An old friend, Tom Solari, has a new typepad blog, where he has posted an excellent essay, called "Inhuman Beings - The Chemicalized Personality". His premise is that the observable increase of violent behavior in recent years is directly attributable to the psychiatric drugs that these people were on. According to Tom, it's not post-partum depression, combat stress, or rock music or video games. It's psychiatric drugs that are responsible for dehumanizing people to the point where they will commit these crimes. Kip Kinkle in Oregon, the two kids from Columbine, and now the VTech massacre - all were apparently on psychiatric drugs. That's just the very tip of the iceberg -- the more of these you look into, in depth, the more you realize that the common link between them is the psychiatric drugs that they are prescribed. As the black box labels on them now say, they can cause suicidal or homicidal ideation -- in other words, they make you want to kill yourself or someone else.
I've known and respected Tom for over three decades now. When I first met him, he was part of an improv comedy group called "Solari and Carr". He and Clark Carr performed live comedy sketches at Celebrity Centre in Los Angeles on Friday noties. This was in late 1971, only a couple of years after Celebrity Centre was established by Yvonne Jentzch (one of my very favorite people of all time). Now Celebrity Centre is a huge and wonderful place -- back then it was a tiny facility in the Alvarado district in LA. Solari and Carr would do sketches with other minor celebrities who happened to be wandering through the place. One of my favorites was a recurring sketch called "Meat on the Street", where they would portray the drug users, pimps and whores, cops and bag ladies who were familiar to all of us who lived in the Alvarado district. All for some very good laughs.
In any event, Tom's essay on "Inhuman Beings" is well worth reading.