Tag Archives: personal choice stops violence

Breaking the Link of Violence and Mental Illness – NYTimes.com

People with serious mental disorders, while more likely to commit aggressive acts than the average person, account for only about 4 percent of violent crimes over all.

The rate is higher when it comes to rampage or serial killings, closer to 20 percent, according to Dr. Michael Stone, a New York forensic psychiatrist who has a database of about 200 mass and serial killers. He has concluded from the records that about 40 were likely to have had paranoid schizophrenia or severe depression or were psychopathic, meaning they were impulsive and remorseless.

“But most mass murders are done by working-class men who’ve been jilted, fired, or otherwise humiliated — and who then undergo a crisis of rage and get out one of the 300 million guns in our country and do their thing,” Dr. Stone said.

The sort of young, troubled males who seem to psychiatrists most likely to commit school shootings — identified because they have made credible threats — often do not qualify for any diagnosis, experts said. They might have elements of paranoia, of deep resentment, or of narcissism, a grandiose self-regard, that are noticeable but do not add up to any specific “disorder” according to strict criteria.

via Breaking Link of Violence and Mental Illness – NYTimes.com.

This is a quote that is now four years old, and mental illness has come up in mass shootings more frequently during that time. However, that probably has more to do with the violence ingested by all of us on TV and media. It represents a permission of sorts to act out–everybody is doing it–and people with mental illness have less of a boundary between fantasy and reality.

Mental illness constitutes a terror for people to live with inside their heads, but mostly it stays contained there. They need our compassion and understanding and research more than any disease–this being one of the hardest to live with. You don’t know you are disordered.

To discontinue blaming them for violence is a good thing. To stop being afraid of them is a good thing. To feel compassion and help them is a good thing. To enable their addictions is not.

Twenty years ago, an estimated 30% of homeless were Vietnam veterans–many of them with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. They have greatly helped our understanding of PTSD. Services for that disorder are increasing, but we still have a long way to go. Awareness is helpful.

I think one of the things we need to come to terms with in this country is our love of violence, our use of it as entertainment and the effect it has on us–get our heads out of the sand on that one. Our parenting has less boundaries and our leisure time has more violence. That is a set up for a crazy, lawless society!

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Obama Trumped?

~Soft? Too easy on atrocities? A police state would be an atrocity, where fear dictates that government knows every move we make and every motive we have. Was Obama Trumped? I don’t think so.

People want strong leadership, but Obama’s “Don’t let this affect the way you look at and treat others, especially Muslims; we must treat everyone as God’s” (not an exact quote, but what I remember) is actually stronger than, “We should stop every Muslim from entering the U.S.” (again not exact) because it appeals to reason and not fear. Freedom is not easy to preside over.

God could easily have a police state, but He doesn’t, and He could. He has the power. He knows every move and motive, and yet what does He do? He gives us freedom to develop, to choose good or evil, to decide to live or die forever. So I’m guessing it takes a lot more strength to govern freedom than to dictate.

Freedom requires risk and personal responsibility. And sometimes it gets painful and messy. When we are in pain because of someone else’s choices, we want justice, somebody stronger to do something. Nobody wants to be a victim. But everyone of us is a victim of evil–inside and outside.

What concerns me is the choices we make. Choices are critical. When violence becomes entertainment, it’s easy for victimized people to take that path. And I don’t know about your house, but there is an awfully lot of violence on the screens in this country. We become what we watch, but especially if we enjoy it.

And yes, I think it’s crazy that anybody can buy an assault weapon. But I think it’s crazier that nobody lobbies against violence. That no one seems to get energized over how much violence our kids watch. Many of them exposed to it in their homes, and not on a screen! Many of them are recipients of violence. But nobody is campaigning against child abuse. Whose platform includes teaching how to make good choices?

If you enjoy violence, will you choose good forever?

In my devotional this morning was this, “Only what is done in Love lasts, for God is love, and only the work of God remains.” (God calling, 11-22)

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