By Patrick B. Donohue, Founder, The Sarah Jane Brain Foundation,
According to a 2008 CDC study, 82.8 percent of male prisoners in Minnesota reported having had one or more brain injury over the course of their lifetime. Marlena M. Wald and her colleagues found the causes ranged from assaults (37%), auto crashes (25%), sports-related (11%) to falls (11%). Another study showed that 87 percent of a county jail population had a history of brain injury (Slaughter, Facc & Ehde, 2003). This study also showed that many of these prisoners experience mental health problems such as severe depression and anxiety. Other studies have shown co-occurring problems such as alcohol and substance abuse, suicidal thoughts and attempts as well as significant anger management issues for this population.
In 1986, Dr. Dorothy Lewis and Dr. Jonathan Pincus published a study of 15 death row inmates and found every one of them had suffered severe brain injuries in childhood, about half were caused by assaults and six were chronically psychotic. Another study of 14 juveniles sentenced to death found all of them had suffered from a brain injury, most in auto crashes but assaults as well. Twelve had been brutally physically abused and five were sodomized by relatives.
We know where this tipping point begins. Over 765,000 American youth suffer a new brain injury every year, over 80,000 are hospitalized and over 11,000 die annually. Every 40 seconds another American family enters an Emergency Room with a new brain injury. And these are the ones who are actually identified, when two to three times are not identified. These numbers do not include the tens of thousands of non-traumatic acquired brain injuries such as meningitis which President Obama’s daughter had as an infant to strokes, brain tumors and seizure-disorders.admin | Filed under: Connecticut Murders, Patrick Donohue, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: Connecticut Murders, connecticut school shooting, Patrick Donohue, Sandy Hook Elementary School, Sarah Jane Brain Foundation, Sarah Jane Donohue, The Brain Project | Comments Off on Will Sandy Hook get America to take brain injury seriously?
By Jordan B. Rickards, The Rickards Review cross post
I believe in the right to own a gun. As a conservative, I believe in a right to be able to defend myself and my home, and I believe that right is all the more necessary in today’s America. As a skeptic, I doubt that an outright ban on firearms would accomplish much more than to disarm the law abiding people who we don’t have to worry about in the first place. And as a freedom loving person, while I certainly don’t believe in armed insurrection, I do confess discomfort with the idea of a world where the government controls all the weapons.
But I can’t avoid how I feel right now in the wake of the slaughter in Connecticut. I feel angry. I don’t remember feeling this way after Columbine, or Virginia Tech, or the Aurora Colorado movie theatre shootings. I remember being sad and dejected, but not angry.
When tragedies happen, it’s natural to look to somebody to blame, and groups like the N.R.A. are always the first and easiest targets. I’ve defended them in the past. After all, you don’t see N.R.A. members committing massacres. That’s because, in addition to being obsessed about guns, they’re also obsessed with gun safety and education to ensure that guns are used in a responsible way, so that the right to own them is not compromised.
But in their seemingly reflexive opposition to even the most reasonable and common sense regulations, they fail to consider that maybe America as a whole is simply not capable of responsible gun ownership within the framework of the current regulatory scheme. Or perhaps I should say, “no longer capable.”
Conservatives receive a lot of criticism for wanting to “take us back to the 1950′s.” That might not be a bad idea. I’m not talking about rolling back civil rights, or technological advances. I’m simply stating the obvious, which is that a lot of the problems we have today didn’t exist back then. Families were intact. Drug use was comparatively rare. Cities were livable. Violent crime was a fraction of what it is today. Schools didn’t get shot up.admin | Filed under: Connecticut Murders, Gun Control, Sandy Hook Elementary School | Tags: Connecticut Murders, connecticut school shooting, Gun Control, Jodan B. Rickards, The Rickards Review | 5 Comments »
By Dan Gallic
We, as a nation, decided three or four decades ago, that we didn’t have the will or resources to create safe, reliable and appropriate facilities for those who suffer with mental illness. One reason we started to lose our appetite to deal with the mentally ill appropriately was the ever expanding definition that was being associated with the diagnoses. Eventually, every drunk and drug user was labeled mentally ill, and resources allocated to the mentally ill were quickly filled and demand for more and more and more resources taxed the mental health support system.