#1 Posted by Demoskinos (14879 posts) -

So obviously with the recent events on Friday gun control has been a hot topic issue. I came across this article on the huffington post and it is probably the most poignant take on the entire thing. If you have ten minutes or so read the article because I think mental illness is the issue here that nobody is talking about. However its starting to seem like some of the focus and conversation on how to stop these things is starting to switch over from being soley about guns to finally starting to shine the light on the fact that in every case of these school shootings all the killers were NOT mentally well off. Anyways the article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/16/i-am-adam-lanzas-mother-mental-illness-conversation_n_2311009.html

#2 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (460 posts) -

Excellent article, thanks for the link.

#3 Posted by Draxyle (1862 posts) -

Can't even fathom having a child with that kind of mental problem; living with the constant fear that someone you love could be the death of you and those around you. Absolutely disgusting that "wait for him to commit a crime" was the only solution given.

While I am very much in favor of gun control, if not outright banning all guns, it's definitely a more complex issue than that. These people need help, not isolation or incarceration, and the US in general is certainly not providing it right now.

#4 Posted by csl316 (8769 posts) -

I've always felt that mental instability is the root of the problem. I'll read the article when I get home, but I do hope it's about bringing to light the troubled behavior an unstable individual may show. And how families can help. In this case, not having assault rifles around the house would've been great.

Online
#5 Edited by CommodoreGroovy (555 posts) -

Very good article. I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that this is the only solution the US has for this problem. Waiting until these mentally-ill people have committed a crime, and then addressing the problem is probably one of the dumbest things I have ever heard.

#6 Posted by John1912 (1892 posts) -

My dad sent me this. I was thinking of posting it myself. Good read.

#7 Posted by Inkerman (1451 posts) -

@Draxyle said:

Can't even fathom having a child with that kind of mental problem; living with the constant fear that someone you love could be the death of you and those around you. Absolutely disgusting that "wait for him to commit a crime" was the only solution given.

While I am very much in favor of gun control, if not outright banning all guns, it's definitely a more complex issue than that. These people need help, not isolation or incarceration, and the US in general is certainly not providing it right now.

I often point out in these conversations that in countries that have extremely prohibitive gun control laws, the classic example being China, still have these kinds of event (one recently occurred in China), it's just that knives are used instead, which is admittedly better than guns because they're less effective at killing, but the root problem is not being addressed.

The article is very good, but ultimately it's still a case of what can be done? Even if the mother does get more help, where does that leave us? Just with a controlled mentally ill youth as opposed to a semi-controlled mentally ill youth, and when he comes of age you get into complex arguments about what his rights are.

#8 Posted by TooWalrus (13219 posts) -

I'm not sure what the real solution is, though. It's easy enough to say "we need to get these mentally ill people the help they need..." but a lot of them (like the child in this case) may not want help. Obviously when they're children it's the parent's decision, but what about when they make it to adulthood without incident. Who makes the decisions, then? It's not like we can start committing mental-health victims at the drop of a hat if they aren't causing problems. In the States, at least for now, the Government doesn't have the right to force medication or commitment on you... and once you give them that power, do we really trust them to make the right calls? This article does a good job of calling out the problem, but does little to offer solutions other than "we need to talk about this."

#9 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (819 posts) -

I urge anyone who has a genuine interest in the topic and concern for the mentally ill to do extensive research before commenting. It's an extremely complex medical, social, and ethical issue. It's not something one can form a well rounded opinion about right off the top of one's head.

#10 Posted by stryker1121 (1464 posts) -

A chilling read. Thanks for posting. However, it doesn't seem like Lanza had the same violent behavioral patterns as "Michael." Lanza has been described as shy, nerdy, introverted, perhaps autistic, but nothing about flying into rages or threatening violence. Maybe that happened at home behind closed doors, but nothing of the sort has been reported.

What to do with kids like Michael, though? Long said her kid is on loads of drugs and behavioral plans. At what point are his threats taken seriously and he's taken off the street? I'm not for advocating the jailing of the mentally ill, but perhaps some people are just broken and cannot or don't want to get better.

