From Prozac to Parkland: Are Psychiatric Drugs Causing Mass Shootings?Moreover, as The Guardian reported last year, “Pharmaceutical companies spend far more than any other industry to influence politicians,” having poured “close to $2.5bn into lobbying and funding members of Congress over the past decade.” This dwarfs the “gun lobby’s” political contributions, mind you.
But what about pharmaceuticals’ contributions to mass shootings? Of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation, but it can provide clues as to where causation may lie — and the correlation between mass shooters and psychiatric drug use certainly exists.
Consider Newtown, Connecticut, killer Adam Lanza (I will provide the names of perpetrators of older incidents), who killed 26 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2013. He also was on medication, according to family friend Louise Tambascio. That’s all we heard about it, however; as Kupelian points out, there “was little journalistic curiosity or follow-up.”
But there should be. As Kupelian also informs, “Fact: A disturbing number of perpetrators of school shootings and similar mass murders in our modern era were either on — or just recently coming off of — psychiatric medications.” He then provides some examples (all quotations are Kupelian’s):
• “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.” Along with fellow student Dylan Klebold, Harris shot 13 to death and wounded 24 in a headline-grabbing 1999 rampage. “Luvox manufacturer Solvay Pharmaceuticals concedes that during short-term controlled clinical trials, 4 percent of children and youth taking Luvox — that’s one in 25 — developed mania, a dangerous and violence-prone mental derangement characterized by extreme excitement and delusion.”
• Twenty-five-year-old Patrick Purdy murdered five children and wounded 30 in a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, California, in 1989. He’d been taking “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, Oregon, and opened fire on his classmates, killing two and wounding 22 others. He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.”
WND’s Leo Hohmann adds to the picture, having reported in 2015 (all quotations are his):
• “Aaron Ray Ybarra, 26, of Mountlake Terrace, Washington, allegedly opened fire with a shotgun at Seattle Pacific University in June 2014, killing one student and wounding two others.” Ybarra “said he’d been prescribed with Prozac and Risperdal to help him with his problems.”
• “Jose Reyes, the Nevada seventh-grader who went on a shooting rampage at his school in October 2013 was taking a prescription antidepressant [Prozac] at the time….”
• “Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis sprayed bullets at office workers and in a cafeteria on Sept. 16, 2013, killing 13 people including himself. Alexis had been prescribed [generic antidepressant] Trazodone by his Veterans Affairs doctor.”
• “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, Kentucky, 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 Jeff 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.”
• “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, Kentucky, killing nine. Prozac-maker Eli Lilly later settled a lawsuit brought by survivors.”
This is interesting. Its seldom discussed. Note that big pharma shoves a lot more money to lobbying than the NRA could dream of. Here is another link to some information. There is quite a bit of this on the internet. Something to think about.
Should taking these drugs be included on a background check information? It gets sticky with the medical privacy stuff, but then again, its pretty sticky to come up with a red flag law that demands confiscation of property ex parte. Here is another interesting link.
Still at Large: Are Psychiatric Drugs the Hidden Culprit in Mass Shootings? | Family Life