The Newtown massacre: We need nut control, not gun control
WARNING! This article contains a shocking photo of a war crime victim that is not suitable for all readers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Many people are wondering, “Why did Adam Lanza go postal?” Eager to fill in the blanks, Fox News interrupted their almost nonstop stream of mesothelioma and gold commercials to report that he “may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility.”
That appears to be unconfirmed hearsay, but it is plausible. When I was a kid, a similar situation instantly put my Mom out of work so she went from a legal secretary struggling to pay her bills to a welfare recipient—not for long, but long enough to give me a firsthand glimpse (not hearsay) of what it's like to be on the receiving end of tax dollars. Contrary to what the welfare-hating half of the political spectrum often believes, it was light-years away from the “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” lifestyle imagined by some folks after hearing about Star Parker's book, Pimps, Whores and Welfare Brats: From Welfare Cheat to Conservative Messenger.
What triggered that transformation? A trigger, pulled by the son of my Mom's boss, a prominent attorney in Oakland County, Michigan back in the days it was really loaded with money, not much of which my Mom took home. The boss went from living in a home with gold tiles in its bathroom to a casket after his son, fearing an impending psychiatric commitment my Mom said was initiated by his father, shotgunned him and his mother to death. That sealed his fate, leading to a longer commitment than he anticipated (take note you criminals who think you're smarter than the police!), and it sealed ours, too: from meager paychecks to nothing. Single mother, father nowhere to be found until he turned up dead—you do the math.
This was how my family ended up on welfare, and how I ended up being physically abused by a seething, sadistic welfare worker with an axe to grind against people who gave her a job. My Mom had worked nonstop and paid taxes from the age of 17, often two and even three jobs. Consequently, she was gone so much I had the freedom to raise myself for the most part—and let me tell you, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. One day I traveled on my bicycle, equipped with training wheels, to a distant city all by myself, and another day I cashed in my coin collection to eat hamburgers in a restaurant that strangely never asked why a kid not yet in kindergarten was eating without an adult. In sixth grade, I camped in a distant state park with a friend during the winter, woke up freezing and hungry (we didn't bring food), and walked ten miles to the nearest restaurant and struggled to figure out what I could order with the little money I had.
Things are different these days. A young child dining without an adult would prompt immediate attention from “the authorities,” but now they too often look the other way until someone is dead.
Judging by what Dr. Keith Ablow said on Fox News after the Newtown massacre, he seems exasperated by ER physicians who do not understand when many mentally ill patients require immediate hospitalization if they are a danger to themselves or others. From what he said, some docs are so daffy they think if the patient is OK that minute, they're safe to go home. Nuts.
I committed many people in my years as an ER doctor. To put it colloquially, nuts often don't understand how nutty they are, and thus how dangerous they may be to themselves or others not just that minute, but in the near future, too.
100% of the ones I wanted hospitalized were hospitalized even though a tiny fraction initially agreed—nuts just wanna be free and do nutty things. I explained to the ones I wished to admit but initially resisted that I had the power to commit anyone, against their will if necessary (involuntary commitment), so they were coming in, period.
Most then understood they weren't going home, so they agreed to enter voluntarily for psychiatric treatment. For the ones who refused, I filled out papers ordering their involuntary commitment. Some escaped before commitment (emergency departments can be very chaotic places), so I'd ask the police to bring the patients back to the hospital. Most police immediately agreed, but I had to remind one department that I could issue orders they were compelled to obey. In that case, I think the police were unduly influenced by the appearance of the patient, who looked like a hot soccer mom. Yes, but some hot babes are ticking time bombs—such as one of my ex-“friends” on Facebook, who spoke of shooting another Member of Congress and others circa the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. That's what I call the polar opposite of sanity.
I met a boatload of psychopaths in my ER career along with countless patients with lesser degrees of mental pathology that still made them a danger to themselves or others, so they all were hospitalized. I suspect that when people dig into the past of the Newtown shooter, we will learn of red flags that were ignored (see below), possibly by professionals. I had a sixth sense for detecting dangerous people—essentially a radar for people with a screw loose who thought they'd feel better if they loosened another screw. They'd say something screwy, and I'd focus on that like a hawk.
Were red flags missed?
A woman who babysat Adam Lanza when he was 9 or 10 said, “His mom Nancy had always instructed me to keep an eye on him at all times, never turn my back or even go to the bathroom or anything like that. Which I found odd …”
What I find really odd is why his mother would keep guns in the same home as a lunatic so unpredictable that he required constant monitoring. No gun safe is perfectly safe; at best, it just slows access to guns, which is meaningless when another family member has days, weeks, and even years to get inside.
Adam Lanza “communicated with [his mother] only via email. … She was not allowed to enter his room. ” … Nancy Lanza “wanted to buy [Adam] a CZ 83 pistol for Christmas … [but] he would not allow his mother to put up a Christmas tree..”
Deinstitutionalization was intended to be compassionate, but when compassion meets reality, reality wins. I've met people who said they were happier in psychiatric institutions, such as the Traverse City State Hospital that has since been turned into upscale shops, restaurants, and housing. Many of its patients are now on the streets, struggling to survive. Life is tough enough for everyone; imagine how difficult it must be for those with profound mental illness.
We need nut control, not gun control
“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.”
