What Did Oliver North Say About School Shootings And Medication? [VIDEO]

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What Did Oliver North Say About School Shootings And Medication? [VIDEO]

What Did Oliver North Say About School Shootings And Medication? [VIDEO]

Oliver North, incoming NRA President, was on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace and talked about strengthening school security, changing the culture of violence, protecting kids even as they use their First Amendment rights to protest – and then he had to toss in comments about kids being medicated. Specifically, on Ritalin.

It was a throwaway line or two in a five minute interview.


However, it’s becoming the takeaway line from the entire interview.


So, here’s where I agree with Col. North, and where I disagree with him.

Yes, our culture is screwed up and violence has been glorified. Want an example? Here’s a stunning lack of self-awareness by actor Josh Gad (better known as the voice of “Olaf” in the Disney movie “Frozen”):


Nothing helps one deal with a school shooting like…. watching a lot of people get shot on the big screen.


This is where the phrase “I can’t even” probably should be used.

Yes, we need better entrance control to our schools if we want to take security seriously. Just try going to a professional sports game, be it baseball, football, soccer, anything. Nearly every single stadium or field has controlled entrances, security, metal detectors, and bag inspection. Try going to your local courthouse. Metal detectors and security. Try walking into a bank. Security, in some form, is watching the entrances and exits. Why can’t we have that in a school setting? Why can’t schools be designed with ONE entrance that can be locked down in an instant? Yes, retrofitting older school layouts would be a pain and expensive. But, as we are often told, if it saves just one person, isn’t it worth it?

But blaming ADHD medications like Ritalin is not in the least bit helpful in this situation. It’s unhelpful because we have no idea if the shooter in Santa Fe was on medication. It’s unhelpful because no, medication usage has not been a consistent factor in school shooter profiles. And it’s unhelpful because it alienates parents, like me, who are staunchly pro-2nd Amendment (my husband is a NRA member) and have an ADHD child who is currently on medication.

My son received his ADHD diagnosis (after ruling out autism spectrum disorder, which his other two brothers have been diagnosed with) nearly two years ago, after years of struggling with an extraordinarily bright kid who simply was driven by an unseen motor that we could not turn off or redirect. And we tried. It wasn’t lack of discipline, or lack of school support, or lack of structure. Because of our connections through the ASD community, we were able to connect our son to a medication trial for Concerta (a different drug than Ritalin, but also a controlled stimulant like it) through our local children’s hospital. After months on a blind medication trial and frequent checkups, it was obvious that the medication was doing what it was supposed to do – help control the ADHD behaviors. This was not a decision we made lightly, but we could not argue with the results. Is medication right for everyone? Everyone’s brain chemistry is different, and while I can tell you about our experience, I can only recommend that every parent find mental health professionals to discuss the pros and cons of medication specific to their child.

When Oliver North feeds into the “overdiagnosed and overmedicated” story line, it hurts parents who need real solutions. If my experience over the last few years is anything to go by, primary care pediatricians are more reluctant to diagnose and more likely to refer out to psychiatrists for a diagnosis instead. Parents who are struggling with their child’s behavior need help, not fear that giving their kids a controlled medication is going to suddenly or eventually turn them into psychopaths who shoot innocents.

There is so much that can be done to protect our children while they are at school. There is so much that needs to be done to address the ongoing mental health crisis in this country. There is so much that needs to be done to stop and identify the children at risk. Singling out those children on medication as a risk to themselves or their classmates isn’t productive, and frankly, it’s slanderous.

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4 Comments
  • David says:

    yup no evidence what so ever, nothing to see here just move along. Maybe he picked on the wrong drug. maybe not, it’s a start

    . Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

    • Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

    • Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

    • Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

    • Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

    • Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

    • Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

    • Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

    • A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

    • Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

    • A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

    • Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

    • TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

    • Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

    • James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

    • Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

    • Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

    • Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

    • Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

    • Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

    • Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

    • Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

    • Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

    • Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

    • Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

    • Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

    • Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002, (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

    • Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

    • Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

    • Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

    • Woody __, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

    • A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

    • Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

    • Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

    • Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

    • Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.

    • Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

    • Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school.

    Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

    • What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az?

    • What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado?

    • What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or?

    • What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct?

  • david says:

    wat’s the matter, too uncomfortable to post??

    Eric Harris age 17 (first on Zoloft then Luvox) and Dylan Klebold aged 18 (Columbine school shooting in Littleton, Colorado), killed 12 students and 1 teacher, and wounded 23 others, before killing themselves. Klebold’s medical records have never been made available to the public.

    • Jeff Weise, age 16, had been prescribed 60 mg/day of Prozac (three times the average starting dose for adults!) when he shot his grandfather, his grandfather’s girlfriend and many fellow students at Red Lake, Minnesota. He then shot himself. 10 dead, 12 wounded.

    • Cory Baadsgaard, age 16, Wahluke (Washington state) High School, was on Paxil (which caused him to have hallucinations) when he took a rifle to his high school and held 23 classmates hostage. He has no memory of the event.

    • Chris Fetters, age 13, killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.

    • Christopher Pittman, age 12, murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.

    • Mathew Miller, age 13, hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.

    • Kip Kinkel, age 15, (on Prozac and Ritalin) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.

    • Luke Woodham, age 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.

    • A boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 had a Zoloft-induced seizure that caused an armed stand off at his school.

    • Michael Carneal (Ritalin), age 14, opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded..

    • A young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.

    • Andrew Golden, age 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people, killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.

    • TJ Solomon, age 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.

    • Rod Mathews, age 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.

    • James Wilson, age 19, (various psychiatric drugs) from Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.

    • Elizabeth Bush, age 13, (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania

    • Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California

    • Jarred Viktor, age 15, (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.

    • Chris Shanahan, age 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.

    • Jeff Franklin (Prozac and Ritalin), Huntsville, AL, killed his parents as they came home from work using a sledge hammer, hatchet, butcher knife and mechanic’s file, then attacked his younger brothers and sister.

    • Neal Furrow (Prozac) in LA Jewish school shooting reported to have been court-ordered to be on Prozac along with several other medications.

    • Kevin Rider, age 14, was withdrawing from Prozac when he died from a gunshot wound to his head. Initially it was ruled a suicide, but two years later, the investigation into his death was opened as a possible homicide. The prime suspect, also age 14, had been taking Zoloft and other SSRI antidepressants.

    • Alex Kim, age 13, hung himself shortly after his Lexapro prescription had been doubled.

    • Diane Routhier was prescribed Welbutrin for gallstone problems. Six days later, after suffering many adverse effects of the drug, she shot herself.

    • Billy Willkomm, an accomplished wrestler and a University of Florida student, was prescribed Prozac at the age of 17. His family found him dead of suicide – hanging from a tall ladder at the family’s Gulf Shore Boulevard home in July 2002.

    • Kara Jaye Anne Fuller-Otter, age 12, was on Paxil when she hung herself from a hook in her closet. Kara’s parents said “…. the damn doctor wouldn’t take her off it and I asked him to when we went in on the second visit. I told him I thought she was having some sort of reaction to Paxil…”)

    • Gareth Christian, Vancouver, age 18, was on Paxil when he committed suicide in 2002, (Gareth’s father could not accept his son’s death and killed himself.)

    • Julie Woodward, age 17, was on Zoloft when she hung herself in her family’s detached garage.

    • Matthew Miller was 13 when he saw a psychiatrist because he was having difficulty at school. The psychiatrist gave him samples of Zoloft. Seven days later his mother found him dead, hanging by a belt from a laundry hook in his closet.

    • Kurt Danysh, age 18, and on Prozac, killed his father with a shotgun. He is now behind prison bars, and writes letters, trying to warn the world that SSRI drugs can kill.

    • Woody __, age 37, committed suicide while in his 5th week of taking Zoloft. Shortly before his death his physician suggested doubling the dose of the drug. He had seen his physician only for insomnia. He had never been depressed, nor did he have any history of any mental illness symptoms.

    • A boy from Houston, age 10, shot and killed his father after his Prozac dosage was increased.

    • Hammad Memon, age 15, shot and killed a fellow middle school student. He had been diagnosed with ADHD and depression and was taking Zoloft and “other drugs for the conditions.”

    • Matti Saari, a 22-year-old culinary student, shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

    • Steven Kazmierczak, age 27, shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium. According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amounts of Xanax in his system.

    • Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen, age 18, had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School – then he committed suicide.

    • Asa Coon from Cleveland, age 14, shot and wounded four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon was on Trazodone.

    • Jon Romano, age 16, on medication for depression, fired a shotgun at a teacher in his New York high school.

    Missing from list… 3 of 4 known to have taken these same meds….

    • What drugs was Jared Lee Loughner on, age 21…… killed 6 people and injuring 14 others in Tuscon, Az?

    • What drugs was James Eagan Holmes on, age 24….. killed 12 people and injuring 59 others in Aurora Colorado?

    • What drugs was Jacob Tyler Roberts on, age 22, killed 2 injured 1, Clackamas Or?

    • What drugs was Adam Peter Lanza on, age 20, Killed 26 and wounded 2 in Newtown Ct?

  • douger says:

    Ms Fisher… I’m sorry your kids have ADHD and I hope the medication they’re getting does its stuff.

    That said, ADHD and ADD are very often misdiagnosed and our kids, mostly boys, are overmedicated. Psychotropic drugs are indeed a common thread that runs through the stories of boys, guns, and a lot of dead bodies.

    Are these drugs the cause? That hasn’t been proven any more than the lack of a father figure in many of these kids lives. But it does bear closer examination.

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