Mass Murder in Newtown: Why and Where Next?


This is the third time in less than two years that I’m writing an article about young men walking into public venues and shooting a dozen or more people at a time — first Tucson, then Aurora, now Newtown. The Newtown killer, Adam Lanza, didn’t just walk into the Sandy Hook elementary school where he shot and killed 26 persons, he broke in, determined to carry out the plan he had. “Why?” and “Where Next?” seem to be the questions we are always left with, along with “How can we prevent this from happening again?” Many Americans are also asking, finally, “What is happening to this country?”

We’ll never know the answer to “why”, at least not fully, since Adam Lanza is dead, killed by his own hand. Whatever record he might have left might well reside in a laptop found by the police in his mother’s house totally destroyed. No one who knew him, including his father and his older brother, has come forward to offer an explanation. I’m sure both those men have their theories about what prompted Adam to do what he did, but they are not being forthcoming about what they’re thinking and might never be. In the absence of hard facts, the rest of us have developed theories, from the FBI to whoever watches or listens to the daily news. My own is informed, at least in part, by two Northeastern University criminologists, James Fox and Jack Levin, who have compiled a data base of all mass murders that have occurred in this country since the early 1980’s.

As I wrote at some length in my post about Aurora – “Aurora: Shrouded in Myths” – “…… [Drs. Fox and Levin] have divided the mass murderers themselves into three broad categories or profiles. The first is comprised of older men … who bear a grudge against specific individuals and kill them in acts of revenge for perceived injustices … The second profile is that of persons whose grievances are more generalized and whose need for revenge is directed against an identifiable class or group whose members are nonetheless anonymous. Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter, apparently despised the students he shot … [but] … knew none of [them]. Shooters who match this profile are often quite psychotic and delusional; many, like Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters, are depressed and suicidal.” Cho , Klebold and Eric Thomas, Klebold’s Columbine accomplice, all “… killed themselves as the endpoint of their killing sprees.”

Dr. Fox describes his and Levin’s third category as follows: “The perpetrator has a grudge against the world and feels that if it were not for the system, things would have gone better for him. He doesn’t care who he kills as long as he kills a lot of people.” James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, would seem to meet Fox’s description for Fox and Levin’s third category. Adam Lanza, on the other hand, would appear to fit the profile for category two, given his suicide when he stopped shooting. However, that conclusion is largely conjectural since nothing is known of his emotional state in the days, even the weeks, preceding the shooting. The only person who would know, his mother, Nancy, was shot multiple times in her face by Adam with a 22. caliber rifle. He killed her, apparently collected several of her legally registered guns, notably her semi-automatic long rifle, and drove in her car to Sandy Hook school. How he must have hated her… or so I imagine.

Fox summarizes his findings as follows: “… all mass murderers, regardless of their categorization, … [have] a consistent profile in which someone has a history of frustration and failure despite promise and aptitude. But they also have a very weak support system. They don’t have close friends or family nearby to turn to for help or to put their thoughts in perspective. [Yet,] there are thousands and thousands of people who fit that pattern and do not kill anyone.” It would seem, then, that Fox and Levin’s work has little predictive value. The same can be said of assessments carried out by psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians — none can predict with any great accuracy who will commit acts of violence.

What we can anticipate, if not predict with any exactness, is that the next mass shooting that occurs will take place in a very public place. It would seem that these killers have developed a copy-cat ritual wherein their acts of violence are carried out before as many people as possible, with a mass viewing audience only waiting to be told to turn on their TVs or smart ‘phones and look at their e-mails or Twitter feeds. The notoriety thus gained – their 15 minutes and more of fame – will, they appear to hope, more than compensate for their inadequacies and their heretofore insignificant lives. The murders they perpetrate, their own deaths by suicide and they themselves will not go unnoticed. How sad and how deadly.

Ultimately, the answers to “Why?” and “Where next?” remain elusive. And so we resume asking ourselves what can be done – what we can do; what the government and our elected representatives can do – to stop this violence. The responses from equivocating politicians are invariably the same: gun control, usually the re-enactment of Federal legislation banning the sale of assault rifles; more comprehensive gun purchase screening to prevent gun sales to persons with histories of mental illness; and, even more guns. All are fraught with correlated problems — specifically, gun control and the National Rifle Association, the NRA, the 900 pound gorilla that succeeds in intimidating virtually every politician in Washington; the scapegoating of persons presumed to be mentally ill, which lets the NRA off the hook; and Wild West politicians, beards for the NRA, who declaim the Sandy Hook killer could have been stopped if only school personnel had been armed.