All of the guns in this shooting were reportedly legally purchased and registered by one of the victims: the shooter's mother. Gun control cannot keep guns out of the hands of family members; a person determined to get them will get them, unless the person is a real idiot. Even if they were stored in a gun safe with a hidden key or combination, anyone with access to the right tools could cut through it like butter in less than a minute. Shall we ban all tools, too? I can use tools to make other tools. Gee whiz, I could easily make a simple device that could silently slice through a gun safe. Should we outlaw all the parts used to make that device? If so, you'd better get used to living in the Stone Age. Even police cannot always safely use guns. Example: The “71-year-old newspaper delivery woman shot by authorities on the hunt for ex-cop Christopher Dorner.” She looks nothing like him, but trigger-happy cops pumped lead into her and another woman. “Following the shooting of the two women, Torrance police similarly opened fire nearby after seeing a truck matching the description of Dorner's.”
Let's face it: gun control might be a good idea if it could keep guns out of the hands of criminals and nuts, but they couldn't give a hoot about obeying laws, and when their crazy inner demons tell them to go on the warpath, nothing will stop them—except someone like me.
So how could we prevent such tragedies? I'll give you the solution but tell you that no one will go along with it because after every such shooting, people lament the lack of a way to prevent similar occurrences but soon forget about the problem until the next time a nut scratches his itch to be nutty.
What we should do is pay doctors like me to ferret out nuts before they go postal. I have a gift for it, but as Dr. Ablow said, not all physicians do. So pay me very well and give me the freedom to uncover kooks before they explode. I've done it before and I could do it again, but I wouldn't work again as an ER doctor unless I were paid like a king, or billions less than some folks who get rich without contributing much of value to society.
Emergency departments are not the ideal place to screen for people who want to go postal because they're filled with too many patients with heart attacks, strokes, seizures, gunshot wounds, the common cold, warts, and everything from A to Z—I've seen it all, including children mangled in ways that make gunshot wounds look minor.
To find more nuts in time, docs would need to mingle with the masses. That may not be very cost effective, depending on how much you value life (read this to understand how priceless your life is), but I have a way to make it pay for itself, which you can find buried in an article about my nightmarish experience with objective tinnitus that I connect in a surprising way to the deaths of auto tycoons, the wife of President Chester Alan Arthur (a relative of mine), actress Nicole DeHuff, a distant friend I'd lost contact with, and two stunningly beautiful college students—not friends; the friends I keep in contact with don't die 65 years too early from easily preventable diseases. The nexus between their deaths just might save your life or the lives of loved ones, so you might want to read that article, unless you have something better to do. Die too early, perhaps?
I have a prediction: Fox News always finds time to feature hot embryos with big mouths, but one reason I went from Fox News fan to fed-up foe is because the air time given to the foxes takes time away from people like me who solve problems. Very rich, very smart people pay me to think of solutions to problems, but it will take years for them to absorb even 10% of my ideas, and I doubt they will ever be interested in solving any such societal problem.
However, Bill O'Reilly professes to care about “the folks,” so he should be eager to help me pressure the government from throwing piles of gold to stop a few foreign terrorists when that money would be better spent thwarting domestic terrorists who leave them in the dust in terms of body count. This is clearly a grave problem (no pun intended), so anyone with a solution should be heard. But will O'Reilly listen? Or anyone at Fox News? Not when there are hot young women to feature as eye candy. It's called priorities.
Perhaps I am overly cynical about this, and perhaps I am wrong, but I don't possess the qualifications that Fox News seems to value above all else (including 20 dead schoolchildren, as in the Newtown massacre): I'm not beautiful, I don't have long legs, and I'm not egotistical enough to accept FNC invitations even when I have nothing to say that hasn't already been better said by countless people.
Now I have something truly worth hearing about, but there is always someone more attractive than me with nothing worthwhile to say**. And Fox News is happy to put them in the limelight they feel entitled to, not because they're brilliant with novel ideas worth considering, but because they're hot. Thinking that hot bodies are better than hot ideas is worse than spin; it is one of the cancers destroying America.
** When asked if schools should have armed guards, Mallory Hagan (now Miss America) replied, “I don't think the proper was to fight violence is with violence. I think the proper way is to educate people on guns and the ways we can use them properly. We can lock them up, we can have gun safety classes, we can have a longer waiting period.”
How might her advice work in the real world?
Would gun education have stopped Adam Lanza? No. He was determined to use them improperly. Safety was the last thing on his deranged mind.
Would locking up guns have stopped Adam Lanza? No. Give me a minute and I could breach any gun safe; give me more time and I could do it silently.
Would “a longer waiting period” have stopped Adam Lanza? No. He didn't buy the guns; he stole them, as many criminals do. Following laws is not high on their list of priorities. Duh.
In the real world, it is often necessary to fight violence with violence. That's why military personnel and police officers are armed. It's also why President Clinton and other U.S. leaders funded the COPS in Schools program
We're told that beauty pageants focus on more than beauty. Indeed they do; they put political correctness on a pedestal, too. However, no law can keep deadly weapons out of the hands of nuts determined to kill because almost anything can be turned into a deadly weapon, including sleek and sexy cars or hideously ugly SUVs. Had Lanza grabbed the keys to one, he could have driven it on the playground and mowed down considerably more kids than he shot, even if he had driver education on the proper use of automobiles and they were stored in secure garages.
America's downfall is multifactorial, but one reason is that too many people live in la-la land and prefer feel-good solutions to ones that work. The reality is that crazy, evil people cannot safely live amongst us—thinking they can is itself crazy. Adam Lanza exhibited red flags long before he went postal, but his overly indulgent mother put up with his nuttiness too long, and she likely made the same mistake my Mom's boss made: telling the nut he was headed for the nuthouse.
In my various books and websites I mentioned a few relevant cases, including one in which I may very well have saved the life of Michael Jackson. In every case in which I felt the need to dig deeper and elicit information, I uncovered evidence confirming my hunch that the suspect nut was indeed a danger to himself or others.
The United States burns trillions of dollars funding agencies, such as TSA, that do little or nothing to make us safer—TSA's primary mission seems to be teaching us to obey a government obsessed with eroding our freedoms. Our government pushes flu shots out of an ostensible fear of germs, yet they don't have TSA agents change gloves after patting someone down or pawing the dirty underwear in the luggage of one traveler before touching the toothbrush of the next. And the sheeple get on their knees and let the government tighten the noose ever more in their relentless war on freedom.
Imagine if your doctor touched the dirty underwear of another patient and then touched the toothbrush that went into your mouth. You might sue him, fire him, or punch him, but you certainly would not keep quiet—nor should you. What ethical principle explains why it is wrong for doctors or restaurants to expose you to germs by using careless practices but not the government? Because they're big and almighty? Because they can do anything they want and get away with it? The TSA's unconscionable disregard of germs manifests the government's contempt for us. Countless stories corroborate that opinion; I mentioned some in TSA: Stop wasting our time and do your job before the terrorists do theirs and Former Director admits TSA is violating the Fourth Amendment / Woman groped by TSA screener.
Even self-professed patriots such as O'Reilly think our military is superbly defending us even though they turn a blind eye to the real threats to our freedoms: our government and homegrown miscreants: all made in the USA, and all vastly more dangerous to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness than al-Qaeda, which has a snowball's chance in hell of revoking your freedom to live as you want—something our government does proudly, thinking it's all in a day's work.
Domestic terrorists, criminals, and nut cases kill considerably more people (including my father) than the TSA saves by “protecting” us, but what they really do is harass us. TSA agents could be replaced by Girl Scouts selling cookies with little or no added risk. Yet year after year, evil people go on deadly rampages, but the government that loves to throw money at problems won't throw a dime at this one. Instead, it's just silence or gun control from the government that loves freedom control. That's nuts.
America has more guns than ever yet the homicide is less than half of what it was decades ago when school shootings were unheard of. The 2010 homicide rate fell to the lowest in four decades, according to the United States Department of Justice. The 2011 homicide rate was even lower, following a trend of decreasing violent and other crimes suggesting the United States as a whole is becoming more civilized. Why are school and workplace shootings increasing while the homicide rate is falling? I'll address that topic in a separate article.
If gun control worked, it would have made Washington DC and Chicago safe. They have very restrictive gun laws but crimes rates considerably above the Wild West. One of Chicago's latest victims is Hadiya Pendleton, a bright 15-year-old who performed in President Obama's reinauguration festivities. Fewer Coalition troops were killed in Afghanistan than Chicago in 2012.
Cracking down on guns didn't help Chicago, but cracking down on gangs would. Chicago could implement a program similar to the one Detroit effectively used (STRESS: Stop the Robberies, Enjoy Safe Streets) to decrease crime until it was ended by Mayor Coleman Young, who “spent his 20-year tenure playing the politics of retribution,” according to Time magazine.
Young reportedly had “disdain for "pansy ass liberals," Walter Ruether, the white suburban media, the FBI, and the federal government.” And a remarkably effective way to control crime that could have saved the lives of many people, including a student who left the medical library 15 minutes before I did, resulting in a crime that wiped out his entire family. STRESS disguised officers as little old ladies and other harmless folks, giving fits to muggers who quickly learned that their next victim might be an armed police officer who could defend himself, using deadly force if necessary. That reduced the stress level of law-abiding citizens. Any city serious about reducing crime should institute a similar program instead of putting their hopes in gun control that doesn't work, as Chicago has proven.
Gun control also did not prevent the Fort Hood shooting in which Major Nidal Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 32 others, or the Quantico Marine base murder-suicide. Military bases have extremely strict gun regulations, as does Russia and various Eastern European nations that have murder rates substantially above the United States. Gun laws in Mexico are positively oppressive but its murder rate is positively shocking. Brazil “bans guns” but “tops the global list for gun murders.” It must be all those hot bikini-clad women driving men crazy!
What's the difference? The guns? No. The laws? Not enough to account for the difference; there is little correlation between laws and compliance. The difference is the people, their culture, their problems, and the way they mistreat their bodies and minds. Pass another gun law—are the people changed? Their culture? Their problems? Their lifestyles, booze, drugs, and crummy diets? No, no, no, no, no, no, and no. So will another gun law work? No.
Gayle Trotter of the Independent Women’s Forum testified before Congress that high-capacity magazines give women “a fighting chance even against multiple attackers” and that “guns make women safer because they eliminate the advantage violent criminals might have in size and strength.” She's correct.
Dana Sherne wrote an article, Adam Lanza Wouldn't Have Been Stopped by Stricter Gun Control Laws. I agree. Even if President Obama could snap his fingers and cause all guns in America to vanish, people who wanted to kill could choose even deadlier weapons that cannot be banned, like water.
Water? Yes. Ever hear of electrolysis? That dissociates water into hydrogen and oxygen gas: an explosive mixture that can be used to make a very powerful bomb that makes guns seem as dangerous as paper airplanes or pea shooters.
