Media and Big Pharma ignoring evidence of drug connection to mass shootings

The Response

There is an abundance of stories on the Internet about a common theme with mass shooters – many, if not most, were prescribed psychotropic drugs at the time of the shootings. But, somehow, that inconvenient factor goes largely ignored by the media.

Instead, the media focuses almost exclusively on the weapon used in the incident. Never mind that the right to bear arms has existed in America, well, as long as there’s been an America. Never mind that we didn’t see mass shootings with this frequency or severity prior to the widespread use of psychotropic drugs. It’s difficult to ignore the correlation between psychotropic drugs and mass shooters, though the media and pharmaceutical industry seemed determined to try.

It's like the young boy in the 1995 movie Jumangi. The boy runs to the shed to get the axe but the shed is locked. So, he grabs an axe next to the door and starts chopping at the lock until he notices that he’s already got the axe in his hands.

That’s almost certainly giving the media and pharmaceutical industry far more benefit of the doubt than they deserve. They know they have the axe in their hands but they’re chopping at the lock anyhow. They know that what they really want is in that shed – and it has nothing to do with the axe.

The introduction of psychotropic medications came about in the ‘40s and ‘50s. But those breakthroughs were merely creating, what those in the field call ‘the framework’ for introducing new psychotropic drugs.

One such psychotropic drug that has been so widely prescribed that it earned the moniker “The Prozac Nation” was used by an alarming number of mass shooters. Mass shooters also frequently used Zoloft. But there are others, as this list of some of the mass shooters shows.

2017 – Devin Kelly (Unspecified for aggression) killed 26 wounded 20 – Sutherland Springs, TX
2015 - Dylann Roof (Unspecified) killed 9 wounded 1 – Charlestown, SC
2015 - Bradley Stone (Trazodone) killed 7 – Pennsburg, PA
2014 - Ivan Lopez (Unspecified) killed 4 wounded 16 – Fort Hood, TX
2014 - Aaron Ybarra (Prozac) killed 1 wounded 2 – Seattle Pacific University
2014 - Myron Deshawn May (Wellbutrin) wounded 3 – Florida State University
2013 - Jose Reyes (Prozac) killed 2 wounded 2 – Sparks Middle School, NV
2013 - Aaron Alexis (Trazodone) killed 12 wounded 8 – Navy Yard, Washington, DC
2012 - James Eagan Holmes (Zoloft) killed 12 wounded 70 – Aurora, CO
2012 - Andrew Engeldinger (Mirtazapine, Trazodone) killed 7 wounded 2 – Minneapolis, MN
2012 - John Shick (Unspecified – multiple) killed 1 wounded 6 – University of Pittsburg
2011 - Scott DeKraai (Trazodone/Topamax) killed 8 wounded 1 – Seal Beach, CA
2009 - Robert Kenneth Stewart (Lexapro) killed 8 wounded 3 – Carthage, NC
2009 - Christopher Wood (Wellbutrin, Elavil, Pamelor) killed 5 – Middletown, MD
2008 - Steven Kazmierczak (Prozac) killed 6 wounded 21 – Northern Illinois University
2007 - Asa Coon (Trazodone) killed 1 wounded 4 – Cleveland, OH
2007 - Seung-Hui Cho (Prozac, Paxil) killed 32 wounded 23 – Virginia Tech University
2007 - Robert Hawkins (Unspecified) killed 9 wounded 4 – Omaha, NE
2006 - Alvaro Rafael Castillo (Unspecified) killed 1 wounded 2 – Hillsborough, NC
2005 - Jeff Weise (Prozac) killed 10 wounded 12 – Red Lake, MN
2005 - Toby R. Sincino (Zoloft, Luvox) killed 2 wounded 1 – Blackville, SC
2001 - Christopher Pittman (Paxil, Zoloft) killed 2 – Chester, SC
2001 - Jason Hoffman (Celexa, Effexor) wounded 5 – El Cajon, CA
2000 - Michael McDermott (Prozac and Unspecified) killed 7 – Edgewater Technology, Wakefield, MA
2000 - Richard Baumhammers (Unspecified – 16 different meds) killed 5 wounded 1 – Pennsylvania
1999 - Eric Harris (with Dylan Klebold) (Zoloft, Luvox) killed 14 wounded 23 – Columbine High School
1999 - Neal Furrow (Prozac) wounded 5 – Los Angeles
1998 - Kip Kinkel (Prozac) killed 4 wounded 22 – Springfield, OR
1997 - Luke Woodham (Prozac) killed 3 wounded 6 – Pearl, MS
1993 - Stephen Leith (Prozac) killed 1 wounded 2 – Chelsea, MI
1989 - Joseph T. Wesbecker (Prozac) killed 9 wounded 11 – Louisville, KY
1989 - Patrick Purdy (Amitriptyline) killed 5 wounded 30 – Stockton, CA
1988 - James Wilson (Unspecified) killed 9 wounded 2 – Greenwood, SC
1988 - Laurie Wasserman Dann (Anafranil) killed 2 wounded 6 – Winnetka, IL

In an August 8 article in Newsweek, “Professor Peter Kinderman, a professor of clinical psychology at the United Kingdom's University of Liverpool and author of the 2019 book A Prescription for Psychiatry: Why We Need a Whole New Approach to Mental Health and Wellbeing,” was quoted as saying "There is some evidence that SSRIs are associated with suicide (paradoxically, since they are purported to be antidepressants) and impulsive behavior, but links to violence are mainly anecdotal.”

The number of mass shooters who were using psychotropic drugs at least seems to suggest something more than “anecdotal.” At the very least, the frequency of such cases strongly justifies further investigation rather than dismissal. But pushing against psychotropic drugs runs against a strong headwind.

The headwind comes from the anti-gun community and the pharmaceutical industry. Neither wants to accept the idea that psychotropic drugs might play a role as a cause of mass shootings.

A wide range of sources were used for this story while verifying the information including: Wikipedia, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Newsweek, NY Post, Fox News, WREG TV of Memphis, TN, and others.

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