Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Monday, June 09, 2008

How Long Until Another Rampage Shooting

How Long Until Another Rampage Shooting?

One of the few things I agreed with Lefty blogger Markadelphia on was our belief that mood-altering chemicals have an association with "spree killings." I believe, and have so stated, that a tiny percentage of the population is adversely affected by this class of pharmaceuticals, specifically the antidepressants known as "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors" (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft. I think for a tiny percentage of people these drugs can unlock normal inhibitions and lead to severe violence. I think that the percentage is so small that it would appear in any study as "statistical noise," but I also believe that there have been too many rampage shooters who have been on such medications for it to be mere coincidence.

So imagine my discomfort to discover that:
Data contained in the Army's fifth Mental Health Advisory Team report indicate that, according to an anonymous survey of U.S. troops taken last fall, about 12% of combat troops in Iraq and 17% of those in Afghanistan are taking prescription antidepressants or sleeping pills to help them cope.


Given the traditional stigma associated with soldiers seeking mental help, the survey, released in March, probably underestimates antidepressant use. But if the Army numbers reflect those of other services — the Army has by far the most troops deployed to the war zones — about 20,000 troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were on such medications last fall. The Army estimates that authorized drug use splits roughly fifty-fifty between troops taking antidepressants — largely the class of drugs that includes Prozac and Zoloft — and those taking prescription sleeping pills like Ambien.
The one thing that helps alleviate my discomfort is this:
(S)oldiers — who are younger and healthier on average than the general population — have been prescreened for mental illnesses before enlisting.
But I have read LtCol Dave Grossman's excellent book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society, and I realize that combat can have a mentally debilitating influence on the majority of combat soldiers.

So the question I have is, are our soldiers stable enough to withstand the effects of these drugs? I know our mental health screening efforts aren't what they could be, given the example of Steven Dale Green, but I certainly don't want another Green coming back here and deciding to end it all and take as many with him as he can.

I hope like hell the military is supporting and observing those who are on SSRI's for changes in behavior patterns.

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