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“The 20-year-old man who police say went to a school heavily armed and exchanged gunfire with officers before surrendering was a normal kid growing up but began to change as a teenager, his brother said.” This according to the AP‘s summary of Piers Morgan’s interview with Michael Hill’s brother Tim [above]. Yup. Damn hormones. Only what starts out as one of those “he was such a quiet person” stories quickly morphs into a what the hell was this psycho doing on the streets deals. “Everything just started changing after doctors started messing with his medicines here and there, and changing them up and putting him on a different one and institutionalizing him multiple times to correct his medicine. It just escalated from there . . .

He said Michael Hill set fire to the family’s home when eight people were inside sleeping — the fire was discovered before it spread — and at another point their mother awoke to find him standing over her with a butcher knife. Tim Hill also confirmed that his brother threatened his life on Facebook, prompting him to call police.

Not to mention the fact that Michael Hill was involuntarily committed nine times. And tried to kill himself “too many times to count.”

I guess not much has changed since Mr. Lanza committed his heinous crime in Newtown. Only this: Morgan didn’t argue with Tim Hill’s contention that nothing can be done to stop mentally ill people from gaining access to firearms.

In fact, the CNN host almost seems ready to accept the fact that gun control is not the answer to preventing school shootings. From there it’s a short journey to accept the need to have firepower on hand when crazies like Hill fall through the cracks and show up at the door.

Ain’t never gonna happen. Still, you can see the path. Just as just about anyone could have seen that Michael Hill was a psycho-killer waiting to happen. Well, did happen. Just not successfully. Thank God.

Police on Wednesday released an undated photo of Michael Brandon Hill posing with an assault rifle that they believe is the one used at the school. Authorities said Hill got the gun from an acquaintance, but it’s not clear whether he stole it or had permission to take it. His motive is still unclear.

Huh. Now, who gives a sh*t?

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  1. If this crazy guy was locked up as well as my gun collection then this crap wouldn’t happen.

    If the surest and easiest way to get world news coverage wasn’t to bring a gun to a school then this crap wouldn’t happen.

    If the people surrounding these messed up folks didn’t turn a blind eye to it then this crap wouldn’t happen.

    If people knew they couldn’t attempt to shoot up a school without being stopped faster than an armed robber in a donut shop (or starbucks), this crap wouldn’t happen.

      • Except for point # 3.

        I think his family was trying to get him permanently committed, but the institution probably kept adjusting his meds until he was acting mostly sane and releasing him. It can be very hard to get the help your mentally ill relative needs. Even when relatives tell the institution, “You’ve got to take and confine him. I think he is going to kill someone, maybe me or my family!”, some institutions are just so full, that they have no place to keep him.

        The solution is that we as a society have got to make it a national priority to provide much more funding for our mental health system. Too many seriously crazy people are roaming our streets or in our prisons, because there is no room for them in a mental hospital.

        • “The problem” (all right, a problem) is that we’re no longer permitted to function normally.

          Depressed ’cause your dad died? Take a pill. Acne? Take a pill. It might give you liver cancer or cause blindness, but you’ll look marvelous. Can’t sleep? Can’t wake up? Pay too little attention? Too much? Tired? Worried ’cause your hours were cut? TAKE A THRICE-CURSED PILL.

          No wonder we’re all fu¢ked up. We’re no longer permitted to process or function normally.

          Getting by without taking a kilogram of “medicine” a year is as socially unacceptable just about anywhere in the U.S. as open carry is in Sacramento.


        • Yeah, they find just the precise dosage of the exact meds that control him and let him function in society, send him home, and he flushes them. They do that, you know.

        • Russ:
          I agree that what you describe is a serious problem affecting a huge portion of our society. However, I don’t think it was “THE Problem” in this case. The Shooter (who actually never shot anyone) is suffering from a mental ILLNESS, that is presently incurable. The best he can hope for is to control it with (1) proper medications (2) under strict supervision. However he was not getting either of those.

          How right you are! I have a nephew who has a mental illness, including hearing voices that aren’t really there. After a few weeks on his meds, he begins to think that he will be OK if he stops taking them. The meds also make him feel drowsy and a little disconnected from the world. So he does stop, and in a few days he is getting delusional again. His father has tried to get him committed, but the institution won’t take him, because the meds do make him basically normal. His father is afraid to have him in his house when he is not taking his meds, he always stops taking them, and he is too big to force him to take them. His father has tried everything he can, but there is nothing else he can do to solve the problem. Some day my nephew will commit some crime while he is delusional (someone will probably get hurt), and then the criminal justice system will put him under strict supervision in a prison somewhere.

          This is the mental health system we have today. We have to fix it.

          • Eww. I’m sorry to hear that; it is a dilemma.

            At least I know all the voices in my head are my own, and I know better than to put any of the crazy ones in the driver’s seat.

        • The Liberal solution as demonstrated by New York State governor Andrew Cuomo: pass unconstitutional gun laws (SAFE Act), close down state mental health facilities (Elmira the most recent), and put those deemed a threat to themselves or others in state prison where compassion for the mentally I’ll fills everyone’s heart. (Many have been murdered: another dirty little secret.) Liberal Logic, go figure.

          • Isn’t “Liberal Logic” somewhat akin to “military intelligence” or “jumbo shrimp?”

            • I wonder if Liberal logic isn’t crazy smart. What if they don’t care if their policies are ineffective? I’m not sure but I don’t think courts overturn laws because they are ineffective. Human nature is such that for most, once the wailing and nashing of teeth is complete they get on with their new situation. This has to be what Cuomo is counting on with the the SAFE Act.

  2. Was the acquaintance unaware of his mental issues? If so, isn’t it a crime to provide a firearm to someone you know to be a prohibited person?

    • Agreed. If I had a friend who had been committed 9 times (are you shitting me?!?!) and had tried to kill himself, the last thing I’m doing is showing or sharing my gun collection with him. And I don’t know many people who are in the habit of doing so with casual acquaintances.
      I’m thinking and hoping this “acquaintance” is just a neighbor or something, who had the misfortune of having a gun stolen from him, because anybody who’d loan this kid a weapon is vying for a IGOTY trophy.

      That being said, this screams a lot more “Pay attention to me!!” than it does wannabe spree-killer. I don’t even like saying it, but if he had wanted to kill people before the cops showed up, he probably could have.

  3. He should have been locked away in a looney ward forever with all the other criminally insane.
    Kill him and spare the U.S. taxpayer the cost.
    We all know with history this nut job will never serve a day in prison.
    We’d all be better off if the police officers had ended his existence.

    • Possibly, if we could do a genetic test to detect potential mental illness in fetuses, we could just abort them (we’d need to pass a mandatory abortion law, of course). So yes, let’s kill all the “crazy” people, because that would be way less of an infringement on our freedom than banning guns.

      Seriously, think about what you’re saying.

      • Agreed.

        Many of the “Geniuses” in our history were borderline crazy. For example, Albert Einstein did not speak until he was six. Some think that his childhood speaking disability allowed his mind to formulate ideas in a unique way that allowed him to come up with his universe-changing theories of relativity. This is just one example. There are several others. Many of our greatest artists and musicians are/were pretty wild and crazy, too.

        Do we really want to start a eugenics experiment with mental illness? The Nazis in Germany had one, and it didn’t work very well for them.

  4. But we need to do something. The “solution”: let’s drop the hammer on sane, law abiding citizens who want to own firearms. Surely that will stop insane criminals. What? You say there is no connection between sane, law abiding citizens and insane criminals? Stop confusing me with the facts!


    • Gun restrictions do not stop psychotic people or criminals from getting guns, even in a society like Sweden, which has gun registration and rules requiring the locking-up of guns when not in actual hunting or target use. What Sweden DOES have is mandatory out-patient med programs with daily follow-up for the seriously or violently psychotic. Such programs are vastly cheaper for the taxpayer and better for patients than lockup. The programs enable the ill to keep ties to family and to work or study. It relieves the family from the burden of somehow forcing medication or living with the unmedicated psychotic.

      I disagree completely with the notion that anti-psychotic meds do not work, especially if medication occurs before the person has ‘grown’ violent delusions over many years. If you have ever seen the same person both on and off anti-psychotic meds, it is like night and day. Courts and jails are full of these people.

      SSRI’s and other anti-depressants are apparently prescribed much too often for people whose actual problem is psychosis. I’m sure fear of side-effects and malpractice claims add to a physician’s choice to do so. SSRI’s are also apparently layered with anti-psychotics, which indicates to me, a non-professional, that the pros can’t identify the main incapacitating illness.

      The US Justice system is, compared to many other nations, insanely (pun) fond of labelling people for life, publicly, for relatively minor and non-violent offenses. Time served and years of clean living don’t count for much. It will soon be that way with mental illness as the Federal Data Hub and IRS get involved in health insurance data processing and compliance monitoring, and as reporting to NCJIS increases in states fond of such things. I think the Scandinavian model is better in this area, with privacy for most minor and substance-abuse offenses. (They take responsibility, however, to actually follow up with minor offenders, think misdemeanors, for years, quietly.)

      The President’s people are pushing, via HHS, for a ban on criminal background checks for employment. (Volokh has covered this well.) Better they should push for an end to branding people publicly and for life for health issues and minor offenses. As to armed robbers and ax-murderers, I’d actually like to know before hiring one.

  5. Your missing the point. The majority shooters are mentally whacked because of prescribed Phsycotropic (sp) drugs used to control behavior are altering minds into anger machines. Add a gun, violent video games, altered judgement and you have a massacre. Somehow the shooter connected with the bookkeeper and was able to process the act of killing inocents was morally wrong. The future error is to think a conversation with a shooter will produce a positive outcome.

    • The majority of those with mental illness are non-violent, and many of them utilize prescribed medication to ameliorate their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Your blanket statement is akin to saying that vaccinations cause autism. Sorry, that train has left the station.

    • Are you a health professional? If not, a statement such as this, “The majority shooters are mentally whacked because of prescribed Phsycotropic (sp) drugs used to control behavior are altering minds into anger machines”, bears absolutely no weight at all.

  6. That he was committed 9 times and was still let go tells you the mental health system is broken.

    After Newtown there was the rush to get meaningless gun control passed. This case and Newtown show the real issue is getting some the mental health services they need.

    In CT gun control was passed on the incorrect belief that it will stop the next school shooting. This case shows they are wrong and in CT Malloy`s special committee is a joke because 4 months after the gun control recommendations they yet to have any recommendations on mental health reforms. CT at one time was ranked #1 in those services by thanks to the ACLU and state democrats CT ranks near the bottom today.

    It is clear what is needed is mental health reforms and not gun control. We all know that Newtown inspired gun control was a joke, and this a clear example that the efforts have all been misplaced – From VA Tech to Aurora to Newtown to this incident, we have a mental health issue not a gun issue!

  7. I don’t know how to contact RF directly but I am currently watching CNN story about the Petit family in Connecticut. I am appalled. First why didn’t the family protect themselves(not expected in this culture so no real blame to them). But I learned for first time that the police were out there, out side the house when the rapes and murders occurred.
    WTF. This is Connecticut where politicions have the gall to still try to disarm citizens.
    This is insanity. A perfect storm of evil and these “legislators” think they are protecting society.
    I am livid wih anger.
    Police followed protocol.
    How dare they get between evil and the ability to protect ourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. “Everything just started changing after doctors started messing with his medicines here and there, and changing them up and putting him on a different one and institutionalizing him multiple times to correct his medicine”.

    All these kids being (over) medicated; great for the pharma bottom line, terrible for our society. If you look at a lot of these kids going off the deep end in one form or another, you will find a high correlation of being medicated from a young age. ADHD diagnosed in something like 12-15% of kids and rising 5-10% per year.

    Mess with the chemical balance in young developing bodies and minds and it’s no wonder we have these issues.

    Drugs have replaced discipline; too many parents want the easy way, too many doctors and schools more than happy to oblige.

  9. Armed response,only answer .These bozos get ahold of guns and go after our children,blow em away.If Freddy Kruger shows up ,dispatch Freddy Kruger.NRA is right meet force with force,who cares they had an unhappy childhood ,welcome to the World Stupid.So did other people and they lead productive lives.
    Bleeding liberals want to take care of them cause they don’t like guns,Great let them pay for their care,medical and food for the next 35 years.
    If the courts want to be lame and not tell NICS system about these folks cause the ‘FORGOT’ ,then when they are put down by police or armed citizen TOO BAD,parents should have thought of that before they unleash these monsters on innocent victim.
    Too tough for you? Ask me if I care.You let Stupid Asses out ,then Stupid Asses get their asses kicked,OH WELL!

    • Another response of “let’s kill crazy people.” I’m not talking self-defense, that’s a given. You seem to favor execution. I say, if people are dangerous and out of touch with reality, put them in a safe place with some meds and a big-screen TV. But I’m a bleeding heart liberal.

