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In one of a long string of mass murders ending with the killer committing suicide, Sandy Hook, Newtown grabbed the attention of the entire world on December 14, 2012 when yet another mental health client went on a killing spree.
President Obama went to Newtown, Connecticut during the time families were mourning the loss of their children and before their burials. The President took to the stage at the Newtown High School blocks from the deadly killings and delivered a powerful, moving heartfelt speech where he began to launch a very targeted campaign. The President said, “We as a nation, we are left with some hard questions.”
As Steve Peoples from the Associated Press writes in his article, Year after Newtown, Gun control Groups keep hope”, “A divided Congress denied President Barack Obama’s calls for change.” The Associated Press article describes the movement being led by President Obama. What is not mentioned in the article, this political movement is being built on the backdrop of mourning parents, a failed investigation, a State unwilling to release the shooter’s mental health and special education records, with an incomplete release of a toxicology summary.
The AP report discloses a battle plan of a national operation backed by an alliance of well-funded organizations set up to pressure Congress ahead of next fall’s elections. The groups are sending dozens of paid staff into key states, enlisting thousands of volunteer activists preparing to spend tens of millions of dollars against politicians who stand in the way of their goals.
As the Cofounder of Ablechild, during a Fox News interview with Douglas Kennedy in the aftermath of the Red Lake massacre, Douglas Kennedy asked me, “What do you want?” I responded, “A federal hearing into to link between psychiatric drugs and school shootings”.
We are not alone in asking the hard question. In Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s home district town hall meeting in Minnesota, again the same question, “What is the link to the shootings and the psychiatric drugs?”
The Congresswoman’s response is stunning. She said that the CDC, the Center for Disease Control, has a “rule” that prohibits the Congress from studying the link between psychiatric drugs and mass shootings. (video 39.30).
Is that true? No.
The CDC is a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services. It certainly doesn’t have the power of “rule” making over Congress.
Ablechild reached out for clarification to her office regarding her comments on this CDC rule. We received back an article about President Obama and gun control that had nothing to do with our quest for clarification on the CDC rule. We were asked to put our request in writing; we did and as of yet have not received a response.
Congresswoman McCollum’s home State of Minnesota on March 21, 2005 suffered a killing spree called the “Red Lake Massacre” that occurred in two places on the Ojibwa Red Lake reservation.
A 16 year old, Jeffrey Wiese killed his grandfather, a tribal police officer and his grandfather’s girlfriend at their home, before going to Red lake Senior High School where he killed seven people, and wounded five others, then committed suicide.
According to relatives the teenager was taking the antidepressant Prozac, 20 milligrams 3 times a day.
Congresswoman McCollum has a great opportunity to respond to her district and push for federal hearings on mass murders and their link to psychiatric drugs.
Ablechild will continue to push for these federal hearings. We plan to participate in the upcoming Connecticut February short legislative session to ensure the toxicology panels at the medical examiner’s office are updated and include clinical trial drugs, as well as to obtain a transparent policy regarding toxicology reports, mental health records, and the associated link to mental health treatments in the aftermath of mass murders and suicides.
This type of legislation will ensure the public has the compelling data that already exists allowing the public to fully participate in the legislative process and to produce life saving public policies.
We agree with President Obama, it is time to ask hard questions. We, however, don’t think it is a time to build a political movement, pass executive orders giving more funding to an unregulated and unaccountable mental health industry without asking the hard questions. This is a vital pubic health and safety issue.
We encourage Congresswoman McCollum along with her district voters to help us obtain those federal hearings and welcome her response on our inquiry.