Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

People With Thought Disorders And Violent Tendencies Have Never Been Freer

One of the joys of having a blog with 10 readers is that a bunch of them actually add content.  From the comments to this post (about the Collier Township, PA mass shooting) by CHenry:

Sadly a recurring pattern of tragedy. A mentally ill person: depressed, angry, frustrated and paranoid, socially isolated largely due to the behavioral features of his disordered personality (I say “his” particularly because it is true, most of these mass-killer-suicides are men) and then some event that triggers the lethal cataclysm of violence. It doesn’t even have to be something most people would think would trigger someone to break, maybe the failure of a brief relationship, or something more significant like a job loss.

U. Texas at Austin, Port Arthur, Tasmania, San Ysidro, California, Ecole Polytechnique, Quebec, Kileen, Texas, Dunblane, Scotland, Virginia Tech. All very similar, and there have been many more.

The gun control activists point to the weapons of choice. They have a point: semiautomatic firearms give an assailant a huge advantage of speed in making a body count when turned on unarmed and trapped victims. But even in places where gun ownership is tightly controlled, those with the determination to kill have found weapons of their choice.

We live in a society where it is startlingly easy to be alienated and alone, even in a crowd. For whatever reasons, the ties that bind us to one another, community, family, church, friendship and work are much more tenuous than ever before. People with thought disorders and violent tendencies have probably never been freer, both of the laws that once gave a society powers to confine them and of the observation and social controls that a world of smaller communities once imposed on their behaviors.

The lonely berserk stranger, hell-bent on wreaking as much destruction as possible before his own destruction has become the dark meme of modern living. Going postal.

I don’t see a practical answer to this problem.  Good comment.

*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

Caring For Winter Olympians In Sochi: An Interview With Team USA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim

I am a huge fan of the winter Olympics partly because I grew up in Canada where most kids can ski and skate before they can run and partly because I used to participate in Downhill ski racing. Now that I m a rehab physician with a reconstructed knee I…

Read more »

How Do Hospital Executives Feel About Locum Tenens Agencies And Traveling Physicians?

I recently wrote about my experiences as a traveling physician and how to navigate locum tenens work. Today I want to talk about the client in this case hospital side of the equation. I ve had the chance to speak with several executives some were physicians themselves about the overall…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »