Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix: Medication Madness, Military Madness and Mass Shootings


Gary G. Kohls, MD | Duty to Warn – TRANSCEND Media Service

“Psychiatrist Peter Breggin’s Medication Madness is a fascinating, frightening and dramatic look at the role that psychiatric medications have played in 50 case histories of suicide, murder (including mass shooters), and other violent, criminal and bizarre behaviors…Psychiatric drugs frequently cause individuals to lose their judgment and their ability to control their emotions and actions…Many categories of psychiatric drugs can cause potentially horrendous reactions. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta, Xanax, lithium, Zyprexa and other psychiatric medications may spellbind patients into believing they are improved when too often they are becoming worse. Psychiatric drugs drive some people into psychosis, mania, depression, suicide, agitation, compulsive violence and loss of self-control without the individuals realizing that their medications have deformed their way of thinking and feeling…the FDA, the medical establishment and the pharmaceutical industry have oversold the value (and undersold the dangers) of psychiatric drugs.”

From the liner notes to Peter Breggin’s Medication Madness: A Psychiatrist Exposes the Dangers of Mood-altering Medications

Last Sunday, October 1, 2017, the US achieved a new record in the Guiness Book of Records for Mass Murders (a fictitious book) when a mass murderer in Las Vegas, Nevada, ambushed a crowd 20,000 innocent country music festival attendees in the street 32 stories below his hotel room. The shooter owned, quite irrationally, some two dozen military-grade weapons, including many semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines (plus thousands of rounds of ammunition).

The shooter killed over 50, wounded over 500 and psychologically traumatized the rest of the 20,000 targets. The previous first place winner, I suppose, was the “incident at Wounded Knee” in 1890, when a company of white US Cavalrymen massacred 300 unarmed Native Americans (mostly women and children, all considered sub-human by the racist soldiers) at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 23 of the soldiers were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor for their participation in the killings.

According to http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting, there has been an average of one mass shooting/day in America (defined arbitrarily by the FBI as a shooting where 4 or more victims were shot). The total number of mass shootings in 2017, so far, is 273.

The number of non-mass shootings in America (fewer than 4 victims) just on the day of the Las Vegas Massacre was 72, with 281 non-mass shootings in just the previous 3 days. Source: http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/last-72-hours.

The US also averages 87 gun deaths per day, with an average of 183 persons injured, according to the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Centers for Disease Control. Source:  https://ssristories.org/fbi-report-shows-drastic-rise-in-mass-shootings-fbi-report/

2016 was the last year for which annual gun violence statistics were available. In that year, the total number of mass shootings in America was 383, (more than one per day), with the total fatalities numbering 15,079 and total casualties numbering 58,780.

<<<Las Vegas May Have “Looked Like a War Zone”, but There is no Real Comparison Between Military Massacres and Domestic Ones>>>

Incidentally, 58,000 happens to be the number of American soldier deaths during the entire period of American military involvement in the Vietnam War (1954-1975). Valid estimates calculate that as many as 4 times that number of returning Vietnam vets committed suicide after coming home. What else might be expected when traumatized, haunted, drugged-up, addicted, guilt-ridden, sleep-deprived, un-employable and homeless and hopeless soldiers came home to an uncomprehending populace that had no idea about what they had experienced “in country” – and don’t want to listen to the stories. Returning Vietnam vets understandably developed disorders on the PTSD spectrum or the psychopathic personality disorder spectrum, or some combination of the two, either one being extremely difficult to cure – but very easy to prevent.

Considering the fact that the history of the Vietnam War was recently presented to curious viewers in a Ken Burns PBS 10 part documentary, it might be instructive to compare the experiences of 1) what American soldiers experienced in Vietnam, 2) the variably traumatized survivors of the Las Vegas Massacre, and 3) the millions of innocent Vietnamese civilian victims that were at, for instance, the My Lai Massacre, even though the kill ratio at My Lai (with 500 killed) was close to 100%, whereas the kill ratio at Las Vegas was only 0.25%.

Also to be considered is the terror felt by the innocent, unarmed civilian victims at Fallujah, Iraq (2004) or No Gun Ri, South Korea (1950) or Nagasaki, Japan (1945)? Or consider the terror felt by the innocent, unarmed civilians victimized by some of the US drone attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq during the Bush and Obama administrations.

It also might be worth mentioning that the Las Vegas mass shooting “only” lasted 30 minutes, whereas My Lai lasted 4 hours, No Gun Ri lasted 2-3 days, Fallujah (the 2004 version) lasted 6 weeks, and the Nagasaki bomb, even though the immediate destruction only lasted minutes, still hasn’t stopped killing and maiming its survivors – and their progeny – after 72 years.

Dramatic mass shootings, especially America’s infamous school shootings over the last several decades, seem to be peculiarly American, given the fact that American physicians prescribe more psych drugs to their children than any other nation and American is awash with lethal weapons. It is also a fact that almost every other developed nation that has experienced such mass shootings soon passed appropriate legislation that decreased the chances of future shootings from happening again.

But not in America, thanks to the American National Rifle Association and the lobbyists for America’s weapons manufacturers who bribe both Republican and Democrat politicians, all of whom are afraid of having future NRA campaign “contributions” withheld. And also thanks to Big Pharma, that thrives on over-prescribing drugs to every sector of our nation, including babies.

<<<The Important Taboo Question: What Brain-disabling Psychiatric Drugs – if any – was the Las Vegas Shooter Taking or Withdrawing From?>>>

Roundly hated and very misunderstood school shooters like Charles Whitman (the Austin, TX “Clock Tower Sniper”), Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold (of Columbine infamy), Jeff Weise (of Red Lake infamy), Seung-Hui Cho (of Virginia Tech infamy), James Holmes (the “Batman shooter”), and 90% of the multitude of other American school shooters over the past decades were act6ually a group of over-diagnosed, over-treated, psychiatric drug-intoxicated, brain-disabled, revenge-seeking, self-control disabling, gun-wielding, mass murdering, outcast/loner young white males who shot at crowds of innocent fellow students after making impressively bizarre plans to do so.

There are many similarities between those shooters, but the most consistent correlation, besides the guns, was their use of  brain-disabling and highly addictive psychiatric prescription drugs. And guns and drugs just don’t mix.

<<<”Senseless Violence?” – Or Not?>>>

The other consistent correlation is the fact that thorough “investigative journalism” never gets done when school shootings or “irrational” mass murders happen. Nobody asks, or demands an answer, about drug use. There is obviously a lot of self-censoring going on in the media. Big Media and Big Medicine have been co-opted for as long as I can remember by Big Pharma advertisers, and the pharmaceutical industry does everything it can to prevent the besmirching of the reputations of the members of Big Medicine, who are responsible for over-prescribing their unconscionably unaffordable drugs.

So America’s daily mass shootings are immediately labeled by the Big Pharma-influenced editors and talking heads in Big Media as “acts of  ‘senseless violence’ that will probably never be understood”; meaning, of course, that we consumers of drugs and TV commercials shouldn’t bother our little heads speculating about the motives of the shooters or what were the medications that might have contributed to the bizarre homicidal and suicidal acts that were incomprehensible for the friends and family members of the shooter.

America’s ruling elites, the corporate-controlled mainstream media, the Big Pharma-influenced publishers and editors of most medical journals, the AMA, the APA and most politicians have Big Pharma stocks in their ample investment portfolios, so they don’t want any independent-minded journalists digging up incriminating information about violence- and suicide-inducing drugs that might adversely affect the financial well-being of the pharmaceutical sector of the economy.

<<<Psychiatric Drug-induced School Shootings are Iatrogenic>>>

“Iatrogenic Illness: A condition, usually inadvertent, resulting from the activity of a physician, such as an adverse reaction to a prescription drug, surgery, vaccine or medical device.”

Of course, physicians, clinics, government agencies like the FDA, the NIH, the NIMH and the CDC are among the powers-that-be that don’t want information revealed attesting to the fact that many prescription psychiatric drugs are known to induce violence, aggression, suicidality, depression, sleep-deprivation, temporary psychoses, addictions and withdrawal syndromes, any of which could stimulate homicidal violence and suicidality. All one has to do is to read the package inserts.

“Trust us”, they are saying, “we’re the experts and what we say goes; and besides, you won’t be able to prove iatrogenesis in a court of law, simply because establishment lawyers, establishment judges and civilian juries (who tend to get their medical education from Big Pharma-produced prime-time television commercials) all seem to trust the indoctrinated academic or drug-prescribing clinical psychiatrists who will be called on by the court to testify as expert witnesses.”

Unfortunately, these “experts” are also likely to be beholden to the various powers-that-be who aren’t interested in having the sheeple understand what really went down at Austin, Columbine, Red Lake, Virginia Tech, or Aurora (or Las Vegas).

The assorted guilty accomplices noted above in corporate-controlled America are covering their behinds. They want to be sure that they will be held blameless when the final censored “official” police investigation and coroner’s reports from Las Vegas are released in a year or so, at which time there will be a host of other equally distracting gun violence episodes or foreign wars that will cause most of us to lose interest in the results.

<<<Squandering Another Teachable Moment Concerning the Dangers of Mixing Drugs and Guns>>>

Do expect, however, to continue to hear all sorts of irrelevant spin-off verbiage about what kinds of guns and ammo were used by the latest shooter plus endless human interest stories – carefully avoiding information about what brain-disabling drugs the shooter might have been taking in the past or may have been withdrawing from – both realities possibly disabling the brain and clouding judgement.

Learning something that might have an impact at preventing future mass murders is not in the interest of Big Pharma, Big Psychiatry or Big Medicine. Allowing those powerful entities to shape the discussion will make it certain that another teachable moment about the dangers of combining drugs and guns will be squandered.

If there is evidence that will help us naïve “consumers” of drugs, TV commercials and propaganda that could make sense out of mass shootings and that would give us a fighting chance to quell the epidemic in the future, don’t expect to be told about it – until and unless some courageous investigative journalists do the hard sleuthing and courageous reporting. If Big Pharma has any say in the matter, there will be continued obfuscation about the last shooter as has been the case with every other mass shooter that you can think of.

<<<The Consequences of Failing to De-mystify Mass Murders>>>

If the Las Vegas Massacre is investigated without studying ALL the factors in the case (especially about drugs), we will see no change in the epidemic. In fact, the longer the truth is obfuscated, the sooner that will have to prepare for and defend against the anti-First Amendment agenda that will hasten the implementation of “domestic” spy drones all over America, the effort to issue more conceal and carry handgun permits and the legalization of silencers and fully automatic weapons for private citizens.

More weapons will be purchased by propagandized, freaked-out and paranoid citizens and there will be metal detectors everywhere. Taxpayer-paid-for metal detectors will be purchased and private security firms will be frisking us as we stand in line to see the next violence-inducing, fear-inducing, shoot-‘em-up fantasy film about fictitious, time-traveling, “undead” monsters or some new and laughably absurd super-hero movie that will surely provoke thoughts of homicidal violence to who-knows-what drugged-up copy-cat wannabe adolescent shooter who might fancy himself as an avenger of injustice (or as a competitor to achieve first place in the Guiness Book of World Records for non-combat mass murders).

We all have been listening and watching the news coverage of the Las Vegas shootings this past few days. So far I have heard zero questions asked about brain-disabling drugs, and it is still too early to learn about any post-mortem blood, gastric contents or brain tissue testing for the presence of medications – if the too-busy Las Vegas Coroner’s Department will even find the time to get to that essential examination.

<<<He who Pays the Piper, Gets to Call the Tune>>>

By ignoring the mountains of peer-reviewed complementary-alternative medical literature and only paying attention to what is published in the co-opted mainstream medical journals, we physician drug prescribers regularly – and often quite cavalierly – hand out mind-altering synthetic chemicals that BigPharma’s well-paid and very attractive sales staffs falsely reassure us are safe, curative and non-addicting (without legitimate data to back up their claims and lots of data to totally refute their claims). Pens, pizzas and post-it notes are offered to clinch the sale.

