Long before the shooting at Columbine stunned the country, there was a shooting at my high school here in Southern New Mexico. I was 2 doors down from the office when a casual friend walked into the lobby with a sawed-off shotgun and started firing away. Luckily for us, no one was injured and M put down his weapon after only a half hour standoff.
A year or so after the shooting, I ran into M while hanging out on our cruising strip one Friday evening. No, I didn’t run away in terror because I knew the guy and believe it or not, he really was cool and funny and nice…just…troubled.
During the course of the evening, the shooting came up. I asked him what had gotten into his head that day to make him decide to blast up the school?
“Dude, you made me nearly piss my pants & we were cramped under our desks for an hour…WHY THE FUCK DID YOU DO THAT?”
“They diagnosed me with a chemical imbalance in my brain and dosed me with Lithium a couple months ago. I felt like I was drowning inside my head so I went off of it 2 days before…I don’t know what happened, I just flipped the fuck out…”
He just…flipped. He had no better explanation for why he’d done what he’d done. He wasn’t particularly angry, he said. He had walked into the office and requested a pass to visit a student during lunch. Staff denied him. No big deal.
He went to his car to leave and when he reached down to retrieve his keys from the floorboard, his hand bumped the gun under his seat (it was the 80′s; we’re a rural place, we partied out in the boonies and it wasn’t uncommon for boys to carry weapons, have gun racks in the trucks, etc). From the moment his hand bumped the gun, his mind is a blank, he said. He wasn’t raging, wasn’t seeing red and really hadn’t been that bothered by being turned down for the visitor’s pass.
You’d think that after shooting off 10 rounds in a high school, a guy would be sent away for a long, long time, right? Obviously, this young man was in dire need of help. So why was he out cruising the streets less than 2 years later? Immediately after the shooting he’d been taken to the psych ward of our only local hospital. He feared being dosed with Lithium again so he placed chewing gum on the door latch and walked out of the hospital a few hours later.
He got no further treatment; there was no major manhunt…not even a blip on the news that he was free.
It’s been about 20 years since the last time I ran into M…every now & then I wonder if he ever managed to find the help he so desperately needed. There was so much potential in that young man and it’s sad to know that when he reached out for help, the system handed him a quick, untested, chemical fix…
There will never any way to be sure whether or not Lithium was the direct cause of M’s decision to shoot shit up that afternoon but after following numerous stories of troubled/drugged young kids turning inexplicably violent over the past several years, I really can’t help but wonder how much damage is being done by pushing pills instead of actual treatment and cures..?
And I don’t think I could ever get behind this latest push to drug-up and dumb-down the masses by more additives in our tap water -
Excerpt from Daily UK – “Lithium has been heralded by some experts as the next potential flouride, after scientists found suicide rates were lower in areas where the drinking water had higher concentrations of the element.
Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna compared the suicide rates in different regions of Austria with the natural lithium concentrations in the drinking water…
…’The theory is that lithium in trace amounts enhances the connectivity among neurons and having exposure over a lifetime makes the brain more happy,’ he explained…” Full Story, “Should We Drug The Drinking Water?”
Pardon me if I remain somewhat less than convinced that lithium “makes the brain more happy”…and I bet my friend M might also disagree with that claim…
“Experts” Push For Lithium To Be Added To Our Drinking Water - Activist Post