“Hydrogen is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, making it undetectable by human senses.” Ditto for oxygen. When hydrogen and oxygen chemically combine, they produce water and lots of energy—it's an exothermic reaction, after all. Water is tasty (if you're thirsty, anyway), not toxic, but the energy is something else: it creates a blast that can blow you to pieces, along with your school and the entire neighborhood. As if that isn't bad enough, forensic scientists cannot trace hydrogen, oxygen, water—or the energy released—as they can bullets, cartridge casings, standard bomb fragments, poisons, and other lethal weapons. That's bad: I want the bad guys caught. So do you.
The problem is that almost everyone with a bit of intelligence could figure out how to blow up anything: a person, a car, a building, or a jet without getting caught. We cannot ban water or electrolysis, so should we ban discussions of them? Sure, let's just usher in the Stone Age. Scientific knowledge can be used to do great harm, but it also makes modern life possible. Decades ago, I used a related process, electroplating, to increase the durability of printheads I made for one of my inventions: a combination electronic stethoscope, phonocardiograph, and echocardiograph—all portable enough to put in my pocket. Nifty, eh? But not dangerous.
This information is considerably more useful than dangerous, as are hydrogen, oxygen, and water. Without water, we'd be dead before the next heartbeat. What's dangerous is when twisted minds misuse that information. We can ban bad behavior with more laws, but the ones we have already prohibit criminal behavior. We need a way to make crazy, violent people less likely to go postal without prescription drugs, which often don't work well enough. That seems like a pipe dream, but it can be done; I'll explain how in a later article. And the best part? It will help everyone, nut just the nutcases.
The common denominator
To find the cause of something, look for its common denominator. The common denominator isn't guns; people are also killed with bombs, knives, poisons, cars, hands, and feet. The common denominator is certain forms of mental illness that manifest as evil. Most people get boiling mad now and then, but it takes an evil nut to transform that anger into a plan to kill innocent people.
I've heard innumerable calls for gun control, but never bomb control, knife control, or poison control. Why?
Ilana Mercer's diagnosis
Ilana Mercer superbly identifies the roots of problems. Explaining what was wrong with Adam Lanza, she wrote:
“Boys, especially, require strong, moral men in their lives – men who affirm their masculinity. American boys, however, are mired in an estrogen-infused, cloistered world where real men in authority are a threatened minority. … Adam Lanza was a product of a freewheeling, fatherless household. The tele-experts have been mum about a mother who was weak and ineffectual. Nancy Lanza was filled with fear. She used a menacing gun collection to overcompensate for her parental inadequacies. A strong, caring male might have taught the troubled Lanza to handle firearms responsibly, might have helped diffuse the lad's rage. A manifestly weak woman playing at make-believe manhood only added fuel to that fire.”
I agree to a point. The real problem isn't women, or weak women; it's our culture that increasingly values weakness, not strength. In today's warped world, perennially unemployed and dysfunctional homeless people are reflexively depicted in the mainstream media as being automatically morally superior to successful people. We're told the latter are greedy and don't pay their fair share even though the top 10% pay over 70% of total federal income taxes.
In today's warped world, Americans adore celebrities who are more dysfunctional than talented, with their aberrations often stemming from addictions to drugs or booze that in turn stem from weakness and a desire to escape it with Liquid Courage—booze—or its pharmaceutical equivalents.
In today's warped world, we're under unrelenting pressure to always be nice to everyone, even those who don't serve niceness, such as people who torture, rape, and murder children, pregnant women, and grandmothers. In writing about the greatest crime spree in history, so extensive it dwarfed Nazi crimes and so twisted it made Nazi killers seem almost civilized, I discussed what Japanese war criminals did, which was so sick it likely would have disgusted even Hitler (you'll see photographic proof of one crime later in this article).
In the supposed land of the free, anyone should be free to bash the barbarians who committed such atrocities, but the Soros-funded smear machine went apeshit because I wasn't nice to those monsters. Of course, they don't give a hoot about niceness; they lie through their teeth so Soros and the other wackos they work for can control the United States. People bitching about not having a sufficiently large piece of the pie should focus on politicians from the Left and Right who sell us out so the fat cats they work for can take even more of your money and freedom. They're succeeding, but they hate anyone who stands in their way, including me.
Shootings, bombings, and terrorism evoke strong emotional responses — as they should. Those emotions result from perceived threats to our lives, yet relatively few people will die because of them. Americans face a much greater threat from restaurant, processed, and junk foods, yet few people fear them. Instead, they whistle past the graveyard ignoring a threat that affects most people while often eagerly surrendering freedoms to politicians offering Band-Aid remedies for shootings and terrorism even though people determined to commit evil will always find a way to do it.
Our politicians can never offer safety, only the illusion of it. Surrendering freedoms for false security is stupid. Our leaders are counting on you to be that dumb. Disappoint them.
Want another way to stop shooters? Read How to prevent school and other shootings. As I mentioned in a footnote to that article, laws did not stop “Rachel from Cardholder Services” and other telemarketers, yet our leaders want us to believe laws can stop crazy killers? Nuts.
- Researchers link childhood hunger, violence later in life
- Should Doctors Be Involved in the Concealed-Weapons Permit Process? based on Assessing Competency for Concealed-Weapons Permits — The Physician's Role
- After Newtown: A New Use for a Weapons-Detecting Radar?
- Many Emergency Department Providers Don't Ask Suicidal Patients About Gun Access
- Daytona Speedway crash injures driver, 28 fans and 2 killed as car slams into pit at California race
Comment: It's time to ban auto racing! And cars! That ban could have prevented a man from later crashing his car into a Wal-Mart and then assaulting customers inside.
