The nation is still reeling following yet another unspeakable tragedy where monstrous acts were committed against innocent, unsuspecting people who quickly became fatally injured victims as they responded to a fire alarm in a school, an alarm falsely set off by the person who would murder them, moments later. What can be said to the parents, siblings, other family members and friends of the 17 people who were gunned down in their own school? As in every other incident of mass shooting in America, nothing can replace the loss of human life. Lives are forever-changed, forever-damaged, forever-stricken with grief.
In the near aftermath of the Florida school shooting, voices arose to lobby for certain political reforms and point fingers of blame at individuals, groups, ideas, religions, and myriad other issues or people, thought to be causal factors in what should not be, but is, an ongoing problem in the United States.
Discussion is good. Insulting others, inciting additional violence or anger, and causing derision among fellow countrymen is bad. Every person has an opinion; opinions do not equal fact nor Truth. Opinions are ideas, either held in the mind or expressed through actions and verbal or written words.
It strikes me as odd (which in itself is an opinion) that there appears to be a potential topic of discussion being avoided like the plague concerning possible answers to questions regarding what has happened in this nation, why violent crimes are occurring so often and what can be done to protect children and stop such tragedies from happening in the future. That topic is antidepressant drugs.
Most of those who perpetrated mass shooting crimes in the United States were either taking or had recently stopped taking antidepressant drugs. In fact, in the case of a movie theater shooting, the person who pulled the trigger (and who will spend the rest of his life in prison since justice has already been served) had absolutely no history of violence or criminal activity in his past. A professor of pharmacology and psychology who interviewed the shooter before trial reportedly determined that it was highly unlikely he would have committed the crime were it not for side effects of prescription antidepressant drugs he was taking at the time.
One antidepressant, Prozac was basically the first type of drug of its kind to be prescribed to combat depression. Manufacturing, selling and prescribing the drug quickly became quite lucrative for many. As often occurs in the world of commerce, competitors launched and profited from similar products/drugs in the years that followed. Many drugs, such as Zoloft, Luvox, Paxil, Effexor and more, have been associated with extremely violent behavior. As per semantics, proponents of these drugs remind society that no proof exists to definitively say such drugs cause violence (although some do list this particular effect as possible on package inserts) but have ‘merely’ been ‘linked’ to violent incidents because perpetrators happen to have been taking such drugs when they committed violent crimes.
Where I come from, that’s called beating around the bush. I understand that in business, and in a democratic society, words must be chosen carefully to protect the rights and liberties of all people, including drug manufacturers, physicians, psychologists and criminals. However, I also come from a place where we call something a duck if it walks like one, quacks like one, looks like one and acts like one.
I think the time has come to have the discussion regarding whether antidepressant drugs may be a causal factor toward the increase of mass, violent crimes in America. Will discussion bring back the 17 people who recently died in a Florida school shooting, the 58 people who died at a concern venue, the 49 people who died at a nightclub or any other victim of mass shooting? No, it won’t, but if addressing the issue and discussing the possibility of the problem can possibly (even by remotest chances) protect children and prevent a tragedy from happening again or save a single life down the line, isn’t it worth talking about?
Writer Bio: Judy Dudich
Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.