  10. So, out of a population of 316 Million, and a subgroup of 5 or 6 mentally ill persons who committed mass shootings (Two of which were known mentally-ill but not on medication), we have ONE person now, who should have been permanently committed to a Mental Health Care facility after proving he was dangerous by arson and threats, but was out and got a gun and ammunition, did some threatening things, did not actually hurt anyone, and allowed himself to be talked into surrendering by a brave woman (Antoinette Tuff). Sounds to me like the odds are better than I would have expected that of the many people in the US undergoing regular mental health care treatment, we have seven in the past six years (started Counting with VA Tech in 2007, since Columbine was in 1999), who actually acted-out and created a tragic massacre. To quote the immortal Bugs Bunny, “What’s all the hubbub, Bub?”

    I totally agree with those of you who pointed-out we need to fund/fix the Mental Health Care System in this Country, so that people like, Michael Hill, can be committed to a decent, humane Mental Health Hospital, instead of shuffled in and out with various “adjustments” to his Medications, and we need research for better Mental Health Medications, since many of the ones in use seem to have sinister side effects.

    On balance, however, the percentage of mentally imbalanced persons committing sensational crimes of mass shootings against the whole population is so small it only goes to prove how desperate the MSM is for sensational anti-gun propaganda and DOES NOT prove we have “out of control” issues with mentally ill persons getting guns and acting out violent fantasies or anger killings.

    It would be grand if this kind of thing never happened at all, but six active shooters and one who exchanged gunfire with Police and ended-up not hurting anyone (or getting himself offed) against 316 million people is far, far lower than predictive mathematics would forecast.

  11. People think Im crazy because I rarley take meds for ANY purpose. Well, I fight through anything that is bothering me emotionaly or even a migrane. I may be a miserable SOB for a few days or a week but I get over it with little or no pharmecutecal help. Do meds help some people who “need” them? Sure. But not everyone needs a pill for everything IMO.

    • The pro-gun community could do itself a big favor by actually embracing mental health care. Mental health care is a good thing. A lot of people benefit from seeing a shrink, or maybe taking some meds. Not you, of course, you’re totally sane, but maybe you have a friend or relative or your cousin’s boyfriend’s mother who’s had some issues and worked through them with the help of some mental health care.

      Furthermore, the pro-gun community should be on the forefront of de-stigmatizing people, especially vets, who seek professional help for emotional problems. Vets are sometimes put on the NICS “bad” list because they ask to see a shrink, or even a financial counselor to help them sort out money issues. Basically sane, but traumatized vets are being denied their 2A rights.

      Buy yeah, let’s kill all the “crazies.”

      I’m not talking about self defense, mind you. I’m talking about basic compassion. It’s a libtard thing.

      • In Memphis, I was not responding to you at all, I thought I would be at the end of the comments. @#(*$& New TTAG format.

      • NYG, we probably could do to help endorse mental health more…but then we lose our rights. It’s an annoying catch 22. Either go insane or become defenseless. I know I would avoid going to a mental health check if it meant I lost part if the bill of rights for doing so.

        • Huh? How does “helping” (or restraining) the insane in order to keep them from murdering people hurt the right of the sane to keep and bear arms? If a person is really found to be insane, wouldn’t they have some kind of attendant assigned to their care?

        • Rich:

          The problem is in the details. How do they determine …
          …whether you are “a danger to society or yourself”?
          …what kind of mental illnesses (and what severity of the illness) should make you ineligible to own a gun?
          … What about some serious mental illnesses that can be cured or are temporary (e.g., depression, ADHD, PTSD)? And if so, should their firearms be temporarily confiscated until they are better?

          And here are the REALLY BIG Questions
          – Who gets to make the decisions about which conditions make one ineligible, and about the determination criteria for those conditions?
          – Who gets to determine whether someone is truly suffering from one of these mental illnesses?
          – How do we ensure that there is some ‘due process’ for determining whether someone is mentally ill? Or for correcting a false diagnosis?
          – How do we prevent this decision-making process from being corrupted into a “thought police” to control people who disagree with the government? (like the USSR’s Gulags)

          The devil is in the details and the misuse of those details. The government and the medical community have never been good at correctly dealing with these kinds of details.

          • This is probably a cop-out, but I’d like think parents and peers (schoolmates, coworkers, social workers) might have some say in the matter, but as a card-carrying LIbertarian, I must agree that these are seriously troubling questions.

