Ask The Psychologist Issue #25: Solution for Preventing Purchases of Firearms by Individuals with Mental Disorders
In the short video below, the presenting consultant does an excellent job explaining reasons for gun violence that I agree with, but I feel he missed the most important reason as I explain below. He fails to include the use of prescription (Black Box Warning Psychiatric Medication) and illegal brain altering drugs, in his description of why there are so many school shootings in the past 50 years.
“A SOLUTION FOR PREVENTING PURCHASES OF FIREARMS BY INDIVIDUALS WITH MENTAL DISORDERS”
All pharmacists, filling a prescription for a black box, brain altering psychiatric medication, who normally enter the patient’s name into their computer, would at the same time, be linked to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Dept.(ATF), Department of Justice (DOJ) or FBI’s data base. Once in the ATF, DOJ and FBI system, the person’s name would be sent to every firearms retailer in the United States, putting the name on a “cannot buy” a firearm list.
This way, if the person named on the DOJ “cannot buy” list, comes into a gun store to purchase a weapon, the salesperson would simply say their name is on a “cannot buy” list. The list gives no reason, due to confidentially, and if the person on the list wants to know why they can’t purchase a firearm, the salesperson would simply give them the contact information at DOJ, to get an explanation.
I would also recommend that if a relative, with the same last name of the person on the list comes into purchase a firearm, they should be informed that their relative should not have access to the firearm and that they themselves would be liable if this occurs.
Some may say that this may breach confidentiality, but in California and other states, systems are already in place, where if a person has the potential to harm themselves or others, it gets reported before hand to the proper agency.
A good example is when a person is considered to have a lapse of consciousness, due to some type of brain impairment. The physician has a responsibility to report this person to the appropriate source, so the information gets to the Department Of Motor Vehicles.
For example: “California HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE, SECTION 103900 states:
(a) Every physician and surgeon shall report immediately to the local health officer in writing, the name, date of birth, and address of every patient at least 14 years of age or older whom the physician and surgeon has diagnosed as having a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness. However, if a physician and surgeon reasonably and in good faith believes that the reporting of a patient will serve the public interest, he or she may report a patient’s condition even if it may not be required under the department’s definition of disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness pursuant to subdivision (d).
(b) The local health officer shall report in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles the name, age, and address, of every person reported to it as a case of a disorder characterized by lapses of consciousness.
(c) These reports shall be for the information of the Department of Motor Vehicles in enforcing the Vehicle Code, and shall be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of determining the eligibility of any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.
(d) The department, in cooperation with the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall define disorders characterized by lapses of consciousness based upon existing clinical standards for that definition for purposes of this section and shall include Alzheimer’s disease and those related disorders that are severe enough to be likely to impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle in the definition”.
Another system that is already in place, that is even more closely related to potential dangers of prescription brain altering psychiatric medications in California is called, the “Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System[CURES) Program”.
This program is as follows:
“State of California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
The Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) are pleased to announce that the state’s new Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System – commonly referred to as “CURES 2.0”— will go live on July 1, 2015. This upgraded prescription drug monitoring program features a variety of performance improvements and added functionality.
The Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) is a database containing information on Schedule II through IV controlled substances dispensed in California. It is a valuable investigative, preventive, and educational tool for the healthcare community, regulatory boards, and law enforcement”.
Therefore, as one can see, mechanisms are already in existence that can be slightly altered to add brain altering psychiatric medications. There are actually some brain altering psychiatric medications (Controlled Substance) on the CURES list that are already identified as Schedule II controlled substances; to mention a few i.e.; Amphetamine – Adderall, Dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), Lisdexamfetamine (Vyvanse) used for the treatment of ADHD and narcolepsy. Also listed is Methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta), Dexmethylphenidate(Focalin), for treatment of ADHD, narcolepsy. Additionally, this applies to Methamphetamine for treatment of ADHD, severe obesity. There are many more brain altering medications prescribed by physicians, being used for mental health patients, on this schedule II list.
As you can see from the above, there are already systems in place that can be added to, that can identify individuals that have a mental disorder, that are on brain altering psychiatric medications. By implementing my suggested above program as prescribed, the number of people with mental disorders, having access to legally purchasing a firearm, would be dramatically reduced.
Also, I feel that the FDA should have the pharmaceutical companies, include in their Medication Guide, which patients and their families are supposed to be given, by the physician prescribing brain altering “Black Box” psychiatric medications, the following information: “Individuals taking this medication should not have access to firearms”.
