Gun insanity continues with yet another attempted mass shooting

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Good morning:

Seattle Pacific University was the next stop on the national shooting-spree parade.

We know the plot: untreated mentally ill person armed with guns and ammo drives to (fill in the blank) campus and starts shooting until (a) someone stops him, (b) he runs out of ammunition, or (c) he kills himself.

Only the location, body count, and the identities of the shooter and his victims change.

Police have arrested Aaron Ybarra for killing one student and injuring two others, one seriously. John Meis, 22, prevented more carnage by pepper spraying the shooter as he was reloading his weapon. Meis and two other students disarmed and physically restrained the shooter until police arrived and took him into custody.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is reporting,

A day after his deadly shooting spree at Seattle Pacific University, Aaron Ybarra has apologized as police claim he meant to harm many more people on the Queen Anne campus.

Ybarra, who killed one and shot two others Thursday, suffered from “delusions” at the time of the rampage, his attorney said Friday afternoon. Police say he had been planning a mass shooting and wanted to kill as many people as possible.

But Ybarra did not set off red flags with friends but appeared to have struggled with mental health and alcohol issues.

The 26-year-old Mountlake Terrace resident remains on suicide watch in King County Jail. He is being investigated for premeditated murder and assault, and has not yet been charged. King County prosecutors are expected to do so early next week.

Ybarra has had multiple contacts with police and mental health officials since 2010. The Christian Science Monitor reports,

In 2011, Ybarra took himself to an emergency room, telling staff that he got scared after hearing the voice of Columbine High School shooter Eric Harris in his head, telling him to hurt people. He was not detained.

He “feels he identifies with one of the Columbine killers, whom he identified as Eric Harris,” counselor Deldene J. Garner wrote later in a chemical dependency assessment filed in Edmonds Municipal Court, according to the Seattle Times.

To involuntarily commit someone, a qualified mental health expert must decide that a patient is a danger to himself or to others. The danger must be imminent as opposed to a non-specific future likelihood.

Involuntary commitments are limited to 72 hours and cannot be extended without the patient’s consent unless the danger to self or others is continuing. This rarely happens.

I am troubled by the 2011 incident because he went to the hospital on his own seeking help and was turned away. Hospital mental wards are not nice places to visit. People are unlikely to seek admission unless they are fearful, desperate and out of options. They are locked wards. Patients cannot come and go. I believe it’s irresponsible and possibly malpractice to turn away someone seeking help.

We will never know if the refusal to admit him played a role in his decision 3 years later to take a gun to school and shoot people. But, I will always wonder if he considered going to the hospital to get some help, but rejected the idea because he had been turned away previously.

Meanwhile, the killing continues unabated, the right-wing-hate-machine tells us to buy more guns, and we wait until next week to find out who the next victims will be.

I feel like I am living in an insane asylum.

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15 Responses to Gun insanity continues with yet another attempted mass shooting

  1. O/T: The Washington Post is reporting that the FBI is investigating death threats against Bergdahl and his family.

    • Malisha says:

      How low can people sink? Wait a minute — don’t answer that. Remember O’Mara and West carrying on about Trayvon Martin having an interest in MMA? Oh yeah, this is the natural result of what we have been doing, and tolerating, for years.

    • MKX says:

      I bet dollars to doughnuts, that about 95% of the people who want Bergdahl found guilty of treason and executed also embraced Zimmerman as a hero.

      And what I just stated says a lot about our country.

      Bergdahl seems to have become disillusioned with an attitude about “the others” wherein they can be killed or maimed with a total lack of empathy. So he left his unit without his guns and faced whatever was out there.

      Zimmerman totally embraced a lack of empathy for “the others” to the point that he could talk about what ammo he used while his victim lay dying.

      And how is Bergdahl a coward and Zimmerman a hero?

      One of the above could not go to a grocery store in the USA without a gun and one went into enemy territory without one.

  2. colin black says:

    The frightening thing about a gun is the distance an disassotiation it allows the shooter.

    Charles Whitman was able to shoot many people from a Campus tower .

