Wednesday, December 05, 2007

What makes a 19 year old so angry he goes into a mall and murders 9 people? (Oops, just read that's 8 people plus himself.) I wonder if he was on any of the "miracle" drugs that have a black box warning? (Answer, yes.) Again I ask, what is wrong with American children? Or, "What have we done to our kids?"

John Robison goes into detail in Look Me In The Eye about the elaborate pranks he played as a child, well into his teenage years, as an outlet for his anger and isolation. He recently blogged how it was better than today's kids who take out their rage via a gun. John had access to guns, I believe. So why did he choose his method of letting off steam whereas so young men today choose deadly weapons?

My heart goes out to the families in Omaha who are getting the worst phone call imaginable tonight.


Added, this young man was troubled and had a long history, including living in a group home. Conclusions? Who knows? Asperger's? Who knows? Would that make matters better or worse? Excuse his behavior? Make life more difficult for Aspergians? God, I have so many questions.

Read about him From KETV Omaha. How lost do you have to feel, or how angry, to go into a mall and shoot people? I fear we'll see more of this, not less in the future.


Mom26children said...

Have you seen these horrible, realistic video games the young adults are playing these days?
They are so realistic, their victims on these games actually bleed.
I found out my good friend lets her 14 year old son, who is on anti-psychotic medicine, play these games....that is very scary to me.
When I was 14, I had a job, worked my cattle, and had a HUGE crush on David Cassidy. I listened to my albums on a stereo with this humongous headphones.
I was way too cool, Huh????


Kim Stagliano said...

You're right. ANd I've never been a big, "Oh blame Marilyn Manson" type, but really? If your child needs antipsychotic meds to begin with maybe the violent video games aren't a good choice? Does this come down to parenting, J? Is that too simplistic? Or are some poor kids so chemically altered by LIFE (and you know where I'm going with that) that they are very much broken. As are their parents' hearts. It's so troubling to me. Did you read today about the plastics poison found in formula can liners?? Are our kids being slowing poisoned from prenatal to puberty and we're reaping the result? Wow, what a grim post and comment.

Kim Stagliano said...

Oh, and I was a Leif Garret girl. I probably envied him that straight blond hair! At 14 I listened to The Cars and Joni Mitchell and Supertramp. Of course we were ALL cool.

John Elder Robison said...

That's a good question you ask about me. Why is it that I played harmless pranks as a kid? Why didn't I shoot people?

What's different today?

Well, today, kids can't play many of the pranks I played as a kid, because they'd get arrested. It's like fighting in school. When I was a kid, there were fights, and the kids got sent home.

Today, kids go to court, and families sue each other. We have tried to cut off the opportunities for "harmless violence" and what emerges later is much more dangerous.

Today's kids are under more pressure to perform. They are under constant time pressure. With less chance to be kids, some seem to blow up.

I really think we've prohibited many of the things kids like me could do to relieve stress and frustration, and the result is that some kids blow up.

Look at your high school. Do they even have gym class any more? Many schools have dropped physical activity entirely.

Anonymous said...

So very, very sad Kim. I feel for the families of the people shot and the shooter. I work with young kids who are so angry, and one on one, are such great kids. I try so hard to get them to get the rage out in other, more productive ways, creative (drama, painting, journaling,), skill steaming, talking, coping strategies but so often it is like putting band aides on or putting out mini fires. It breaks my heart, when I hear about what happens down the road. Yet, I keep planting the seeds, hoping some stick, because these beautiful children (with or without anger issues, and the ones with, usually have a very good reason) are so worth it!

Stephen Parrish said...

We'll see more, not less, until we legislate some gun control.

The Muse said...

In our church we have a saying, "Thoughts held in the mind, reproduce their own kind." Violence begets more violence. Our society is full of violent images. As a culture have become very desensitized to these images. Interestingly this post relates to John's recent "Empathy" post. The key to changing behavior and the violence in society is for families and schools to really focus on teaching empathy and consequences of our actions, not only on ourselves but how those consequences affect other people. It is interesting when people like the Columbine killer and Oklahoma City bomber are interviewed they both speak of "collateral damage". Where do you suppose that conditioning has come from? We are taught “objectification” of people in so many ways. After all, we are the “ME” generation. Moreover, the use of the term "collateral damage" implies that the ends justify the means and that the actual deaths inflicted were insignificant to achieve a desired goal, i.e. complete de-sensitivity and total lack of empathy for our fellow man. We need to teach our children about compassion & serving the community in order to have them feel a sense of social conscience.