Surprise of surprises, the Republican Governor of Michigan just vetoed a bill that would have allowed just that. Go figure. On the other hand, the Republican governor of Ohio recently told the 12/19 N.Y. Times he plans to sign a law allowing state employees to keep guns in their cars while parked in the Statehouse garage; and finally, the Times reported that his Democratic counterpart in Colorado was calling for enhanced screening to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. And, yes, I do see the NRA at the core of the problem.

Since Sandy Hook, private citizens, many of them Newtown residents, have begun voicing concern about the state of the United States and an intent to address the as-yet-unnamed something that is eating away at the country’s moral fiber. In my Aurora story, I named it the “culture of fear” promoted variously by the U.S. government, and the NRA, aided and abetted by an irresponsible U.S. Supreme Court, whose intent appears to be to quash political dissent and distract people’s attention from the erosion of personal privacy and related civil rights that has taken place since 9/11. The remainder of this article will be devoted to those issues.

The core leadership of the NRA appears to have extreme right-wing political beliefs, subscribing to a variety of conspiracy theories, principal among which is the belief that the U.S. government intends to deprive gun owners of their presumed Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms,” and endorsing the use of violence to overthrow presumably despotic governments, including the currently popularly elected U.S. government, to protect that right. Their guiding ideology can probably be summed up in this oft-used quote from Thomas Jefferson, the most prominent of our slave-holding Presidents: “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government;” and at the root of their political paranoia is still another Jefferson quote: “The beauty of the Second Amendment is that it will not be needed until they try to take it.” To take the NRA at its word is to see it as a beleaguered bulwark of freedom, fending off an intrusive and authoritarian U.S. Government – which, of course, can often be the case with an entity as powerful as the U.S. Government.

However, prior to 1977 when the right-wing putsch was carried out and the right-wingers commandeered the leadership, the NRA’s mission was apolitical and its primary objective was to promote the use of handguns and rifles in recreational and sporting endeavors. Since 1977, the NRA has functioned as the self-appointed guardian of individual freedoms, elevating gun ownership to the status of pre-eminent symbol of those freedoms, as enshrined in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As I wrote in the “Aurora …” article, “The Second Amendment … states: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The interpretation that the amendment safeguards the rights of individuals to own guns is a recent phenomenon …”, embodied in two Supreme Court decisions – D.C. v. Heller, 2008, and McDonald v. Chicago, 2010 – which overturned Washington and Chicago city ordinances restricting handgun ownership. I went on to write … “Interestingly, constitutional legal scholar Carl Bogus of Roger Williams University Law School in Rhode Island … traces [the Second Amendment’s] origins to the efforts of James Madison … to mollify … [James Monroe and Patrick Henry] … who opposed ratification of the newly drafted [U.S.] Constitution … As understood in its historical time, the intent of the Second Amendment was to assure slave-owning Southerners that their State militias would remain under State control and could be utilized to carry out their principal mission, suppression of … slave revolts, without interference from the Federal Government.”

How far we have come … or have we? When any organization such as the NRA espouses extreme and intransigent positions, others pay the price – at the very least, the 91 victims of mass murders that have occurred in schools in this country since the Columbine shootings in 1999. It’s time to stop tip-toeing around gun owners’ alleged “right” to own guns of their own choosing, as professed by the NRA. I very much like two gun control proposals put forward recently, one regulating the purchase of ammunition in California, as reported in the 12/19 edition of The New York Times, the other proposed by Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. Dr. Sachs suggests that we look to Australia where, “after a particularly horrible massacre in 1996 …, prime minister John Howard … instituted a severe crackdown on gun ownership and forced would-be gun owners to submit to a rigorous application process and to document why they would need a gun … [He] also implemented a rigorous ‘buyback’ policy to enable the government to purchase guns already owned by the public … The policy worked … there has not been a single mass shooting since 1996 …”

The California legislative initiative was introduced to control the sale of ammunition rather than guns and would require “a background check and an annual $50 permit to buy any type of ammunition.” The Times quoted the bill’s sponsor, Kevin de Leon: “We don’t think about the fuel that feeds the violence and that’s ammunition … If you want to fish, you have to secure a license to fish … Yet anyone who walks into any gun store in California can buy all the ammunition they want.” Since the Democrats won control of both houses of the legislature in November, the bill will most likely be passed and signed into law by Governor Brown. Such a law would have a greater impact if it were a nation-wide law, particularly if coupled with re-enactment of the assault weapons ban, which succeeded in curtailing sales of these guns during the ten-year period, 1994-2004, it was in effect. Senator Diane Feinstein reportedly will introduce a new assault weapons bill in January of the new year. Despite protestations by the NRA that it “was potentially reconsidering its position”, the NRA can be expected to ferociously oppose all gun control legislation, so large-scale citizen involvement supporting any such initiatives will be crucial to their passage. More tough times ahead.

