This writing will certainly not be the first of its kind today.
Today is just another a day after a mass shooting. Pardon me, mass shootings. We know the drill well. The day where peacemakers and blowhards alike spew their ideas on why this is happening. Why we as a society are killing the crap out of each other. “Well here’s why I think it’s so frequent,” and, “Here’s what you should do about it.”
It’s an amalgamation of noise where we blame everyone but ourselves, our laws, our culture.
As I add to said cacophony of speculation, allow me to first share my sorrow. My heart rests low beside my feet today. Imagining vividly the weeping mothers, screaming fathers, helpless brothers, and shrieking sisters, who lost someone they loved completely.
They will never hear that voice again. They will never hear that laugh. Perhaps their Christmas gifts were already wrapped, and will never be unwrapped by the hands for whom they were intended.
These lives are real. And now, they are dead.
Look at these photos. They were taken the day of the shooting in California, at their holiday party. Don’t you tell me you don’t shudder to know that less than God knows how many moments later, these innocent souls were brutally attacked by heavily armed murderers.
Armed with artillery, they came storming into a facility built for peace and safety. They tore through the sunlight with automatics and maniacism, murdering as many people as possible in the name of infamy. The screams of those terrorized didn’t phase them. The shrieks for mercy emboldened their might. Their only goal was to kill.
Folks, I had a busy work day yesterday and didn’t check the news once. When I came up for air around 5:00pm, I learned there was not one, but TWO. MASS. SHOOTINGS.
One of the shootings didn’t even bother the news, because pffft. It was only 4 people aaand only one died. Big fucking deal.
OH, but 14+ death count? I can just hear it now, like our society’s civil decorum general:
Private First Class: “Blondes, sir?”
General: “You know, Fox News. Get them fired up on nationalism and such. Spinning plates to protect gun rights while simultaneously blaming liberals and Islam.”
Private: “Sir, yes sir!”
General: “Alright and who’s on Twitter duty? Figure out a hashtag that fits and get a few celebrities outraged using it. Where’s Zuckerburg?”
Zuckerberg: “Yeah, dude.”
General: “Make sure users’ newsfeeds aren’t entirely flooded with this news. Sprinkle in posts written earlier in the day so the public is remembering what this nation is about. It’s the holidays for God’s sake, we need to keep people distracted enough to keep buying shit they don’t need.”
It’s the same thing. Time and time again and what has changed? This is the 353rd (or 355th, depending on what you read) mass shooting* in the US in 2015, more than calendar days in the year. If you feel like vomiting on your desk, here is the 2015 US mass shooting tracker, for your embarrassment of society.
*A mass shooting is classified as 4 or more victims wounded.
Welp, now what? What’s the call to action? Gun control? Refugee embargo? Pray harder? Punch a foreigner? Elect Trump? Close Planned Parenthood? Ignore it and watch satan’s own morons embarrass themselves on TV?
I’m no authority and I don’t have all the answers. But I know my people are getting slaughtered routinely and I’m blindingly sick of it. Instead of parroting along and doing nothing to change our ways as usual, how about…
Gun. Control. Now.
Hang on, before you close this window, hear me out. I respect your rights. I respect the constitution and your rights to do whatever the hell you want. I really, honestly do. But listen. Why is it harder for a woman to get birth control than a gun? Why is it simpler to enlist an 18-year-old in the armed forces, to train them to kill, suffer, and die, than to hand them a beer legally?
We are controlling the wrong things. Of all of the things that should be controlled, perhaps, maybe it should be lethal weapons. Weapons given to militaries to slaughter other militaries. As Chris Murphy, Senator whose Tweet I posted above, stated after the Sandy Hook massacre, “There is no reason why anyone should have access to a military-style assault weapon or a magazine clip that holds 30 or 100 bullets.”
