Guns, Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, Trauma and Murder

Restricting guns and increasing access to mental health treatment is only part of the answer to violence in the US. We need to look at the role of substance abuse and family violence that surrounds children with violence. There is a need to examine our cultural tolerance of substance abuse and guns as a rite of passage and family violence as nobody else's business.

Handcuff an 8 Year Old

Should school resource officers be handcuffing children? Most certainly it will be needed until there are sufficient behavoral health services in schools for children with special needs to provide intensive daily services for the most at risk youth and include families in the intervention.

Preventing Disaster Through Screening and Assessment

Recently we have seen two convicted murderers, Richard Matt and David Sweat, escape prison with the help of two prison employees, Gene Palmer and Joyce Mitchell. It leads us to ask the question, how does this happen?

Lubitz Likely Practiced Mass Murder by Airplane

New details are still emerging about the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps in March of this year. Many are focused on the fact that co-pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had been diagnosed with a mental illness as being his major risk factor for suicide and mass murder. Mental illness alone is NOT a risk factor for violence or mass murder.

What Is Your Problem, Baltimore?

What Is Your Problem, Baltimore? Racism, Lack of Economic Opportunity, Community Engagement, or Something Else?

“Je Suis Moath al-Kasasbeh”

ISIS and other terrorist groups enraged the world with their actions. Fighting terrorists with lethal weapons will be part of, but not the entire answer. Examining the roots of terrorism will lead the world to ideas about prevention.

Lone-Wolf Terrorists and Mental Illness

The question we must ask ourselves is what can we do to reduce the risk of violent acts carried out by lone-wolf terrorists? The answer to this question is not simply better intelligence or a more effective police force.

Who Is Dangerous In High Stress Situations?

Law enforcement, military, and correctional personnel face dangerous situations daily. They may have to take actions extremely quickly. At the same time there may be changing standards of conduct. Training, supervision, oversite and clarity of communication are essential for the standards to be followed effectively and support those that must make such decisions.

Racial Unrest in 1963 and 2014: What Have We Learned

Racial unrest in the US has resurfaced in Ferguson, MO with a fury that is familiar to those of us that grew up during the civil rights movement of the 1960's. The story is not one of blame but of social evolution and development toward greater globalization and mutual benefit.

Violence Risk Reduction Planning

While the murder rate in the U.S. is down as a whole, the mass murder rate has been rising. Many have been broadcasting the fact that we are seeing an overall decline in the murder rate in this country but the U.S. still has the highest violence and incarceration rates of all advanced nations in the world.

Violence: Beyond the Sidelines

In the last two years, over a dozen events involving NFL players have been associated with domestic violence.

From the Dark Ages of ISIS to Post Modernism

There are many different levels of social development that can be prominent in different parts of the world. ISIS is at a pre-modern level of social development where power over others is the main goal. Much of the rest of the world is at the level of resource sharing. These levels are incompatable and will be nearly impossible to solve by traditional means.

“Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor…”

In the United States, we have our own humanitarian crisis with 52,000 unaccompanied children, and an unknown number of families and adults, at our borders seeking refuge from the murder, rape and violence of their native countries.

Discipline, Forgetfulness, Child Abuse: Where is the Line?

The news, almost daily, has stories of harm done to children. Where do we draw the line?

Land of the Free, Home of the Prisoners

In the U.S. we lock up more of our citizens than any other country. If we do not reform our prison system in a meaningful progressive way, our situation will continue to worsen from a psychological, economic and cultural standpoint.

Fort Hood Shooting: How Could We Have Known?

Ivan Lopez killed three people and injured many others before turning the gun on himself. Is there some way that we could have known that this storm was brewing? Could we have provided better treatment? Prevented this attack? For all of the above, I believe the answer is “yes."

Beyond Bullying: When Abuse Becomes Extreme

Bullying often ranges from a moderate problem to small growing pains. But what happens when students or youth go too far and display extreme abusive behavior? A recent story in Maryland shocked the country with its gruesome details. How can we prevent this type of violence from occurring in other schools?

Death by Stoning: Why Is This Sickening Punishment Legal?

When you hear the word “stoning” you most likely think of it as an ancient punishment. But in 2014, this barbaric ritual is still legal or being practiced in 15 countries. Learn the truth and help put an end to this violation of human dignity.

Darion Marcus Aguilar – Dormant Youth Erupts in Violence

Darion Marcus Aguilar erupted in violence this weekend, shooting two victims at a Maryland mall before taking his own life. His actions seemed to happen out of the blue with no particular motive. We’ve seen cases like this before – the question is – how do we prevent them from happening again?

Repairing a Broken System

Many state's social services systems need to be torn down and rebuilt from scratch. This is an idea that Governor Jan Brewer has put into action.

A New Breed of Youth Violence

The old cliché is that “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” So why are we now seeing massive violent outbursts committed by first-time offenders?

A Flawed System: Risk For Violence Overlooked Again

Recently we saw the shocking story of the, what has been described as, murder-suicide attempt in Virginia. This has shone the spotlight on the flaws of the mental health system in the United States.

The Root of Middle Eastern Terrorism

Are women's lack of rights in the Middle East at the root of terrorism in the region?

We Are Not Created Equal

The belief we are all created equal is false

How to Predict and Prevent Violence

How do we predict and prevent violence?

How Bashar al-Assad Became A Brutal Dictator

How did al-Assad develop from a once promising reformist into a brutal dictator? To fully understand, we must look into his past and uncover the Risk Factors that lead up to these atrocities.

Life Is Tough: Overcoming Hardship and Failure

What is it exactly that separates those who thrive regardless of adversity and those who don’t? Is it genetics, luck, or pure willpower?

The Surprising Cost of Ignoring Poverty

It's easy for some people to turn a blind eye to poverty. But when you truly understand its consequences, you'll see that it's in everyone's best interest to deal with it head on.

How Tragedy Was Averted at Oregon High School

West Albany High School avoided a potential tragedy last week when student Grant Acord was arrested. A timeline, plan of attack, and bombs were found under the floor boards in his room. Police stopped him before anything happened—but what can we learn from this case to prevent violence at other schools?

Early Intervention Key To Stopping Gun Violence

People have been committing atrocious acts long before guns were invented. In order to truly make an effort against gun violence, we need to focus our efforts on prevention and early intervention.