*This information is a portion of copyrighted material from “Invisible Scars” by Bart Billings, PhD.
ALSO IN MY BOOK “INVISIBLE SCARS,” THIS SUBJECT WAS COVERED.
The award-winning journalist David Kupelian documented in his website article (“ e Giant, Gaping Hole in Sandy Hook Reporting”), “it is indisputable that most perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on, or just recently coming o of, psychiatric medications.”
Mr. Kupelian gave me permission to reprint his findings below, which include:
Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox – like Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft , Effexor and many others, a modern and widely prescribed type of antidepressant drug called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Harris and fellow student Dylan Klebold went on a hellish school-shooting rampage in 1999 during which they killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 24 others before turning their guns on themselves. Luvox manufacturer Solvay Pharmaceuticals concedes that during short-term controlled clinical trials, 4 percent of children and youth taking Luvox – that’s 1 in 25 – developed mania, a dangerous
CHAPTER 3 93
and violence-prone mental derangement characterized by extreme excitement and delusion.
Patrick Purdy went on a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, Calif., in 1989, which became the catalyst for the original legislative frenzy to ban “semiautomatic assault weapons” in California and the nation. The 25-year-old Purdy, who murdered five children and wounded 30, had been on Amitriptyline, an antidepressant, as well as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine.
Kip Kinkel, 15, murdered his parents in 1998 and the next day went to his school, Thurston High in Springfield, Ore., and opened re on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others. He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.
In 1988, 31-year-old Laurie Dann went on a shooting rampage in a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Ill., killing one child and wounding six. She had been taking the antidepressant Anafranil as well as Lithium, long used to treat mania.
In Paducah, Ky., in late 1997, 14-year-old Michael Carneal, son of a prominent attorney, traveled to Heath High School and started shooting students in a prayer meeting taking place in the school’s lobby, killing three and leaving another paralyzed. Carneal reportedly was on Ritalin.
In 2005, 16-year-old Je Weise, living on Minnesota’s Red Lake Indian Reservation, shot and killed nine people and
wounded five others before killing himself. Weise had been taking Prozac.
In another famous case, 47-year-old Joseph T. Wesbecker, just a month after he began taking Prozac in 1989, shot 20 workers at Standard Gravure Corp. in Louisville, Ky., killing nine. Eli Lilly later settled a lawsuit brought by survivors.
Kurt Danysh, 18, shot his own father to death in 1996, a little more than two weeks after starting on Prozac. Danysh’s description of own his mental-emotional state at the time of the murder is chilling: “I didn’t realize I did it until after it was done,” Danysh said. “ is might sound weird, but it felt like I had no control of what I was doing, like I was there just holding a gun.”
John Hinckley, age 25, took four Valium two hours before shooting and almost killing President Ronald Reagan in 1981. In the assassination attempt, Hinckley also wounded press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and policeman Thomas Delahanty.
Andrea Yates, in one of the most heartrending crimes in modern history, drowned all five of her children – aged 7 years down to 6 months – in a bathtub. Insisting inner voices commanded her to kill her children, she had become increasingly psychotic over the course of several years. At her 2006 murder re-trial (after a 2002 guilty verdict was overturned on appeal), Yates’ longtime friend Debbie Holmes testified: “She asked me if I thought Satan could read her mind and if I believed in demon possession.” And
CHAPTER 3 95
Dr. George Ringholz, after evaluating Yates for two days, recounted an experience she had after the birth of her first child: “What she described was feeling a presence … Satan … telling her to take a knife and stab her son Noah,” Ringholz said, adding that Yates’ delusion at the time of the bathtub murders was not only that she had to kill her children to save them, but that Satan had entered her and that she had to be executed in order to kill Satan.
Yates had been taking the antidepressant Effexor. In November 2005, more than four years after Yates drowned her children, Effexor manufacturer Wyeth Pharmaceuticals quietly added “homicidal ideation” to the drug’s list of “rare adverse events,” the Medical Accountability Network, a private nonprofit focused on medical ethics issues, publicly criticized Wyeth, saying Effexor’s “homicidal ideation” risk wasn’t well publicized and that Wyeth failed to send letters to doctors or issue warning labels announcing the change.
