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“Fighting Drug Abuse”


Richard E. Vatz


If I could change one general line of speculation regarding why miserable miscreants kill, it would be discerning what the cause is, especially as it pertains to exculpating an accused killer because he is “fighting drug addiction.”

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Monday night, July 20, on NBC Nightly News (I usually watch CBS, a network less likely to casually attribute mass murder to drugs) a reporter described  Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, the cowardly Chattanooga mass murderer, as fighting drug abuse’s alleged control over him.

First of all, the number of people who heavily use drugs and then commit mass murder are infinitesimal, and second, the cause of mass murder is murderous agents, who may have been influenced as well by evil outside sources, but those sources are not the cause of the murderous behavior.  Also regarding the selective search for his attitude toward Americans, this mass murdering terrorist has written about his anti-American sentiments regardless of witnesses here and there claiming that he “loved” America.

When will lazy commentators cease their prurient search for causes for specific violent behavior.  It is the choice of the person committing the massacre, aided and abetted by others, but not caused by others.

Drugs don’t cause people to murder, and “drug abuse” is not something that makes people victims; it is chosen behavior for which the abuser is responsible.


Professor Vatz teaches Persuasion at Towson University and is author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion (Kendall Hunt, 2013)


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