Why Has Congress Failed to Stop Drug Rampages?

One minute after posting the previous Blog I received the following by email:

Cho Seung-Hui May Be 9th School Shooter Under Influence of Psychiatric Drugs — Documented to Cause Homicidal Ideation, Suicide, Psychosis, Mania and Hostility

In the wake of yesterday’s shooting rampage at Virginia Tech by gunman Cho Seung-Hui, state legislators, civic and human rights activists are asking why Congress has failed to investigate the link between psychiatric drugs and school violence, given the high rate of psychiatric drug use by the shooters. According to breaking news from investigators at Virginia Tech, Cho may have taken depression drugs—documented by the Food and Drug Administration to cause suicidal behavior, mania, psychosis, hallucinations, hostility and “homicidal ideation.” (link ) If Cho Seung-Hui’s psychiatric drug use is confirmed, it would bring the total to 61 killed and 77 wounded by psychiatric drug-induced school shootings.

In September 2005, following confirmation that Red Lake Indian Reservation school shooter, Jeff Weise, was under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac, the National Foundation of Women Legislators, together with American Indian tribal leaders, called for a Congressional investigation (link ) into the correlation between psychiatric drug use and school massacres. To date there has been no response to this request despite documentation that at least eight recent school shooters were under the influence of psychiatric drugs at the time of the shootings.

The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog that initially discovered the psychiatric drug connection in the Columbine shootings, warns that the psycho-pharmaceutical industry will once again try to obscure the violence-inducing nature of psychiatric drugs in order to protect the billions in profit from drug sales. CCHR says that Congress must demand a full investigation into the link between senseless acts of violence and psychiatric drug use in the wake of recent FDA warnings on the documented drug risks.

In eight recent school shootings, psychiatric drugs were the common factor, in other instances, the shooter’s medical records were never made public and their psychiatric drug use remains in question.

· September 28, 2006: Bailey, Colorado: Duane Morrison, 53, entered Platte Canyon High School and shot and killed one girl, and sexually assaulted 6 others. Antidepressants were found in his vehicle.

· March 21, 2005: Red Lake Indian Reservation, Minnesota: 16-year-old Native American Jeff Weise was under the influence of the antidepressant Prozac when he shot and killed nine people and wounding five before committing suicide.

· April 10, 2001: Wahluke, Washington: 16-year-old Cory Baadsgaard took a rifle to his high school, and held 23 classmates and a teacher hostage while on a high dose of the antidepressant Effexor.

· March 22, 2001: El Cajon, California: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman was on two antidepressants, Effexor and Celexa, when he opened fire at his California high school wounding five.

· March 7, 2000: Williamsport, Pennsylvania: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was on the antidepressant Prozac when she blasted away at fellow students in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, wounding one.

· May 20, 1999: Conyers, Georgia: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with a mix of antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded 6 of his classmates.

· April 20, 1999: Columbine, Colorado: 18-year-old Eric Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox when he and his partner Dylan Klebold killed 12 classmates and a teacher and wounded 23 others before taking their own lives in the bloodiest school massacre to date. The coroner confirmed that the antidepressant was in his system through toxicology reports while Dylan Klebold’s autopsy was never made public.

· April 16, 1999: Notus, Idaho: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school narrowly missing students; he was taking a mix of antidepressants.

· May 21, 1998: Springfield, Oregon: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his own parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 22. Kinkel had been on Prozac.

Read this report by CCHR to find out more about the dangerous connection between violence and psychiatric drugs.

For more information, contact the Citizens Commission on Human Rights at 800-869-2247 or email humanrights@cchr.org .

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