And what exactly does “rare” mean in the phrase “rare adverse events”? The FDA defines it as occurring in less than one in 1,000 people. But since that same year 19.2 million prescriptions for Effexor were filled in the US, statistically that means thousands of Americans might experience “homicidal ideation” – murderous thoughts – as a result of taking just this one brand of antidepressant drug.
Effexor is Wyeth’s best-selling drug, by the way, which in one recent year brought in over $3 billion in sales, accounting for almost half of the company’s annual revenues.
One more case is instructive, that of 12-year-old Christopher Pittman, who struggled in court to explain why he murdered his grandparents, who had provided the only love and stability he’d ever known in his turbulent life. “When I was lying in my bed that night,” he testified, “I couldn’t sleep because my voice in my head kept echoing through my mind telling me to kill them.” Christopher had been angry with his grandfather, who had disciplined him earlier that day for hurting another student during a fight on the school bus. So later that night, he shot both of his grandparents in the head with a .410 shotgun as they slept and then burned down their South Carolina home, where he had lived with them.” I got up, got the gun, and I went upstairs and I pulled the trigger,” he recalled. “ through the whole thing, it was like watching your favorite TV show. You know what is going to happen, but you can’t do anything to stop it.” Pittman’s lawyers would later argue that the boy had been a victim of “involuntary intoxication,” since his doctors had him taking the antidepressants Paxil and Zoloft just prior to the murders.
Paxil’s known “adverse drug reactions” according to the drug’s FDA-approved label include “mania,” “insomnia,” “anxiety,” “agitation,” “confusion,” “amnesia,” “depression,” “paranoid reaction,” “psychosis,” “hostility,” “delirium,” “hallucinations,” “abnormal thinking,” “depersonalization” and “lack of emotion,” among others.
e preceding examples are only a few of the best-known offenders who had been taking prescribed psychiatric
CHAPTER 3 97
drugs before committing their violent crimes – there are many others.
Whether we like to admit it or not, it is undeniable that when certain people living on the edge of sanity take psychiatric medications, those drugs can – and occasion-ally do push them over the edge into violent madness. Remember, every single SSRI antidepressant sold in the United States of America today, no matter what brand or manufacturer bears a “black box” FDA warning label, the government’s most serious drug warning of “increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality, in young adults ages 18 to 24.” Common sense tells us that where there are suicidal thoughts, especially in a very, very angry person, homicidal thoughts may not be far behind. Indeed, the mass shooters we are describing o en take their own lives when the police show up, having planned their suicide ahead of time.
So, what ‘medication’ was Lanza on?
Sandy Hook school massacre, we are constantly reminded, was the “second-worst school shooting in US history.” Let’s briefly revisit the worst, Virginia Tech, because it provides an important lesson for us. One would think, in light of the stunning correlation between psych meds and mass murders, that it would be considered critical to establish definitively whether the Virginia Tech murderer of 32 people, student Cho Seung-Hui, had been taking psychiatric drugs.
Yet, more than five years later, the answer to that question remains a mystery.
Even though initially the New York Times reported, “officials said prescription medications related to the treatment of psychological problems had been found among Mr. Cho’s effects,” and the killer’s roommate, Joseph Aust, had told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Cho’s routine each morning had included taking prescription drugs, the state’s toxicology report released two months later said “no prescription drugs or toxic substances were found in Cho Seung-Hui.” Many of these meds have a half-life of 8 hours and are not detected in a normal toxicology corners report; therefore a history from witnesses is more accurate.
Perhaps so, but one of the most notoriously unstable and unpredictable times for users of SSRI antidepressants is the period shortly after they’ve stopped taking them, during which time the substance may not be detectable in the body.
What kind of meds might Cho have been taking or recently have stopped taking? Curiously, despite an exhaustive investigation by the Commonwealth of Virginia, which disclosed that Cho had taken Paxil for a year in 1999, specifics on what meds he was taking prior to the Virginia Tech massacre have remained elusive. Thee final 20,000-word report manages to omit any conclusive information about the all-important issue of Cho’s medications during the period of the mass shooting.
CHAPTER 3 99
To add to the drama, it wasn’t until two years after the state’s in-depth report was issued that, as disclosed in an Aug. 19, 2009, ABC News report, some of Cho’s long-missing mental health records were located: e records released today were discovered to be missing during a Virginia panel’s August 2007 investigation four-and-a-half months after the massacre.
