Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

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dorothy de kok
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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by dorothy de kok » Tue 18 Dec 2012 15:34

Bagge wrote:
The mother (or any parent) of a (or any) child to be considering that all men (or women) are enemies and that none of them can be trusted would serve as an example of someone making dangerous and "sweeping statements".
Yep, I have to agree with you. 100%.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by Claudia » Tue 18 Dec 2012 16:01 ... -main-lead

The Backlash Against ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’

By Ruth Davis Konigsberg

A word of warning to any mother who writes about her child’s problems: you just might get blamed for them.

This lesson was made clear by the dramatic arc of a blog post by one Liza Long, who in describing the challenges of her seriously disturbed son garnered sympathy and praise for breaking the code of silence and shame around mental illness.

Long’s post went viral, but soon one observer, Sarah Kendzior, took the time to read Long’s entire blog and found some not entirely sympathetic statements from the beleaguered mom, like “I quit! Let the state take care of you and your compulsive inability to stop poking people.” Kendzior also noted that Long and her husband had been involved in a messy divorce, which, while not entirely germane to the question of how to handle a mentally ill child, did not exactly put Long in a favorable light.

It was all somehow reminiscent of the days, not so long ago, when mothers of schizophrenic and autistic children were routinely blamed by the medical profession for their child’s illness. Labeled “refrigerator moms,” these women were said to have caused the social withdrawal of the child with their lack of maternal warmth and attention. We still don’t know nearly enough about Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza’s psychiatric history, but we can be sure that his mother Nancy Lanza will, in this tradition, be scrutinized for what she did and didn’t do, should have or could have done.

Understanding this tendency, both in society and in ourselves, Long and Kendzior have already put their differences aside. In a joint statement, they proclaimed, “We are not interested in being part of a ‘mommy war.’ We are interested in opening a serious conversation on what can be done for families in need. Let’s work together and make our country better.”
Yeah, let's not look at the content of the message: the problem of addressing mental health in this country, the healthcare system, and the struggle of parents, usually the mothers, who are dealing with it. Let's attack the messenger to invalidate that message. Yeah, "ROFL," hysterically funny, absolutely freaking hilarious. Having walked in her shoes on that, my sides are splitting from laughing so hard.

CNN video interview with Liza Long, where she addresses the criticism and personal scrutiny as a result of her blog post after it went viral: ... tfront.cnn

And before she is attacked as a media whore, thoughtlessly looking for attention at the expense of her son:
CNN article that accompanies the video

Long, who says she's "kind of an introvert," hasn't owned a television set since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She didn't go looking for fame, but one viral blog post later, fame found her.
She began making the rounds at the television networks before dawn on Monday, appearing on NBC's "Today" show, then chatting with Diane Sawyer over at ABC and again with CNN's Erin Burnett. And then she put it all behind her, pleased that she was able to get the conversation started.
Maybe now someone will do some more digging and find out that she did in fact watch some TV while visiting at a neighbor's house or made a bitchy comment about network and cable news in the past.

edit: fixed CNN Liza Long interview link
Last edited by Claudia on Thu 20 Dec 2012 15:02, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by RitaA » Tue 18 Dec 2012 18:08


You're absolutely right about mothers historically being unjustifiably blamed for all sorts of things -- including schizophrenia and autism. It's easy to find fault, but not quite so easy to provide the support that these mothers and their children so desperately need.

I saw a very short clip of the interview by Erin Burnett last night, where Liza Long likened her blog entry to a "cry for help" and that was my initial impression when I first read it. Her fear, helplessness and frustration were what came across to me and no doubt many others as well. While I may disagree with some of her methods (i.e. using Adam Lanza's name and ultimately revealing the identity of her own son), Liza Long's raw emotions were very evident. I believe her blog entry was first and foremost her way of venting and even asking for much-needed support -- anonymously (at least initially). ... as-mother/

Before anyone starts assigning blame, we need to ask ourselves -- as a society and members of the world community -- whether Adam Lanza and his mother received all the support they needed along the way. I suspect the answer is "no", but that's pure speculation on my part.

Adam and Nancy Lanza also have surviving family members who are grieving their deaths while no doubt asking themselves what more they personally could have done to prevent this tragedy.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by Claudia » Tue 18 Dec 2012 18:42

Whatever the "truth" is about Liza Long as a person (who really are any of us from one moment to the next in our thoughts, feelings and actions? Most which are private and that we filter), that she was even able to come together with Sarah Kendzior in anyway is admirable in my opinion. I think that what Kendzior did to her was absolutely appalling.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by RitaA » Tue 18 Dec 2012 18:51

Claudia wrote:Whatever the "truth" is about Liza Long as a person (who really are any of us from one moment to the next in our thoughts, feelings and actions? Most which are private and that we filter), that she was even able to come together with Sarah Kendzior in anyway is admirable in my opinion. I think that what Kendzior did to her was absolutely appalling.
I agree. We need to build bridges -- not construct barriers that further isolate people -- and that's what these two women ultimately managed to do despite their differences.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by RitaA » Wed 19 Dec 2012 7:08

I found the following an educational read. I'm posting it in its entirety in case it becomes unavailable in the coming days/weeks/months: ... ?hpt=hp_t2
Predicting mass killings impossible

By Edward P. Mulvey, Special to CNN

updated 11:35 AM EST, Tue December 18, 2012

Editor's note: Edward P. Mulvey is a professor of psychiatry and director of the law and psychiatry program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

(CNN) -- The shooting of 26 innocent children and teachers in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, is more horrific than any of us can ever imagine. We ask, like many times before, how such a brutal and irrational act could have happened. Why would anyone do something like this?

President Barack Obama wants to take action; our neighbors want to take action. We all want to convince ourselves that the world has not gone mad. We want to find and address the core of the problem.

So we look hard for explanations. Some say evil has shown itself -- a simplistic salve. In our hearts, we know that the shooter, Adam Lanza, was not evil personified. We know at this point that he was a withdrawn, socially awkward young man, reportedly with Asperger's syndrome, living with his mother.

We would like to think that if only professionals could identify any shooters before they commit any violence, then we could prevent these tragedies. If they had been locked up, then they couldn't have killed anyone. Or if they had been forced to take their medicine, then they wouldn't have gotten to a point of no return. If we can find these people, keep guns away from them, restrict their civil liberties and monitor them closely enough, then we would have solved the problem.

This approach won't work. Hindsight is not foresight. The picture is much more complex than simply developing "profiles." Knowing this young man's profile wouldn't have told us how likely he was going to walk into a classroom and open fire.

<Opinion: After tragedy, don't obsess, heal gently>

There are a large number of withdrawn, socially awkward young men in our society; some have mental disorders and some don't. We simply cannot predict which ones will go on a shooting rampage. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack; you will probably only know where it is when it pricks your finger.

Of those who do have a mental disorder, few of them reach the level of extreme desperation that they want to die and hurt others (very dramatically) in the process. People fluctuate in how distraught or likely they are to commit violence, depending on either deterioration of their mental condition, or, like all of us do, in reaction to events in their lives (a disparaging remark from a co-worker, a lost romantic relationship, etc).

We cannot readily determine who might become so desperate as to see mass killings as reasonable. Striking out at others is often a combination of giving up mixed with rage. In one young man whom I knew, it could have gone either way. He walked in front of a train, but he could have as easily hurt many others to relieve his pain and despair.

Getting support and services to the people who matter to those with mental disorders is where the answer lies. We will only know what is happening in a troubled person's mind by talking to them regularly before they are desperate. The idea of identifying, ostracizing and restricting them is not only inhuman, but impossible. We need to embrace them as members of our community who are facing immense struggles.

But most people with mental disorders aren't in treatment. About 1 in 4 adults in the United States suffers from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year. We aren't, however, willing to invest the resources to provide ongoing outpatient care to them. Besides they may be afraid to reveal problems to professionals who seem out of touch with their lives.

Parents of disturbed, struggling children and adolescents need to know and talk to parents in similar situations. These parents know that they may get the telephone call at 2 a.m. with news of some tragic incident, and they need the support of others who understand what they are facing on a daily basis.

<Opinion: Get serious about mental health care>

Looking for individuals with mental illness and their parents only subverts what we all want -- to find out in advance about these incidents and to keep them from happening. By staying in touch with those who are suffering with mental disorder, we are in the best position to help them -- and their parents -- to forestall any possible slip into violence.
Edited to add:

Here's another perspective: ... le_sidebar
How a boy becomes a killer

By James Garbarino, Special to CNN

updated 2:33 PM EST, Wed December 19, 2012

Editor's note: James Garbarino is the author of "Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them" and is a professor of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago. He serves as an expert psychological witness in murder cases and is working on his next book, "I Listen To Killers."

