Huffpost Crime
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Fred Lundgren Headshot

15 Potential Toxic Contributions to Acts of Violence

Posted: Updated:
Getty File
Getty File

Most of us assume that school massacres are increasing in frequency, in part, because our society embraces weapons of death equally in games, sports and war. This creates a false equivalence in the immature mind that can send confusing signals about acceptable conduct. It can also plant the seeds of violence in the diseased minds of people who are too often treated with prescription drugs that may further blur the line between fantasy and reality.

All responsible Americans, regardless of political stripe, are finally demanding answers for the root causes of insane behavior that leads to mass murders like the massacre in Newtown, Conn. We all share the call to subdue America's culture of violence but we refuse to end our love affair with guns.

Liberals are demanding gun control while conservatives argue that 'guns don't kill people; people kill people.' Until recently, both liberals and conservatives have avoided a serious discussion about our societies' mental health. Hopefully, the Newtown, Conn., massacre will force both sides to confront the serious mental heath problems that appear to be growing worse with each generation.

Obviously, no person in their right mind will pick up a gun, kill their mother, and drive to a school to kill over two dozen more people. This behavior is occurring with shocking regularity but the phenomenon is not limited to America. In China, where individuals are not allowed to own guns, the attackers use knives and hammers. In others countries, attackers use everything from gasoline to bombs but regardless of the weapon, the common element is the deranged mind of the attacker.

So, what steps can be taken to curb the recent outbreak of mass murders that plague the modern world? It seems logical to confront America's culture of violence in numerous ways. This necessitates a discomforting amount of introspection by the federal government, by the pharmaceutical Industry, the medical community, the food industry, and certainly the political left and right.

Let's do some easy finger-pointing at possible contributing factors...

(1) Access to converted military assault weapons containing clips with 30 bullets masquerading as target pistols and hunting rifles;
(2) Gun shows and private gun sales that place weapons in the wrong hands;
(3) The myopic policies of the pro-gun lobby;
(4) The FDA's friendly relationship with the pharmaceutical lobby;
(5) The lack of consistent state gun laws ;
(6) SSRI's "Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors", a class of anti-depressants known as psychotropic drugs;
(7) Too many infant vaccinations;
(8) America's failure to isolate causes of autism spectrum disorders;
(9) The lack of parental access to long-term, in-patient, psychiatric care;
(10) Heavy metals and household cleansers in the home environment;
(11) Alcohol consumption during pregnancy;
(12) Chemicals and hormones allowed in our foods by USDA;
(13) The unknown consequences of consuming genetically modified foods;
(14) The long-term impact of "Shoot First" video games;
(15) Latchkey children in broken homes under financial stress

Each of these toxic sub-categories are arguably contributing to the culture of violence in America. Perhaps these irrational acts of madmen are the end product, comprised of many components. Individually, each can be relatively harmless, but when combined, they create a mental bomb, waiting to explode.