It is important to remind readers to check out www.ssristories.com for much more on the medication madness issue. At that site, readers will find a collection of 6,000+ damning documentation about the behavioral and psychic toxicity of antidepressants. There are many examples of psychotropic drug-induced violence that have been reported in the media (via newspapers, TV and even scientific journals) or were part of the three FDA hearings (1991, 2004 and 2006) where public testimony about the lethality of FDA-approved psych drugs was allowed (all of which was essentially ignored by the FDA panel that heard the testimony).

I end with a few of the many examples of school shooters whose brains were adversely  affected by the drugs prescribed by their psychiatrists (who were obviously ignorant of the homicidality and suicidality consequences that were known adverse effects of the drugs.

  •  Charles Whitman, age 25, the “Clock Tower Sniper” at the University of Texas/Austin (1966), an Eagle scout and an ex-Marine sharp-shooter was taking (and/or withdrawing from) prescribed Dexedrine (amphetamine) and barbiturates. 14 dead, 31 wounded.
  • Eric Harris, age 18, was on Luvox when he and Dylan Klebold killed classmates and a teacher in Littleton, Colorado (1999). Klebold’s medical records were sealed. Both Harris and Klebold shot and killed themselves. 15 dead, 23 wounded.
  • Jeff Weise, age 16, was on 60 mg of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot and killed his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and 8 fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota (2005). He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.
  • Seung-Hui Cho, age 23, the shooter in the Virginia Tech Massacre (2007) was on Paxil. 33 dead, 29 wounded.
  • James Holmes, age 29, the Batman Shooter at Aurora, CO (2012) had been prescribed the brain-altering drugs Zoloft (sertraline), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Inderal (propranolol). 12 dead, 70 wounded.
  • Kip Kinkel, age 15, the “Killer at Thurston High” (1998), was taking Prozac and withdrawing from Ritalin when he shot up his cafeteria in Springfield, OR. 4 dead (including his two parents) 22 wounded.
  • Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, had been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien when he went on a shooting rampage before killing himself at Northern Illinois University. 5 dead, 16 wounded.
  • Shawn Cooper, age 15, was taking Ritalin when he fired a shotgun at school.
  • Elizabeth Bush, age 14, was on Paxil when she shot at fellow students in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, wounding one.
  • Mitchell Johnson, age 13, was taking an unspecified psych drug when he shot at fellow students in Jonesboro, Arkansas. 5 dead, many others wounded.
  • T. J. Solomon, age 15, was taking Ritalin when he shot six classmates in Conyers, Georgia.
  • Jason Hoffman, age 18, was on Effexor and Celexa when he shot at fellow students at his high school in El Cajon, California. 5 wounded.
  • Asa Coon, age 14, was on Trazodone when he shot and wounded four students at his school before killing himself.


Dr Gary Kohls is a retired physician from Duluth, MN, USA and a member of the TRANSCEND Network. In the decade prior to his retirement, he practiced what could best be described as “holistic (non-drug) and preventive mental health care”. Since his retirement, he has written a weekly column for the Duluth Reader, an alternative newsweekly magazine. His columns mostly deal with the dangers of American imperialism, friendly fascism, corporatism, militarism, racism, and the dangers of Big Pharma, psychiatric drugging, the over-vaccinating of children and other movements that threaten American democracy, civility, health and longevity and the future of the planet. Many of his columns are archived at http://duluthreader.com/search?search_term=Duty+to+Warn&p=2; http://www.globalresearch.ca/author/gary-g-kohls; or at https://www.transcend.org/tms/search/?q=gary+kohls+articles; ggkohls@gmail.com

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 9 Oct 2017.

Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Drugs and Guns Don’t Mix: Medication Madness, Military Madness and Mass Shootings, is included. Thank you.

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