
Transporting a firearm(s) must be done using a secured unit and placed in the rear of the vehicle (trunk).
Plus all firearm owners, prior to obtaining a first firearm, must attend and pass an accredited Firearms Course. A firearm owner is also responsible to let an individual use a firearm who has not passed an accredited Firearms Course
All firearm owners need to be held accountable.
The first ammendment stated a “trained militia” is this not the military.
Remember we are not living in the days of the “American Revolution”.
If citizens have the right to bear arms, then the Federal Governament then has the power to pass laws regulating firearms.
Lastly, any firearm that is classified as a restricted firearm, then all those type of firearms presently owned must be surrender to the proper authorities.
With all the past incidents of the shooting of innocent individuals, has not been properly addressed, regarding as to the safe storage of such firearms.
The U.S. Senate and Congress must pass the appropriate laws to protect all citizens of the United States, if not, then they become liable for not doing such.
God bless “Newtown”.

20years

kmillercats,

to clarify, I didn’t mean that anyone on Lovefraud had “demonized” the mother, but this is certainly going on in the media.

It’s a very hard thing…. all of the facts in this particular case are not made public yet, and yet all of this speculating is going on. I keep thinking, this is not a hypothetical situation — these are real human beings and of course it is affecting many people who do not know them personally, but it is still, in a way, gossip.

But the situation itself can be generalized, I think, and talk about any common factors to these types of things.

It’s just that, in this particular case, there’s a lot we don’t know yet. Even, whether or not this boy was “troubled” (whatever that means). I just mean, a special needs child can BE a lot of trouble (or work, or a challenge), without actually being “troubled.” These are things we do not actually KNOW.

JohnZane

Punishment vs Preventive care is the real issue at hand. Our society has for too long relied on the former, and ignored the latter, calling into question the effectiveness of either to stop murders. The complexity of the problem cannot be overstated, yet experts are now coming forward to present hard findings pointing to childhood neglect, and abuse, as the trigger for violent behavior lying dormant in children needing immediate attention, even as newborns. The stigma of mental illness is blamed for parents refusing to bring such behavior to the attention of doctors, who invariably prescribe powerful drugs, not to cure, but to sedate the child, and in effect, “kick the can” down to the next health provider. Advancement in the fields of psychology and brain studies have provided hope in the prevention and treatment of violent behavior, and though Obamacare includes provisions for mental health care, it is not, as yet, funded.

Instead of rallying behind a near hopeless effort to ban assault weapons, which according to the most recent findings of the last ten year ban (expired) had no measurable effect on gun related crimes, we should be calling for more mental health care, more public awareness to combat the stigma (as was done for autism), and of course, more funding.

Fear is the enemy of reason, let’s not lose our heads to broken hearts. The fear of punishment is lost on the mentally disturbed.

Ox Drover

John Zane, you said “The fear of punishment is lost on the mentally disturbed. ” You are right in many ways.

The psychopath doesn’t fear prison or probation or parole….s/he ignores the rules. 60% of all parolees commit new felonies within 3 years of release. Psychopaths commit 70-80% of all violent crime. 75% of all Domestic abusers are psychopaths.

Incarcerating these people keeps crime on the street down. Unfortunately 90+ percent of all inmates will be released eventually.

Right now we have the highest rate of incarceration per capita, over 2 million inmates, and 5+ million on parole/probation BUT CRIME RATES of all kinds are actually DOWN. So you know, it seems to me with more psychopaths in prison AND crime is down, there may be some correlation there.

Lock’em up and throw away the key is my solution when they have proven themselves violent.

Truthspeak

OxD, I agree. This is the time to discuss options on addressing mental illness, HIPPA laws, and how to educate people on mental illness and remove the STIGMA. I do not believe that now is the time to debate gun control. The community of Newtown is just beginning the arduous task of processing what happened, and the Nation, as a whole, is still too raw to even approach the issue.

If sociopathic criminals are, as OxD suggested, removed from society and disallowed a return to the society that they harmed, it takes one more variable out of the equation.

Spath Island. Give them produce seeds, a couple of head of livestock, and let them sort it out amongst themselves. Even IF there were a means to escape from the island, it would be at a risk of life and limb – often, the very things that the spaths have taken from their victims.

