Last Sunday’s NBC Meet the Press was a defining moment for the National Rifle Association (NRA). The main spokesman for the NRA, Wayne LaPierre, in part, on national television said, “a mental health system that is completely broken”. http://www.hulu.com/#!watch/536116#i0,p8,d1
The headline in the New York Daily News on Sunday was: “NRA chief Wayne LaPierre wants “broken’ mental health system fixed but rejects calls for more gun control legislation” http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/nra-chief-wayne-la-pierre-broken-mental-health-system-fixed-rejects-calls-gun-control-legilsation-article-1.1463887
After the elementary school massacre in Newtown occurred last December, the radio show was the first in the country to remind people that Pharma has created the business model for mental health. In December, I wrote, “The NRA will ineptly and inanely attempt to defend itself in the coming months while Pharma continues to produce more Adam Lanza’s.” http://www.prescriptionaddictionradio.com/blog/from-the-1218-show-pharma-smiling-as-the-nra-gets-beaten-up
It took nine months, but it looks like the NRA has finally gotten it!
There are many people and pundits who rightly focus on the drugs an individual is on after a tragic massacre occurs. However, most only focus on the drugs. They fail to miss that the mental health care system is broken and the only hope most people are given are unproven drugs with promises that a multi-billion dollar industry has created.
Because of privacy laws, Wayne Lapierre rightly questioned why the public doesn’t know what drugs an individual is on before they can buy a gun! Most recently, Aaron Alexis, the mass Navy Yard shooter was reportedly on Trazodone, a drug with “suicidal tendency warnings”.
It was recently reported that the state of Connecticut refuses to release the medical records of Adam Lanza, the Newtown shooter. An official from the Connecticut Attorney General’s office is quoted that releasing the records “can cause a lot of people to stop taking their medications”. http://ablechild.org/category/press/
As powerful as the NRA appears in Washington, the reality is that the NRA spends “chump change” on lobbying congress compared to Pharma. http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/top.php?indexType=i&showYear=2013 It will be interesting how Pharma reacts to the NRA in the coming months.
I am pleased with Wayne LaPierre’s statements this week. For the good of our country, I hope the NRA remains on course with the message of a broken mental health care system.
However, my biggest fear is that a new alliance will be created between Pharma and the NRA.
The deal: the NRA remains silent on mental illness and Pharma reinforces the message to Congress to be very measured on gun control.