- “A knife-wielding man [in Pittsburgh] being chased after a fight ran into a Target store … slashing two men and stabbing and seriously injuring a 16-year-old girl.”
Comment: It's time to ban knives!
- Former state trooper, wife killed in supermarket murder-suicide
Comment: No guns for ex-police!
- Many Americans want to believe that all mentally ill people can safely live on their own. Wrong.
- What drugs was the Newtown shooter on? The precious psychotropic drugs America loves so much as band-aids on problems also cause them; they can change a peaceful person into a raging maniac. Blame the person, but don't exempt the drug. The USA is fighting a war on illegal drugs but not the legal ones that can loosen screws in surprising ways.
Ideas are the most valuable form of property. Ideas could kickstart an American recovery and send our economy into overdrive, but too many people know too little about nutrition and adjunctive tips that go way beyond it, transforming creativity in very surprising ways.
Most Americans want to talk about sports or their favorite dysfunctional celebrity, not methods of boosting brainpower. Critical information is dismissed so fluff can remain in the limelight. Is it any wonder why America is failing?
- If the government is going to pay people for not working, why not have them do something valuable, such as serve as school security guards? Shootings are infrequent but bullying is not. I was assaulted in class, shot, stabbed, kicked, almost suffocated, and beaten to a pulp when I was a kid, targeted by people who evidently hated me so much for my appearance that they felt entitled to do something about it; calling me “nigger nose,” “nigger lips,” “bucky,” and “Mr. Magoo” apparently wasn't enough to vent their rage.
Teachers are often in la-la land, cluelessly blowing chances to nip problems in the bud and thus permitting them to snowball out of control. Realistically, even good teachers cannot be everywhere at once; they need more eyes and ears.
I know where to find them, but the ones with the power to make them return something to the society that is supporting them think all the work they need to do is show up once every two years and vote for more freebies, even though there is a much better way for the recipients to get more while imposing less burden on taxpayers.
However, the government that throws money at problems, ostensibly to solve them, wants to perpetuate poverty and dependency because they use that to control people and wage their war on freedom. I'm not against welfare; I'm against a solution to a problem that is exacerbating it.
- As a physician, I have great empathy for mentally ill people, most of whom have less responsibility for their problems than many folks with physical diseases and conditions, which can often be traced to poor lifestyle choices: too much food, booze, drugs, or sitting around. I use disparaging terms such as “nutcase” to describe only the evil ones brimming with hate and malice, such as Adam Lanza. He must have known that his life would end the day of his rampage. He could have sought help, or taken his own life only, but he was such a monster that he thought he'd feel better by first slaughtering a bunch of innocent people. Ladies and gentlemen, that's a nutcase.
- The day after the shooting, Fox News discussed the Newtown shooting as a “Black Swan” event. Their discussion made me think they were suggesting that because it is a Black Swan event, trying to prevent it is futile. Do they have any idea how logically inconsistent they are? Fox News is the #1 fan of our military efforts to spend trillions of dollars trying to prevent another 9-11 attack.
On June 29, 2011, Time published an article (The $5 Trillion War on Terror) that bolsters my belief that the U.S. military is doing a better job of digging our economic grave than they are protecting us. What is their goal? Bankrupting us? If so, they are doing a superb job.
If the goal were saving lives, we could save many more lives by better protecting people in the United States. In 2010, 14,748 people were murdered in the USA. In the years since 9-11, American homicide victims total about SIXTY 9-11 attacks in addition to about 15 million victims of violent crimes. Money doesn't grow on trees, so it is sheer insanity to spend trillions of dollars trying to prevent another 9-11 when many times that number of Americans are being killed, raped, robbed, assaulted, and otherwise terrorized by criminals in the USA.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health “estimate that excess dietary salt led to 2.3 million deaths from CVD worldwide and about one in 10 deaths from CVD in the US.” The primary source of sodium is processed and restaurant foods, so if the #1 goal were saving lives, our Armed Forces are targeting the wrong enemy. Unlike sugar, children have no natural craving for salt, so how do processed food companies hook kids on it? By intentionally adding salt to toddlers' foods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly three-quarters of the 1115 ready-to-eat toddlers' meals tested were high in salt.
Salt: The Forgotten Killer … and FDA's Failure to Protect the Public's Health, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said that “reducing sodium consumption by half would save an estimated 150,000 lives per year [and …] reduce medical care and other costs by roughly $1.5 trillion over 20 years.”
If the goal were saving lives, by banning sugar-sweetened beverages, we could save 25,000 people—that's the number of Americans killed by them per year, according to Harvard researchers. Why don't we ban them? Why do we let people consume them and kill themselves? Why do we allow parents to give them to children? Why do we permit restaurants to kill some of their customers by serving them? Freedom.
Freedom means having the freedom to do what you wish. Some folks desire to eat only healthy food, while others prefer tasty junk even if that sends them, their kids, or their customers to an early grave. Some people make great use of their time, while others fritter their lives away. Freedom has many positive consequences but negative ones, too. Freedom will always be that way until people are magically perfect. The negatives ones cannot be eliminated without eliminating freedom.
Article: School Shootings Garner Headlines, but Bullying, Hate Crimes and Drug Use More Common
Focal tragedies galvanize America's attention, but not diffuse ones of much greater magnitude. When two dozen people die in a shooting or a few thousand die in a terrorist attack, Americans really, really, really care. But if 10,000 more die year after year from scattered crimes or millions die from processed food, Americans don't even bother yawning.
This is logically inconsistent if not crazy. The best definition of the latter is not tuned into reality, and Americans of late are masters of burying their heads in the sand and ignoring reality, not squarely facing it and obvious truths. Intelligently dealing with reality is adaptive; dismissing it is not, no matter how clever the dodge or the eloquence of the excuse.
Focal tragedies are so easy to focus on that even people of limited intelligence can do it, while diffuse tragedies require more mental horsepower to process.
- ‘Unconstitutional Laws Aren't Laws’: Marine Who Penned Blistering Letter to Sen. Feinstein Over Gun Control Speaks Out (here's his letter)
Comment: He raises an excellent point that reminds me of the recent case in which a California court said a man was not guilty of rape because the victim was not married at the time of the assault. Beyond kooky.
- Marine hero General Smedley Butler eventually realized that he had spent most of his time “being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it.” Butler is the author of War is a Racket. He believed that government fabricates excuses for us to go to war because big wars are great for big business and big government. And they are.
If you consider the number of U.S. military personnel killed and injured, and the number of innocent people they killed around the world, it makes no sense for an isolated 9-11 event to trigger a response that kills considerably more people and is financially devastating our nation. If we had several 9-11 attacks per year every year, then it might make sense to fight the War on Terror as we are (note that I am not opposed to fighting it; I am opposed to the idiotic, horrendously expensive way we're doing it). Until that very unlikely day comes, if the U.S. government were truly serious about protecting people, they'd spend that money at home and get much better bang for the buck.
The cost of America's police state: Hundreds of billions have been spent to militarize our nation against a terrorism threat that barely exists
7 absurd ways the military wastes taxpayer dollars: If you thought the Petraeus scandal was embarrassing, wait 'til you hear how much is spent on military golf courses
The “War On Terror” Is A $6 Trillion Racket, With $1 Trillion In Interest Alone, Exceeding The Total Cost Of World War II
Estimated cost of post-9/11 wars: 225,000 lives, up to $4 trillion
More Fox News ignorance: After listening to various Fox News hosts discuss guns after the Newtown massacre, it is obvious they know next to nothing about even Gun 101 basics. We're not talking about abstruse inner parts of a rocket engine, we're talking about guns—something every adult should know the basics of (even if they never used one) after watching them used countless times on television and in movies, reading about them in books, magazines, etc., and hearing others discuss them.
A few days later, after having plenty of time to educate themselves on a topic they know little about yet discuss as if they do, another big shot Fox News host sternly said that one of the big mysteries of this case is why a woman (the shooter's mother) would have such heavy-duty weapons.
First, that is no mystery; she enjoyed target shooting and used that activity in an attempt to bond with her son, perhaps thinking it would appeal more to him than, say, playing with dolls, baking cookies, or shopping. What IS a mystery is why she would have any weapons in a home with such an unstable person who required constant monitoring, as noted above. That manifests the mother's glaring lack of common sense. I have a constitutional right to have cookies, cakes, and pies in my home, but I simply do not possess enough willpower to use them responsibly. I learned that lesson the hard way, becoming so fat I could not see my feet when I stood up. I lost the blubber by giving up my constitutional right to have them. Problem solved. Self-Control 101.
People who favor restrictions on freedom to increase safety and solve problems may wish to consider restrictions on parenting. Adam Lanza's mother seemed to need a stat infusion of common sense, but so do many other irresponsible parents. I met thousands of them as an ER doctor. It is not politically correct to say it, but I will speak the truth anyway: Many people who have children are too stupid, ignorant, or irresponsible to be good parents.
I am not advocating government control of reproductive rights, but for folks who think the government can solve most problems with more legislation and control, here's your chance to impose control that would do some good. For starters, how about mandatory education in health and nutrition? I've had pediatric patients who obtained over half their calories from sugar in junk food and inhaled secondhand cigarette smoke every breath they took. Alarmingly, even highly educated, affluent people often make mistakes that damage their or their loved ones health, mood, intelligence, and appearance. I could write a thick book on that subject.
People who have never tried target shooting may not realize how enjoyable (and challenging) it can be. In From gun hater to gun lover, I explained how a single visit to a target range was all it took to change the opinion of one of my friends. She was staying with me for a few days because she needed more encouragement that she had The Right Stuff to become a doctor, which she doubted. She is now a professor at the medical school I attended and chair of her department at a hospital in the Detroit Medical Center—and she doesn't hate guns as she once did.
Second point: Heavy-duty? The Fox News host is likely unduly influenced by the military-like appearance of the rifle. I think such rifles are so ugly I won't buy them, but I have rifles that make that gun seem like a pea-shooter in comparison. However, gun appearance never killed anyone. Military rifles are fully automatic; Lanza's gun is semi-automatic, so it may be military style, but it is NOT a military weapon. Dressing up in an Army uniform doesn't make me a soldier.
The bullets used in this attack are much less powerful in terms of kinetic energy than bullets fired from most deer-hunting rifles. In fact, some states prohibit the use of .22 caliber (that includes .223) guns, including centerfire rifles, for deer hunting because the wound-to-kill ratio is too high. The .223 is primarily intended for varmint and target shooting. Sure, hunters can shoot a deer repeatedly and eventually kill it, but a slow lingering death is cruel. Adam Lanza may have sadistically chosen the .223 rifle he used for that reason (to make the victims suffer more before dying—they were all shot multiple times), but most likely he chose guns he had access to.
Shooting a deer repeatedly also wastes meat and increases the surface area of lead that increases the likelihood of lead ingestion (lead is highly toxic).