Harsh? Yeah, it is. Sensible? Yepper – no cost to house or guard them.

Brightest blessings

Sarah999

I believe P/S/N/A’s is not a mental disturbance (such as schizophrenia & autism etc). P/S/N/A’s are lacking a conscience. I believe they “become” mentally disturbed when they’re pumped with psychotropic drugs. We are animals, and N/P/S/A’s don’t feel that anything is wrong with them, just like sharks or lions don’t feel anything is wrong with them when they kill, i.e., animals have no conscience . . which serves their purpose. This lack of conscience is very useful for P/N/S/A’s also. It helps them get what they want . . . power, control & sex.
So our challenge on a very basic level is two fold:
1) how to recognize those people who have no conscience and
2) what to do about it.
Psychotropic drugs (IMHO) makes it worse (because it confounds the problem).

Truthspeak

Sarah999, I am in complete agreement that, since those “disorders” cannot be treated with any allopathic drugs, surgery, or spiritually epiphany that it may be termed “disordered,” but is clearly a CONDITION.

And, yes……prescribed and illegal medications can only exacerbate their behaviors. UGH….what to do?

Live in a cave, I guess.

Brightest blessings

Ox Drover

Since there is no blood test that can distinguish psychopathic people from “typical” people we as a society have a problem.

That problem is that these people roam around in our society and manipulate other members of society for their own purposes.

Some of these people violate moral and social laws but do not violate criminal laws, or they violate the lower level of the criminal laws. Even still, the social and emotional damage they do to those in which they come into contact is painful to those victims.

Some of these people with no or a low level of conscience commit crimes for which sanctions such as probation, jail, prison or fines are ordained by the criminal justice system. Even those who have committed very violent crimes are usually eventually released back into society after spending long period of time being kept away from normal society. They have usually had little or no rehabilitation training, job training or moral or social training. The system encourages their relatives to take them back into their homes so the state doesn’t have to put them into a half way house which is funded with tax dollars, but only a small proportion of inmates released on parole don’t get convicted of another felony within 3 years….and during that time from release to reconviction they have been within the family doing WHAT? Setting an example for their kids? Going to PTA meetings and Boy Scout camp outs with their kids? Not likely!@ SNORT!!! Most likely they have been drinking, drugging beating the old lady, smacking the kids around and figuring out how to keep their parole officer happy without actually doing what he says…like looking for a job.

janmc

Thank you, Lianne for your post and all the comments that support the need for changes!
While there is the fact that “predicting” violence is fallible, it is known that “oddities” in behavior are obvious and young children can identify classmates with “odd behaviors”. Not all odd children are “ill”, but certainly all should be able to meet a range of normal cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. Development that is not within a normal range should be a flag!
The health system including behavioral health have to honor the rights “to refuse treatment” and non compliance with tx is a huge problem. And, seriously mentally ill persons are not quite capable of managing their own care. One can lock up someone for 3 days …but that is a band aid on a huge wound.
I, too, have been quite surprised by parents who balked at securing sharps, weapons in the house with children, especially those undergoing mental health tx. I am saying this from past experience as a provider; certainly have no insight into this recent, horrible tragedy.
The schools can provide support system in educational needs and do their best to educate and protect our young citizens.
Guns don’t kill, but people do.
The multi system approach will need changes: laws, supportive law enforcement, health/behavioral health, and family/community action support including persuading the media to curtail violence aimed at children/teens as “entertainment”.
We, the people, need to stand and demand that there be changes on all levels.
Sending prayers to all victims and their families and for the enlightenment of our culture to enact ways to have the courage to demand changes to promote healthy families and stress prevention.

Ox Drover

Oh,, a point I meant to make before I went off on the RANT was that “TYPHOID MARY” used to be a food service worker who had been identified as a CARRIER of the dreaded TYPHOID which could kill thousands of people.

Mary was told NOT TO WORK AROUND FOOD but she repeatedly did get jobs in cafeterias and working serving food so finally she was locked up because she was a DANGER to society.

From Wiki

Mary Mallon (September 23, 1869 ”“ November 11, 1938), better known as Typhoid Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as an asymptomatic carrier of the pathogen associated with typhoid fever. She was presumed to have infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook.[1] She was forcibly isolated twice by public health authorities and died after a total of nearly three decades in isolation.

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