Thursday, 5 October 2017

09:21 – It was 48.3F (9C) when I took Colin out at 0645, partly cloudy. Barbara’s driving down to Winston today to have lunch with a friend and run errands. She’ll be back mid- to late-afternoon.

Someone posted a link to John Ringo’s take on the LV shooting. An adverse reaction to a psychotropic drug makes as much sense to me as any other proposed explanation, and more than most. A very high percentage of the US population are on such drugs, from the very old all the way down to children.

Teenage boys in particular are very likely to be prescribed these drugs for behavior modification of so-called conditions like ADHD or aggressiveness that are in reality just a normal part of being a teenage boy. But it’s by no means just teenage boys. Men and women of all ages, teenage girls, and children are all routinely prescribed these drugs, despite the fact that severe side effects up to and including mass murder are known risks.

Things were better back before such drugs were common. Sure, there were mentally ill people, but a much larger range of behaviors was tolerated. If Aunt Edna suffered bouts of manic depression or Uncle Bert was a bit odd, well people just kept a close eye on them. If they became a danger to themselves or others, they committed them to a loony bin. But we didn’t have tens of millions of people under the influence of psychoactive drugs, any of whom could blow up at any time.

I’m sure the pharma industry has spent a lot of money to hide the role that such drugs have played in suicides and murders both retail and wholesale. Drug companies make billions of dollars on these drugs, so it’s in their interest to have as many people as possible taking them routinely.

It’s the FDA’s job to ensure that drugs are “safe and effective” before they’re approved for use. By and large, they’ve done a decent job at ensuring they’re effective, although not necessarily any more effective or even as effective as out-of-patent drugs that don’t make any money for pharma companies. But I think the FDA has fallen down badly on ensuring that they’re safe.

When most of us hear about the latest outrage, we rightly suspect muslim or antifa or BLM terrorism. But often, particularly with school shootings and similar events, it eventually becomes apparent that neither politics nor religion were motivating factors. Someone just flipped out.

But the question that’s almost never asked, let alone answered, is: “why did this person flip out?” The normal tacit assumption is that a certain number of the population are nut cases, so a school shooting or whatever is an Act of God, kind of like a tornado, unpredictable and unpreventable. Sure, sometimes people try to attribute the event to bullying or other social interactions, but most just shake their heads and figure these things happen.

Although it almost never makes it into the news stories and follow-up analyses, my guess is that most or all of the mass killings that occur and weren’t due to religious/political motivations are in fact caused by adverse reactions to psychoactive drugs. Presumably the pathologists run drug screens on the bodies of the killers, but I don’t remember ever hearing the results of those.

Oh, the news may mention in passing that the killer was on such a drug, but they minimize its contribution to the event. Here, for example, is an article from the Denver Post mentioning that fluvoxamine, an SSRI, was found in the body of one of the Columbine shooters. But the article emphasizes that there’s no reason to think the presence of that SSRI had anything to do with the shooting.

Then there’s Adam Lanza and the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. The pathologist in that case reported that no drugs were found in Lanza’s body. But what they don’t mention is there’s no such thing as a Star Trek tricorder. The only way you’ll find a drug is if you look specifically for that drug. And pathology screening protocols don’t include looking for specific psychoactive prescription drugs. If you don’t look for it, you’re not going to find it.