(CNN) -- Twenty children and six adults killed in a town in Connecticut. Why? As someone who listens to killers as an expert psychological witness in murder cases, I have spent much of the last 20 years trying to understand how and why young men kill, maim and attack others.

Killings like those in Newtown, Connecticut; Aurora, Colorado; and Virginia Tech are always met with expressions of shock, anger and sadness. These are understandable first reactions, but in the long run they accomplish nothing.

So long as the discussion does not move beyond labeling these events "senseless violence," horrors such as these never move us closer to a place of deeper understanding. Greater understanding is crucial because understanding leads to more peace and less violence through preventive action. All the crime scene investigations in the world will not do this.

Although all our instincts urge us to dissociate from the killer, achieving better understanding requires us to put ourselves in his shoes no matter how frightening and distasteful that may be. I have done this over the past 20 years, and I have learned that it's the only way we can understand a fundamental truth: Although to the rest of us, the observers and the victims, extreme acts of violence seem "senseless," these murderous acts make sense to the shooters.

Masculinity, mental illness and guns: A lethal equation

This is true whether it's Adam Lanza in Newtown, Connecticut; James Holmes in Aurora, Colorado; Seung-Hui at Virginia Tech; Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris in Columbine, Colorado, and the many thousands of others who wage war against their society, either in the form of high-profile massacres or the daily grind of shootings around the country that barely make the local news.

How do we go about this process of "making sense," not as a way of excusing but as a path to understanding and preventing violence? We start by recognizing that many young Americans (and other young people around the world) develop and carry with them a kind of moral damage, which I have come to call "the war zone mentality."

However it develops, they grow up with a damaged sense of reality. They view the world as if they are soldiers confronting a hostile environment that they perceive to be full of enemies. Once they get fixated on this damaged world view, they may hatch the delusion that even teachers and young children are their enemies. For Adam Lanza, apparently even his mother was an enemy who had to be destroyed.

There is no one cause. It is as if they are building a tower of blocks, one by one, that can get so high it falls over, with innocent people dying. These building blocks can be found in a dangerous neighborhood or a school rife with bullying. They can be found through the Internet and mass media: the many, many web sites and videos that promote paranoid views of the world and validate violent action in retaliation.

<Thinking twice about violent video games>

They can be found in pervasive and intense playing of video games, the hands-on virtual violence that desensitizes young people to proxy killing. These games become a psychological pathway to real killing by dampening impulses of compassion and altruism.

They also come from a culture that supports access to lethal weapons: the crazy availability of guns like the Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle used by Adam Lanza that are, in effect, weapons of mass destruction when turned against children at school, or moviegoers in a theater or shoppers at a mall. These weapons have no place in civilian life.

But moral damage and a misperception of reality usually are not enough to lead to murder. The typical killer is emotionally damaged and has developed mental health problems, perhaps exacerbated by being bullied and rejected by peers, or abused and neglected at home. He might be suffering from profound sadness, depression, despair, self aggrandizement and narcissism.

The mental health problems that result from emotional damage require more, not less, social support, and not just from parents, who may be overwhelmed and ashamed of their offspring. The boys and young men can be socially isolated because their damage makes peers and the community turn away from them, and that only compounds their problems.

Couple deluded thinking and rage with the rationale of the war zone mentality, and the result can be a boy or young man ready to kill, sometimes with horribly spectacular results. But this is more commonly seen in the "routine" killings that I work with as a psychological expert witness in murder cases across the country.

<Opinion: Get serious about mental health care>

The crucial point is that even "crazy" people operate in a particular culture, a particular society, a particular time and place, and within a certain world view of how to manage your rage, your hurt, and your sadness. While not uniquely American (it has happened in recent years in Europe and the Middle East), the mass murder that took place in Newtown, Connecticut, is especially American.

Our socially toxic culture promotes paranoia, desensitization to violence, almost unlimited access to lethal weapons, opportunities to practice mass murder via realistic "point and shoot" video games and games that justify violence as a legitimate form of vengeance in pursuit of an individual's or group's idea of justice.

So what do we do? We can improve mental health services in schools and communities. Right now many parents are frustrated that there is nowhere to go with their troubled kids.

We can work harder at getting kids to share disturbing information with adults with the confident expectation that those adults will help not punish and stigmatize. We can get behind efforts to rid our country of semi-automatic weapons and prohibit high-capacity ammunition clips for any gun.