For the record, the only reason we ever made the 2nd amendment was so we could form a militia if we needed to overthrow a totalitarian government. We were a plucky little civilization of farmers with pitchforks and maybe a little gunpowder at the time. We knew the British were still pissed and also knew we were the riffraff spawn of their ideals. It wasn’t unlikely at all for our presiding leader to change his mind and decide to become the new King George of the US and ignore our rights and freedoms. We needed to protect ourselves from tyranny, so we made firearms a constitutional right.
And now, we create our own tyranny with far more developed firearms.
Please, think about it. My father was a gun collector, my brothers all enlisted in the armed forces. I grew up around guns and know what to do with one. But that doesn’t matter. I don’t care how responsible of a gun owner you are, as a nation we have proven we do not respect their power. These murderers ruined it for the rest of us. I think comedian Jim Jefferies makes this particular point a little more, ahem, eloquently than I can:
“If you’re a responsible gun owner, and you don’t fuck around with them, you should be allowed to have guns, you really should. But that’s not how society works. We have to play to the 1% who are such fuckwits who ruin it for the rest of us. We have to walk as slow as our slowest person to keep society moving.
I take drugs like a fucking champion. We should all be allowed to take fuckin’ drugs. But we can’t, can we? Because Sarah took drugs and she stabbed those fuckin’ kids! Agh! Thanks, Sarah! You fucked it up for everyone! Right?
Everyone should be allowed to drive their car as fast as they can do it. Right? But we can’t because Jonathan got drunk and ran over a family. Thanks, Jonathan! Now I have to drive at 30mph, you fuckin idiot!”
Humor aside, I’m serious. We can’t handle it anymore. Our country is just not built in a way that can handle the crazy amount of guns that easily fall into the hands of the violent. I’ve got a chart below of mass killers and how they obtained their guns, so hold tight, we’re getting there.
Oh also, I have all kinds of rebuttals for the fun fantastic gun debates I’m sure are about to ensue. So I’ll just handle that over in the comment section if you haven’t already thrown your phone out the window and sent my name to the NRA hitlist.
Things have to change, Americans. People are dying. In the name of ending the killing…think about it.
Stop Medicating With SSRIs
What do 90% of the United States school shootings have in common? While yes, a good guess is easy access to guns, but a more disturbing link exists.
SSRI — Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors. The most widely prescribed antidepressant in the United States. These are your Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa, etc. The most common thread between this country’s school shooters, as well as mass shooters, are the antidepressants. SSRI in particular.
The way SSRIs work to treat depression is to ef around with your naturally occurring neurotransmitters, which are messengers in your brain that play telephone all day to send communication about what to do here and there (feel good, feel bad, heart to beat, lungs to breathe).
When taking an SSRI, the main neurotransmitter affected is (can you guess?!) serotonin. The drug is called “selective” because serotonin is pretty much the only neurotransmitter affected by SSRI, thereby selecting it.
Why select serotonin? Serotonin is primarily responsible for balancing mood, so controlling the levels of serotonin released is considered a banner way to regulate your emotions.
Are there ways to measure the serotonin released in any person’s body? Which could help doctors know how much of the inhibitor to prescribe? Nope. It’s a fun little guessing game doctors play with patients. They try one out, ask how the patient feels. Then try another, then another until things seem alright. What could possibly go wrong?
In suicidal people, they can become more suicidal.*
In depressed people, their condition can worsen. But much scarier, withdrawing from the drug is extremely dangerous and can even cause the patient to become psychotic. Unfortunately there is overwhelmingly damning evidence that this drug can have murderous consequences as well.
*I lost a family member that way. RIP, T.
Some of said damning evidence (along with the gun info I promised):
- 1998: Kip Kinkel was taking Prozac when he murdered his mother and stepfather then marched to Thurston HS and shot 37, killing 2. (Armed with a 9mm Glock 19 pistol, a Ruger .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle, and a .22-caliber Ruger MK II pistol, carrying a total of 1,127 rounds of ammunition, all of which were bought either by Kinkel or by his parents for him.)
