Senseless Knife-Violence does not stir up Knife-Control Debate

Posted by PITHOCRATES - April 12th, 2014

Week in Review

There was another senseless act of violence in our schools.  Giving the pro-knife control lobby further ammo to take away our knives.  Actually, no.  Only senseless gun violence shifts the discussion away from the perpetrator.  And onto the thing the perpetrator used.  The gun.  And not the underlying cause for this violence.  Mental health issues.  Which is why no one is talking about taking our knives away now after this senseless act of violence (see After Pennsylvania school stabbing, authorities and community ask: ‘Why?’ by Pamela Brown, Mary Kay Mallonee and Chelsea J. Carter posted 4/11/2014 on CNN).

A day after a Murrysville, Pennsylvania, teen allegedly rampaged through his high school’s hallways, stabbing wildly with two kitchen knives, the first hints of a possible motive began to emerge.

The attorney for 16-year-old Alex Hribal raised the specter that his client may have been bullied, telling CNN affiliate WTAE in Pittsburgh on Thursday that it looks like some kind of “bullying event” may have played a role.

“I think a lot of things have happened. I don’t want to comment specifically, but I think there are some things that occurred that led to where we are today,” Patrick Thomassey said.

But an FBI official, familiar with the investigation, discounted bullying as a motive.

“He was disaffected but not bullied,” the official said on condition of anonymity…

Some classmates at the school describe Hribal as having few friends and being quiet but also as a “really nice kid,” a description that contradicts the image of a knife-wielding teen offered by authorities…

Another student at the school who witnessed the attack said the attacker didn’t utter a word.

“He was very quiet. He just was kind of doing it,” Mia Meixner said. “And he had this, like, look on his face that he was just crazy and he was just running around, just stabbing whoever was in his way.”

According to Dan Stevens, the county deputy emergency management coordinator, Hribal had a very minor Facebook presence and didn’t have much experience on Twitter…

Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck has argued against bail, saying that there could be no conditions that would protect the community and that Hribal made “statements when subdued by officials that he wanted to die.”

Mentally healthy people don’t do things like this.  So it is safe to say that this person has a mental health issue.  The FBI says he was ‘disaffected’.  Which means he was resentful and rebellious.  Perhaps having a problem with authority.  He might have been bullied according to his lawyer.  But his fellow classmates say he was quiet and really nice.  Even though he had a minor Facebook presence.  And little experience on Twitter.  So he was a loner.  Perhaps lacking social skills.  Had he been bullied you’d think they may have said something like, “Yeah, I’m not surprised he did that with the way he was bullied.”  But they didn’t.  Another student said he looked crazy when he was running around stabbing people.  Perhaps cracking after years of suppressing whatever he was suppressing behind that quiet and nice facade.

No one knows why he did what he did yet.  But one thing for certain, you can’t blame this on easy access to guns.  In fact, if the government took away all of our guns this would have still happened.  Because the one commonality to all of these senseless crimes isn’t guns.  It’s some underlying mental health issue.  Because mentally healthy people just don’t do things like this.

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Adam Lanza suffered Severe Mental Health Issues that drove him to Violence

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 29th, 2013

Week in Review

There is a line on the sit-com The Big Bang Theory where Leonard warns someone that Sheldon is one lab accident away from being a super-villain.  Here’s what Wikipedia says about Sheldon.

Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of humor, a general lack of humility or empathy, and displays textbook narcissistic behavior. He also has a very hard time recognizing irony and sarcasm in other people although he himself often employs them… Despite speculation that Sheldon’s personality traits may be consistent with Asperger syndrome, obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and asexuality,[5][7] co-creator Bill Prady has repeatedly stated that Sheldon’s character was neither conceived nor developed with regard to any of these conditions.[7]

The Big Bang Theory is a comedy.  And Jim Parsons plays Sheldon brilliantly.  He’s hilarious.  But what the show jokes about can be a real danger.   As a person with exceptional intelligence suffering from these mental health issues can become dangerous.  And the further from reality they drift the more dangerous they can become (see Newtown killer had occasionally violent tendencies by Larry Copeland posted 12/27/2013 on USA Today).

The mentally troubled gunman in the Newtown massacre had obsessive behavior, changing his socks as many as 20 times a day, and his mother tried to manage her life around the bizarre quirks of her son, according to thousands of pages of documents released by Connecticut State Police on Friday…

He had apparently displayed signs of the potential for violent behavior to at least one former teacher…

One of Lanza’s former teachers told investigators that the shooter was anti-social and that he rarely interacted with other students.

“I remember giving creative writing assignments to students instructing them to write a page or two on whatever they wanted to talk about,” she said. “Adam would write ten pages, obsessing about battles, destruction and war. In my years of experience, I have known (redacted) grade boys to talk about things like this, but Adam’s level of violence was disturbing. I remember showing the writings to the Principal at the time. Adam’s creative writing was so graphic that it could not be shared…”

One witness, a man who told police he’d known Nancy Lanza for about two years, said he was aware that Lanza “suffered from Asperger Syndrome…

Another witness told police that Nancy “had taken him out of school because he was sensitive to sound and light.” A nurse told investigators that Nancy Lanza had to do three loads of laundry a day because Adam Lanza obsessively changed his clothes, sometimes changing his socks 20 times a day…

“(The witness) said that Nancy Lanza told him she had no intentions of re-marrying and accepted the obligations of caring for Adam. Nancy said that she and Adam planned for her trip to New Hampshire. The trip was an experiment to allow Adam to stay at home alone for a few days.”

As soon as the Newtown massacre hit the media the left was calling for new gun control legislation.  Even before they knew who Adam Lanza was.  Or the extent of his mental issues.  And they were extensive.  This kid should have been institutionalized.  His mother resigned herself to living the rest of her life taking care of him.  Probably because that was the only option available to her.  As it can be difficult to commit someone until they have proven to be a danger to the public.  Something that is typically proven by committing an act that harms someone.  Of course by that time it’s too late.  As in the case of Adam Lanza.  James Holmes (2012 Aurora shooting).  Jared Loughner (2011 Tucson supermarket massacre).  Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech Massacre).

Were the guns to blame?  Or the madmen firing the guns?  A lot of people own guns.  But very few of them commit massacres.  Perhaps the better question is this.  If guns were unavailable to these people would they have still found a way to kill?  As smart as they were?  Or would these ‘super-villains’ have just said, “Oh well.  No guns available so I guess it’s sanity for me.”  And walk away from their delusions?  Or would they think of another way?

Taking guns away won’t stop these people from hurting others.  They may have just used their intelligence to think of another way.  Perhaps one more deadly than shooting people one at a time.  Identifying them early and institutionalizing them would work better.  For if they were institutionalized they wouldn’t be able to hurt anyone.  With a gun.  Or with anything else their intelligence dreamt up.

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Oregon Teen wanted to be like the Columbine Murderers the Media turned into Celebrities

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 1st, 2013

Week in Review

Sandy Hook, Aurora, Tucson and Virginia Tech were crimes caused by the Second Amendment.  Or so argue the Democrats.  Who want to use these episodes to press for their long-desired gun control legislation.  But the guns these people used weren’t the cause of their murder sprees.  Their mental health problems drove them to commit murder.  But instead of addressing the failures of our mental health system we focus on the guns.  Because the Democrats have long had a burning desire to pass gun control legislation.  Because gun bans will make the world a safer place (see Records: Teen wrote detailed plans for school plot by JONATHAN J. COOPER posted 5/28/2013 on AP).

An Oregon teen accused of planning an assault on his high school wrote detailed plans to “shoot and throw bombs throughout the school,” then kill himself before engaging with responding police officers, according to court documents released Tuesday…

At about 11:10, he would begin blasting music from the car while walking toward the school, a napalm firebomb in one hand and a duffel bag in the other.

“Drop duffel. Light and throw napalm, unzip bag and begin firing,” the notebook said. “Cooly state: ‘the Russian grim reaper is here.'”

The line is apparently a reference to the 2003 film “Bad Boys II.”

The plan went on: “Throw a smoke bomb prior to walking in. Proceed to enter the school, then shoot and throw bombs throughout the school. Kill myself before S.W.A.T. engages me.”