            Do you think that maybe the answer is a well-armed, well-trained citizenry, who could at least limit the damage that they cause on the spot? I know, I dream.

        • It is a Catch-22. A lot of people have crisis points in their lives where they could use a little help, but don’t seek it for fear of the stigma attached and the potential repercussions. This is especially true in the military and for vets, but it does affect everyone.

          Interestingly, a while back the FAA lifted its restriction on commercial pilots taking anti-depressants. A lot of pilots were paying cash and taking them on the sly, and a lot more pilots who might have benefited weren’t taking them. Now, it’s no big deal.

          With the military, it’s especially ironic, because as many as 20% of active duty troops are taking some kind of prescribed psychiatric medication. The Army shrinks are so overwhelmed, all they can do is write a scrip and send the kid back to duty. Not real health care.

          FTR, I am concerned about the overuse of psychiatric drugs. I’ve never taken them, but I’ve known people whose lives were changed for the better, but they’re no substitute for one-on-one counselling. I did see a therapist for a few months after my divorce, and it definitely helped me get my shit together and move on. You can bitch to your buddies only so much before they get sick of it.

  12. In any civilized society, the Adam Lanzas and Michael Hills of the world would be institutionalized, locked away where they could do no harm. In the US, they are free to kill children or be elected to high federal office.

    America is not a country, it’s an asylum.

    • Nailed it, Ralph. There is little or no mental health care available to the vast majority of people in this country – medicate and discharge. Proper mental health care is arguably cheaper than prison, and a lot of people in prison are mentally ill – not only getting no care, but existing in an environment that would make most of us crazy.

      • You are forgetting that the ACLU (and others) have made involuntary commitment of those who need help, but refuse it, very difficult.

        There are classes of people who need help who will refuse it at any and all costs, and as long as they are “sane enough” to forestall involuntary commitment, they’re loose upon society.

        Until the 1960’s, it was far easier to force people with problems into the (at that time) bad mental health system. Now we have vastly improved mental health facilities, but it is nearly impossible to force the almost-functional, but potentially violent into mental health facilities.

        • There’s some truth to what you say, but it’s also the case that some people who don’t want to be involuntarily committed would in fact take advantage of outpatient mental health care if it were available without insurance or a ton of money. That’s the problem – like most health problems for the uninsured, we don’t deal with them until they’ve gotten totally out of control.

  13. “Now, who gives a sh*t?”

    Well, the cops do. They want to know if they can charge the guy the crazy kid got the gun from. Nevermind the doctors who let him out nine times despite all the warnings and crazy actions. But hey, what do I know, doctors are miracle workers and always know whats best. It’ll get better when government runs healthcare. Yeah, thats the ticket.

  14. The only thing missing from the butchers knife scene is Michael Hill standing
    over his mother incessantly repeating the words, “red-rum, red-rum, red-rum!”
    Not that they would have picked up on that as a red flag of things to come.
    We’re not talking about some nuanced, almost imperceptible moment that
    only a highly trained psychiatrist would be able to detect. If your son is doing
    a scene from Stephan King’s The Shining, then you can probably come to a
    reasonable conclusion that something is seriously wrong with your son.

    This isn’t a gun issue, it’s a severely mentally disturbed person issue, one
    that should have been dealt with properly years ago, so that the general
    public was not put in unnecessary danger. Fingers should be pointing, but
    not at guns, or people who express their constitutional right to keep them.
    So what ideological and/or political constituency makes up the majority of
    the psychiatric medical community, and receives a nearly endless stream
    of federal grant money to fund its mental health research? Well, well, well.
    Ain’t that a pretty pickle? The liberal psychiatric community engaging in
    collective denial. I guess nobody could have seen that one coming, huh?

  15. This is one of those “inconveniences of too much liberty” Jefferson was talking about. In a properly functioning society, multiple men (a possibly a few women) would have had a handgun available to stop him. But, NOOOOOOOOOO! That is not “appropriate” and teachers and staff “give up” some rights when they enter school grounds.

    • I think Jefferson concluded that those “inconveniences of too much liberty” just must be accepted, because the restrictions on our liberty required to eliminate those “inconveniences” would be completely unacceptable.

      This truly is the heart of the issue when dealing with gun control, isn’t it? How many liberties are we willing to lose while attempting to eliminate certain inconveniences (including a few thousand unnecessary deaths)?

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