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Monday, November 2, 2015

AMERICAN ROULETTE Murder-Suicide in the USA

Violence Policy Center report notes that more than 1,200 people died in 2014 of murder suicides Women were the greatest number of victims, and guns were used the most. Children who survive often are left parentless.

In June 2014, the journal Preventive Medicine published a paper from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers saying deaths from gunfire have been holding steady at about 32,000 a year. Firearm suicides account for 60 percent of gun deaths, and those are rising. 

A new Violence Policy Center report notes that murder-suicides — 93 percent involved a gun — claimed more than 1,200 lives in 2014.

Despite the National Rifle Association hype, guns do kill people. In fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2014, guns were responsible for 33,636 deaths in the United States, or 10.7 deaths per 100,000 people.
That’s a lot. But a new and equally distressing number comes from the Violence Policy Center.
It reports that more than 1,200 people died in murder-suicides in 2014 in the U.S., and 93 percent of the assailants used a gun. The October report is titled “American Roulette: Murder-Suicide in the United States.”
If the title was meant to get people’s attention it succeeded.
“What makes these acts particularly disturbing is that they involve more than one person and often involve a family,” said the study authored by Marty Langley, Violence Policy Center senior policy analyst. “Yet outside of high-profile mass shootings, the phenomenon of murder suicide usually garners little public attention as a significant contributor to gun-related death and injury.
“This is despite the fact that, as one medical professional has observed, ‘because many murder-suicides result in the death or injury of family members and sometimes mass murder, they cause countless additional morbidity, family trauma and disruption of communities.’”
The center is a nonprofit educational organization that does research and tries to educate the public and policymakers on violence in America. This is the fifth edition of the report, analyzing news reports of murder-suicides from Jan. 1, 2014, to June 30, 2014. The study is thought to be the largest and most comprehensive analysis of murder-suicides in the U.S.
Troubling, though not surprising, facts from the report are that most of the murder-suicide victims were females while close to 90 percent of the killers were men.
The study found that there were 282 murder-suicides in that six-month period, or nearly 11 per week. They resulted in 617 deaths; 285 were suicides and 332 were homicides. Doubling that number of slayings resulted in the annual estimate of 1,234 murder-suicide deaths in 2014, the study notes.
“Medical studies estimate that between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths per year in the United States are the result of murder-suicide,” the report says.
The study reports that:
▪ Of the 285 suicides, 254 were male, 30 were female and one was of unidentified gender.
▪ Of the 332 homicides, 252 victims were female, 79 victims were male, and the gender of one victim was not identified.
▪ Seventy-two percent of all murder-suicides involved an intimate partner. Of these, 93 percent were females killed by their intimate partners. Of these, 94 percent involved a gun.
▪ Forty-five of the homicide victims were children and teens less than 18 years of age.
▪ Sixty-three children and teens less than 18 years of age were survivors who witnessed some aspect of the murder-suicide.
▪ Forty-six percent of murder-suicides involving a male murderer and three or more victims were perpetrated by family annihilators.
Eight states had 10 or more murder-suicides in the period of the study. These states were: Texas (34); California (27); Florida (20); Georgia (16); Pennsylvania (12); North Carolina (10); Ohio (10); and Tennessee (10).
“In this study, 81 percent of murder-suicides occurred in the home,” the report notes. “Though not specified in most studies, available data confirm that the home of the offender and/or victim is the most likely place for murder-suicide. Studies show that within the home, more murder-suicides are committed in the bedroom than any other room.”
Age is a factor in many murder suicides.
“In this study, 33 percent of murder-suicides involved a murderer 55 years of age or older,” the report notes. “Older people rarely commit homicide. If most murder-suicides involve family turmoil, a smaller, discrete category involves older people, where the declining health of either the victim, the offender or both is an issue.
“In 2013, only 8 percent of known homicide offenders were 55 years of age or older. Suicide, however, is disproportionately represented in this age group, with 35 percent of suicide victims being 55 years of age or older.”
The study adds that “the effects of murder-suicide go far beyond the shooter: family, friends, co-workers and absolute strangers are among those who are killed as a result of these acts of desperation. Moreover, murder-suicide often leaves children parentless.”
The study adds: “More people died from murders associated with the suicide — 332 — than from the suicides themselves. These numbers call into grave question the common belief that suicide, especially firearms suicide, is a solitary act that affects only the shooter.”
Because domestic violence often is involved, the report recommends more research, a comprehensive data base of potential offenders, effective prevention strategies, state-level task forces and stronger legislation to combat domestic violence. Stronger gun laws would help, too.
The presence of a gun allows the offender to quickly and easily kill a greater number of victims,” the report says. “If there had not been easy access to a firearm, these deaths may simply have been injuries or may not have occurred at all.
“Efforts should be made to restrict access to firearms where there is an increased risk of murder-suicide, for example where an individual has a history of domestic violence and/or has threatened suicide.”
Of course, authorities then would have to ensure that the laws are strictly enforced.