We can step up efforts to prevent kids from having access to the point-and-shoot violent video games. We can work harder at creating emotionally safe schools where bullying and rejection are antithetical to school spirit. One part of this is teaching boys that being compassionate and emotionally expressive is part of manhood in the 21st century.

If we don't help, there will be more dead and wounded. It has become an American phenomenon. Only by getting close to killers and finding out what we need to do to integrate troubled boys and young men into society do we have any hope of preventing more carnage.
Edited to add:

Here's more from the mental illness angle. Paul Steinberg isn't the only psychiatrist who believes that undiagnosed schizophrenia may have been involved: ... renia.html
Op-Ed Contributor

Our Failed Approach to Schizophrenia


Published: December 25, 2012


TOO many pendulums have swung in the wrong directions in the United States. I am not referring only to the bizarre all-or-nothing rhetoric around gun control, but to the swing in mental health care over the past 50 years: too little institutionalizing of teenagers and young adults (particularly men, generally more prone to violence) who have had a recent onset of schizophrenia; too little education about the public health impact of untreated mental illness; too few psychiatrists to talk about and treat severe mental disorders — even though the medications available in the past 15 to 20 years can be remarkably effective.

Instead we have too much concern about privacy, labeling and stereotyping, about the civil liberties of people who have horrifically distorted thinking. In our concern for the rights of people with mental illness, we have come to neglect the rights of ordinary Americans to be safe from the fear of being shot — at home and at schools, in movie theaters, houses of worship and shopping malls.

“Psychosis” — a loss of touch with reality — is an umbrella term, not unlike “fever.” As with fevers, there are many causes, from drugs and alcohol to head injuries and dementias. The most common source of severe psychosis in young adults is schizophrenia, a badly named disorder that, in the original Greek, means “split mind.” In fact, schizophrenia has nothing to do with multiple personality, a disorder that is usually caused by major repeated traumas in childhood. Schizophrenia is a physiological disorder caused by changes in the prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that is essential for language, abstract thinking and appropriate social behavior. This highly evolved brain area is weakened by stress, as often occurs in adolescence.

Psychiatrists and neurobiologists have observed biochemical changes and alterations in brain connections in patients with schizophrenia. For example, miscommunications between the prefrontal cortex and the language area in the temporal cortex may result in auditory hallucinations, as well as disorganized thoughts. When the voices become commands, all bets are off. The commands might insist, for example, that a person jump out of a window, even if he has no intention of dying, or grab a set of guns and kill people, without any sense that he is wreaking havoc. Additional symptoms include other distorted thinking, like the notion that something — even a spaceship, or a comic book character — is controlling one’s thoughts and actions.

Schizophrenia generally rears its head between the ages of 15 and 24, with a slightly later age for females. Early signs may include being a quirky loner — often mistaken for Asperger’s syndrome — but acute signs and symptoms do not appear until adolescence or young adulthood.

People with schizophrenia are unaware of how strange their thinking is and do not seek out treatment. At Virginia Tech, where Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people in a rampage shooting in 2007, professors knew something was terribly wrong, but he was not hospitalized for long enough to get well. The parents and community-college classmates of Jared L. Loughner, who killed 6 people and shot and injured 13 others (including a member of Congress) in 2011, did not know where to turn. We may never know with certainty what demons tormented Adam Lanza, who slaughtered 26 people at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, though his acts strongly suggest undiagnosed schizophrenia.

I write this despite the so-called Goldwater Rule, an ethical standard the American Psychiatric Association adopted in the 1970s that directs psychiatrists not to comment on someone’s mental state if they have not examined him and gotten permission to discuss his case. It has had a chilling effect. After mass murders, our airwaves are filled with unfounded speculations about video games, our culture of hedonism and our loss of religious faith, while psychiatrists, the ones who know the most about severe mental illness, are largely marginalized.

Severely ill people like Mr. Lanza fall through the cracks, in part because school counselors are more familiar with anxiety and depression than with psychosis. Hospitalizations for acute onset of schizophrenia have been shortened to the point of absurdity. Insurance companies and families try to get patients out of hospitals as quickly as possible because of the prohibitively high cost of care.

As documented by writers like the law professor Elyn R. Saks, author of the memoir “The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness,” medication and treatment work. The vast majority of people with schizophrenia, treated or untreated, are not violent, though they are more likely than others to commit violent crimes. When treated with medication after a rampage, many perpetrators who have shown signs of schizophrenia — including John Lennon’s killer and Ronald Reagan’s would-be assassin — have recognized the heinousness of their actions and expressed deep remorse.

