It is regrettable that almost all the information that people get about schizophrenia occurs when someone with this disease commits a violent act. And most perpetrators, if not all, are untreated. It is now coming out that James Holmes, the alleged Colorado shooter, had been seeing a psychiatrist who specializes in schizophrenia. No one knows his diagnosis, if there is one, but he seems to have all the hallmarks of someone with active psychosis.
Due to the recent surge in gun violence in Toronto there have been numerous discussions about how best to address this problem. I firmly believe that low and negative expectations are at the heart of what leads many black youth down paths that are lined with little more than underachievement, impoverishment and predatory violence.
There are several reasons why America hosts most of the recent mass slaughterings. While such incidents can happen anywhere, they are most prevalent in free, or democratic countries. In autocratic or repressive regimes, mass killings by explosives are for political reasons - Chechen terrorism in the Moscow theatre bombing or the Beslan school massacre. But not random, mindless slaughter. There is no logical way to prevent such massacres in a democracy.
I never met her in person, but I feel as if I knew her. Jessica Ghawi, known professionally as Jessica Redfield, was a Denver-based hockey blogger and aspiring sportscaster. She died in the Colorado theatre shooting, in which 12 people were killed and 59 people were injured. She was only 24 years of age.
There must be reasonable accommodation made between the robust ability of citizens to maintain arms and screening mechanisms to limit the purchase of weapons by criminals and the unfit. The overriding problem in Toronto and Aurora, Colorado this past week were madmen with guns, not guns in the hands of men.
In the wake of the "Dark Knight" shooting, there is the inevitable and understandable desire to seek an explanation -- to make sense of the senseless. Somehow this monstrosity might have been averted -- if gun laws were different, if someone who knew the killer could have stopped the crime in advance, if social welfare programs to treat such sociopaths were improved, if movies didn't encourage such violence. And those thoughts may feel even more urgent to Canadians as our week began and ended with horrific shootings -- on Monday, two people were killed and 24 injured at a Toronto block party.