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Don’t Go Cold Turkey

One think I learned from friends who took anti-depressants, is that very bad thing happens when you go cold turkey and just quit.  You’re supposed to wean yourself from them.  Turns out the NIU gunman had stopped taking his:

“He had stopped taking medication and become somewhat erratic in the last couple of weeks,” Grady said, declining to name the drug or provide other details.

I’ve never known someone who went this crazy, but the friends I’ve known who have taken anti-depressants and stopped cold weren’t the same people while they were going through withdrawal.  These are drugs that are altering your brain chemistry.  I wouldn’t be surprised to find that psychosis is a rare side effect of the withdrawal process.

We do find out which guns the killer used:

 Two of the weapons — the pump-action Remington shotgun and a Glock 9mm handgun — were purchased legally less than a week ago, on Feb. 9, authorities said. They were purchased in Champaign, where Kazmierczak was enrolled at the University of Illinois.

He apparently had an Illinois FID, though it doesn’t say that in this article, I read that elsewhere.   There’s really no way you can stop someone who has no criminal or mental history, which this guy didn’t.

Expect a lot of talk from the media about how the Glock is particularly deadly, rather than a common side arm.  No doubt there will also be calls to pass a magazine ban in Illinois in response to this, even though their licensing of gun owners provisions and various other controls did nothing to prevent this.

11 Responses to “Don’t Go Cold Turkey”

  1. Weer'd Beard says:

    Or sombody with a straight face saying that the Rem 870 has no use in hunting.

    Does IL have any law on high-cap mags? I know all of Cho’s Ebay Glock mags were just 10-rounders

  2. Sebastian says:

    They were? I thought he used to standard magazine?

  3. thirdpower says:

    ABC reported that he got them from a shop in Champaign, IL so he had a FOID.

    No mag ban yet although it’s been thrown against the wall, previously as an addendum to a child exploitation shell bill.

  4. Tom says:

    Since “big pharma” lobbyists control the media through controlling Cheney we’ll never know for sure just how many of these folks ARE on drugs, or in this case just stopped. I seem to remember reading something about the columbine shits getting off their toxic cocktails as well.

    Just some random piece of the puzzle? Somehow I doubt it, especially when you take into account that there are all kinds of drugs filtering thought people back into the water. You run the risk of some strange interactions.

  5. countertop says:

    Someone on MSNBC just said he reloaded. So, don’t know how a ban on regular capacity mags would make a difference.

    Apparantly he reloaded the shotgun a couple of times too.

    Also, they had a guy (former NY Detective, I think his name was Michael Gayner) talking about how he used an automatic glock handgun.

  6. I’m curious to know what he was taking, and why. There is a problem with people that start taking antidepressants finally having enough energy to commit suicide–and sometimes taking others with them. I would not be surprised if he was taking a neuroleptic for schizophrenia–and once off, he became violent.

    I have an older brother who is at least not dangerous or scary when he is taking his medicine. When he was younger, if he stopped taking his medication, he would become increasingly strange and then violent.

  7. No doubt there will also be calls to pass a magazine ban in Illinois in response to this . . .

    Ironically, a bill to do just that was introduces yesterday. The strategy behind that is lost on me, as an identical (I think) bill passed in the Senate last spring, and is still active now. Not sure why they don’t just get behind pushing that one in the House now, rather than introducing a new one.

    Weer’d Beard, to answer your question, no–we aren’t currently limited to reduced capacity magazines, but we’re hanging on to our full capacity ones by the skin of our teeth.

  8. Alcibiades McZombie says:

    Tom, are you alleging the medicine caused this person to murder? It is technically possible, depending on the drug, but it is more likely that he already had serious problems and the drugs merely suppressed them.

  9. chris says:

    FoxNews showed pictures of 4 guns… a remington 870 with extended tube and stainless barrel…. a sig… looked like a 226 but it was impossible to tell… a hi-point of indeterminant caliber… and a Taurus PT1911…

    it was obvious from the pictures that they were released by the police

  10. Tom says:

    No McZombie, that’s as stupid as blaming the gun for making him do it. Just pointing to a big long trunk over thataway and asking if it’s an elephant.

    Is there a central database linking similarities in all these types of cases where one can watch the trends develop? One that we can access, not just the .gov types.

  11. “Is there a central database linking similarities in all these types of cases where one can watch the trends develop? One that we can access, not just the .gov types.”

    No, but even the New York Times has noticed that “spree killers” as they called them in an article a few years ago–while trying to blame it all on gun availability–noticed that these are overwhelmingly people with severe mental illness.

    I’ve been making list while working on my new book (a history of deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill), and the list is very long. Many of them you know about, because they used guns, and were therefore newsworthy. Many others used knives or swords, had somewhat smaller body counts, and didn’t advance the gun control agenda–so they received very little attention. See here for some background a partial list of these tragedies.

    If you do not know anyone who suffers from schizophrenia, you may not realize how severe a problem this is. The movie A Beautiful Mind captures well what paranoid schizophrenia does to a person. It almost always strikes in the late teens through the mid-20s–with a few examples outside that age range. About 30% spontaneously recover; the rest spend the rest of their lives ill. At best, medications control the symptoms. In 1991, about 5% of all U.S. murders were committed by psychotics who had stopped taking their medications–meaning perhaps .5% or less of the population.

    Until the 1960s, psychotics were generally hospitalized as soon as it became apparent that they were seriously ill, and might be a danger to others. One study in the 1930s suggests that about half of all psychotics were hospitalized. Today, it is about 5%.

    Most severely mentally ill people are not a danger to others. Mostly, they are a danger to themselves. The rate of freezing to death more than doubled from 1974 to 1984; detailed studies of such deaths in D.C. suggest that it was because of the demolition of the public mental health system, and near abolition of involuntary commitment. We now have large numbers of mentally ill people wandering the streets, dying of TB, malnutrition, violence, and exposure. A small number of them have delusions so overpowering that they strike out at enemies that the rest of us can’t see. When they get access to the gun, the results are tragedies that destroy our gun rights.

    Patrick Purdy is who caused California to adopt its 1989 assault weapons ban, and started the epidemic of bans in other states. He was also severely mentally ill–telling a judge that he was shooting at “Communist trees” when he was arrested.

    It is not the drugs that cause these tragedies; it is usually that people who need them stop taking them, and they spiral out of control. I’ve seen it close at hand.

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