Anti-gun legislation is fast to point fingers at mass shootings, citing that the reason they occur is that guns are legal in America. In fact, upon further research, there is a commonality in nearly all mass shooting. This common thread has nothing to do with guns, but everything to do with psychotropic drugs.

Research shows that within the last 20 years, nearly every single suicide or violent shooting relates to the shooter or aggressor actively taking or recently taking these types of medications.

Psychotropic medications are used to describe the class of medications that treat psychiatric conditions, including bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, mood stabilizers, neuropathic pain, anti-seizure medications, sleep disorders and even Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Popular medications include Ambien, Ativan, Buspar, Celexa, Cymbalta, Effexor, Elavil, Klonopin, Lexapro, Lunesta, Neurontin, Paxil, Prozac, Ritalin, Valium, Wellbutrin and Xanax, to name a few.

While some medications do work well for people suffering from mental illness, it can often result in trial and error, as each person’s body responds differently to chemicals. Some effects of Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI) include suicide and violent behaviors.

While the people that need these medications report feeling better, it is concerning because a misdiagnosis or negative medication side effects can lead to patients feeling “detached” or disconnected, causing them to lose their emotions and empathy. This can overtake people’s natural instincts that help guide them to choose right over wrong.

The following highlights significant mass shootings where psychotropic drugs were found to be a concerning factor and contributor to deadly actions.

  • Mass shooters from Columbine, Colorado, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold injured 23 students, one teacher and killed 12 students before committing suicide. Klebold’s medical records have never been released, but Harris was previously on Zoloft and Luvox.
  • Jeff Weise, a 16-year-old from Red Lake, Minnesota, was prescribed more than three times the starting dose of Prozac before he shot students, his grandfather and grandfather’s girlfriend, before turning the gun on himself.
  • Chris Fetters was 13 years old when he received a prescription for Prozac. He later killed his favorite aunt.
  • After taking Zoloft for six days, Matthew Miller, age 13, hung himself.
  • After taking Ritalin, TJ Solomon, a 15-year-old, wounded six classmates in Conyers, Georgia.
  • Matt Saari, a 22-year-old, killed nine students and a teacher, wounding another student and then committing suicide. He was taking a benzodiazapine and a SSRI.

Believed to be cries for help, these patients were likely on the wrong psychotropic drugs, causing them to commit heinous crimes, which often resulted in suicides.

To help promote public health awareness, Techna Clip recommends that politicians focus on treating the root cause of problems, which involve mental health medications and conditions, instead of rallying for anti-gun legislation. Techna Clip is a supporter of the Second Amendment and offers a variety of concealed carry gun belt clips, including popular LCP Ruger accessories.