Wilmington blogger Verne Strickland wrote this on USA DOT COM on Monday, December 12, 2011
Verne Strickland: A personal story about family and the toll of paranoid schizophrenia:Paranoid schizophrenia has visited my close relatives at least twice. It attacked my mother's lovely younger sister Anne during her early twenties in Baltimore. She spent the rest of her life in mental wards, and she died there, a broken, lonely woman old beyond her years.
It attacked my younger brother Bruce -- also in his twenties, which is typical -- and drove him mad. He lost his wife, a promising career in art, and his bright, lively mind. He spent the rest of his ruined life fighting away the taunting voices that wouldn't stop. He died in a rest home at 52. All of our family suffered with him.
So I have known schizophrenia up close and personal. It's ugly and incurable and is a wrecker of lives. It seems to be genetically linked. Any of your loved ones who are targeted may be be reduced to an emotional shell. Violence might be lurking in their future -- especially if prescribed medicines are missed.
Paranoid schizophrenia makes monsters of people like Jared Lee Loughner. It is sheer cruelty and a miscarriage of justice to prop his mind up with chemicals so he can be imprisoned or killed. He is not responsible for his acts, as reprehensible as they may be. He should be deemed not guilty by reason of insanity.
The article I am presenting here is one of the most lucid treatments of the ravages of this disease that I have read in recent years. People like Loughner, to most, have no redeeming virtues, garner no sympathy, and will likely be given no cogent defense.
They are hard to understand, and harder to love. But they do not belong in a courtroom being tried for murder.
On March 27, 2013 -- two years later -- HUFFPOST CRIME wrote the same thing. But Big Media want to ignore the truth. Mental illness, not guns, is often the real killer in murder cases. USA DOT COM is finally getting at the truth.
PHOENIX — Almost everyone who crossed paths with Jared Loughner in the year before he shot former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords described a man who was becoming more unhinged and delusional by the day.
He got fired from a clothing store and thrown out of college, shaved his head and got tattoos of bullets on his shoulder. He showed up at the apartment of a friend with a Glock 9 mm pistol, saying he needed it for "home protection." He made dark comments about the government, and, according to one acquaintance, appeared suicidal.
Loughner's spiral into madness hit bottom on Jan. 8, 2011. He broke down in tears when a wildlife agent pulled him over for a traffic stop. He went to a gas station and asked the clerk to call a cab as he paced nervously around the store. Gazing up at the clock, he said, "Nine twenty-five. I still got time."
About 45 minutes later, Giffords lay bleeding on a Tucson sidewalk along with 11 others who were wounded. Six people were dead.
The information about Loughner's mental state – and the fact that no one did much to get him help – emerged as a key theme in roughly 2,700 pages of investigative papers released Wednesday. Still, there was nothing to indicate exactly why he targeted Giffords.
The files also provided the first glimpse into Loughner's family and a look at parents dealing with a son who had grown nearly impossible to communicate with.
"I tried to talk to him. But you can't," his father, Randy Loughner, told police. "Lost, lost and just didn't want to communicate with me no more."
His mother, Amy Loughner, recalled hearing her son alone in his room "having conversations" as if someone else were there.
Despite recommendations from Pima Community College that Loughner undergo a mental evaluation after the school expelled him, his parents never followed up.
In a statement released by the gun control advocacy group she started with her husband, Giffords said that "no one piece of legislation" would have prevented the shooting.
"However, I hope that commonsense policies like universal background checks become part of our history, just like the Tucson shootings are – our communities will be safer because of it."
IT WAS PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA -- SERIOUS MENTAL ILLNESS -- NOT AUTOMATIC WEAPONS -- THAT DOOMED GABRIELLE GIFFORDS AND OTHERS. FEDS WERE ON THE WRONG TRAIL ALL ALONG!