The notes were recovered last month from the home of Dr. Robert Miller, the former director of the counseling center, who says he inadvertently packed Cho’s le into boxes of personal belongings when he le the center in February 2006. Until the July 2009 discovery of the documents, Miller said he had no idea he had the records. Miller has since been let go from the university.
Although Cho’s newly discovered mental-health file reportedly revealed nothing further about his medications, the issues raised by the initial accounts, including the “officials” cited by the New York Times and the Richmond paper’s eyewitness account of daily meds taking remain unaddressed to this day.
Some critics suggest these official omissions are motivated by a desire to protect the drug companies from ruinous product liability claims. Indeed, pharmaceutical manufacturers are nervous about lawsuits over the “rare adverse effects” of their mood-altering medications. To avoid costly settlements and public relations catastrophes such as when GlaxoSmithKline was ordered to pay $6.4 million to the
100 INVISIBLE SCARS
family of 60-year-old Donald Schnell who murdered his wife, daughter and granddaughter in a t of rage shortly after starting on Paxil – drug companies’ legal teams have quietly and skillfully settled hundreds of cases out-of-court, shelling out hundreds of millions of dollars to plaintiffs. Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly fought scores of legal claims against Prozac in this way, settling for cash before the complaint could go to court while stipulating that the settlement remain secret and then claiming it had never lost a Prozac lawsuit.
All of which is, once again, to respectfully but urgently ask the question: When on earth are we going to find out if the perpetrator of the Sandy Hook school massacre, like so many other mass shooters, had been taking psychiatric drugs? In the end, it may well turn out that knowing what kinds of guns he used isn’t nearly as important as what kind of drugs he used. This is assuming we ever find out.53
End of Article
MORE INFORMATION FROM Citizens Comission on Human Rights International (CCHR)
With most Americans reeling from the recent spate of mass shootings that tragically took so many lives, many diverse “solutions” are being proposed by legislators, media and the mental health industry. Yet none address causality; namely, what could cause an individual to lose all sense of humanity in order to carry out such unimaginable acts.
While it is true that many factors can contribute to mass murder, violent crime and suicide, one well-documented fact is omitted from the press and, of course, mental health industry “experts,” the latter is demanding millions more dollars to “prevent” mass shootings when it’s known their psychiatric drugs can cause it! A percentage of the population taking these drugs become manic, psychotic, violent and homicidal.
With 80 million Americans taking these drugs, clearly not everyone will experience violent reactions. But what drug regulatory agency warnings confirm is that a percentage of the population definitely will. And no one knows who will be next. This is the game of Russian roulette that is part and parcel of the psychiatric drug industry. There are 27 drug regulatory agency warnings of psychiatric drugs being linked to violence, aggression, hostility, mania, psychosis or homicidal ideation. 49 warn of self-harm or suicide/suicidal ideation (thoughts). CCHR has recorded at least 78 incidents of such senseless violent acts, including 32 school-related killings where the killer had either been on or was withdrawing from psychiatric drugs-drugs documented to cause violence and/or homicide. The question is why isn’t the government minimally investigating what role these drugs may play in mass shootings?
It is important, therefore, to make the years of research CCHR International has carried out, culminating in its report, Psychiatric Drugs Create Violence and Suicide, and are broadly available.
Bart P. Billings,Ph.D.
COL SCNG-SC, Military Medical Directorate (Ret.)
Licensed Clinical Psychologist CA PSY 7656
Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist CA LMFT 4888
—Director/Founder International Military & Civilian Combat Stress Conference
—Initial Enlisted Ranks and Retired as Medical Service Corps Officer with a total of 34 years in US Army
—Recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award from Citizens Commission on Human Rights International & The University Of Scranton “Frank O’Hara Award” in 2016.
—Cell 760 500-5040
—Ph 760 438-2788
“INVISIBLE SCARS” is available at Amazon.com: http://a.co/1WKPjsc
Some Amazon 5 Star Recent Customer Reviews
– This Book Saved My Life.
– I am sure that this book will save lives.
– 25 pages into Invisible Scars, I knew that it was the second most important book I would ever read…after the Bible. — David T. Ossian, Asst. National Vice Commandant , Marine Corps League
– This book is life changing…everyone needs to read ….
MOST CURRENT NEW BOOK
“HEALTHY EATING” is available at Amazon.com: http://a.co/4wlhtsa