As for the continued scapegoating of the presumed mentally ill and the ensuing call for tougher gun purchase screening to snare folks with histories of psychiatric hospitalizations, what else would you expect? Who else but a crazy man would commit mass murder? The answer to that one is, “One in a million!” Folks who’ve received a serious mental illness diagnosis simply don’t commit murder and rarely commit acts of violence against other people. To quote Dr. Richard Friedman in his 12/18 N.Y. Times article, “In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness”: “Only about 4% of violence in the U.S. can be attributed to people with [presumed] mental illness … the NIMH’s Epidemiologic Catchment Area study … found that the lifetime prevalence of violence among people with [presumed] serious mental illness – like schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder – was 16%, compared with 7% among people without any mental disorder …” Please remember Dr. Friedman is talking about violence not murder; more on that and the 16% below. Dr. Friedman continues: “… mass killings are very rare and … people with [presumed] mental illness contribute so little to overall violence … Consider that between 2001 and 2010, there were nearly 120,000 gun-related homicides … Few were perpetrated by people with [presumed] mental illness…” He concludes and succinctly summarizes the argument against tougher gun screening measures aimed at presumed mentally ill persons: “All the focus on a small number of people with [presumed] mental illness who are violent serves to make us feel safer by displacing … the threat of violence to a small, well-defined group. But … the majority of homicides are carried out by outwardly normal people in the grip of all too ordinary human aggression to whom we provide nearly unfettered access to deadly force.” Absolutely no need to tar all with a brush needed for only a handful. Conversely, no need for gun control restrictions aimed primarily at persons presumed to have serious mental illnesses when universally applicable restrictions are what’s called for.

One other issue needs to be addressed here, one that is invariably ignored and one that might provide at least a partial answer to the “Why?” asked at the outset of this article. The neuroleptic medications prescribed persons who receive diagnoses of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and, increasingly, major depression, have been implicated in causing violent behavior. Outcomes from research currently being undertaken in the U.K. and described in a lengthy article posted on the MIA website back in August by Catherine Clarke and Jan Evans reveal that all neuroleptic medications can produce toxic behavioral effects, principally akithisia, agitation and restlessness. This includes the atypical neuroleptics, which were originally marketed as devoid of such side effects. Of significance for this discussion is the finding that akithisia and its accompanying agitation and restlessness can result in violence on the part of the individuals prescribed them. Specific conditions resulting from prolonged neuropletic dosing – neuroleptic withdrawal; neuroleptic serotonin disruption, i.e., mood disturbance; and neuroleptic acetycholine disruption, i.e., disruption of the flight or fight mechanism, to name just three – increase the risks for acts of violence by those affected. Similarly, persons prescribed neuroleptics who are “poor metabolizers” of these medications are also at greater risk for committing violence. As per the data, the single largest group of poor metabolizers is comprised of persons of black African descent. In Great Britain, these tend to be ethnic Jamaicans and sub-Saharan Africans.

Unfortunately, this is not new information. Dr. Peter Breggin, widely known researcher and clinician, has been testifying to the link between psychoactive medications, including the SSRI’s, and violence for over thirty years. A benchmark book, Medication Madness: The Role of Psychiatric Drugs in Cases of Violence, Suicide and Crime, published in 2008, represents the compilation of his many years of clinical practice and his direct experience with these issues. To quote from an interview with Breggin published online at on 12/18, when asked why the medication/ violence connection has been ignored for so long, Breggin responded that the “[mainstream] media ‘ignore the scientific evidence linking psychiatric medications and violent behavior because psychiatry is the religion of the mainstream media, and they don’t want to see the dangers of psychiatrically prescribed drugs. Besides, the drug companies also have incredible influence through advertising such that they can call the shots. … ’ ”

If prescribed medications might cause and certainly contribute to the problems they’re expected to ameliorate, what’s the alternative to today’s customary treatment, which begins and ends with psychoactive medications? Where does that leave the politicians, who are expected to launch the initiatives and draft the legislation that will prevent or at least forestall a repetition of the violence? In his 12/19 press conference, President Obama announced the formation of a “Gun-Violence Task Force,” headed by Joe Biden, stating that gun control cannot be the only solution to the problem and expressing support for making it easier for Americans to get access to mental health care, “at least as easy as access to a gun.” Nice sentiments, but barking up the wrong tree. Where does that leave the NRA, which has amended its customary mantra, “It’s not guns that kill people, but people who kill people,” to “It’s not guns that kill people, but mentally disturbed people who killed people”? Up a creek, without the proverbial paddle, let’s hope. Finally, where does that leave ordinary folks, who want help for themselves and their loved ones? Breggin would tell them, to quote again from the interview, that “instead of psychiatric treatment, children of this kind [– outsiders who live in the shadows, who deal with a lot of shame, humiliation and isolation –] need ‘more reaching out, more socialization, more caring, more involvement … these are really hurt kids.”

And yet, for me, all the foregoing still begs the question, “Why did Adam Lanza and those like him choose to go to public venues and, armed to the teeth, proceed to shoot and kill innocent people?” A recent op-ed in The NY Times by Adam Lankford, an assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Alabama, entitled “What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers,” and published on 12/18, resonated with me and my notion of a “Culture of Fear.” To quote Dr. Lankford: “But underneath the pain, the rage and the desire to die, rampage shooters like Mr. Lanza are remarkably similar to aberrant mass killers – including suicide terrorists – in other countries. The difference rests in how they are shaped by cultural forces and which destructive behaviors they seek to copy.” (Italics mine.) As I’ve written before, the predominant cultural model for aggrieved and frightened folks in this country is that advocated by the NRA – “If you’re frightened or angry and you know it, buy a gun!” It embodies a culture of fear of and threat from “the other, ” and it calls for a violent, intimidating response. Just to underline this, after the Aurora shootings, gun sales spiked in Denver; when Obama won re-election, gun sales spiked nationwide.

One day, perhaps, we’ll have cultural precepts that will allow us to respond to persons in mortal pain and fear like Adam Lanza in the manner espoused by Dr. Breggin, with kindness, understanding and acceptance. Until then, the antidote to fear and violence is, as I have always believed, collective action. To borrow some Jungian wisdom quoted by Laura Kerr in a post aptly titled “The Long Shadow of Massacre:” “A collective problem, if not recognized as such, always appears as a personal problem, and in individual cases may give the impression that something is out of order in the realm of the personal psyche. The personal sphere is indeed disturbed, but such disturbances need not be primary; they may well be secondary, the consequence of an unsupportable change in the social atmosphere. The cause of disturbance is, therefore, not to be sought in the personal surroundings, but rather in the collective situation …”

Or, as I would put it, a collective problem calls for the assumption of collective responsibility. In this instance, mourn for all we’ve lost, then organize. Remember, we’re all prisoners of hope!


ABC News, “President Obama Launches Gun-Violence Task Force,

Bogus, C.T., “The Hidden History of the Second Amendment,” U.C. Davis Law Review, Winter, 1998, Vol. 31, #2

Carney, J., “Aurora: Shrouded in Myths,” July 31, 2012,

Clarke, C., Evans, J., “Neuroleptic Drugs and Violence,”, August 19, 2012,

Corsi, J., “Psych Meds Linked to 90% of School Shootings,, December 18, 2012

FindLaw, “Second Amendment – Bearing Arms,”

Friedman, R.A., “In Gun Debate, a Misguided Focus on Mental Illness,”, December 17, 2012,

Furedi, F., “The Only Thing We Have To Fear Is the ‘Culture of Fear’ Itself,”, April 4, 2007

Garland, D., The Culture of Control: Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society, Oxford U. Press, 2001

Garrett, B., “History of the Second Amendment,”

Jukes, P., “Stop Blaming Newtown Tragedy on Mental Illness,” The Daily Beast, December 18, 2012

Kerr, L.K., “The Long Shadow of Massacre,”

Lankford, A., “What Drives Suicidal Mass Killers,” The New York Times, December 18, 2012

Mears, B., “Analysis: Guns and the Law; Recent Ruling Highlights Legal and Personal Stakes,”, Decemver 17, 2012

