John W. Maly (maly at shell.servtech.com) wrote on 21 Apr 1999:
> I recently heard of a theory that the increase in student-
> committed school shootings (which seems to result from
> something that didn't exist before the 1990's) is due to the
> marked increase in the prescribing of psychoactive drugs to
> students. This theory was based on the claim that every single
> one of these disturbed individuals was on Ritalin, Prozac, or
> some similar-such widely-prescribed drug, which are believed to
> cause psychosis in a tiny percentage of patients.
> Does anyone know if this statistic is valid?
> Syracuse University Psychology Department
> P.S. This would explain the fact that all of the shootings have
> occurred in, at the lowest, middle-class school districts;
> poorer parents would not be able to afford such medication.
If the above statistic is indeed valid, the psychotic outbreaks
occur in a uniquely American setting conducive to an urge to kill.
There are small American children right now who will be killed in
their prosperous American high schools over the next ten years be-
cause America fosters the society that erupts in a killing spree:
1. Although radio in the nineteen-twenties and TV in the forties
started out as innocent media belonging to the public, their rapid
commercialization led to violence as the lowest common denominator.
Kill! Kill! Kill! computer games such as Mortal Kombat and Doom
have finished off the complete numbness and subconscious lust for
pulling the trigger which now lurk in the minds of American kids.
Sadly, nothing can be done about this collective youth culture.
2. The American glorification of high school athletics leads to
the in-groups and the "Trenchcoat Mafia" outcasts who are made to
feel inferior to the "jocks" on whom America lavishes money, praise
and high self-esteem. Something actually could be done about this
factor in the killings, but American culture would rather witness
twenty or thirty kids shot dead each year than change priorities.
3. American high school principals, vice-principals and coaches
would rather root for the home team than crack down on the teasing
and the social outcasting that results in the Ritalin shoot-outs.
Massive parental pressure here could prevent some of the killings.
4. The Republican gun-lobby stranglehold on American politics
ensures that when some Ritalin-crazed kid or Prozac zombie wants
to shoot your child dead in the cafeteria, your child will die.