Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Jacksonville Shooter

A mentally ill child caught in a bitter parental divorce… produces the Jacksonville shooter, David Katz. As you know, the disgruntled loser opened fire at a video game competition, killing two gamers and injuring around eleven more.

As often happens with these cases, the shooter was mentally ill. Well-meaning leftists like to blame it on the NRA, but, truth be told, most of the perpetrators of mass shootings were suffering from severe and untreated psychiatric problems. In many cases, involuntary commitment to a psychiatric facility would have removed the threat to society. Unfortunately, the law makes it nearly impossible to commit a patient against his will.

The David Katz case is different. The young man had been hospitalized. He had been treated with anti-psychotic and anti-depressant medications. And yet, he got caught in the middle of a bitter parental divorce. His mother and the psychiatrists thought he was mentally ill. His father did not. Psychiatrists prescribed an anti-psychotic Risperidal. His father told him not to take it.

The AP reports:

The Howard County, Maryland, divorce filings say that David Katz played video games obsessively as a young adolescent, often refusing to go to school or to bathe. Elizabeth Katz, a toxicologist at the Department of Agriculture, said she confiscated some of her son’s gaming equipment after finding him playing in the wee hours.

“His hair would very often go unwashed for days. When I took his gaming equipment controllers away so he couldn’t play at 3 or 4 in the morning, I’d get up and find that he was just walking around the house in circles,” the mother said, according to a transcript in the court files.

At one point, she put his gaming controllers in her bedroom behind a locked door and he punched a hole in the door, she said.

Elizabeth Katz said her youngest son had increasing difficulty concentrating following his parents’ split. A judge awarded custody of the boy to his mother, with visitation rights to the father.

At times David “curled up into a ball,” refused to attend school and sobbed, she said. She asserted that her ex-husband instructed David not to take Risperidal — an anti-psychotic medication prescribed to him. The father claimed in court filings that David was not “diagnosed as psychotic.”

Katz’s father blamed it all on his ex-wife, and apparently ignored the psychiatrists. If the boy was prescribed an anti-psychotic, this suggests that someone believed him to be psychotic.

Richard Katz, a NASA engineer, said his ex-wife had “an obsession with using mental health professionals and in particular psychiatric drugs to perform the work that parents should naturally do.” He said she routinely gave false information to mental health care providers. He described one incident in which his son was handcuffed by police after locking himself in his mother’s car in an attempt to avoid going to a mental health appointment with her.

If you read the descriptions of Katz’s behavior you come away believing that his mother had a good grasp of the situation. And you come away thinking that his father was either consumed by hatred for his wife or drunk on anti-psychiatry.

The result was the shooting in Jacksonville.


Andrew said...

Mental health "treatment" has become a means of punishing socially awkward children, particularly boys.

Particularly in cases like this where an exasperated mother can not deal with male offspring. I wonder if David's father had still been in the home he could have provided the discipline necessary for his son to do things like go to school or bathe. Alone and unable to cope, mom just got fed up and turned her son over to the head shrinkers.

The head shrinkers, of course, do absolutely nothing to address the real issues but only exacerbate them. Being in "therapy" these boys are forced to to "socialize" either with the therapist or other patients,something they hate to do, while at the same time having to undergo the humiliation of being a "defective mental health patient." They are reduced in social status and then their noses are rubbed in it. How this helps anyone is beyond me.

In addition, I am wondering if the elder Mr. Katz has any experience as a mental patient. It could be that he experienced his own share of dehumanization at the hands of the head shrinkers in his younger days and his since become rather skeptical of the field's pretensions.

Boys like David Katz are not sick, they are taking revenge out on a society that has humiliated them. My guess is that David was a loser who had never been good at anything socially respectable so he turned to video games. When he couldn't even be the best at that, he decided he wanted to burn it all down.

If this is an "illness," it should be called the Herostratus syndrome.

Anonymous said...

"If you read the descriptions of Katz’s behavior you come away believing that his mother had a good grasp of the situation. And you come away thinking that his father was either consumed by hatred for his wife or drunk on anti-psychiatry."

Did we read the same account? The article I read featured a controlling, abusive, drunk mother likely suffering from Munchausen Syndrome by proxy who routinely emasculated and humiliated her adolescent son in an effort to gain advantage in an ugly divorce or to gain the attention she craved. You can discount the father's testimony if you wish, but the transcript of the dispatch call is a clear indictment that she was not capable of parenting him. The 2010 letter to the Magistrate, written when he was a junior or senior in HS, is another clear indictment of the mother.

I am beyond astounded at the bias you exhibit in your reading of this account. If this is the way mental health professionals view the world I think I just lost what little respect I had left for the field. You're doing more harm than good.

Anonymous said...

Every news article or talking head; has made the comment, "he obtained the guns legally.....". I will beg to differ. If the dude was in a mental institution for a couple of visits; then he answered the government's 4473 form incorrectly. Or in other words he knowingly gave false information on that form. So by definition he did not get his weapons "legally".
There I feel better, thank you.


Anonymous said...

Allan, "head shrinkers"? Yeah, okay then, so you're not totally biased against the mental health profession, or anything, right? "Boys like David Katz are not sick, they are taking revenge out on a society that has humiliated them." Sheesh. Sorry, but you sound like a pompous ass who thinks he magically knows more about this guy and his diagnosis than his doctors do. You simply do not know more than his doctors.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Assuming that Katz was psychotic, as he was diagnosed, his problem was physiological, not psychological. Psychosis is now considered a brain disease, not a mental health issue... and not a function of bad parenting. The parenting problem was ensuring that he take his medication. The person at fault was his father.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Still astounded as to what you read into the article, which is revealing of your biases, and what you disregarded, which is equally revealing.

Nothing in this article indicates that Katz was currently diagnosed as psychotic or currently under treatment. He was 24 when he committed this crime. The article indicates that he was admitted to the Sheppard Pratt facility in late 2007, so he would have been 13 or 14. The article does not pinpoint in time when Katz was admitted to Potomac Ridge or when he was prescribed anti-psychotic medicine (or on what medical grounds), but it suggests it was while the custody dispute was ongoing, so it was at minimum 6 years ago. Custody disputes generally end when the child turns 18.

Katz was an adult. There's no indication in the article that Katz was under the care or legal custody of his parents, or even that he lived with his parents. You assumed all these things in order to pin the fault on his father. WTH?

At the same time you disregarded all the evidence in the article that his mother was abusive and completely unfit to parent him, discounting the testimony of Katz, his father, and the transcript of the 911 call.

Sorry, but nothing in this article suggests that Katz's mother had "a good grasp of the situation" or that the father was "consumed by hatred for his wife or drunk on anti-psychiatry." To the contrary, this article suggests that Katz suffered deep psychological issues that are more properly attributed to an abusive mother.

Adele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Psychosis can be quite an experience... You cannot begin to comprehend it unless you have experienced a week or two in a psychotic state. Not that any sane person should ever want to try it. You will know what it feels like to be stripped of any sense of having a 'free will'.