    Although in mitigation he did have a stonking big brain tumour .

    But its simply pointing an pulling a trigger unlike stabbing or strangling someone,

    You remove your self from the process an let a bullet do the work.

    The way guys that direct drones to lock on an elimate individuall tatgets .
    Buildings vechicles drones or multiple humans an sit a sip a coffee..

    Or even joke about the event.

    Remember dureing Clintons foray into the former Yugislavian conflict.
    American Pilots just had a whoopee kickass hell of a day as they shot up .
    A Military convoy of troops all recorded for posterity one said its like spring break on daytona down there.

    Turns out they shot up fleeing Albanian Civilians fleeing the conflict .
    Busses an tractors pulling trailers full of people..

    Children Women and the Elderly most of the young Men had already been killed or put in Concentration Camps thats why they were fleeing.

  3. O/T: Ebola Update from Voice of America

    Experts say the ebola outbreak in West Africa is far from under control.

    The virus has killed more than 200 people since it appeared in southeastern Guinea in February. It is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, even after that person dies.

    Dozens of new ebola cases have been reported in Guinea and across the border in Sierra Leone since the end of May. The disease is rebounding in some areas and cropping up for the first time in others.

  4. Charles Ramsey says:

    It is now known that James Oliver Huberty shot up a McDonalds in California because he had record levels of cadmium in his brain. This information is easy enough to find now but it was first published in popular mechanics not a medical journal. I went back and read everything about the incident in the portland state university library to see what the experts thought about Huberty. All the experts were wrong. Notice McVeigh was carefull to have his body creamated. Having some posion or brain damage caused by the army would have invalidated his ideology.

  5. I’m particularly interested in this case because the shooter was stopped with pepper spray. Shoots holes in the theory that we all need to be armed to stop the bad guys. Also shoots holes in the American police procedural of overusing force, something not done in most “civilized” countries – the least amount of force possible is applied to perps in hopes of bringing people in alive and either incarcerating them or treating them.

    Also, I think the more shooters who can be brought in alive, the more a light will shine on our woefully inadequate mental health system, and this might dissuade mentally unbalanced people from committing this type of mass shooting in the hopes of suiciding by cop if there’s a good chance they’re going to be disabled by other means and arrested.

    Win-win situation in my mind.

    • Police have become so militarized since 9/11 that use of extreme or deadly force appear to be the preferred options. That’s going to have to change or people are going to start carrying guns to kill police.

  6. Malisha says:

    Was his possession of that gun and the ammunition legal? Nobody seems to comment on that fact so far.

  7. Malisha says:

    I will bet that if he had either (a) wonderful insurance or (b) gobs of money, he would have been admitted to that psych ward when he visited the E.R. He would have had a work-up that would have concluded that he was dangerous to himself and others and he would have had MASSIVE DOSES of mental health-care at a high rate of return to the particular hospital. He would have become a different sort of statistic: a statistic about the cost of healthcare.

    • ER medical staff and psych ward screeners aren’t supposed to know if a patient has insurance or the extent of coverage. That’s supposed to be determined before the triage nurse checks the patient. Insurance/billing info is supposed to be handled separately.

      Hospital compliance with this practice is unknown.

      • Malisha says:

        I have been to the ER twice in my life. Both times the insurance issue was covered before I saw the inside of an exam room. NO PHYSICIAN asked me a single question before that was taken care of. The facts may be different if a person comes in unconscious or with blood on them or something; I don’t know. But Ybarra WALKED into the E.R. just as I had done, so probably my experience is not irrelevant to his.

        • crazy1946 says:

          Malisha, You are absolutely correct! Unless you are bleeding and or show signs that you can not live until you can reach another place for medical treatment, our local hospital will not treat you in the emergency room with out insurance or a large cash deposit. If you do not have insurance they will only stop the bleeding enough to ship you to the nearest government sponsored hospital. No money, no treatment, so if the man had no money (or insurance) he would receive only the treatment necessary to get him out the door…

          I might also note that they will run a credit report on you, and if you have a less than stellar rating, even with insurance they want the deductible up front before treatment…

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