Shootings Advice from Oakland Clinical Psychologists

Dr. Villarreal, along with her colleague Dr. Frank Davis, was interviewed by journalist/blogger Zennie Abraham of regarding the Newtown Shootings.

sandyhook students, of Newton, CT

[from article produced by Zennie Abraham] “In the wake of the Newton Shootings, many people have a lot of questions. But perhaps the most well-considered one concerns how do we spot a person who might commit such an act before they do it?

To get to that answer, I turned to Oakland and Berkeley-based clinical psychologists Christina Villarreal and Frank Davis, respectively for a talk.

The main reason for Adam Lanza’s murder of 26 people, 18 of them kids, was simple: “access to guns,” is the comment both Dr. Villarreal and Dr. Davis pointed to in our conversation. “There may have been some mental health issues,” speculated Davis. “We have to speculate that there were mental health issues, but as of this time no report has been made (explaining that), Villarreal said.

What To Do If You Think Someone Has A Problem

If you think you know someone who has a mental illness problem that could lead to gun violence, Christina Villarreal and Frank Davis recommend that you talk to the person and also talk to a mental health professional for advice, too.

What About Internet Threats?

Some post threats of life to others on the Internet, but does that count as a issue of concern? Dr. Davis says it does. “I would take the threat seriously,” he said. And Davis also explained that it’s better not to consider such an act as benign. Dr. Villarreal said that it’s also important to make sure parents of children know what they’re accessing online, in order to keep them both from threats and from the possibility that they may be issuing threats via the Internet.

The watchword is to watch. Watch people around you and what they do. Be ready to ask questions of the person you think has the problem.

I would add this: support gun control. We have too many guns in our society, and that has to end.

Stay tuned, Zennie Abraham


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