Kim Stagliano said...

I don't usually cross promote my own stuff - but I wrote a piece today for my other site: about the FDA knowing the a brain altering plastic is in BABY FORMULA (so do the formula companies) and allowing it.

I feel in my heart, gut and brain that we have chemically damaged our children so that some, those who for some reason can not kick out the toxins well, are made wholly unwell, and susceptible to the worst our culture has to offer.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm with John on this. Kids have few suitable outlets. They eat crappy food and get little exercise. At the risk of being unpopular, I have to lay some of this at the parent's doorstep. Kids can only work with the tools and skills they are given.

Mom26children said...

Hey Kim,
I think parenting a child with ADHD (which the shooter was medicated for), depression and anxiety problems has alot of responsiblity to protect their child and others from their child.
I believe the young man showed a gun to his "guardian" prior to the shooting, but the "guardian" thought the gun was too old to use. Did this person tell anyone or take the gun away...??? NO !!!
We have huge responsibilities to raise our children to be decent, caring people. That is really hard to do in a world where other parent's are not. Where people stand in line to get the newest violent video game to go home and kill people in their homes (on a video system).
I totally get what you mean by chemical altered...I had 3 of my 6 children in birthing centers ( so they would not be injected mainly ) to come into this world naturally. I breastfed all of my children. The one who got the most vaccinations, is the NT one.
Unfortunately, it is the NT one I worry about the most. She has the challenges of trying to "fit in" to society. At the tender age of 9, she worries about her hair, clothes and friggin cell phones.
The other children, ours affected by Autism, do not care for such nonsense.
I wish I had the answers...all I have are more questions when a tragedy such as the Omaha shootings occur...
Maybe together, we can all figure this out.

Tammie said...

I'm with John on this as a mother of 2 teenage boys in highschool. In our attempt to be pc, and focus on advancing girls (I have an 8 year old daughter to), we've removed any "healthy" outlets.

Cause a scene or a ruckus and off to the principals office you go. Caught fighting (let alone hugging) on the playground and out you go.

What are boys/men suppose to do? How are they suppose to experience pain/loss/anger/compasion if we keep removing the ability to do so? Even when we do it out of trying to keep them safe to begin with and have good intentions????

As for games and music, sure if your kid is on heavy stuff why fill his plate with dark pictures and words? But it is too easy to blame those items.

It's adults (not just parents) who push for no tag or dodgeball, it's adults who don't try to keep communication open and an eye on what's going on AND sometimes, it's just the makeup of everything combined in a child.

I lost a brother to suicide so this sort of stuff makes me ill. It's a sad situation for everyone involved.

Sorry for the rant.

Kim Stagliano said...

Tammie, I'm sorry about your brother. A friend is going through the same thing. And we've experienced suicide in my own family. I agree with you - boys are no longer allowed to be boys. My beloved home town, Attleboro Mass outlawed tag last year! Is it the lawyers? Litigation? And frankly, although I have daughters with special needs, and am no expert, I see a lot of mothers who baby their boys to death.

Rant anytime you want. That's the whole point of blogging!

Sarge said...

It is not gun control, it is not video games, it is definitely not parenting. It starts very early in life, before guns and video games are even on a child's radar.

It's genesis is when the developmental process responsible for shaping the different brain stages is altered. Generally speaking, a childs development goes arry when they sustain either a chemical, physical or emotional trauma. Perhaps it is a physical trauma at birth, being whisked away to a intensive care unit and not having an opportunity to bond, a vaccination, a fall, or too much time spent in a jolly jumper, car seat or "activity station" or even the "sucessful" back to sleep program.

As the child progress through these stages in an abberant way they develop poor neurology. If a part of the brain called the Pons does not develop properly it can be very problematic. The Pons is where we get the senations of pain and discomfort, it is where serotonin is produced. Poor organization in the Pons can result in the perception of threats where non exist. A person with a damaged Pons often sees the world as against them.
It is not a medical problem. No drugs can fix the pons. No amount of talk therapy or parenting can transform this part of the brain.

We need to spend more time studying healthy kids and less time studying disease. As another poster said "thoughts held in the mind reproduce their own kind."