Of mental health and guns

Topic |  

Of mental health and guns

Topic |  

 A DANGEROUS COMBUSTIBLE COMBINATION  is the unstable mental health of many and the proliferation of civilian-owned guns. That appears to be true in some states in the USA ( see above record tally).

Last week, Stephen Paddock -perched on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel fired automatic gunfire to hapless country music ( a three-day festival) fans- killing 59 and wounding more than 500 others. The worst mass shooting incident in history.

The killer, Stephen Paddock, (64), a retired accountant was a regular good guy but was reportedly under treatment for anxiety. He was prescribed 50 tablets of 10 mg Diazepam. It is an addictive drug. In others, it makes them quiet; in a  few others – more aggressive.

Drug research -while in general positive- condemns the bad side effects of Diazepam since it decreases the frontal lobe of the brain. The results could be any or all of the following:


lack of focus, forethought, judgment, and empathy and impede control.

In rare cases, per medical research, it can trigger suicidal thoughts, aggressiveness, panic attack, and impulsive thoughts.

Paddock had no history of criminal or violent behavior.His record-breaking atrocity, therefore, still puzzles many as to his motivation. Was it drugs that did him in?

The World Health Organization (WHO) also said “depression” is one of the leading mental scourges in this hurly-burly world-afflicting 300 million people globally. Often, this leads to suicide-which happens to 800,000 people annually, usually through the usage of guns on themselves.

Was Paddock in a depressed state and vented his inner anger and confusion on a large crowd as if “playing God” with their lives- by taking them away, with no rhyme nor reason?

Despite the modern ways of living and medicine to cope with physical challenges- there seems to be a growing menace of mental unhealth among many people in this century.


A Scientologist-actress Christey blames these drug proliferation (prescribed or illegal) beginning the 1990’s as the cause of these alarming crime scenes. “In the 80’s, there were no such crimes”, she concluded. Of course, she was bashed -from pillar-to-post by medical practitioners and drug companies. 


But what about the easy access to guns by civilians including high-powered ones?

Stephen Paddock used 12 guns-all armed with the so-called “bump stock” devices that allow the firing of 100 rounds of ammunition per minute. How can a state allow this free usage? And 12 guns for a civilian- is he organizing a private army?

Unfortunately, ownership of guns is enshrined in the US Constitution which allows “law-abiding citizens to protect themselves from violence.” According to “VOX”, the USA is one of the few countries that make gun ownership as “constitutionally protected.”


Let’s listen to what “VOX” further states. America has 6 times more firearm homicides than Canada and 16X more than Germany. The USA only has 4.4% of the world population – yet more than 50% of civilian-owned guns in the world are owned by its citizens.

“After Sunday Hook (2012) 1,500 mass shootings have been recorded; on average, one mass shooting a day in America is recorded. Que horror! 


There are more gun deaths in states and developed nations which have more guns proliferating. Most gun deaths are suicides. More guns mean more suicides.

Yet through the 1990’s the lobby for more liberal gun ownership increased in the USA. A recipe for continuing disaster.

But was Paddock really- and mainly – drug-influenced?FBI findings seem to indicate his “mass violence” recipe was cooked months earlier -unsuccessfully targeting Boston and Chicago.

The fact that he sent his partner Filipina-born Marilou Danley to a quick visit to the Philipines and remitting US$100,000 (P5.1Million) are indications he was saying goodbye.

But the FBI also said Paddock had an Escape Plot but was overtaken by incoming police and thus killed himself. Did he intend to inflict more mass murder, then?

Is he inherently criminal? Was it in his genes? Recent news indicates his father Benjamin “Big Daddy” was a serial bank robber and one of FBI’s Most Wanted and his brother Bruce is a recorded marijuana and drug dealer and charged previously with arson and theft.

Was Stephen a victim of the wrong genes. then? How guilty, therefore, are criminals so afflicted then by luckless genes – of the crimes attributed to them?

Stephen Paddock should become a Case Study for social scientists than just the legal eagles merely defining his crime and punishment.

Can Science discover a profiling method wherein all individuals are analyzed for their criminal predisposition -and be altered to behave differently in a “managed social condition” and with “supervised drug cure” before they can impose their mental imbalance violently on a large mass of humanity? 

As important as checking the optimum usage of drug medication and effective gun control- there should be an investigation, as well,  into the psych-social incidents that caused Paddock’s “anxiety attacks” and whether in fact, he was a “God-less” man.

For anyone without spiritual moorings will find it easy to concoct ways to journey himself easily to hell. As Paddock did. Shalom!

For comments: email to dejarescobingo@yahoo.com or bohol-rd@mozcom.com

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