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Theodore Dalrymple
Newtown’s Unanswerable Questions « Back to Story

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I lost the link
just because demonic influence is no longer considered possible doesn't mean it can't happen.
The only response is to wait and grieve. All the nonsense about mental health, guns and all the rest - none of it will do or mean a damn thing.

You want an answer? - violence in the media, violent video games, autopsies of violence victims shown on network television and more has desensitized us all to violence. Change the Constitution, make it illegal to portray violence in media. Also change the culture, make homes where children raised by two parents the norm, make mandatory the posting of anti-violence messages in media.

Who is to say that the foregoing isn't the answer, that it would work a thousand tmes better than anti-gun efforts?

You know what? NONE of the above is going to happen, and none of that should happen. Humans in a society as large as ours commit acts of violence, and nothing we do is going to change that. We can and must make it more socially unacceptable but take away the gun, and a person bent on harm will find another way - we could think of and have seen an infinite number of examples where a motivated person could engage in acts of violence sans gun that would make what we've seen lately look like a swiss picnic.

So...we all take a deep breath, and ignore the manipulative efforts of the news organizations, and other agenda driven - and power hungry - rabble rousers.
The pseudo-discipline of psychiatry, which has been around for more than a hundred years and has yet to establish any record or evidence of being able to substantially impact any serious sort of mental disorder (other than through heavy and mostly counter-productive drugging).....and now you tell us it couldn't have prevented the Newtown tragedy? Say it isn't so.
Here are some elements of a plan in response to the Sandy Hook tragedy and other similar mass murders committed with guns in the US. Each of these has some value, and together would have great value. Some elements are derived from others.

• Ensure state compliance with requirements to post appropriate mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
• Establish clear reporting guidelines for when and how mental health records are required to be posted in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System so that states can be held accountable for compliance
• Require a full background check in all gun transactions, including private sales at gun shows and online purchases
• Fully fund state technology efforts to comply with the federal background check system requirements
• Require states to comply fully with the protocols of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System or threatening to take away their federal funding
• Mandate federal compliance with a presidential executive order directing all agencies to submit records to this instant background check system
• Prohibit the manufacture, sale and purchase of assault weapons and outlawing high-capacity bullet magazines, very large amounts of ammunition, and bullets which have the sole purpose of causing great bodily injury.

Mandatory training on gun safety for gun owners and users.

Mandatory trigger locks and gun safes for gun owners. Installation of gun cabinets may improve gun and ammunition storage practices. Financial assistance to gun owners, such as tax incentives, can be provided to gun owners for this purpose.

Technological fixes so that only the registered owner can shoot the gun.

Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with stiff penalties for those who arm criminals.

Fully fund mental health services.

The military, VHA, and wider medical community should create a trusted mechanism for safely removing and temporarily storing firearms on a patient's behalf with his/her consent.

The issue of guns should be linked to the issue of suicide prevention. Access to firearms is a risk factor for suicide. Firearms used in youth suicide usually belong to a parent.
Reducing access to lethal means saves lives.

Nurses and other emergency department personnel in hospital emergency rooms should provide "Lethal means counseling." This means:
assessing whether a person at risk for suicide has access to a firearm or other lethal means, and
working with them and their family and support system to limit their access until they are no longer feeling suicidal. Psychiatrists should also provide such counseling in their practices. Among families of high risk youth, those who received the counseling were significantly more likely than those who had not to remove or secure the dangerous items. Others who come into contact with suicidal people should also provide such counseling.

Improve the social safety net generally, so that fewer people fall through the cracks.

Tighten rules for mandatory reporters, so that more people with violent potential come to the attention of law enforcement.

Restore funding for the Community Oriented Policing (COPS) program, to put more police back in communities.

