I always respected Billy Graham for his commitment to keep the Gospel and it’s non-partisan message separate from ever-changing politics. As a result of this approach, Billy Graham gained a solid reputation from all sides of the political spectrum, as someone who could be trusted. He gained influence with almost everyone. He met with multiple Presidents, Democrat and Republican, while not polluting Christian Orthodoxy with partisan politics. He is one of only a few people to lie in state in the nation’s capitol. Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, takes a different approach, embracing politics and politicians, and as a result, doesn’t appear to have the same influence and the credibility with people who embrace different politics. I will miss people like Billy Graham.
Source: Secret Service’s Research & Publications
The Secret Service has a department called the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) that conducts research into what they call “targeted violence.” Because they’re job is to predict and stop targeted violence against U.S. Presidents, Vice Presidents, Supreme Court Justices, their families, and others they have resources and research to be able to better predict if and when targeted violence will happen. This website lists some of their own research on this subject but also includes research about school shooters and prevention strategies because targeted violence against U.S. Presidents is similar to targeted violence in schools.
Marsha Linehan struggled with her own severe mental illness before she created her now famous Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT), which she originally used to treat her own clients who have Borderline Personality Disorder. She went on to teach at the University of Washington, and her therapy has been adapted for use in other settings, including inpatient addiction treatment centers, where clients learn skills to help themselves regulate their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors instead of turning to drugs, alcohol, and other negative coping mechanisms.
Nicholas Cruz had a history of mental illness, racial slurs, and buying guns. He seems to be a young man who struggled with multiple mental health issues including:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
It’s important to write here that having these mental health issues does not make any person a mass shooter; however, in this case, these may have been factors in his decision-making process. I don’t know of any research that tells me exactly what the factors are. The shooter also cut himself and was visited multiple times by the police and local mental health agency Florida Department of Children and Families to assess his well being.
This was a horrible, tragic event that hopefully motives all of us to constructive, positive action. A few ideas include:
- Educate ourselves about mental health issues
- Work to eliminate stigma so that people who suffer with mental health issues seek help earlier
- Fund more research into targeted violence so that law enforcement and mental health providers can make more accurate predictions
- Provide a role for mental health providers to intervene in all states. Some states already mandate that mental health providers warn potential victims.
Currently, the United States Government funds a program through Homeland Security that offers grants to community partners who work in their communities to produce counter-narratives to violent extremism.
Interesting summary about the research on depression and its treatment using serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Some of the responses are also good to read as well.
Washington, Oregon, and California are three states that allow a gun to be seized before a person can use it to commit violence.
Pew Research shows the distribution of religious belief in the United States.
New study finds that people with schizophrenia made “greater strides” with smaller doses of antipsychotics plus one-on-one talk therapy.
Childhood sexual abuse and how it affects people later as adults. Great study with great insights.