School Shootings and "Homicidal Ideation"


         Once again our country has been shocked, saddened and angered by a horrific mass shooting, this time in a Florida High School.  It seems as if the entire nation is saying, “This is enough.  Something has to be done.”  We all have differing opinions as to just what that “something” to be done actually is.  While the discussions and arguments are going on, Christians should be praying that God will give wisdom to our leaders to help them arrive at practical solutions that really work.  He knows what the “something” should be.  I believe that praying people can help—if we’ll actually pray.  God still answers prayer.

         I’m praying that the lid will come off of the snake pit of overprescribed anti-depressant medications.  There may be too much access to guns, or certain types of guns, but of this one thing I feel certain: The first question we should ask is, “Was the shooter on some type of prescribed anti-depressant or other medication and what are their names?”

         David Kupelian wrote an interesting article entitled MEDIA IGNORING 1 CRUCIAL FACTOR IN FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING.  In this article he lists many mass shootings and lists what anti-depressant the shooters were on.  I’ll give you a little taste of his article.

         **** Columbine mass-killer Eric Harris was taking Luvox, a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Effexor and others are all SSRI inhibitors.

         **** Patrick Purdy, who went on a schoolyard shooting rampage in Stockton, California in 1989 murdered five children and wounded 30. He had been on Amitriptyline, and antidepressant, as well as the antipsychotic drug Thorazine.

         **** Kip Kinkel shocked us Oregonians in 1998. He murdered his parents and the next day went to Thurston High School in Springfield (15 miles from my home) and killed two plus wounded 22 others.  He had been prescribed both Prozac and Ritalin.

         **** It’s not just young men who can become murderous when on an SSRI anti-depressant.  Take the heartbreaking case of Andrea Yates, a mother who drowned all five of her children, aged 7 years to six months—in a bathtub.  She had been taking the anti-depressant Effexor.  Four years after these murders the manufacturer, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals quietly added “homicidal ideation” to the drug’s list of “rare adverse events.”  The FDA defines “rare adverse events” as less than one in a thousand.  But since the year when that adverse reaction was put on the label of the drug, 19.2 million prescriptions for Effexor have been filled in the United States. Do the math. If one in a thousand experienced “homicidal ideation” that would be 19,000 people who felt strong unnatural urges to kill!

         Stop and think.  Would the solution to murders like Andrea Yates committed be to outlaw bathtubs, or restrict bathtubs to such a small size that drowning would be impossible?  The problem wasn’t the bathtub.  While guns are more commonly used to kill rather than bathtubs we should be able to see that guns are not the REAL problem or the BIGGEST problem.  A brain with a “homicidal ideation” is probably going to find some way to kill, be it a gun, a bomb, a car, a truck, a knife, or even a bathtub.

         David Kupelian’s article goes on and on, listing shooters and what drugs they were on.  In the case of Nikolas Cruze, the 19-year-old mass-shooter in the recent Florida massacre, his mother’s sister, Barbara Kumbatovich told the Miami Herald that she believed Cruz was on medication to deal with his emotional fragility.  This is similar to Adam Lanza, who was the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut.  Family friends told CBS “60 Minutes” that Adam was on medication.

         Well, I don’t know everything.  But we in our family have had our own experience with anti-depressants. For a while, both my wife and my youngest daughter were on anti-depressants at the same time. Whatever problems these medications solved they definitely created other problems.  The side affects were so miserable that both my wife and daughter worked to get off of them and no matter what the problems of life are, they would NEVER go back to the misery of being on those Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors!

         I have talked with two women who both experienced strong murderous desires when on a certain SSRI. One had a little baby and had to restrain herself from the desire to kill her own baby.  I do not believe the human brain can work correctly when it’s put on those kinds of drugs.

         It’s widely known that SSRI drugs are more dangerous for YOUNG brains.  Now give a brain with “homicidal ideation” access to automatic weapons and PRESTO, we get mass killings! 