Meet the NRA Leadership,

Monahan, J., Steadman, J., eds., Violence and Mental Disorder: Developments in Risk Assessment, U. of Chicago Press, 1996

Nagourney, A., “States’ Leaders Proposing Steps To Control Guns,” The New York Times, December 19, 2012

National Institute of Justice, U.S. Dept. of Justice, “Gun Violence: How prevalent Is Gun Violence In America,”

Petrie, J., “Collection of Thomas Jefferson Quotes,”

Sachs, J.D., “Gun Control After Newtown,”, December 17, 2012

Watson, T.T., “A 20 Year Time Line of Recent Worldwide School Shootings,” [email protected]

Winkler, A., “NRA Took Hard Right After Leadership Coup,” San Francisco Chronicle, online edition,


Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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  1. Great article. Too bad the “one other issue” – that psychiatric meds can trigger violenc – is buried, almost as an afterthought. All the other issues are true and relevant, but these meds can reduce judgement and inhibition, counter those tendencies that we call conscience, and cause people to do things that they normally would not do. David Healy covers this very well in the “Violence Zone” area of his website, We should not conclude that meds were the cause of the tragedy at Sandy Hook, but we should not rule out meds as a factor without looking, either.

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    • Not an afterthought, but not as central to the article as is my focus on the culpability of the NRA in promoting a culture of fear and violence. Without that, perhaps someone triggered to violence might be more likely to punch someone in the nose rather than shoot him or her in the head. Not to be endorsed but preferable. Ultimately, I do believe that guns have to be made less available and more tightly regulated. The presumed 2nd admendment right to allow anyone to have as many guns as he/she wants is an expression and an endorsement of this culture and needs to be given a new, communal as opposed to narcissictic interpretation, one which might allow folks to seek help that helps rather than ingest pills and shoot others.

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  2. Dear Sir,

    I do not know if Adam Lanza was autistic but answering special education needs for the more intellectually able autistic persons taking care of keeping the bullying of the born different by neurotipical kids at school minimal is good prevention:
    From Temple Grandin, an autistic very bright woman who got a very nice education in” Animals in translation”:

    Teasing hurts. the kids would tease me , so I’d get mad and smack ‘em. That simple. They always started it, they like to see me react. My new school solved that problem The school had a stable and horses for kids to rid, and the teachers took away privileges if I smacked somebody. After i lost privileges enough times I learned just to cry when somebody did something bad to me. I’d cry and that would take away the aggression. I still cry when people are mean to me.///

    It is unfortunate that so many very bright autistic persons who haver so much for society do not get a speacil needs education.

    The DSM5 makes it impossible to diagnose and get support for the more able of aspies-a Yale child psychiatrist, Pr Volkmar and other teams published on this.

    It was for me a cultural experience to see that some MIA political activists -and admirors- agree with the DSM 5 and with the French psychoanalysts who claim that the mother behavior is the cause of autism and that she should suffer in silence-variant from a brtish know it all autism is a thing of the past.

    ///Should mothers know better than complain? Sure they should, the responsible and respectable grown-up people they want everybody to believe they are. Complaining doesn’t get anybody anywhere but deeper and deeper into the very same misery that’s complained about. /// is -to my view -as a psychiatrist with some and experience and training in the autisms and in forensic of autism although I am not a forensic psychiatrist.

    NB: Giving autisitc kids the special education and support they need and educating neurotipical children in not bullying persons born autistic will be good prevention-and an easier task than getting rid of the USA gun culture…

    Secondly, and be assured that it will be my last comment to your post: Although some psychiatric drugs – like SSRI can increase violence for other people and suicide risks- some persons with a history of violence are helped by neuroleptics.

    see one of my favorite blogger on MIA:

    NB: I felt privileged to have been invinted as a neurotipical autistfriendly psychiatrists. Some friends of mine were worried for my personal safety immerging myself for three days in an isolated place with very autistic persons but I had no hesitation to go since I knew it would be an autistic friendly place -with for example a special absolutely quiet little dining rrom for the minoirity who couldn’t bear the cutlery and conversation noises in the main restaurant.

    I remember some little bit of short temper- for example when the restaurant ‘s rules were changed by surprise by the catering staff- and a few meltdown but I always felt absolutely safe all the time.

    If the Western societies do not provide for the specail needs of so many gifted and brave and honest precious autistic people because the DSM5 prohibit it and not many parents can afford it or find the needed professionals, a very small percentage of Asperger’s syndrome persons will make their family home hell and do criminal acts after years of confusion and frustration with modern life intense sensory stimulation and neurotypicals social codes etc..

    All the extremisms are dangerous-and no activist has the right to decide what is good for every body-in my view

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  3. Thank you for more of your patiently considered thoughts. These are important times to share them. Have you considered a monthly audio letter for podcast or radio? You have a good voice (heard you sitting at a table at ISEPP).

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  4. After reading part of the first paragraph, one might assume that I am a supporter of the NRA. Such is not the case. The prevalence of guns within a country does not always a result in high homicide rates. Guns are widespread in Switzerland and Israel, yet these nations have low homicide rates. Gun-control is needed more in America due to the social distance between Americans that renders it easier for its citizens to kill one another. The fundamental problem is therefore not guns, but rather the very cultural soul of the United States, with its emphasis on individualism that separates Americans from one another, rather than bringing them closer together as a society.
    The latest mass murder in Connecticut left me, as it did most, deeply moved and saddened. The ages of the children rendered this violence especially tragic and poignant. Sociological studies, conducted by Geert Hofstede and others, revealed that no nation in the world has a greater shared sensibility of individualism than America. This deeply held value that each individual is responsible for himself rather than a shared responsibility within society is implicitly a national rejection of a sense of community. It is currently reflected in the saying of some Americans “why should I pay for someone else’s health care?”
    Statistics compiled by the United Nations office of drugs and crime revealed that the homicide rate for the United States (4.2 per 100,000) was four times greater than other advanced nations of Europe (Sweden 1.0, England 1.2, Norway 0.6, Italy 0.9, Spain 0.8, Germany 0.8, and France 1.1.) Given the higher incidence of homicides, the United States has its work cut out for it to join the other nations of high human development in achieving a lower homicide rate.
    Strict gun-control is therefore essential simply because it is too easy for Americans to kill each other. There are 12,000 dead Americans in the last year to support this argument.
    However, greater efforts have to be made to help the United States become a nation of shared dreams and aspirations. This will not be an easy task. The spirit of 19th-century rugged individualism runs deeply through the core of American society. The welfare Reform Act of 1995 that resulted in millions of children being thrown into greater poverty was called The Personal Responsibility act. In effect, the message that was sent was, “don’t tell us you can’t get a job, don’t tell us you have no one to take care of your kids, don’t tell us that the job you found does not pay enough to support your family, do something about it yourself. Don’t expect society to help you.”
    If America is to achieve homicide rates commensurate with other advanced nations, social distance between Americans must decrease. Asians, African-Americans and Latinos are more open to having government play a role in their lives than are the majority of Whites, according to a PEW research study. Given the decline of the percentage of Whites in the total population of the United States, there is hope for common dreams in the future, but how long will it take to achieve them?
    (Bill Honer is an Author and Social Activist

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  5. I searched my library of songs.

    Black Sun
    by Dead Can Dance

    Man of fire
    I’ve seen the eyes of living dead
    It’s the same game, survival
    The great mass play
    A waiting game
    Embalmed, crippled
    Dying in fear of pain
    All sense of freedom gone

    Black sun in a white world
    Like having a black sun in a white world

    I have a son
    His name is Eden
    It’s his birthright
    Beyond estranged times

    Give me sixty nine years
    Another season in this hell
    It’s all sex and death
    As far as eyes can tell
    Like Prometheus we are bound
    Chained to this rock
    Of a brave new world
    Our god forsaken lot

    And I feel
    That’s all we have ever needed to know
    Til world’s end and the seas run cold

    Give me sixty nine years
    Another season in this hell
    Its all sex and death
    In mother nature’s plans
    Like Prometheus we are bound
    Chained to this rock
    Of a brave new world
    Our god forsaken lot

    It has been said that Adam couldn’t feel. Maybe he was already dead – the walking, talking living dead.

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  6. A car travels at 60 MPH you must take a written test and a practical test to operate it. A plane travels at 250 MPH and the training can take years and requires re certification. A bullet travels at thousands of feet per second. Anyone can get a permit and a gun, WITH NO TRAINING REQUIRED. If you are not going to get the training (safety as well as marksmanship), and bi-annual re certification, why would you want, or need, to own a gun? I say keep your guns but get the training. If your won’t get the training, then give up the tool.
    In my opinion, any person on antidepressant drugs needs to be registered. So when ,or if ,things start to get a little out of balance, both health practitioners and police, have a heads up as to the possible cause of the problem. No guns in the home of a user . A simple form, with teeth in it for false statements, needs to be filled out by the user/ parents/guardian. This can be done with plenty of public support. NPR reports only 1 in 10 Americans are on these drugs. Any time these drugs are dispensed a report would go to the school and the local police . This can start tomorrow.

