Monday, July 1, 2013

Lack of Information Regarding Adam Lanza's Medical History Did Not Stop CT Politicians From Reforming Mental Health Laws

(Photo courtesy of Veterans Today)
It has been more than six months since the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT.  In response to the event, Connecticut politicians have passed a controversial 139-page gun-control bill, SB-1160, that requires gun registration, doubles the penalties on firearms, requires a permit to acquire ammunition, reforms mental health laws, and much more.  Schools across the country even want to change building designs, and have increased security, because of the CT school shooting.  The problem is that the public has not been given any credible confirmations, or evidence, for any of the inconsistent information, that has been presented in regards to this case, to make a rational response to the event.

Any specific information that is involved with the case has not been released to the public, and probably never will, now that the state’s top prosecutor and the governor’s office are working in secret with General Assembly leaders on legislation designed to withhold records related to the police investigation of the incident, including victims' photos, tapes of 911 calls, and more.  Even an option to block any statement, made by any minor, was considered.

There have been several violent homicide cases in recent American history, like Sandy Hook, that have made the American people cringe in horror at the level of cruelty, and nearly all these cases had one common denominator; psychiatric drugs.  The website, SSRI Stories, documents numerous violent crimes, and their association with prescription drugs.

Though it seems that psychiatric drugs may play a role in many recent cases of mass murder, the medical history of accused Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza is another aspect of the investigation that has not been shared with the public.  The lack of information in regards to Lanza's possible past prescription drug history has not stopped legislators from reforming, and creating new, mental health laws, in response to the Newtown school shooting.  In an article titled, "Medical Examiner Snubs Official Request for Adam Lanza Toxicology Report", journalist Kelly Patricia O’Meara correctly states that legislators "seem hell-bent on legislating increased mental health services without first having all the necessary information to make thoughtful, fact-based decisions."

Connecticut State Senators Toni Boucher (Republican), and Bob Duff (Democrat), were both guests on News 12 Focus on Connecticut, with Tom Appleby (video above), to discuss various state issues, including the Sandy Hook investigation, and the legislation that was passed as a result of the event.

Based on the conduct of these two Senators in this interview, it now seems that Connecticut politicians, who voted in favor of SB-1160, are going into damage control over the public backlash that has occurred as a result of the passing of the bill.  Both Boucher, and Duff, had excuses for why, even though they may have not fully agreed, or understood, the bill, and both agree that the bill will not prevent another Sandy Hook, they still voted for it.

"There was a great deal of pressure to respond in some way" - Senator Boucher 

Senator Boucher tried to justify her voting 'YEA', in favor of SB-1160, by saying, "there was a great deal of pressure to respond in some way."  She later added that there was a "great deal of disappointment" with some of the results that came from the Sandy Hook investigative committees.  One of the disappointments cited by Senator Boucher was the fact that, as mentioned earlier, legislators were changing mental health laws, without having any information on the mental health of alleged shooter Adam Lanza.  "Even today, there are calls by the Republican First Select woman, of Newtown, in saying that we need to know more about the motivations, the problems, that this individual had that would elicit this behavior, because only then can we really prevent it in the future", said Boucher.

Affirming this anomaly, the host of the program, Tom Appleby, responded, "part of the problem here, is we don't know what Adam Lanza's problem were.  There has been no report."  Boucher then replied, in what, my opinion, seemed like a strange plead for help.  After discussing her belief in the importance of having a free press, "so that a free society can continue", Boucher continued,
"...imagine in situations in other countries, where there's devastation, and innocent children, and woman, are massacred, and that is not allowed to be brought to the public, so they don't realize that something evil is occurring in their country, in their leadership." 
This statement seemed to be said in a nervous tone, by the Senator.  (The exact statement is said around 6 minutes and 30 seconds into the interview).  Later in the interview, the host, Appleby, talks about the importance of having an open press to prevent cover-ups, and Boucher, again, agrees that there is a "real concern about protecting the openness of our press, because honestly that is the underpinning of our free society, and we have to be so cautious in that area.  As you said, the potential for cover up, or for something very bad to happen..."  Is Senator Toni Boucher trying to tell us something about the Sandy Hook event, or is she just trying to play politics, now that she may be seeing her chances at being re-elected, diminish, with her support of the gun bill, and other actions?

Another remark made by Boucher, that could be cause for further examination, was in regards to the photos of the dead children, saying that the parents could release them if they chose to, but "some of those photos are unrecognizable".  This could simply mean that the gruesomeness of the shooting had altered some of the children's facial features beyond recognition, but in context with her other statements, it is an interesting use of words.  It is unclear whether, or not, Senator Boucher has ever seen any of the crime scene photos.

Important to note, Senator Boucher, in regards to information involving the Sandy Hook shooting, insisted that "the transcripts, the 911 tapes, all of that is open, that has not been protected.  All of that will continue to be open, and available for sure."  In reality, the public has not been given any of that information, and there are legislators trying to block that information, and much more, from ever being released to the public.