Gun enthusiasts police other gun enthusiasts, and learn to notice and act on signs of potential violence. For example, firearm retailers and range owners, can help prevent suicide by

Using guidelines with gun store/firing range owners about how to avoid selling or renting a firearm to a suicidal customer

Encouraging gun stores and firing ranges to display and distribute suicide prevention materials tailored to their customers
Strengthen product liability laws, so that gun manufacturers have at least some liability for the damage that their guns do. Congress enacted a law in 2005 that gives gun manufacturers and dealers broad immunity from being sued. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) shields the gun industry. This law should be rescinded. Before the PLCAA, lawsuits were starting to prod the gun industry to act more responsibly. In 2000, Smith & Wesson, the nation’s largest handgun manufacturer, agreed to a variety of safety conditions to end lawsuits that threatened to put it in bankruptcy. Among other things, Smith & Wesson agreed to put a second, hidden set of serial numbers on all of its new guns to make it harder for criminals to scratch away the identifying markings. But the PLCAA took away the pressure to work on safety.
Gun holders should be required to purchase additional liability insurance to cover gun incidents that cause harm to themselves and other. Proof of insurance should be provided as a condition to purchase a gun. The analogy is to car insurance.
Institutional investors should divest from gun manufacturers.
In the absence of rules governing the design of firearms, regulating the way guns are advertised may be a useful public health intervention. Some gun advertisements include messages suggesting that bringing a handgun into the home is generally protective for the occupants of the home. The best available scientific information contradicts this message. Given this disjunction, regulating those advertisements may be an appropriate response. Under federal law, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has authority to prohibit advertisements that are "deceptive" or "unfair." Under the FTC's deception analysis, the focus is on whether consumers are misled by an advertisement. For a finding of unfairness, the FTC looks for advertisements that may cause substantial injury to consumers. Under either analysis, a strong argument can be made that firearm advertisements promising home protection are unlawful.
Broaden the discussion beyond mental health to include evil people, and learn to recognize the signs of evil.

Increase the understanding of school and college officials, so that they don't hide behind the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in mistakenly thinking they can't do anything about potentially violent students. Similarly, increase the understanding of HIPAA (the health care privacy act), so that practitioners understand that it doesn't mean that potentially violent patients can be ignored or hidden.

Establish a National Institute of Violence Prevention at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to research root causes and community solutions. We should fund the Centers for Disease Control to develop its infrastructure so it can track, assess and develop strategies to prevent gun violence, just as we do with tainted spinach and influenza. Currently NIH is prohibited by statute from covering gun violence as a public health problem.

Overturn the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, so that the influence of big donors will be decreased in politics. This will reduce the pernicious influence of the NRA and arms manufacturers, which are distorting the possibility of good legislation.

Shift to more of a public health emphasis, and encourage passive safety elements, similarly to the way car safety has been approached. People still have lots and lots of cars, but each car is much safer.

Use buy-back programs for guns.

FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) under the Freedom of Information Act show that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did "not condone the use of violence" at occupy protests. Using similar criteria, gun enthusiasts could be similarly surveilled, monitored, and reported on. In fact, gun enthusiasts, because they possess guns, espouse a willingness to use them, and give as a reason protection from an oppressive government, provide even greater reasons for FBI action against them.

"I suspected that the nurses thought that filling in forms was their work, and that when they had done this they had achieved something."

I have seen in the nursing profession a change from those trained for want of a better word vernacularlly, to those trained external to the healing environment or in an academic setting.
Those who were trained under Nightingale traditions have an empathy to the patient who is the center of their succor.
Those trained in a sterile intellectual lecture are focused on their asses -- a fear of not crossing the t's or doting the i's, the patient is not a human being with needs.

I believe that this elevation of societies' servants to the role of divine augers separates the faulty from the whole with the subsequent dysfunctional civility.
Just read that Sidwell, the school attended by the Obama children and those of other Washington poobahs, has nine armed guards on duty. Remember that, when liberals laugh or recoil at the suggestion that school teachers and administrators be armed.

It also would help if more teachers were intimidating males.
Diane Medved psychologist agrees with Theodore Dalrymple.

"Sad, but sick of pondering Connecticut shootings"
by Diane Medved Mon 12/17/2012
On the subject:
"Do Something"
from Susan's Musings by Susan Lapin

Susan is the wife of Rabbi Daniel Lapin and they send joint emails of their thoughts.

I would add that
· We need an independent scientific study of SSRI's and anti-psychotics because I fear that Big Pharma, like Big Agra, has too large an influence over the FDA (and USDA). Their use has been implicated in many mass murders.
· Please see the story known to Americans but it might not have made the European papers: NY 12/24/2012 The man who started fires, Robert Spengler Jr, burning down his own house, (and a car, and 7 other houses burned) after killing his sister, to lure fire fighters so that he could shoot them, was an ex-con who had been convicted and finished his sentence and finished his parole time, who had been convicted of killing his grandmother with a hammer, had guns which were illegal. He died by his own hand. So how does passing more laws help? Did he care that he had guns the possession of which was illegal since ex-cons cannot purchase nor own guns? No. Why? Because he was a criminal. His much beloved mother died. We don't know if his suicidal rage was inappropriately expressed grief, or whether it was the result of an upcoming inheritance fight with the sister, he allegedly hated and with whom he lived in his mother's home, his first victim.
· The number of people killed by their own governments after guns were taken away from the population in the 20'th century adds up to a. 56 million people.[Michael Savage}.
· A lot of these people want to commit suicide and they choose to do it but take other innocents with them which point might point to a possible approach.
· Stringent gun laws in Norway did not prevent the mass murder in Norway.
In the meantime New York is concerned with outlawing 16 oz soda drinks, and towns and counties in California are concerned with stamping out the use of paper bags in food stores, due to fears of the sky falling, I mean Global Warming, I mean Climate Change, and to avert it, the radical environmentalists have undertaken steps which will hurt jobs and the economy in the now, as versus +1 degree C change by the year 2100. ("Cooling Down the Fears of Climate Change" by Matt Ridley WSJ 12/18/2012).
And Robert108 - Abortion is freely available in Australia.

The answer is so clearly access to weapons of mass killing that people outside America can't believe that Americans can't see that.
So what is the answer to these massacres - certainly not infringing on the civil liberties of the mentally ill.

Britain and Australia with their strong restrictions ownership of assault weapons have miniscule murder rates compared to the USA.

Do they have a lower incidence of mental illness - I think not.
Excellent article. To this one side point

"I suspected that the nurses thought that filling in forms was their work, and that when they had done this they had achieved something."

As an RN I can sadly say there are countless jobs were filling out forms *is* becoming the job, partly to qualify for government reimbursement or to avoid litigation, but also as a token effort at process improvement. It's usually the first or only effort that's ever accomplished by administration after a problem is identified. Of course, no one of significance (psychiatrists, physicians, law enforcement, whoever) ever takes time to look at the forms. So that's why your nurses thought that's all they could accomplish.
You people are pathetic. Arguing about Dr. Dalrymple's backgroung and whatever else you're all bickering about shows that you all have no clue what the message is he's trying to convey. This is the reason why our country, today, is in the mess it's in. I can only shake my head in bewilderment.
Robert108 You appear to be expecting rationality from a psychotic, which granted is an assumption, (although they may have a logic somewhere if one could have gotten into their brain), or from a Satanist, based on rumor. If Satanism is antithetical to Abrahamic values, then killing children not only has been the action of people calling themselves Satanists in the past, but can be seen as a declaratory act rejecting the monotheistic ethical God of Abraham considering that the name of Abraham is synonymous with the lesson to not sacrifice children. It the the act of embracing evil. It is the act of killing innocence. It is the act of choosing to concentrate on anger rather than love. It is the act of causing pain rather than causing healing. It was done before Christmas, on a Friday, whose date 12/14/2012 which adds up to 13 (1+2+1+4+2+0+1+2).

Well that is all news to me. I thought the US got its problems from Europe. The very people that Naziism was trying to eradicate jumped to the US and continued their work of undermining a society here, continuing the work they had been doing in Germany.

I disagree with you that Britain's problems identified by Dalrymple lay at the feet of the US. Britain had the Fabians well before America was considered important, IMHO.

I don't see Dalrymple as the tales of a single person as he was meeting and talking on a deep level to many people about whom he observed some principles. His writings accurately foretold the riots in London, and France, which is a very good sign for a theory. When he talks, because he is writing about whites, most of the time, we get to see the effect of values on people, without getting side-tracked on issues of race, and accusations of racism.

I was just thinking that here we are talking about the likelihood that a shrink can accurately predict the breakdown of one individual, if the mother could have forced a young man of 20 to go to an appointment. News is now saying that the mother was saying that Adam Lanza was burning himself with a lighter, literally. It is surprising to me that she didn't get him admitted, nor to a shrink, and that she did not see a shrink, as far as we know. It sounds like he was marinating in anger, even having his brother's ID on him when he committed the crimes thereby attempting to besmirch his brother's name.

It is interesting to note that neither Freud nor Jung made much headway regarding Nazism, which was a whole society.