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  7. A very well written piece and one that I agree with totally. As an outsider, it never ceases to amaze me that in the US it is easier to buy a gun than a loaf of bread. From what is being presented overseas, there are more gun shops in the US than grocery stores!! And of course as soon as any mass shooting happens the response from the population is to all go out and buy more guns. After any mass shooting gun sales increase in massive amounts. When such things happen in other countries, we question our police forces, and what they were doing, why they did not respond sooner, etc.

    Of course what is forgotten in all of this is that one does not have to take away the right to own guns, all they have to do is to take away the right to own certain types of guns. That is exactly what was done in Australia. In 1996 we had a mass shooting at a major tourist destination with over 30 people killed. We had had 4 mass shootings in the 4 years before that. Gun groups here, while not having the power of the NRA were all saying not us, bad people, not bad guns, but when the priminister sat down and met with them in person they realised they were not looking at getting rid of guns that 99.9% of them used in gun ranges for sports or hunting or the like. We also did not simply expect to get rid of them. We offered everyone compensation for ALL guns they wanted to hand back, even if they were still going to legal and even if they were illegal at the time. We tighened security for ALL goods coming into the country, to stop them from coming in. Hundreds of thousands of guns were handed in, and compensation was paid for each and everyone of them. Don’t just say give the guns back, pay them to give them back. ALL taxes were increased to pay for it. Children even handed in toy guns and there were cases of police officers pulling $5 notes out of there own pockets to give to children for it!! Schools and child care centres no longer allowed toy guns or any other such thing. That was the primary change that we made, to simply change the TYPE of guns allowed. After that we made changes to licensing that were Australia wide, instead of previous state based systems, we made changes to the laws regarding the keeping of guns, how many could be owned, etc. And they continue to change.

    There was a very slight increase in knife crime, BUT a person cannot kill a hundred people in a minute with a knife. It is much easier to disarm them, a person is much more likely to survive the attack.

    Just like the US and other countries we do have increasing rates of people on all sorts of psychotropic’s, and yes those people do become agitated, but they do not go out and shoot, by and large they kick things or punch people. Not much chance of killing a hundred people like that!!!

    I do not believe that one thing alone has caused the problems that are happening in the US. But the fact is the US has more guns per head of population than any other country, it is the only place whose solution to gun voilence is to go and buy more guns and to put them in the hands of more and more and more people, all of whom have no ability or idea of how to control and use the weapon that they have purchased. It is also the only place in which a person can legally own such high powered guns, with add ons that allow even more bullets to come out, faster and the like.

    One can keep the right to own a gun if they simply limit the types of guns. The types of guns used in these attacks are not something one uses at a riffle range, they are not something one goes hunting with, they are not something one uses for sports or the like. These guns were invented for one purpose and one purpose only and that is mass murder. If americans are going to claim it is there right to own a gun for the express purpose of mass murder, then they can hardly complain when others do the same.

    As an outsider I will never understand the gun culture of the US. It is beyond me how since that shooting, gun sales can have gone up and that thousands of people are now buying people guns as christmas presents. After our mass shootings, gun sales decreased and many gun owners, were the most supportive of the changes that were made, and were instrumental in the laws being changed.

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    • Thank you, Belinda, for providing the background for Australia’s experience reining in gun violence. Unfortunately, as you appear to know, different country, different culture, intransigent and increasingly irrational NRA. We’ve got a long hill to climb. Thanks for adding the information you did. Much appreciated. Jack Carney

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  8. Take a look at this. See Japan

    All news in the US is propaganda. Don’t ask what are they saying, ask why are they saying it.

    When asked to turn in their guns, did they also ask Australians to swallow a “patriot act” ?

    Does the Australian Government go on a global shooting rampage?

    Do the leaders in Australia commit treason by openly admitting their allegiance to another country.

    Americans buy guns for a reason.

    They have forgotten GOD.

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  9. The beginning of your article started off very well. But then you slowly started to bash the NRA which made me stop in disgust! As I scrolled down all i saw in every paragraph was NRA this and that which most of the victims parents in the past shooting stated that the NRA was not to blame. So next time make the title relevant to the article.

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