         Where did we ever get the idea that drugs that mess up the normal function of the brain will give us peace of mind, freedom from fear, and victory over worry?  Here’s what I believe and what I’ve experienced: A tormented mind comes from tormenting THOUGHTS.  Those thoughts are what I call MAD, BAD, AND SAD thoughts.  They have to be “taken captive” by bigger, better thoughts. Paul wrote, “We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).  You can take a mad, bad, or sad thought captive with scriptures.  Paul also wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” (Romans 12:2 EVS). 

Paul also wrote, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things…practice these things and the God of peace will be with you,” (Phil 4:8-9 ESV).

         When this godly advice is replaced with “just take a pill” and that pill actually prevents the reuptake of Serotonin so that your brain cannot function normally, well, a tragedy is happening.  Christians are generally just as messed up as the general public if they run to a pill instead of turning to God.  Remember—Satan gives tormenting thoughts but God gives wonderful thoughts—the bigger better kind that give peace of mind and transform lives.  TURN TO GOD AND GOD’S WORD AND ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR HIS THOUGHTS.

         I’ve never taken an anti-depressant.  I’ve had many mad, bad and sad thoughts.  But my practice has been to pray this simple prayer, “Lord, just give me one of your thoughts and I’m out of this jam.”  That’s what has worked for me.  God says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isaiah 55:9).  Because God is gracious, he will GIVE us his wonderful thoughts if we will ask and seek for them.

         Consider this:  Taking a pill may inhibit the re-uptake of serotonin but a pill cannot stop the devil from sending mad, bad and sad thoughts.  He will continue to send his thoughts to anyone who is on medication. Medications will not scare him away. He leaves when we speak God’s word into our situations and over our lives.

         I remember ministering to one woman who had lost her child in a drowning accident.  She wanted to die and go be with her child.  I could not counsel her into right thinking.  She refused right thinking.  To my sorrow, she killed herself.  Perhaps her life could have been saved in she had been on an anti-depressant for a TEMPORARY period, so that she would have had a little more time to fight off the bad thoughts.  I do believe that some people are temporarily helped by these types of drugs.  But it MUST be considered only a temporary measure that gives us more time to find the real answers to life’s fears and injustices.

         Are you on an anti-depressant?  Perhaps you need one.  But remember, only a bigger better thought will be able to take captive the mad, bad and sad thoughts of the devil.  A pill should never become a substitute for the peace of mind that comes when we seek God and find his life giving thoughts.

         In Conclusion:  Mass shootings are a tiny tip of a massive iceberg of overprescribed anti-depressants. If we actually thought God’s thoughts, we’d want to help people, love them and comfort them and fill our lives with good deeds.  We’d never want to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ as a murderer! If we thought God’s thoughts we could be wading in weapons and ammunition and not be tempted in the least to use any of them!  Our hearts would be filled with God’s love.

         So let us pray.  Perhaps armed guards in schools can help. Restricting guns from young minds who are on anti-depressants would help.  I don’t know why anyone would need a “bump stock” that turns a semi-automatic into a machine gun.  But the entire fabric of society is unraveling, not because of guns, or lax gun laws, but because of a “we don’t need God” attitude from the lost and a “I want a short-cut to peace” attitude from Christians who buy into the world’s solutions to mental health and neglect God’s solutions.  I’ll pray for our President, governors, mayors, school boards, and all leaders to be given wisdom to make the best laws possible.  But I’m also praying that the great TREND to solve mental problems with drugs instead of with God’s Word could somehow be reversed.  Could it be reversed in YOUR life?  Would YOU start praying, “God, just give me one thought from you and I’m out of this jam?”  I hope so. I will pray for one life after another to find God’s wonderful life giving thoughts.  And please pray the same for me and my family--that we can always live in victory by thinking godly thoughts.

I love you. God bless you.





Wes Daughenbaugh