You stated: "your nation that has the line 'all men are created equal' enshrined in its constitution."
What? That's a problem? You object to that? Personally I like it. It is in the US Declaration of Independence. It refers to each person having a choice in life as to how to respond to life, (to choose to make their life tilt towards heaven or hell) and that that is inalienable, and that among the rights which a person has is the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness which is endowed by their Creator, which means that the right, not having been given by people, cannot be taken away by people. In fact, it can be taken away by people, but the right still stands. People are not born with equal opportunity, and they don't end up equal. I think you are misinterpreting that line for communism, attempted equality of outcome which fails. The line means that people can make choices in their life and e.g. if born poor can choose to see that as a challenge or otherwise, and if born rich, can choose to whine about it or otherwise.

Merry Christmas to all.
I don't know the man. He wrote articles and books. If he wrote "The Pains of Memory" about his mother who came from Germany, he stuck to the subject. His mother was Jewish. His father wasn't.
For decades, our pop culture has belittled, even ridiculed, Goodness and Innocence. Our Family Courts have ignored gender equality under a system that practically offers incentives to women for kicking Dads out of their own families. The most common form of Bigotry in America, not to mention the most socially-acceptable, concentrates on the supposed failings of Men, via epithets such as "Neanderthal" and "Pig" -- and nods smugly when such long-term disrespect turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Why, then, do tragedies such as Sandy Hook come as a surprise?
Why is no one connecting the dots to the abortion culture, which teaches that human life, especially the life of a small child, is essentially worthless, and at the mercy of expediency? It is inconceivable to me that anyone could look at a kindergartner and pull the trigger, but grew up before abortion became a "right".
Mr. May,

That little anecdote you provided: someone is missing: his father.

'I would prefer a response that said something other than hurling insults and inferring "I am offended." which conveys little info. Dalrymple is treasured in the US by conservatives. We see the experience of Britain to be a forecast of the American future unless we change course.'

Sorry , no. You are wrong. Most things Dalrymple complains about originate in your country.

One example is psychiatry. British psychiatrists take their orders from the APA, the American Psychiatric Association. And it is your nation that consumes most of the world's psychiatric medication.

It is your nation that spent the latter half of the last century calling the UK an imperialist nation and the first decade of this century calling us a 'socialist nation'.

I am at present reading The Downing Street Years by Margaret Thatcher in which she describes having to meet with Ronald Reagan and plead with him to stop his citizens sending funds to the IRA. (to their credit this is exactly what they did). You might want to research Peter T. King, a Republican senator who leads some anti terrorism group, a man who called Gerry Adams the future George Washington in spite of the fact that he made no secret of the fact that his ultimate aim was to create a socialist united Ireland.

And, above all, it is your nation that has the line 'all men are created equal' enshrined in its constitution.

And you DO have a 'welfare state'. Clinton decentralised it. That's all.

Dalrymple chooses his audience well, one that is susceptible to the basest of flattery.

Finally, does it never occur to you how illogical it is to judge the state of an entire nation on the basis of the tales of a single man? What would you say if I judged the US on the basis of the tales of Dave Pelzer or any one of the Misery Me Memoirs your great nation has been haemorrhaging for the last thirty or so years.

You would, quite rightly, object.
Most hospitals serve the public, the whole public. I may not be able to testify under oath about the hospital, and neither are you capable of testifying about the patients he met, the conversations nor the experiences that he had.
I don't know where all these angry women come from, but I get the feeling that they come from England. Dalrymple wrote under an assumed name and without identifying the hospital and prison. Then when he retired, his name came out, and the names of the hospital and prison came out. Maybe you are disappointed in his description of your reality or your mother's reality.

Maybe nurses were working so hard taking care of patients that they did not see the big picture.IMHO, to ask about the conditions that make recurring problems arise, is worth asking. I would prefer a response that said something other than hurling insults and inferring "I am offended." which conveys little info. Dalrymple is treasured in the US by conservatives. We see the experience of Britain to be a forecast of the American future unless we change course. Dalrymple is ringing the bell like Paul Revere for those who wish to hear. If you don't like the description, then write your own book with your own description of your own experience.

