90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Mental Health And Murder

Mass shootings, Sandy Hook, and how we care for troubled minds.

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Six-year-old student Jack Pinto, who was killed Friday when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried at the cemetery Monday afternoon. (AP)

Stuffed animals and a sign calling for prayer rest at the base of a tree near the Newtown VIllage Cemetery in Newtown, Conn., Monday, Dec. 17, 2012. Six-year-old student Jack Pinto, who was killed Friday when a gunman opened fire inside the Sandy Hook Elementary School, is scheduled to be buried at the cemetery Monday afternoon. (AP)

It’s important to say right off the bat that we do not know the whole story with Adam Lanza, the young man at the terrible center of the terrible killings in Newtown, Connecticut. Reports have raised questions about his mental health before massacre and suicide. We’ll wait and learn.

But mental health issues have clearly been key in mass shootings at Virgina Tech, in Tuscon with Gabby Giffords, at Aurora, Colorado’s movie theater. To look at mental health is not a substitute for looking at guns. It’s not to stigmatize. But it’s also not to ignore.

This hour, On Point: mental health and our drumbeat of mass killings.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

E. Fuller Torrey, research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He’s the author of several books, including “The Insanity Offense: How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens.”

Pete Earley, author of Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.

Patricia Rehmer, commissioner for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the State of Connecticut.

From Tom’s Reading List

Huffington Post “The world has been shocked by the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., where a shooting in a primary school has resulted in the loss of 20 young children and six adults, in addition to the shooter and his mother. Our thoughts and hearts go out to their families, friends, and community, as well as to the professionals involved.”

Salt Lake Tribune “Chaffetz, R-Utah, traveled to Newtown to appear on ABC’s This Week on Sunday, just two days after a young man killed 20 children and six adults at the town’s elementary school. The shooter, Adam Lanza, also killed his mother prior to the school shooting and took his own life. Friends and acquaintances describe him as troubled.”

Bloomberg “Twenty children and six adults were shot to death on Dec. 14 by a man with an assault rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The suspect, Adam Lanza, 20, killed himself at the school with one of the two handguns he also was carrying. He shot his mother, Nancy, earlier at their nearby home, Connecticut state police said.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 22, 2014
President Barack Obama gestures during a statement in the State Dining Room of the White House, on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014, in Washington. Obama spoke after Congress voted to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in the fight against the Islamic State group. (AP/Evan Vucci)

A tough, critical examination of US plans to take on ISIS. Strategy in the hot seat.

Sep 22, 2014
Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014. (AP/Jason DeCrow)

Big climate protests in New York before a big UN summit. Activist and author Naomi Klein says change the economy or die. She’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

 
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment