The holiday season can be an insanely stressful time. Looking for presents, wrapping them, cooking, getting the house ready for visitors, cleaning before and after. Nothing like a normal Saturday night on the couch in front of the TV or with a couple of close friends. The holidays demand perfection. You see it all around you, friends are talking about how stressed out they are, how much they still have to do in just a couple of days. Hyper-decorated stores are talking in their own way.
Well known is music’s power to stir the emotions; less well known is that the stirring of specific emotions can result from the use of very simple but still characteristic music. Consider the music that accompanies this sweet, sorrowful conclusion of pop culture’s latest cinematic saga.
By Edward Zelinsky
A group of California state senators, including senate president pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, has called for California’s public employee pension plans to protest Russia’s homophobic laws and policies by ceasing to make Russian investments. While the senators are right to denounce Russia’s assault on human rights, they are wrong to call for the divestment of the Golden State’s public pension funds.
By Edward Zelinsky
Even before the events in Newtown, I supported the strengthening of gun control laws. Advocates of gun rights correctly assert the need for better enforcement of existing laws as well as the urgency of confronting the violent nature of our culture. But General McChrystal is also correct. There is no compelling reason for civilians to own or possess high capacity weaponry designed for military missions.
By Robert Hull
As parents, children, and communities struggle to come to terms with the events in Newtown last week, it is important for educators and parents to be aware of just how deeply children can be affected by violence. Community violence is very different from other sources of trauma that children witness or experience. Most trauma impacts individual students or small groups, whereas the violence that was experienced in Newtown affected the local community and the entire nation.
By Donald W. Black
For many years I have pondered the mental state and motivations of mass shooters. The tragic events in Newtown, CT this past week have brought this to the fore. Mass shootings have become everyday occurrences in the United States, and for that reason tend not to attract much attention unless the circumstances are especially heinous, such as this instance in which the victims were young children. We are all left wondering what can be done.
By Eric Rossen
In the wake of another national tragedy, it is more apparent than ever that our schools must embrace a stronger role in supporting the mental health of our youth by developing trauma-sensitive schools. The mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that killed several staff and 20 elementary school students came less than two months after Hurricane Sandy, a storm that brought devastation and displacement to tens of thousands of people in the Northeast.
By Elvin Lim
The tragic shootings in Newtown, CT, have plunged the nation into the foundational debate of American politics. Over at Fox News, the focus as been on mourning and the tragedy of what happened. As far as the search for solutions go, the focus has been on how to cope, what to say to children, and what to do about better mental health screening.
By Kenneth Barish
At this holiday season, I would like to offer a few thoughts on how we can help nurture in our children a spirit of generosity and concern for others. I cannot write this post, however, without first expressing my deepest condolences to the families of Newtown, Connecticut, for their unimaginable and unbearable loss.
By Kathleen M. Heide, Ph.D.
The mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut is a tragic event that is particularly painful as it comes at a time when people across the world are trying to focus on the upcoming holidays as the season of peace bringing good tidings of great joy. Three factors about the Newtown school shooting are noteworthy. First, it was a mass murder. Second, it appears to have been precipitated by the killing of a parent (parricide). Third, it was committed by a 20-year old man. All of these factors are relevant in making sense of what appears to be inexplicable violence.
By J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D.
As the debate concerning public and social policy surrounding gun control intensifies, I would like to offer some comments on the identification of individuals who concern us as potential perpetrators of planned killing(s). These thoughts are from the trenches of threat assessment, and do not address or offer opinions concerning the larger policy issues we face as a country regarding firearms and public mental health care — one of which is highly emotionally charged and the other sorely neglected.
By Brenda Bursch
Children look to their parents to help them understand the inexplicable. They look to their parents to assuage worries and fears. They depend on their parents to protect them. What can parents do to help their children cope with mass tragedy, such as occurred this week with the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut?
By Rochelle Caplan, MD
Surely the time has finally come to put our heads together and focus on three seldom connected variables regarding mass murders in the United States: the lack of comprehensive psychiatric care for individuals with mental illness, poor public recognition of the red flags that an individual might harm others, and easy access to firearms.