Sensationalistic headlines blaming everything from the FDA to The Tea Party for the tragic Arizona shooting reveals a great deal about the present day American Psyche

It is Congress that has allowed the FDA to continue censoring the science behind nutritional supplements while pushing psychiatric drugs on children, for example. Did you know that vitamin D deficiency promotes schizophrenia?

from How Congress helped created the very mental illness that resulted in the Giffords shooting by Mike Adams,, January 11th, 2011

I was like anyone both saddened and dismayed as I followed the Arizona shooting story as it unfolded erratically in real time over the virtual realms of the Internet this past weekend.   From the time that the news of the shooting first broke, to CNN’s report that Congresswoman Giffords had, along with six other victims, succumbed to her wounds, and then the subsequent announcement that she did in fact survive the attack seemed to lay the all too familiar foundations for wild speculations as to the why.  Why did this happen?

In and of itself of course the human tragedy associated with violence of any kind, whether it be in the form of domestic abuse, crime in the streets or as we have seen with the William Melchert-Dinkel case through our home computers, the propensity to do harm to a fellow human being goes back to the days of Cain and Abel.  Specifically, it is not a new phenomenon, with the only question being simply when and where and under what circumstances will it take place.

In our new book Tasers, Abortions and Parenting: Behind The Curtain of Policing America, which is a collaborative effort between myself and Dr. Richard Weinblatt,  we point out the fact that crime in America overall has steadily declined.  It seems however that commensurate with this decline, there has been an increasing level of media coverage that in the 7/24, socially networked world in which we live there is no longer the time to pause and to take stock of what has happened.  In place of somber reflection are sensationalistic, in the moment headlines, in which reactions are captured and instantly reported as if getting the information out is the prime objective versus getting it right.

For example, during the green room discussions prior to the premier of the new 49th Parallel Forum yesterday, I had asked why The Tea Party was being blamed in some circles for the shooting.  Larry Winget, who is the five time bestselling author of books such as Your Kids Are Your Own Fault commented that its origins were in a statement Congresswoman Giffords’ father made to the media shortly after the shooting that her only enemy was The Tea Party.

Understandably, and as a father myself, reactions from those closest to the victim during a time of upheaval when emotions run the gambit from fear and sadness to anger, are likely to be more reflective of the angst of the moment versus hard evidentiary findings or fact.  Yet, and again due largely to the real time spontaneity of news distribution, such reactions are catapulted through space landing like the proverbial homing pigeon in the silos of self-interested spin doctors whose primary interest is capitalizing on the media attention surrounding the event as a means of forwarding their own agendas.

Did or does Congresswoman Giffords’ father really believe that The Tea Party was behind the shooting, or is it a parental reflection based on perhaps the private frustrations expressed by a daughter to her father of the pressures from what some believe is a seditious group?  I don’t have that answer, and quite frankly during this period of upset for the Giffords family it is not a question that should be pursued.

Then there is the recent article written by the Natural News’ Mike Adams who takes the position that while tragic, this is a self-inflicted episode brought on by Congress themselves by allowing the FDA to continue censoring the science behind nutritional supplements while pushing psychiatric drugs on children.

To start, I have extensively covered in both the electronic print of this blog, and over the virtual airwaves of my radio show the issues with the over-prescribing of anti-depressants and the off label indiscretions of the pharmaceutical industry.

In fact during the aforementioned 49th Parallel Forum I had indicated that anti-depressants, which according to the most recent statistics available accounted for $7.9 billion of the fees processed through Medicaid in 2006 – which works out to being more than $25,000 per year for every man, woman and child in the United States, have become the ultimate crutch for a society in which individuals are loath to take ownership or responsibility for their lives.  In other words, and like the Rolling Stones song, we all run to the medicine cabinet to take mother’s little helper when confronted with the consequences of our actions.

So while I am not disputing those elements of truth in the Natural News article, the effort to use the Arizona tragedy as a platform for creating greater awareness of everything from nutritional deficiency in the shooter, to junk food consumption borders on the absurd.  I mean come on, when Adams writes “I have very high confidence that a blood test of Loughner would reveal striking nutritional deficiencies combined with blood sugar imbalances,” because his photo “reveals pale white skin, for example — a common indicator of chronic vitamin D deficiency,” reads more like an advertisement for Herbal Life than a informed deduction based on facts.

What’s next, the shooter claiming a vitamin deficiency as a defense, and suing McDonald’s  for nutritional imbalance!

Once again, I do not have any idea at this point as to the reason one person or persons decided to shoot another.  I am certain that over the next few days and weeks, as more comes to light we will hopefully get the answers we so desperately need at a time of incomprehensible tragedy.  The important thing is that we do not reduce what happened in Arizona to a strategic campaign of self interests.  What happened this past weekend isn’t about The Tea Party or the FDA or poor eating habits.  It is about a woman, a mother, a father, a son, a daughter and sadly a child whose lives unexpectedly ended one Saturday afternoon.


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