Most of my career in medicine was spent in emergency departments in Detroit and Flint when they were the Murder Capitals of America, so I've seen many people shot by a variety of weapons. Trust me: the .223 produces much less damage than many other bullets.
It is my personal opinion that military-style rifles make a few nutcases even crazier when they snap, but most owners of them are immune to that effect, which may or may not exist—that's just my speculation. However, if that effect exists, it must affect very few people because the U.S. homicide rate fell substantially after the Federal Assault Weapons Ban expired on September 13, 2004. Proponents of enacting a similar ban are now giddy with the prospect of what it may do to protect us, but it is a band-aid fix at best, not a real solution to a real problem.
So I'd like to know: Do these Fox News hosts insulate themselves from knowledgeable people or reputable sources of information? If they can be so shockingly ignorant about guns, might they discuss other topics they know little about? Yes, so I have some advice for them: spend less time admiring your reflection in the mirror, or counting the piles of money you earn, and get what's called an education, including real-world education.
When I think of Fox News hosts, I think of the song Wonderful World, a.k.a., (What a) Wonderful World:
And what a wonderful world it would be if those silver-tongued idiots knew what they were talking about!
- Connection Between Narcissism and Envy Explained
Comment: Another clue to understanding what goes on in the minds of shooters.
- Primary Care Physicians Missing Early Signs of Serious Mental Illness
- Man-made chemicals cited in health scourges: UN report
Excerpt: “Man-made chemicals in everyday products are likely to be at least the partial cause of a global surge in birth deformities, hormonal cancers and psychiatric diseases, a U.N.-sponsored research team reported on Tuesday.”
Comment: I've written about that topic for decades.
- An essay by the mother of a mentally ill son who terrifies her. Will he be the next Adam Lanza? She wrote, “I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am James Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”
- Gun Control: Focus On Manufacturers, Not Just Buyers, Study Shows
Excerpt: “We found that 1 percent of gun dealers are responsible for 45 to 60 percent of guns involved in crimes. These dealers divert new guns intended for responsible owners to those that gun restrictions are meant to keep away from the weapons.”
- Firearms-makers to politicians on gun rights: You balk, we walk (“Firearms companies ranging from gun shops to machinists are joining forces to oppose new gun control laws. Some are threatening to move away from states that crack down on guns, others are refusing to sell gear to police that can't be sold to citizens.”)
- Bulletproof whiteboard created to protect teachers and students from shooters
Comment: Nice try, but it offers insufficient protection. Want something better that almost all kids already have? Two legs. Kids usually freeze in fear but could be taught to run like hell and dart in unpredictable directions. As any rabbit hunter can tell you, hitting a moving target isn't easy. Children could also be taught to do something else while they're moving around that would be a nightmare for shooters. Can you guess what it is?
- Greenery in Neighborhoods May Reduce Adolescent Aggressive Behavior
- If you think that people who become police are the only ones who should have guns, consider Christopher Dorner, the ex-cop from Los Angeles who went on a shooting rampage after “posting a manifesto on Facebook outlining plans to kill the families of those he felt wronged him,” motivated by a desire to clear his name—as if bullets could ever do that!
The ultimate irony: he “wants stricter laws for assault weapons.” He is handsome with a Hollywood smile, but twisted. A former girlfriend “described him as "severely emotionally and mentally disturbed" … and "super paranoid." She claims that Dorner hated himself for being black and at one point asked her to act more like a white woman.” How's that? A subsequent marriage “really only last[ed] 'eight hours.'”
A related article: LAPD to reopen probe into fugitive ex-cop's firing
Comment: Never trust organizations or corporations who claim they'll investigate themselves. For example, after eating cheese that made me very sick for a week, its manufacturer found nothing wrong with it. Sure. And mothers of criminals still think they're lovable …
Don't expect objectivity when there is emotional or financial attachment, or plain ol' CYA. Dorner is clearly a nut, because only a nut would kill innocent people to clear his name, but his allegations against the LAPD may have merit. Or may not. We'll likely never know for sure if they investigate themselves.
I once assumed that racism had almost vanished in the United States, but in retrospect that was me projecting my feelings onto others, many of whom do indeed harbor burning feelings of racial animosity. Our stupid culture excels in papering over problems and sweeping them under the rug, not solving them. Negative racial attitudes are still very prevalent, but our culture trains people to pretend they are not racist.
People profess to care about eradicating racism, but most don't give a hoot. If they did, the article I posted years ago about healthcare personnel intentionally killing patients because they are black would have caused a national uproar, but of the many thousands of messages I've received from readers, I cannot recall a single comment on that. I even reported it to the NAACP and never heard back from them. I think most people and organizations care about racism when there is some political or financial angle to it, but otherwise Dancing With the Stars is more important to them. Pathetic.
After we sweep the racism problem under the rug, we paper over our national financial problems to temporarily hide the economic cancer that will almost surely destroy the United States. Then we bury our heads in the sand about how our lackluster educational system produces intellectually lazy people who prefer Twitter-length simple comments about topics that are usually inane.
Think about it: I know my readership includes journalists, even far-Left journalists, all of whom should care about righting wrongs (and winning a Pulitzer Prize). Yet none of them evidently care about healthcare workers killing black patients, but some “journalists” care about what I call evil monsters who deserve to be hated. It's not that I don't have hate, but mine is well-directed against people who richly deserve it, such as businessmen who intentionally poison their customers or war criminals who rape children and grandmothers before killing and sometimes sexually mutilating them, as in this example: Nanjing Massacre in China) and others like her because they are Chinese, but if American infants and grandmothers were gang-raped and slaughtered after being speared in the vagina or gut, we'd never hear the end of it!