The eeriest line from the piece "I'm stronger than him. I won't be for much longer."

#11 Edited by FMinus (394 posts) -

Just wondering, how are the children checked over there in the US through their developing ages, here we had a yearly checks both physically and mentally from ages 6-15 both at the doctors and school therapists. I remember few of my fellow class mates being removed from school due to the checks on their metal profile returned some aggressive responses - which at that time I though was "retarded" from the school and the system since I never noticed any ill behaviour of those said kids. I passed all the tests, except that I was "anorexic" ((23kg at the age of 8) but I didn't have a disorder, my metabolism is just fast :D, I'm 1m 84cm today and weigh from 65 to 70kg) and they gave me double portions of food at school between 7 and 10 years and later I could go eat how much I wanted if I wanted. That was all fixed by our system and I liked that in the later years a lot.

Then from that point on, only males had a yearly hardcore mental checks with IQ tests and simlar tests to the Rorschach test, because we had the amry conscription system until we joined the EU at 2000 and they didn't want guys to go bonkers onche they enlist a weapon - it worked out pretty well I must say, no incidents what so ever in the army and people carried weapons with live ammo all day for 2 years and later 8 months.

Now, I guess nobody gives a shit anymore.

#12 Posted by ajamafalous (12007 posts) -

Chilling article. Thanks for the link.

#13 Posted by John1912 (1892 posts) -

Yea, a very large issue is that generally people dont want help. They may even tell themselves over and over when they are alone, I want things to be fixed, I want things to be better, I want help, but when actually faced with it, they dont want it, or can only take help from a person they want to get better for. Other then themselves. Which they prob dont even have in their life..

#14 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

Y'alls. "I am Adam Lanza's mother" is entirely fucking misleading. Fun fact: not a single case of mass murder was preceded by the kind of violent behavior she describes her son as having.

#15 Posted by oraknabo (1471 posts) -

Fucking Huffington Post

#16 Edited by Ghostiet (5284 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

Y'alls. "I am Adam Lanza's mother" is entirely fucking misleading. Fun fact: not a single case of mass murder was preceded by the kind of violent behavior she describes her son as having.

Why misleading? She didn't say that she's Adolf Hitler's mother. She lists young people who went on rampages, probably due to the fact that they had some lingering sociopathic tendencies that have not been spotted and treated. Sociopathy and mental illnesses are not clear cut. The people she mentioned, Loughner made public comments about strapping a bomb to a fetus, the Columbine guys were bullied extensively, Cho had selective mutism and depression and Holmes left insane voice mail at a gun club almost a month before his shooting. The only pattern are obvious mental issues. The kid in the article may simply have a different way of showing them.

#17 Edited by Hunter5024 (5708 posts) -

This incident keeps making me think of this mentally ill friend I had, he has depersonalization disorder, schizoid, and other things. One time he told me that he often thought about what it would be like to kill someone. I keep thinking about this time where I basically saved his life, and what that would mean if he ever actually did end up hurting someone. Maybe this isn't really on topic, idk. This whole event has me very distraught in a way a news story has never done before.

#18 Edited by SirOptimusPrime (2011 posts) -

@FMinus: Personally, there was nothing like that. Every once and a while (i.e. age 6 and then again at maybe 12) we would talk to the counselor as a class, and never individually. That usually constituted of the usual, "don't be a dick" type of thing that young kids need told every other second. That may have been due to the fact that I went to school in two rural locations, but that still pales in comparison.

The U.S. perception of mental health is really, really fucked. I wonder if the system would have caught that I'm bipolar early and would have made my life a little easier, but then again my parents may have reacted poorly to the diagnosis of having a "messed up" kid and further fuck me over. I have gone to two states' worth of elementary/primary school, which is where I experienced pretty much the same lack of care over how children thought and behaved, so if someone else in a more "liberal" area has a different experience I'd love to know.