The story is familiar and the media writes about it the same way. A mass shooting and the shooter has anger control problems, social problems, and finally probable symptoms of psychosis. The "ELF" considerations here were interesting. ELF is extremely low frequency as specified in this Wiki primer that covers most of the relevant facts. I grew up about 30 miles away from the original ELF site in Clam Lake, Wisconsin and there were plenty of conspiracy theories and environmental concerns right in the area at the time that surrounded this project including the effect of ELF on the residents.
The usual interviews with politicians about gun access and psychiatrists about whether or not violence can be predicted. It is a very familiar sequence of events. The White House is less vocal this time because I think everyone realizes that the government has no interest in solving the problem. You can click on mass homicide and mass shooting and see my previous posts on the matter for a more complete elaboration. There seems to be nothing new in the response to this mass shooting other than the question of security at American military installations.
My response is also the same and it is basically the following:
1. Mass homicide is a public health problem that can be addressed with public health interventions.
2. Violence and homicide prevention can occur even in the absence of firearm legislation.
3. Violence and homicide prevention does not require prediction of future events but the capacity to recognize markers of violence and psychiatric disorders and respond to them appropriately.
4. There need to be accessible speciality programs for the safe assessment and treatment of people with severe mental illnesses and aggressive behavior. That includes the assessment of threats since they are the precursors to the actual violence.
5. A standardized legal approach to the problem of the potentially dangerous person and whether or not mental illness is a factor is necessary.
6. A comprehensive policy that addresses the issues of progressively inadequate mental health funding is necessary to reverse these trends will provide the funding.
All of the above elements require a standardized approach to the care of the aggressive person and there are several clear reasons why that does not happen. The so-called mental health systems is fragmented and it has been for decades. It is basically designed to ration rather than provide care. That is a massive conflict of interest. Until that is acknowledged by the politicians and advocates nothing will be accomplished. It is very hard for politicians to acknowledge when they are backing a national agency that essentially endorses rationing and managed care. You can also compare my writing and suggested solutions to this problem to a recent "call to action" by American Psychiatric Association President Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD.
How many "calls to action" does the APA need?
George Dawson, MD, DFAPA