- 1999: T.J. Solomon, on antidepressants, wounded 6 at his high school in Conyers, GA. (Stole stepdad’s .22 rifle.)
- 1999: Eric Harris was taking Luvox when he and Dylan Klebold killed 13 and wounded 24 others before killing themselves at Columbine HS. (In the months prior, both purchased two 9mm firearms and two 12-gauge shotguns. Other guns were bought or given from friends. The arsenal they arrived with was insane, look it up. Don’t forget the 99 bombs they built themselves.)
- 2001: Christopher Pittman, had been on Paxil but his doctor ran out and gave him samples of Zoloft to try. He then killed his grandparents when we was 12 years old. (Stole grandparents’ shotgun.)
- 2001: Elizabeth Bush, who fired at fellow students wounding 1 in Williamsport, PA, was on Prozac. (Stole father’s .22-caliber revolver.)
- 2001: Jason Hoffman was on Effexor and Celexa when he opened fire at Granite Hills HS in El Cajon, CA, wounding 5. (Armed with 12-gauge Mossberg shotgun and a .22-caliber pistol, both of which he owned.)
But don’t take my word for it.
As you might imagine, pro-gunners are super down with this argument. Better to take the heat off yourself, right? So Ammoland, a shooting sports news source, has quite the robust list of mass shootings wherein shooters are on antidepressants (can’t say they are all necessarily SSRIs, haven’t fact checked them all), here ya go, you are encouraged to see for yourself.
And here’s another list, where you’ll see the most infamous like the 2013 Aurora movie theatre shooter and the 2007 Virginia Tech shooter all on some form of the damn drug: Ta-da. Remember that The Virginia Tech shooting was the deadliest mass shootings by a single person in the USA of all time, where 33 souls lost their lives.
Now I know what you’re thinking. Kids with social disorders or depression are more likely to be murders, making the condition of depression itself predictive of violent behavior. Naturally you’ll find a correlation between SSRIs and shootings because it is the depression or mental health disorder which causes acting out — not the drug.
I hear you, but the fact is, these incidents are increasing. There have always been depressed people, but today we have depressed people AND mass shootings. We can theorize this increase can also be attributed to a desensitization to violence, or how we give murderers the limelight, or guns, or shitty school systems, sure.
But the overwhelmingly number one correlation? SSRIs. We can’t ignore that. Just look again at how many killers were on them. I can lie — but numbers can’t.
Why isn’t this more mainstream knowledge? Taking a little stab at it here, perhaps the $300 billion pharmaceutical industry (projected to hit $400 billion in 3 years) wouldn’t appreciate the hit to their bottom line if this were mainstream knowledge. Perhaps they have plenty of money in their pocket to get lobbyists to quell the speculation and keep the idea quiet.
I have more things to say on this matter, but I’ll stop for now.
Bottom line is: Asshats are out there murdering your innocent brothers and sisters in cold blood with automatic weapons. They’ve ruined it for us. Game over. Our society can’t handle it anymore. We were doing alright when it was just muskets and we all had acres of land to cross before seeing other humans — but we can’t handle it anymore. We need stricter control on guns.
Antidepressants are dangerous, specifically SSRIs. I learned this early when I lost my cousin. People die. I know some of you take them and I’m not here to take away your drug, if it works for you, fine. But there is a problem in this country where it is handed out like candy, and that’s unacceptable and irresponsible. We can’t drug the shit out of our citizens and expect everything to be alright.
If at all possible, please, find other ways to manipulate yours and your children’s serotonin levels. Other known ways to regulate serotonin are exercise (go outside!), food (eat a salad!), and light (again with the outside!).
RIP to the victims in California, Georgia, and in the 351 other mass shootings this year. Hopefully we will finally do something real about it.
Alright, want to lighten it up a little? Watch this video, it’s hilarious, it’s where I got that Jim Jefferies quote: