Correlation vs. Cause. When a lunatic shoots up a community, invariably said loon will utter contemporaneous words or ideas that may be interpreted as providing the bases for why the shooting spree occurred. He (it’s usually a he which is the subject of additional discussion) might during the course of said mayhem mention race, age and/or politics. He me have lost a job and blamed the government or heard voices. A host of seemingly baseless explications will be provided and such is the frequent accompaniment to mental illness. Insane behavior is just that: insane.
It ain’t about guns. And what you must do is reject the idiocy that’s being promoted that it was due – in this latest case involving a person whose name I shan’t deign to mention – to misogyny or that it was caused because of or through the complicity of the NRA, the gun lobby, the gun industry, the Second Amendment, Tea Party or any like constituency.
He’s loco, not parentis. (Admittedly the worst pun.) And we mustn’t blame parents or the authorities because notwithstanding what now seems to be insane behavior, especially as it accompanied murder, there’s no law against acting weird or saying weird things. There’s no commitment that’s warranted or involuntary hospitalization that’s available merely because someone is acting daft. If that were the case, most of talk radio would be shuttered.
Big Pharma and Ted Baxter as codefendants. But whom we can blame, at least when the next glory-seeking lunatic wants his piece of the fame pie, are the media who promote and herald and elevate these monsters through a publicity frenzy and apotheosis. They are playing into the psyche of the next piteous and vapid shell of a person who figures he can finally make the big time. At least posthumously. And though we’ve yet to sift through the strata of culpability and complicity, don’t be surprised if the homicidal nutcase was either off of or taking or weaning from SSRIs or the psychotropic and psych med of your choice. History is replete with evidentiary and anecdotal testimony of shooters who were on or coming off a pharmacopeia smorgasbord of mental meds. And what may be the irony of ironies — a popular side effect (or effect) of these antidepressant drugs is suicide and its evil twin, murder-suicide.