Archive for August, 2015

After Aurora

August 18, 2015

After the Aurora, Colorado theater gunman, James Holmes was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, for the rampage that killed 12 people and left 70 people injured, the U.S. media began focusing on the grief of victim’s families who felt cheated of a death sentence. In a short video aired of Holmes in the courtroom during sentencing, one can clearly see that the man is mentally not even present in the room, his schizophrenia being so severe.

It was reported in the Huffington Post that Dr. Jeffrey Metzner, the psychiatrist to first interview Holmes after the shooting, testified, “Holmes was psychotic, with symptoms that included his delusion that killing other people would increase his self-worth and help him recover from depression. But people with delusions can still tell right from wrong, the psychiatrist said.”

“I thought his judgment was clinically impaired, despite having the capacity to judge right from wrong,” Metzner testified. “He was so depressed he was willing to do anything that would make him feel less depressed, even if it meant going to jail.”

It has been reported that, “Holmes said he wrote his feelings in a notebook and sent it to a therapist in advance so mental health professionals could understand people like him and keep them from committing similar crimes.”

The tragedy is that people with such severe mental illness are not cared for in the U.S. Instead communities unwilling to pay for clinics and care facilities for the most severely and dangerous patients, opt out and these patients are released into society unmonitored and untreated. Perhaps we should be addressing the correction of a defective system of government and punish those responsible for their neglect? Or perhaps the media should focus on the individuals who sold Holmes a gun, an automatic weapon to be exact, a weapon capable of killing dozens of people in seconds. How does one justify selling such a thing to anyone without getting a background check of the buyer?

Americans are quick to request an “eye for an eye” punishment, but continually fail to learn anything that could cure a defective society, when it produces such horror.