We will never forget the Nazi Holocaust of Jews during World War II (nor should we), but we don't have even a name for the more numerous—and arguably even worse—crimes I documented in articles on Japanese war crimes and Hirohito: the war criminal who got off scot-free. If an impartial person analyzed this, he might conclude that the lack of outrage stems from a racist devaluation of people with more melanin in their skin, or thinking less of folks who otherwise look different.
In the years I've spent researching and writing that book, I thought about how learning that lesson would help so many problems, including racism, crime, road rage, divorce, kids squabbling and fighting, bullying, hatred of others with opposing political opinions, gender discrimination, equal pay, classism, animal abuse and trivialization, manufacturers producing shoddy products, snowmobilers driving way too fast on trails, and on and on. The solution is surprisingly simple, quick, and easy, yet most people I know with advanced degrees don't know it! Even our Harvard-educated President who would love to stomp out racism and those other problems doesn't know how to do it!
- Understanding the Motivations of Mass Shooters Is Key to Successful Law Enforcement Strategies based on Mass Shooters in the USA, 1966–2010: Differences Between Attackers Who Live and Die
- When red evokes mischief
- Tool Developed to Predict Violence and Aggression in Children and Teens
- Psychiatric assessments for predicting violence are ineffective: “Standard approaches for investigating risk of violence in psychiatric patients and prisoners are inaccurate …”
Comment: Then use a nonstandard approach, as I did working in the ER.
- Social Media Cheers For Anti-Hero Christopher Dorner
- Assault Weapons: Facts vs. Fiction
- Sheriffs, state lawmakers push back on gun control
- Sheriff says he won't enforce President's plan
- Antisocial Behavior May Be Caused By Low Stress Hormone Levels
- Oxytocin Produces More Engaged Fathers and More Responsive Infants
Comment: And fewer school shootings?
- Heavy Criticism from a Parent Can Increase Aggressive Behavior in Children and Mothers and OCD Children Trapped in Rituals Have Impaired Relationships, both based on How and why children change in aggression and delinquency from childhood to adolescence: moderation of overreactive parenting by child personality
- Psychiatrist who treated accused Colorado gunman sued over rampage
- Taking Steps to Prevent 'Going Postal' based on Workplace Violence: Assessing Organizational Awareness and Planning Interventions
- Seeing and Experiencing Violence Makes Aggression 'Normal' for Children based on Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Hurt: Longitudinal Effects of Exposure to Violence on Children’s Aggressive Behavior
- Eating Sweets Every Day In Childhood 'Increases Adult Aggression' based on Confectionary consumption in childhood and adult violence
- Excessive TV in Childhood Linked to Long-Term Antisocial Behavior, New Zealand Study Shows
- Seeing Happiness in Ambiguous Facial Expressions Reduces Aggressive Behavior based on Increasing Recognition of Happiness in Ambiguous Facial Expressions Reduces Anger and Aggressive Behavior
- Parents' Behavior Linked to Kids' Videogame Playing
- Violent Video Games Increase Aggression Long After the Game Is Turned Off, Study Finds
- Violent Video Games: More Playing Time Equals More Aggression
- Life lessons: Children learn aggressive ways of thinking and behaving from violent video games, study finds
- Video Games Boost Visual Attention but Reduce Impulse Control
- Violent Video Games Reduce Brain Response to Violence and Increase Aggressive Behavior, Study Suggests
- Violent Video Game Feed Aggression In Kids In Japan And U.S.
- Children and Teens With Autism More Likely to Become Preoccupied With Video Games
- Teens Eat More, Cheat More After Playing Violent Video Games
Comment: Child pornography is banned because seeing tempts some people into doing, so why not also ban violent video games?
- Mass. principal suspended 2 days for violent video
- Teaching Teens That People Can Change Reduces Aggression in School based on Implicit Theories of Personality and Attributions of Hostile Intent: A Meta-Analysis, an Experiment, and a Longitudinal Intervention
- Study Links Internet Addiction To Aggression In Teens
- Media Violence Cited As 'Critical Risk Factor' For Aggression
- Media Violence Consumption Increases the Relative Risk of Aggression, Analysis Shows
Comment: Imagine a world without violence. If younger generations never witnessed violence, they surely would be less apt to be violent themselves.
- Book: Who Killed Detroit?: Other Cities Beware!
- Coach shoots teen during robbery near Mich. school
- In response to an article reporting the charred human remains believed to be those of Christopher Dorner, Devon insightfully commented:
I disagree that Dorner was dangerous to police only (because he killed two others), but Devon and other commenters raised some good points. Dorner's death makes it easier for the LAPD to evade his allegations of persistent racism, so it may not be surprising that he died before a trial could have given him opportunities to substantiate his allegations. On the other hand, Dorner could have ensured his safety and opportunity to speak by giving himself up instead of fighting to the end and killing another person.
- RAND Corporation: First estimates of judicial costs of crime, from homicide to theft
- Jeffrey Goldberg: The Second Amendment Might Need Some Revisions
- Australian tourist raped in NYC after leaving cab
Excerpt: “That's pretty shocking because this is a well maintained neighborhood and incidents of that nature don't usually happen …”
Comment: If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. If the police can't always protect you (and they cannot), who will? Smith and Wesson.
- Teen Girls Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Be Violent
- Men are more violent when there are more women around