"Releasing the [911] calls could jeopardize the ongoing probe"
- Stephen Sedensky, lead prosecutor in Sandy Hook event
According to the CT Post, the prosecutor leading the investigation into the Dec. 14 massacre, Stephen Sedensky argued that "releasing the [911] calls could jeopardize the ongoing probe, subject witnesses to harassment from conspiracy theorists who have suggested the shooting never took place and expose 911 callers who should be protected as witnesses to a crime that amounted to child abuse."  This statement raises several questions.  Why is the Sandy Hook event an "ongoing probe", and should the public be more informed about this?  How does releasing 911 calls subject witnesses to harassment from conspiracy theorists?  Child abuse?

Also important to note, Sedensky admitted that he had never even heard the 911 tapes himself.

The Associated Press requested public files associated with the Sandy Hook case and got denied by the town, which cited legal exemptions, that allow the government to withhold documents, if officials claim the documents are being used for an "ongoing investigation" and should remain secret.  The AP appealed to the state's Freedom of Information Commission and compelled Newtown's police chief to testify about the records at the hearing.  (The video of this hearing can be seen here.  I have yet to watch the three hour hearing, but will chronicle the event, when I do, if need be.)

Senator Boucher then displayed, in my opinion, a complete lack of morals, and principles, as she reasoned that her vote in favor of the gun bill, which was called an "overreach" by many, may be adjudicated as unconstitutional, in the courts, and if that's the case, Boucher says "that's the beauty of our system".  Therefore, it seems as if, even though Senator Toni Boucher thinks Senate Bill 1160 may have been an overreach, or unconstitutional, she still voted for it, presumably because of the "great deal of pressure", she referred to earlier.  A representative that will fold under pressure, and sacrifice my liberties, is no representative of mine. 

"There was a great deal of pressure to respond in some way" - Senator Bob Duff

The other guest, Senator Bob Duff, was less apologetic in his vote in favor of the bill, but seemed to display a character that is just as immoral, and unprincipled, as Senator Boucher.

Agreeing that "there was a great deal of pressure, to respond in some way", Senator Duff rationalized his vote for such a vast, incomprehensible bill, by saying,
 "I may not have agreed with everything, Toni (Boucher) may not have agreed with everything, but you know what, we have to put this forward, to really send that strong message."
Like a mafia goon cutting off your finger for not paying a debt on time, sending "that strong message" is not always a good thing.  Some may perceive the "strong message" that Duff is sending, as being an example of cowardice, weakness, and ineptitude, in elected officials.

Speaking on the mental health aspect of the bill (video below), Duff says "people who know about it far better than I do, from the industry, to advocates, have said that the mental health piece that we did in the bill will be far-reaching, and the implications won't be felt for a long time".  Senator Duff unknowingly admitted, what most of us already knew; politicians don't actually write, or understand, the bills they deal with.

(Video: CT State Senator Bob Duff Didn't Understand Gun-Control Bill That He Voted For)

If Bob Duff was my Senator, I would expect him to fully understand the bills he votes in favor of.  Instead we have a man that lets people from the industry (lobbyists?), and advocates (NGOs?), decide for him, the details, and projected outcomes, of a piece of legislation.

Of course people from the "mental health industry" would push for a government-mandated "far-reaching" involvement into more peoples lives.  It creates more customers.  But even the industry "advocates", and the non-for-profit organizations, are usually just front groups for large corporations in the industry.  One non-profit organization that has questionable ties to a big pharmaceutical company, the Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers, was lobbying on behalf of two pieces of legislation in the state legislature that would require all school children in Connecticut to receive mandatory "mental health assessments", in response to the Sandy Hook event.  The way this type of connected lobbying works is documented in an article titled "Forced Mental Health Assessments Being Proposed For All Children In Connecticut",

"What you need to know is that the CT Association of School Based Health Centers is connected to the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, Johnson & Johnson, which would greatly profit off legislation, like these two bills proposed in Connecticut, which would require more involvement of medical 'professionals', meaning more involvement of pharmaceutical drugs, in the lives of the American people."
"The full connection goes like this; the Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers launched as part of a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).  According to the RWJF website, "the Foundation was established as a national philanthropy in 1972 with a generous bequest of shares of Johnson & Johnson (J&J)", and has total assets of $9 billion." 
As we begin to see, and feel, the effects of SB-1160, remember the politicians who voted for it, in the House, as well as the Senate.  Remember, as election time comes around, that these specific elected officials reacted from emotion, without having all of the information, and voted for something that they, surely, did not fully understand.

Related Stories:

  • Forced Mental Health Assessments Being Proposed For All Children In ConnecticutMarch 15, 2013 (link)
  • No Guns for Marijuana Users; Connecticut Governor's Gun Violence Prevention Plan - February 23, 2013 (link)
  • President Obama's 23 Executive Actions; Federal Spy Doctors, Forced Medication & Involuntary CommitmentJanuary 21, 2013 (link)
  • Legislators Pushing Forced Medication In Wake of CT School Shooting - December 22, 2012 (link)
  • Newtown, CT School Shooting: Medication, Tragedy, Truth, & ConspiracyDecember 18, 2012 (link)

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