In a case of belaboring the obvious, Fox News reports Las Vegas mass killer may have had diagnosed mental illness.
And so he might. But consider this: Newtown killer Adam Lanza had diagnosed mental illness. So did Jared Loughner, James Egan Holmes, So did Francisco Gonzales, who in 19664 set a record for mass murder that stood for over 50 years. And in fact aall the top 10, and onlly 2 of our list of 40 some mass murderers are thought to have been suffering undiagnosed mental illness.
So that is strictly speculation. But there is one thing about which there may be no speculation at all.
Of the 42 or 44 names on my list, only 2 are flagged as not known to have been on a class of drug Selective Serotoning Reuptake Inhibitors.* SSRI’s are most commonly prescribed for depression, and are often called “tranquilizers.” And some doctors prescribe “tranks” as I used to sell popcorn. By the bag.
The first of those drugs was introduced in 1987. and the second factor statistically linked to mass murder was the “Gun Free Zone Act of 111990.
In 1999, the 1990’s count a brief item stating that 23 out of 25 mass murderers gad the first available SSRI drugs.
In the abstract, those drugs do an enormous amount of good for millions of people, and adversely affect only a few. But when you mix someone adversely affected by or changing from one to a different, SSRI, and a gun free zone, the results are particularly dangerous.
We know Stephen Paddock, killer of 58, was prescribed an anti-depressive. What anti-depressive? One of those that should be prescribed with caution – or one of several with no record of problems?
* (I get 42 counting up, 44 counting down, but I have been awake more than 24 hours)