JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/06/how-long-until-another-rampage-shooting.html (13 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1213066049-592826  juris_imprudent at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 02:47:29 +0000

"There's been no war here... it was the Pax"

jsid-1213068254-592832  Kevin Baker at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 03:24:14 +0000


jsid-1213073679-592841  Sarah at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 04:54:39 +0000

Hey, I drew that comparison months ago.

My husband has PTSD from combat, even 15 years after the fact. He managed to work through the worst of it without medication, but it's been a rough ride. It'd be interesting to compare the post-war experiences of WWII vets and the guys we have on meds now. Maybe alcoholism was more prevalent back then.

jsid-1213075794-592844  Papa Ray at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 05:29:54 +0000

"...and I realize that combat can have a mentally debilitating influence on the majority of combat soldiers."

Your going to have to convince me of that realization of yours. No where have I read anything ever that convinces me that the MAJORITY of combat soldiers suffer debilitating effects from combat. They do experience some effects, usually, almost always short term. The most common is losing patience with civilians bitching and moaning and self-centered pity that they have for the poor disabled, crippled, mentally ill Military.

I should know, my buds and I have had to put up with that crap for over forty years and the new kids coming back now, will have to go through the same hell of being looked at as potiential killers and rapists. (among other things).

Don't believe all of this stuff, there are only a few that can't get their head straight, and even those usually leave everyone alone and don't harm anyone or anything.

Papa Ray
West Texas

jsid-1213080961-592845  am-cz at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 06:56:01 +0000

How do you tell if the drug is adversely affecting a person or if the drug just isn't working (and thus any psychological/mental problems surface)?

jsid-1213081671-592846  FabioC. at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 07:07:51 +0000

Following in a speculative vein here.

Soldiers which may be adversely affected by antidepressants have a legitimate outlet for their aggressivity: blasting enemies away.

But such outlet is denied to civilians.

jsid-1213103775-592854  Kevin Baker at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 13:16:15 +0000

Pick up a copy of On Killing, or for the Cliff Notes on the portion I refer to here, read this post.

IF stressed too hard, combat can have (not will have) a mentally debilitating influence on the majority of combat soldiers.

Part of LtCol Grossman's thesis is that only about 2% of the population is emotionally/mentally unaffected by combat, and half of those are sociopaths already.

jsid-1213106640-592860  GrumpyOldFart at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 14:04:00 +0000

"Can have a debilitating effect"....

Okay, as Kevin has already pointed out, "can" does not equal "will". Also, "a debilitating effect" does not necessarily mean it turns someone into a raving nutter, either.

Pretty much every environment has possible actions divided into 3 classes: "You MUST do this", "You must NOT do this", and varying degrees of "You can do this, or not, as you choose." While I have never been in a war zone, I suspect it is a safe assumption that under such conditions the "you must" and "you must not" categories both expand, taking responses from the "you can if you want" category. In a war zone, actions in the "you must not" category typically get a lethal reaction, and the person who lethally responds is typically praised for this. Often (some might say nearly always), that lethal reaction is not simply justified, but is *required*, considered part of one's duties. None of this is news, nor is there anything wrong with it.

When a combat soldier comes back to his former (peacetime) environment, he/she has to deal with many, many things that *were* in the "you must not" category and formerly justified or required a violent, possibly lethal, response. Only now they have been moved BACK into the "you can if you want" category.

I for one consider it a perfectly reasonable adjustment to such a change that a soldier may have to spend many months or even years telling himself/herself, "Explain to me again why I shouldn't just waste this worthless piece of ____?" in response to the more distasteful of things in that category. I likewise consider it perfectly reasonable that he/she may spend months or years having to deliberately blunt a hair-trigger response that was honed to a razor edge during their time in the war zone.

My father was in Korea. For YEARS after, it was not safe to touch him while he was sleeping. Was he a hazard to his loved ones and/or his neighbors? Absolutely not. Was his sanity in question? Absolutely not. Could that "don't touch me while I'm sleeping" be considered a "debilitating effect"? I think it can be reasonably argued that it was, yes.

I don't think "has a debilitating effect" equates to "makes someone a madman" or "makes someone a mental/emotional cripple". I think it only means that the stresses that shaped one's personality in the war zone are likely to leave marks on one's personality that will be a LONG time being erased. Nor do I think it should be looked at as being really any different, certainly not any more shameful, than a gunshot wound having left a scar. Is it shameful for someone with a scar to get physical therapy to make sure the healing process allows for full range of motion, as near as possible to what the area was capable of before it was injured? How is that any different from getting mental/emotional therapy to make sure the healing process allows for full range of *emotion and thinking*?

jsid-1213108858-592868  ParatrooperJJ at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 14:40:58 +0000

There is very little to no mental health screening to enter the military.

jsid-1213109672-592869  Kevin Baker at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 14:54:32 +0000

Well, that's encouraging! Not even in boot camp?

jsid-1213112776-592872  Unix-Jedi at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 15:46:16 +0000

I said, "Shrink, I want to kill.

I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill.


I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth.

Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL."

And I started jumpin up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and he started jumpin up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL."

And the sergeant came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

jsid-1213121657-592886  Sarah at Tue, 10 Jun 2008 18:14:17 +0000

There is very little to no mental health screening to enter the military.

I'm skeptical of this claim, and would like to see it corroborated by someone else in the U.S. military. When my husband was serving (granted, it was in a foreign military force), everyone was screened. It's impossible to weed all of the nutcases out, but I find it hard to believe that there's no serious attempt to identify at least the majority of them.

jsid-1213151920-592902  Randy at Wed, 11 Jun 2008 02:38:40 +0000

(Caveat: It's been over 20 years since I went in)

I never went through a formal Pysch eval.

However, all my training both prior to commisioning (ROTC, especially during Field Training)and after (Squadron Officer School, Survival School) included a variety or written and observational evaluations of us performing under stress.

When I got out and did some investigation of LE careers, I had several interviews with Pshrinks, and many of the questions (oral and written) were the same ones I answered regularly during Flight Surgeon physicals and security background investigations and updates.

So, just because some one never sat down with a Doctor and looked at ink blots, does not mean they were not screened for mental and emotional issues. In some career fields, Intel and anything dealing with nukes, such evaluations were built into the system and almost continuous.

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