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View Diary: Stop Blaming Newtown Tragedy On Mental Illness (301 comments)

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  •  deadly conbination (3+ / 0-)

    I believe it's a combination of powerful guns in the hands of someone who's mentally ill filled with mind altering drugs, being influenced by violent games and movies.

    But without military style guns, this could have been avoided.

    You can not do this much damage with a knife.

    •  Drugs? Movies? (6+ / 0-)

      Please point at the evidence of which drugs and movies filled the mind of Adam Lanza last week.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:08:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

        The true role of video games is they alienate and desensitize the general public who use them, who are therefore less capable of a humane reaction to such events. Even if killers do avail themselves of video games, there's no data to suggest the video games are determinative. Their crimes suggest an unhealthy obsession with violent acting out. These are the same arguments used to pin anti social behavior on comic books in the fifties.

      •  linky linky (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ice Blue, citizen31

        Here you go.  Adam Lanza was taking the
        antipsychotic fanapt, which is linked to violence.

        New York Magazine wrote a piece about shooter Adam Lanza's supposed "aspergers" syndrome
        ...

        Inside the piece though they report Adam Lanza's uncle said the boy was prescribed Fanapt, a controversial anti-psychotic medicine.
        ...
        Fanapt was the subject of a Bloomberg report when it passed regulators, after previously getting the "nonapproval" stamp.
        ...

        The main cited reason for the rejection was that it caused severe heart problems in enough patients to cause a stir.
        Maybe more importantly, though, Fanapt is one of a many drugs the FDA pumped out with an ability to exact the opposite desired effect on people: that is, you know, inducing rather than inhibiting psychosis and aggressive behavior.

        And, here's the part about video games.
        For hours on end, alone in his windowless basement den, Adam Lanza studied photos of guns and obliterated virtual victims in violent video games — until the virtual became a reality
        Well, it's video games, not movies, but I think this is close enough to support the argument.
        •  The part about (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, citizen31, DocGonzo

          drugs I get.  Big pharma is only out to make money, so who cares if they peddle drugs that only exacerbate problems rather than help resolve them?

          But video games?  Leave that one out.  Because you clearly have no understanding of the nonexistent connection between video games and violence.

          •  did you notice (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy, citizen31

            I'm not the one who originally posted. I just noticed you were asking for detail, and provided it.

            You have no understanding of my understanding about video games, as I have not commented on them, other than to provide the information that YOU asked for.

            •  Hold on, (0+ / 0-)

              I wasn't even the person you were replying to.  So I didn't ask for anything.

              Secondly, when you mentioned Adam Lanza and video games, this is what you posted:

              For hours on end, alone in his windowless basement den, Adam Lanza studied photos of guns and obliterated virtual victims in violent video games — until the virtual became a reality.
              THAT is not any kind of science, it's editorializing.  The quotes you posted below are the kind of thing I can get behind (and have no problem with).  
            •  So? (0+ / 0-)

              Whether you originally posted or just jumped in is irrelevant to whether you're saying that video games cause violence. Their (and my, and anyone's who's reading your posts) understanding of your understanding of video games is that you are making claims not proven scientifically. You're providing information, but it's not good information.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 04:49:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  With regard to videogames and movies (0+ / 0-)

            I have personal experience with this, when my child watched Nacho Libre and then attacked my other child, imitating the wrestling moves she had just seen.

            These studies are more scientific perspective on the issue.

            link

            In the present experiment, participants played a violent or nonviolent video game, viewed violent and nonviolent photos while their brain activity was measured, and then gave an ostensible opponent unpleasant noise blasts. Participants low in previous exposure to video game violence who played a violent (relative to a nonviolent) game showed a reduction in the P3 component of the event-related brain potential (ERP) to violent images (indicating physiological desensitization), and this brain response mediated the effect of video game content on subsequent aggressive behavior. These data provide the first experimental evidence linking violence desensitization with increased aggression, and show that a neural marker of this process can at least partially account for the causal link between violent game exposure and aggression.
            link
            Although numerous experiments have shown that exposure to violent video games (VVG) causes increases in aggression, relatively few studies have investigated the extent to which this effect differs as a function of theoretically relevant individual difference factors. This study investigated whether video game content differentially influences aggression as a function of individual differences in trait anger. Participants were randomly assigned to play a violent or nonviolent video game before completing a task in which they could behave aggressively. Results showed that participants high in trait anger were the most aggressive, but only if they first played a VVG. This relationship held while statistically controlling for dimensions other than violent content on which game conditions differed (e.g. frustration, arousal). Implications of these findings for models explaining the effects of video games on behavior are discussed. Aggr. Behav. 37:539–546, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
            There are many more.  That's just a little light appetizer.
            •  How long until we circle back around... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DocGonzo

              ...to the old "Power Rangers is bad because it makes kids want to fight" arguments?