It takes a village to stop a rampage. We need reasonable controls on semiautomatic weapons; criminal penalties for those who sell weapons to people with clear signs of psychosis; greater insurance coverage and capacity at private and public hospitals for lengthier care for patients with schizophrenia; intense public education about how to deal with schizophrenia; greater willingness to seek involuntary commitment of those who pose a threat to themselves or others; and greater incentives for psychiatrists (and other mental health professionals) to treat the disorder, rather than less dangerous conditions.

Too many people with acute schizophrenia have gone untreated. There have been too many Glocks, too many kids and adults cut down in their prime. Enough already.

Paul Steinberg is a psychiatrist in private practice.
Last edited by RitaA on Sat 29 Dec 2012 0:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by Claudia » Thu 20 Dec 2012 15:49

RitaA wrote:
I saw a very short clip of the interview by Erin Burnett last night ...
Rita, I found the video of the longer interview with Liza Long (but still not the entire piece) and edited this link into my post above, but want to point it out to you in case you wanted to see this fuller version where she addresses many of the specific personal criticisms and misinformation that have circulated as a result of her blog and viral post. ... tfront.cnn

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by RitaA » Thu 20 Dec 2012 23:29


Thanks very much for posting the link and pointing it out to me. I think it's a good interview, and that Liza Long did a good job of explaining her position. The fact that her son is supportive of her decision to post that blog entry -- in the hope that it may help other families who are also struggling -- was especially good to hear.

While I was initially trying to post this comment, our power went out (thankfully just briefly). With the big storm moving across much of the U.S., I just hope you folks (and especially those who were impacted by Superstorm Sandy) are spared any more power outages. You've had more than your share of challenges to deal with for one year.

Take care,


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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by Claudia » Mon 24 Dec 2012 14:56

rlstanley wrote:
Brownells, World's Largest Firearms Supplier, Sells 3.5 Years Worth Of AR-15 Magazines In 3 Days
Posted: 12/23/2012 3:31 pm EST

Gun and ammunition sales continue to soar in the days following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left six adults and 20 children dead.

Brownells, the world's largest supplier of firearm accessories and supplies, released a statement on a forum for gun enthusiasts, apologizing for the delay in fulfilling orders of assault weapon magazines, explaining that the company had experienced "unprecedented" demand for AR-15 ammunition magazines in the last three days.

Brownells' president Pete Brownell wrote on that the company has sold about 3.5 years worth of magazines in 72 hours, adding that the company is "working like crazy to get these orders to [customers] as quickly as possible." Corpus noted that Brownells' 30- and 20-round magazines are selling quickly, and they've had to order more materials to keep up with the production demand.

In the days following the shooting, gun sales have risen dramatically. Paul Marquardt, owner of ArmsX, a Connecticut-based gun store near Sandy Hook Elementary, told The Huffington Post that the wait-time on the day after the shooting for a background check was nearly an hour -- the longest wait-time he’s ever seen.

The AR-15 style rifle, a weapon of choice in both the Aurora theater shooting and the most recent shooting in Newtown, accounted for more than 25 percent of ArmsX’s recent sales, he said.

The "threat of regulation has dramatically upset the normal flow of production and distribution," according to, and gun enthusiasts are continuing to purchase assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition while they can. ... 56286.html

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Re: Thoroughly disgusted with violence in US

Post by RitaA » Mon 24 Dec 2012 18:03

Claudia wrote:
It sure is. So is this: ... index.html
2 firefighters shot, killed while battling New York blaze

By Catherine E. Shoichet and Chuck Johnston, CNN
updated 12:03 PM EST, Mon December 24, 2012

(CNN) -- At least two firefighters were shot and killed at the scene of a fire that engulfed multiple houses in upstate New York on Monday, police said.

Doctors treated two other firefighters for gunshot wounds, police in Webster, New York, told reporters.

Authorities believe one or more shooters took aim at the firefighters after they left their vehicles, Police Chief Gerald Pickering said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described it as a "horrific shooting" and a "senseless act of violence."

"Volunteer firefighters and police officers were injured and two were taken from us as they once again answered the call of duty," he said in a statement.
It's as if the lowest of the low are trying to outdo one another.

This is bloody ridiculous!

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