It seems that if bureaucrats ask for forms and forms and forms to be filled out and people work to comply and fill them out, that asking the question, "Does this help the problem?" appears to be a very offensive question to some. Look at it this way, at least the nurses were being paid their salary while filling out forms. Don't assume that people always will get paid for filling out forms for the government. When government gets involved, everything gets complicated. Teachers have to fill out loads of forms if they want to help a certain child with certain problems. Most teachers complain about it. They don't feel that if someone mentions the amount of paperwork, that somehow their work has been denigrated. They want to get back to teaching and to helping. When more money is spent on education, it usually goes to the administrators, not to the teachers nor the classrooms nor the students.

Susan, You talked about medical confidentiality. If a name is not given and identifying information is not given so that the person cannot be identified, what is the problem? Time has passed. People as described are not that age anymore, and the descriptions don't fit anymore.

You never miss a trick, do you, Dr. Daniels,

'The nurses, in particular, had filled out an immense number of forms, hundreds or even thousands of them. Many dealt with the dangerousness or otherwise of the patients and were designed precisely to avert the possibility of violence or murder. I suspected that the nurses thought that filling in forms was their work, and that when they had done this they had achieved something. They mistook process for outcome.'

The nurses, always the nurses. Nothing whatsoever to do with the doctors. Still, at least you're leaving your ex-patients (aka the underclass) and the bureaucrats alone.

But the young, always the young:

'This context is perhaps propitious to young mass killers (quite apart from the effect of imitation or emulation). In an article in Le Monde, a professor of sociology at Strasbourg University, David Le Breton, quotes a German schoolboy who killed 15 people in a school in Winnenden in 2009: “I’m fed up, I’ve had enough of this meaningless life which is always the same. Everyone ignores me, no one recognises my potential.” This reeks of resentful, narcissistic grandiosity, the result of an imperative to be an individual at a time when individuation is more difficult than ever.'

You really are about as useless as the Maginot Line.
Boy, did this bring back memories to me! Many years ago, fresh out of college, I worked as a child care counselor at a residential school for emotionally disturbed children. The school had recently shifted its focus from providing a safe haven for the throw-away children of society, and was trying to become a full residential treatment center for the sickest children, most remanded there by the courts. (A more profitable direction for the school, as Medicaid picked up all the treatment costs and welfare paid for their expensive room and board). We had children on campus, pre-teens, who had tortured small animals and even several who had murdered younger siblings. What do you do with an eight-year old who drowns his one year old sister in the bathtub or pours lighter fluid on his parents while they are sleeping and throws a lighted match on them? This is what we had. And these were mostly children from intact, middle-class, two-parent homes, where the father worked at some white-collar job and mom stayed home and baked cookies. Literally.
The school also had a newly-hired team of M.D. psychiatrists and PhD psychologists and licensed clinical social workers, replacing the old child care couples who fed and clothed and hugged the children, but not much more.
One of our older children (12 years old), within a month after he was admitted went down to the cottage basement and tortured and killed over a dozen small pets that the children in the cottage were allowed to keep (gerbils, hamsters, frogs, etc.). The response of the school was to schedule additional therapy sessions with his social worker to discuss his feelings about this incident. About a month later, I came in in the morning to help get the kids ready for school, which was on campus,and several of them nervously took me aside and told me that this child had, during the night, lined them all up (the cottage was all male) and sodomized them one after another, and then told them that he would cut their throats while they were asleep if they told anyone.
I went to the school director, told him what I had been told, and within two or three hours the boy's father was there picking him up. The judge who had committed the boy to the school had been notified and the boy was being discharged to a State Hospital.
At our next staff session, where these incidents were discussed, I asked the head psychiatrist, a board-certified medical doctor who was considered a specialist in the field of aberrant child psychology, what would happen to this young man.
He responded, very matter of factly, as if as if the answer was totally obvious to a brilliant professional such as himself, that the young man would probably remain in state custody until he came of age, he would be been heavily medicated during his stay at the state hospital (thorazine was the big thing in those days) and would behave himself, then he would be declared no longer a danger and released into society with a prescription for his meds. He would fill the prescription one time, sell the bottle of pills on the street, and then disappear. Probably within a year, maybe two, maybe less, he would violently murder someone, perhaps a girlfriend, maybe someone who looked at him wrong in a bar, and then he'd go to prison. If he weren't apprehended, he would move around the country, working anonymous, dead-end jobs, randomly murdering strangers or casual acquaintances until he was either stopped or died of old age.
Our present mental health system is no better now than it was then.
I'm a police officer in Connecticut. Had we had contact with Adam Lanza, and he presented as a danger to himself or others, we would have sent him to hospital for a period of 72 hours for psychiatric evaluation. But in my experience, he would have been seen by a "crisis worker" and released within the hour. I believe liability lies with the mother. At the very least, she should have actively sought ongoing psychiatric treatment for her son and removed all guns from the home. But most parents don't ever see the potential for violence in their children. I've wondered if Lanza was a pedophile and targeted the children out of some psycho-sexual frustration. We'll probably never know.
Beverly, thanks for the link but I couldn't open it. Could you possibly just provide the title and author of the article, and the name (not the url) of the site, and I will seek it out that way? Thank you so much.
Deep Space December 22, 2012 at 12:46 PM
'Bon temps jolie. Somehow you've proved TD's point; i.e. those people did have paranoid schizophrenia but no one either predicted their capacity for violence or recognized it. In other word's the psychiatric community that you applaud, failed.'

Following your argument to its logical conclusion would mean that 'TD' himself has no raison d'etre for isn't he a part of this psychiatric community of which you speak?

'The description of the "slum hospital and prison" was a quote from the back jacket of the paperback of his book "Life at the Bottom" that I am looking at right now since I bought it as a gift for someone this year.'

Well, you've learnt a valuable lesson today, haven't you? Don't believe everything you read.
Does the concept of patient confidentiality not exist in the UK?

It was his mother's father, Dalymple's maternal grandfather, who got to Shanghai.
Alison and Antoinette:

I was talking to Bon Temps Jolie who questioned whether he was a psychiatrist: "Physician, apparently, but surely not a psychiatrist. This is not a competent article.
Thus: "...psychiatrists are no better than others at predicting violence by disturbed people, except possibly among the psychotic."

The description of the "slum hospital and prison" was a quote from the back jacket of the paperback of his book "Life at the Bottom" that I am looking at right now since I bought it as a gift for someone this year.


Kristallnacht was Nov 9, 10 1938.

His mother was a survivor of the Holocaust. You assume that one had to go to the concentration camp and survive to be a survivor, or survive in a forest, or in a sewer, or in hiding with an assumed identity. I disagree. If one saw the writing on the wall and left and turned one's life upside down and gave up all of one's possessions and work and career and business and friends to survive and moved to a country with a different language for instance, one is a survivor.

Irene L Berman wrote her story "We are going to Pick Potatoes" about Jews in Norway and the Holocaust. She did not go to a concentration camp. They left Norway on a train to Sweden before the knock on the door that would have taken them to Germany to perish the same day they arrived. Those in the family who did not leave with them perished.

Anne Frank and her family moved from Germany to Amsterdam in 1933.

The Pains of Memory
by Theodore Dalrymple (June 2008)
excerpts :
Dalrymple: "Yet the burden of my past, the memories of my loving family who perished in the gas chambers of Nazi Germany and the story of my own survival are now haunting me and demanding that they be written down so that they should not be irretrievably lost."

His father got to Shanghai, China.(It was no piece of cake in Shanghai. Jews were starving there, refugees from Europe.)

"I discovered many other things from these letters: for example, that my mother had entered domestic service when she arrived in England in order to survive financially. There are other things too painful to disclose.

she never saw the inside of a concentration or extermination camp, for example. But yet, never to have seen her parents again, to have emigrated, friendless and penniless, to another country at the age of 17, and to have lost her fiancé killed in a war: that is enough for any human being.

She wanted all that she had seen, and all that she suffered, to go with her to the grave, for she was of the pessimistic view that man never learns, at least from the experience of others. I do not entirely agree, and wish she had said more; but she had earned the right to silence. "

'His mother was a survivor of the Holocaust.'