              •  In the case of my kids, it was obviously a problem (0+ / 0-)

                Like I said.  I learned my lesson with Nacho Libre.   After you let a child watch Power Rangers, watch the child and see if they start practicing karate kicks.  

                There are clear scientific studies that demonstrate that the key to human adaptation and learning is our ability to exactly mimic what we see.   It can work for us, and it can work against us.

                It's not the whole story, by a long shot, but it is PART of the story, just as gun control is part of the story, and mental health is part of the story.   The science is there and it should be part of the discussion.  

                Gun control is not enough.  If the shooter only shoots ten kids instead of twenty, because he ran out of bullets, that's not good enough for me.   We need to talk about the other aspects of the situation, and tackle those, too, and desensitization to violence is one problem, lack of effective mental health care is another, and medications that trigger violent behavior is yet another.   We need to look at ALL of these issues, to save those other ten kids.

            •  Studies (0+ / 0-)

              The Engelhardt/Bartholow/Kerr study had subjects playing a violent game once, for 25 minutes. That is not comparable to chronic immersion in gaming, especially to the exclusion of most other activity. How many reports are there of people suddenly murdering after their first 25 minutes of violent gaming? The "aggression" that resulted in that study could be limited to merely raising their voices inside.

              The Engelhardt/Bartholow/Saults study showed that some people with higher original propensity for anger became more aggressive after playing a violent video game than those with lower original anger propensity. So given constant video game, what actually predicts the increased aggression is the individual's personality traits of anger potential. The study's claim "but only if they first played a violent video game" is suspect, because clearly people's anger potentials are triggered into aggression by activities other than violent video games every day.

              Both studies, by the core team of Engelhardt/Bartholow (an associate professor and a grad student), make overly broad claims about general psychology from their very narrow results. Then you take them and make even broader claims than that.

              Yeah, your kids got violent after watching a violent movie. Kids mimic what they see and try it out. But beyond relatively harmless boundary testing, nearly no kids don't go shooting up schools after gaming. The ones that do have always been found to have abusive parents and peers. Yet most kids play violent video games.

              It's pretty clear that the actual cause of the violence is the social indoctrination of the individual, not their gaming - even if gaming might (might) help people who are already unstable towards actual violence. Which is pretty well understood already, despite small amounts of evidence for the relatively minor contribution of the gaming.

              You should take more seriously the role of your parenting in your kids' aggression, instead of disproportionately blaming something that isn't as important. If you want to do something about it.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 05:05:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Drugs (0+ / 0-)

          OK, if Lanza was on a drug that increases the risk of psychosis or other problems consistent with his violent behavior, that's extremely relevant. The national discussion of mental health following the Newtown shootings should include the increased risks of our lazily over medicated country.

          But where is the evidence that the video games increased the risk? He did all kinds of things in the weeks before the shootings. There's evidence that violent media give people a way to satisfy violent urges without acting out, reducing their risks. Show me the scientific evidence that proves video games increase the risk. There's not nearly as strong evidence as there is for bad medication.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 04:47:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  In this case not avoided (0+ / 0-)

      but limited.

      If you look at the original "assault weapons ban" it was more style than substance - you could still legally acquire as powerful or more powerful a weapon that was not classified as an "assault" weapon.

      The key is to limit magazine capacity - this fucking lunatic had some huge capacity clips that allowed him to basically turn those poor kids into swiss cheese.

      Reloading gives that pause where people can strike back - I'm not concerned with the style - I'm concerned with the capacity - our President needs to draw a line at 8 to 10 rounds max - make any higher capacity a felony.  I think you could get that passed and it would have a major impact on mass shootings.

      The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

      by ctexrep on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:58:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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