The detective wrote that the notebooks indicate that Acord “compares himself to both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold,” the teenagers who killed 13 people at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999 before turning their guns on themselves…

On Monday, Acord’s mother, Marianne Fox, issued a statement through a Corvallis lawyer, Alan Lanker, saying the teenager struggles with a rare form of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This was in Oregon.  Oregon isn’t even a red state.  It’s a blue state.  So if anything they must have an anti-NRA attitude there.  So it wasn’t a gun culture pushing this kid to a bomb crime.  It was mental health problems.  According to his mother.

Thanks to the Left’s relentless coverage of Columbine they turned those two kids into heroes for others like them.  Every kid that was ever pushed around by a bully now dreams of doing the same thing.  Thanks to the celebrity the media gave them.  They really need to stop making these people sound so awesome to others suffering from mental illness.  If they didn’t go wall-to-wall with coverage perhaps this kid would have never heard about that mass murder.  And never planned his.

Once again a person suffering from mental health problems chose a soft target for his crime.  A school.  Which is a gun-free zone.  Why?  Because he didn’t want anyone shooting back at him.  And once someone did arrive on the scene with a gun he would stop murdering innocent people.  And kill himself.  The lesson here?  If there were people with guns at our schools people wouldn’t make plans to murder unarmed people there.  Because all they want to do is kill a lot of innocent people before someone can hurt them.  This is the problem with taking guns away.  It doesn’t stop bad people from doing bad things.  It just makes it harder for good people to protect themselves from bad people.  Who are trying to shoot them.  Or throw bombs at them.

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A 15-Year-Old stabs his 10-Year Old and 4-Year-Old Brothers to Death

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 26th, 2013

Week in Review

With the Sandy Hook shooting, the Aurora theater shooting, the Tucson shooting, the Virginia Tech shooting, etc., the focus has been on the shooting.  Not the shooter.  The left is using these mass murders to advance gun control legislation.  Instead of addressing the mental health problems common to the shooters.  The focus is on the guns.  And nothing but the guns.  While people with mental health problems fall through the cracks.  Like that 13-year-old who tried to rape then killed his mother for taking away his videogame.  Who appeared to be well along in his mental health problems.  And then there’s this 15-year-old who was apparently just beginning his descent into mental health problems (see Utah boy, 15, arrested in stabbing deaths of brothers, 10 and 4 by Michael Mello posted 5/24/2013 on the Los Angeles Times).

“He’s an honor student, highly intelligent and never been in trouble with the law,” Poulsen told the Los Angeles Times. “According to the neighbors, he’s a little quiet, but they’re a great family.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, the suspect’s mother left him home to watch his 10-year-old and 4-year-old brothers while she took the family’s four other children to run errands. She returned two hours later, Poulsen said, and called 911 when she found the 4-year-old dead on the floor.

Deputies who arrived at the home found the 10-year-old’s body in the basement, but could not find the 15-year-old. Several local law enforcement agencies combed the area for the boy, and found him around midnight in a neighboring town about eight miles away.

We don’t know much about this yet but there may have been signs of mental health problems that people just missed.  Because it is usually a progression of withdrawal and isolation and a change in behavior before things like this happen.  Adam Lanza spent all his time playing violent videogames alone in the basement before shooting his mother and the Sandy Hook students.  James Holmes was working on his Ph.D. when he started doing poorly in his academic work and talked about wanting to kill people to a physiatrist before the Aurora theater shooting.  Jared Loughner’s strange behavior got him expelled from college before the Tucson shooting.  Seung-Hui Cho’s mental health problems were well documented before the Virginia Tech shooting.  Yet we missed these signs and failed to prevent these horrible acts.  Just as we may have missed some signs with this 15-year-old.  Because we’re still trying to push gun control legislation.  Instead of trying to address mental health issues that drive people to mass murder.

Guns have been a common factor in some of these crimes.  While mental health problems have been a common factor in all of them.  So it doesn’t appear to be the guns.  It’s the mental health problems.  For here we have another instance of some unsound person killing people.  But this one killed without a gun.  Perhaps we could have prevented this if the focus was on mental health.  And not the NRA.