Murder-suicides claim distressingly high number of Americans  LEWIS DIUGUID NOVEMBER 2, 2015

Family murder-suicide in Santa Ynez Valley November 2, 2015

11-year-old boy kills 8-year-old neighbor with shotgun October 5, 2015

Martial Law Movie Creator Found Dead With Wife and 5-year-old Daughter in Apparent “Murder-Suicide”

You dive to change the channel when that unbearable Sarah McLachlan animal-cruelty ad comes on. But when you hear there’s been an earthquake in South America and thousands are feared dead … you just shrug. 
You’re colder than that lone, shriveled ice cube in the back of your otherwise empty freezer. You know you should feel sad. Instead, you just feel mildly inconvenienced: What if the earthquake affects coffee production? Your Costa Rican vacay? Don’t worry — you’re not a psychopath, at least not because of this. You simply suffer from what scientists call “emotional innumeracy.”
It turns out that our ability to empathize is seriously limited. A study published by Journal of Experimental Social Psychology shows:
Reading about the deaths of 100,000 PEOPLE saddens us no more than the deaths of 5 PEOPLE

The study broke up 173 Duke University students, 44 percent of whom were women, into two groups. Half of the first group of participants were asked how sad they would feel, on a scale of 1 to 9, if they read an article about the deaths of five people; the other half were asked the same question, but regarding the deaths of 10,000. The “forecasters” who got the 10,000-person question predicted greater sadness. A second group, also split in half, actually read these articles and reported on their feelings at the end. There was no difference in emotion between those who had read about five deaths versus 10,000.
This might ring a bell. The results of this study are a sort of cousin to the findings of what you might know as the train-tracks dilemma, conducted in 2011 by Michigan State University researchers. Participants were in a 3-D setting, operating an out-of-control train that, if unstopped, would hit and kill five people. But if the conductor were to switch tracks, she’d kill only one person. Should the conductor intervene? In that study, the opposite seemed to be true: 9 out of 10 participants would kill one to save five — prioritizing the greater number of people over the individual.
The reason this study seemingly opposes the findings in Journal of Experimental Social Psychology is because we can’t handle numbers that large and make rational or emotional judgments about them, says study author Carlos Navarrete, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University: “Seeing and feeling those people in front of you changes how you react,” he says. “Our brains are evolved to deal with small numbers, definitely not 10,000. You can make rational choices about killing one to save five but not between 10,000 and five.” 
And experts say natural evolution is not likely to make us more caring, either. For that to happen, people who sympathized with groups should be more likely to survive and pass on their genes, says George Loewenstein, professor of economics and psychology in the social and decision sciences department at Carnegie Mellon University. ”Nothing suggests that this is an evolutionary trend.”
Take heart! There may be an antidote for your lack of one. According to the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology study, seeing pictures of death and suffering does provide some empathic perspective. The picture of 1,000 dead bodies, for example, makes the viewer sadder than that of 10 dead bodies. But gruesome imagery can desensitize us and, if there are too many people in the picture, our brain is likely to start seeing them as just dots and lines. In other words, the same “emotional innumeracy.”
Add to this our many other empathy biases like race, sex or cuteness and you’ve got yourself a seriously skewed moral compass. Some argue that we should just stop listening to our heart for direction in the face of vast human suffering
Jesse Prinz, professor of philosophy and director of the Committee for Interdisciplinary Science Studies at the City University of New York, says empathy is “very important for personal relationships,” but points to reason as “essential for allocating resources fairly in a world that is full of moral crises.”
So feel free to have a meltdown over breakups or family dysfunction. But when it comes to pandemics, genocide or famine, don’t trust your gut. You’ll be a better person.


Mass Killings: The Contagion July 3, 2015


Antidepressants Scientifically Linked to Violent Behavior September 29, 2015

Probe link between mass shootings and psych drugs October 6, 2015

Big Pharma is killing Americans August 30, 2015

Psicofarmaci e stragi della follia September 9, 2015

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/lewis-diuguid/article42221115.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/lewis-diuguid/article42221115.html#storylink=cpy

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