Whenever a white, legal gun-owner shoots into a crowd of people the right-wing media, gun lobbyists, and every Republican in Congress are in search of a motive. Funny that no one asks about a motive when a black man shoots someone, but I digress. They are desperate to find some exceptional reason why he would do this, because if not then maybe the problem is simply that angry white men have access to too many guns and we should restrict that access with common-sense gun laws. And when they don’t find it, it’s always the same:
That’s the title of a Fox News article over the weekend.
According to Trump’s favorite “news” outlet, some anonymous sources (remember what Trump said about anonymous sources) have somehow performed a psychological examination on a dead man and determined that he had a mental illness:
Some law enforcement officials believe that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock was suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness when he gunned down 58 people from a high-rise sniper’s nest during a country music festival, ABC News reported Saturday.
One source told the network that Paddock displayed anti-social traits common to other mass shooters. Others point out that Paddock appeared to have trouble forming meaningful relationships and was seen by some acquaintances as disconnected or standoffish.
WOW! This is a first in the field of modern psychology!
Fox published another story informing everyone that Paddock was prescribed diazepam for anxiety, with the implication that it contributed to his murderous rampage.
While I have little sympathy for Stephen Paddock I do take issue with attacks on the mentally disabled community, especially from Fox News. Not only is diazepam NOT linked to an increase in violent acts but in fact, according to a research study conducted by Viday, Schwartz, Swanson, Borum, and Wagner and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (part of the National Institute of Health), people suffering from mental illness are 2.7 times more likely to be victimized by violent crime.
So, no Fox News, he wasn’t crazy, he was angry. He wasn’t delusional, he had planned the attacked for months and even plotted trajectory lines for his ammunition into a crowd. And the only reason why this guy killed 58 people instead of punching a hole in the wall is that we let him buy an arsenal no questions asked. He is the killer, but we as a society are the enablers. And until we come to terms with that it’s just going to continue getting worse.