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13-Year Old tried to Rape Mother then Killed Her in a Fit of Rage for taking away his Call of Duty Videogame

Posted by PITHOCRATES - May 5th, 2013

Week in Review

The Sandy Hook shooting, the Aurora movie theater shooting, the Tucson shooting (Representative Gabrielle Giffords) and the Virginia Tech shooting have one common element.  The shooters all suffered from mental health problems.  They weren’t radical conservatives.  They weren’t militia members.  They were not in the Tea Party.  These shooters didn’t commit their atrocities because of guns.  They went on these shooting sprees because our mental health system didn’t take these dangerous people off of the streets before they could harm innocent bystanders.  And what have we done since Sandy Hook?  Tried to pass gun control legislation.  Instead of fixing the problems of our mental health system.  And because of that we still miss warning signs.  And a 13-year old does this (see Noah Crooks reportedly tried to rape mother before killing her by Chelsea Hoffman posted 5/4/2013 on the Examiner).

The tragic death of his mother was gruesome, but the details being shared by multiple sources paint a picture of a deeply troubled teen who may continue to be a danger to society. The WFC Courier reports that two of the teen’s friends testified that his “behavior had changed” prior to the death of his mother. One friend testified that Crooks became aggressive suddenly…

Multiple reports are varied, but this source claims that the incident may have stemmed from his mother Gretchen Crooks taking away his Call of Duty video game. His lawyers are trying to prove that he suffers from intermittent explosive disorder — which can be a violent mental disorder. If this young man truly suffers from this affliction, he needs quality mental help away from society where he cannot be a danger to others.

Noah Crooks reportedly shot his mother at least 21 times with his .22 rifle after trying to rape her unsuccessfully. This horrific story is shockingly similar to incidents in the life of serial killer Edmund Kemper — who is murdered several coeds in the 1970s. Prior to his stint as a serial killer and necrophiliac, Edmund Kemper shot his grandparents at the age of 15 with his own hunting rifle. He did a short amount of time in a mental institution but was released back to society just in time for his body to fully mature as a young man. After Kemper murdered several college girls he ended his murder spree by murdering his mom and sexually assaulting her body. Kemper is now serving life behind bars in Calif., but what will come to be of this young man?

There were signs there that something was changing with this kid.  Former classmates provided testimony in court that Noah Crooks would occasionally stab other students with pencils.  A red flag if there was ever one.  Still, one wonders what they would have done if they had acted.  Would they have locked him up in an institution?  His mental illness was so new that his mother probably would have fought that.  Unaware of how fast he could get so violent.

Would this have happened if there was no gun in the house?  Well, he tried to rape her before he shot her.  So the assault would have started.  And if he was lost in a fit of rage he could have used another weapon.  Like a knife.  A blunt object.  Or his hands.  So the crime probably would have happened even without the gun.

Was the videogame to blame?  Well, if he didn’t have one it wouldn’t have been there to take away.  Sending him into that fit of rage.  But did it make him violent?  It is a violent game.  Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook Shooter, had a spreadsheet of videogame scoring.  And may have been living a videogame scenario during his shooting.  But it doesn’t appear that Crooks planned his attack.  So it is unclear if the game had any influence in this crime.  Which really leaves mental health as the most likely cause.

As his behavior is shockingly similar to a serial killer who did similar things the state should look long and hard at his mental health and do what’s necessary to prevent this kid from maturing into something worse.  Instead of trying to pass new gun control legislation.  One has to wonder what might have happened in the Crooks home that day if they reformed the mental health system to better identify these early warning signs.  Perhaps building new mental hospitals to incarcerate the mentally ill.

Just think what might have been in place if they did this after Sandy Hook.  After Aurora.  After Tucson.  After Virginia Tech.  Which happened in April of 2007.  About 5 years before Crooks tried to rape then killed his mother.  If they had they may even have been able to stop at least one of these other massacres.  But, instead, all we’ve done since Virginia Tech is talk about the need for new gun control legislation.  Which has shifted attention away from something far more important.  Identifying these people who are a danger to others due to their mental health problems.  And getting them off of the streets before they can do harm to others.

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