Where did you get that from? She arrived in the UK in 1938.
No. He worked for a mere fifteen years in the same area as my mother: she is a psychiatric nurse. It is most certainly not a slum.
Bon Temps:
I suggest you read Theodore Dalrymple's books. His mother was a survivor of the Holocaust. He was a psychiatrist "in a poor slum hospital and a prison in England" (taken from the jacket of one of his books) working in the National Health Service(NHS) of the UK, which gave him plenty of exposure to the criminal mind, the underclass( white), and an opportunity to observe the results of the application of Liberal policies, the breakdown of the family in Britain, the breakdown of marriage, the breakdown of culture, the poverty of culture, bureaucrats, the multicultural pimps (not his words), regulations in the E.U., "the medicalisation of the problems that emerge", ideologists, the problems with the sentimental Welfare State, the National Healthcare System at work, the effects of long term unemployment while on welfare, the weaknesses of PC thinking, the lack of honesty in Leftist Elitist thinking, the weaknesses of moral relativism, multi- culturalism, cultural relativism, the loss of common sense, the abandonment of personal responsibility, lack of meaning to life, and "the decline of civilized behavior". You can start with his book "Life at the Bottom". After he retired he could use his real name Anthony Daniels. (A.M. Daniels). He is an acute observer of British and French society or lack of it. He has traveled extensively and worked abroad as in Africa. Read a summary on Wiki. One of his best interviews was with Front Page Magazine (David Horowitz's paper online) by Jamie Glazov, and his thoughts on authoritarianism. You can google "Theodore Dalrymple and expert witness".
Long, but the best dismantling of the usual gun control arguments I have ever read.

By a police weapons expert and SWAT instructor.

No mention of the easy availability of guns anywhere in this article. Incredible. Seems that Dr D thinks if you're very disturbed and aggressive, that in itself will enable you to murder a large number of people in one go. Having the means is apparently neither here nor there. I suppose the Nazis could have killed six million Jews using only bananas.
"False predictions of rare events (such as mass killings) generally outweigh true ones by a large factor—an important point to remember, especially if you wish to grant or withdraw civil liberties on the basis of such predictions."

Unfortunately Dalyrmple is referring to the person with the problem, whereas the Liberal solution is to take civil liberties away equally from everyone in the population (guns). It would be interesting to know what Dalrymple's opinion would be about the proposed solution of mass withdrawal of civil liberties in the US.

I read that Lanza was a Satanist. We never know if the things reported after a high profile case is true. However in 1997 in Mississippi in the Pearl High School Shooting another student murdered his mother and then went shooting at his school and he belonged to a Satanist group who helped him.

"German schoolboy who killed 15 people in a school in Winnenden in 2009: “I’m fed up, I’ve had enough of this meaningless life."

I think Dalrymple's point about lack of meaning in life for the disaffected student is important. That is the result of secularism. Viktor Frankl defined humans as an animal with a need for meaning.
TD is most certainly a psychiatrist. As is his wife who specialises in ECT and according to Dr Dalrymple 'works solely with the old.'

(Think about that one).

I'd be grateful for more information about his expert witness role.
Bon temps jolie. Somehow you've proved TD's point; i.e. those people did have paranoid schizophrenia but no one either predicted their capacity for violence or recognized it. In other word's the psychiatric community that you applaud, failed.
How about this----You own a gun you must have a approved safe. If one of your guns is found at a site of a crime you become part of the crime. This and some other precautions would go a long way.
I read that we are a country of 314 million people plus those we are not aware of. Out of those we will find a cross section of all kinds--from A to Z. Now what?
Physician, apparently, but surely not a psychiatrist. This is not a competent article.

Thus: "...psychiatrists are no better than others at predicting violence by disturbed people, except possibly among the psychotic." In fact the one well-known condition that matches with these mass attacks on strangers is paranoid schizophrenia. Anders Behring and Jared Loughner. Jeffrey Weise. Eric Borel and Peter Grachev. Martin Bryant. Hundreds of them. The core of what happens is the psychotic break, which often includes hallucinations and "irresistible" voices.

Paranoid schizophrenia is an organic disease. It is not that rare at 17 per 100,000 population. America has 50,000 such individuals. The early stages will be identified by competent psychiatric testing as schizotypal disorders, where there are drugs that have proven effective for many such patients. Some PS patients do have to be committed.

Separating paranoid schizophrenics from guns is the critical problem. Australia has done this starting in 1996. They have had one two-person gun killing (yes, by a PS individual) since then, in 2005. That person had to burgle a target practice building and break into a safe to get his hands on pistols. Adopting the Australian system would be quite easy to do for America, apart from the bribery and blackmail of our legislators by such as the baby killers at the NRA.
I have yet to see anything that questions why the mother owned a streetsweeper.
SSRIs & psych meds associated with >90% recent mass murders!!

see ssristories web site and many others on web massive amount of information killings linked to pasch meds!!

Ming Bucibei

"But a mass killer is playing an endgame strategy. Once he commits himself to his course of action, he does not expect to come out of it alive" I quote from "The Anatomy of Motive" by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker. This book posits the typical mass killer to be, white male, mid-thirties to mid-forties, an asocial loner, with something in his life connecting him to his targets, who picks "a place he's familiar with, where he feels comfortable". "Leading up to the crime (he's) very, very frustrated; very very angry". He prefers to write, rather than speak, the hate or anger. He may, pen-ultimately, even write to the President. To no avail. Then, he feels no one is paying attention; so, he takes it upon himself to perpetrate this type of crime. Discuss!
I would have liked to see an emphasis on the environment, e.g., Media,films, DVDs, videos. I've read where video games like Kindergarten Killers have been available for 10 years, and there are dozens of violent games available.
There simply is no way to predict who, when and where such horrible acts will be committed.

Further it is plain to see that the USA is simply a more violent society than many others irrespective of gun ownership laws.
Mexico and Brazil have far more stringent gun laws and their crime rates are much higher than ours. In Switzerland, on a per capita basis, their denizens own far more guns than Americans, yet their crime rate is much lower than ours.
The USA has ALWAYS had more murders and crime than in the UK irrespective of whether gun laws were less stringent in the UK or more stringent vis a vis the USA.
Frankly, the only solution that has been PROVEN TO WORK, is the Israeli model. After several terrorist attacks targeted Israeli schools - killing dozens of children - Israel made the very tough decision to arm school officials and teachers.
There has not been one attack on an Israeli school since this program was implemented.
Yes, arming school officials and teachers is a lousy choice, but it works; children are protected.
Banning guns or types of guns will be as effective as banning booze or illicit drugs; neither of these programs produce the desired results. ANY type of illicit drug is easily available.
I do not own nor have ever owned any guns; for what that's worth.
To some extent isn't this an example also of the breakdown of local control. Now that all authority has been taken away from the town fathers and to some extent even the families themselves in a community isn't it likely that it is easier than ever to remain anonymous and uncontrolled in any neighborhood. I recall that even when two boys were in a fist fight at a ball game everyone was afraid to interfere for fear of being sued. Local people are now prevented from exercising any kind of common sense and this is often the result.
Thank you for your comments I appreciate your many writings.
One factor which contributes to the high "score" that would-be mass killers post these days is the availability of weapons and magazines well suited to rapid firing and rapid reloading.

The Chinese guy who knifed 20-some children the same day as the Newtown rampage did not kill any of them. Had he taken the time to make sure of a few of the victims, others would have got away. Weapons, and their reloading systems, matter.

One could deny the most dangerous such weapons to those even minimally suspected to have psychiatric problems that could spill over into violence, without much impairing the lives of the many who would turn out to be false positives.
People look for 'rational' reasons for such awful acts. But rationality is not always there. The lad's mother was extraordinarily fearful of an impending civil war. Irrationally so. She was the one who had the guns. It has not been considered as yet that the lad may have had some sympathy and compassion for his mother and in his black and white thinking decided to end her misery before she was subjected to the horrors of such a war. He might also have thought the small children should be spared too, so killed them.

Speculation is about all we can do being as the lad is not forthcoming.
"The behavioral expression of a psychiatric condition takes place in a social and cultural context." Has Dr. Dalrymple, with this single statement, summarized, quite succinctly, the arguments currently being made in this country calling for increased gun control legislation? Have we, as Americans, forfeited whatever 2nd Amendment rights we might claim on the basis of the social and cultural context we've created in this nation? I have no doubt that we will probably never be able to predict such tragedies with any degree of certainty. But I'm left wondering whether, by our words and deeds, Americans haven't provided those who would deprive us of our liberties with the very tools they need for so doing. Newtown is just one example, in a long list of examples, of the kinds of behavior that, however unjustifiable and inexplicable, we might expect from a society and a culture that seemingly values greed, lack of responsibility, and idol worship to the degree many Americans do. What happened in Connecticut (and in Colorado, West Virginia, and so many other places) may make most of us shudder inwardly. But our revulsion quickly passes as we turn back to our daily routines and distractions.