Gun Laws Didn’t Stop Pothead Killer

Accuracy in Media

The liberals continue to pretend that “gun control” laws will stop “gun violence,” even while providing the fuel, in the form of potent marijuana, which can spark violence and murder. A case in point is a Florida teenage gunman, Benjamin Bishop, the subject of a Tampa Bay Times article about how he became a zombie killer through the use of pot that caused him to fear “ghosts” speaking foreign languages. The killings occurred in October.

The article, “Teen gunman Benjamin Bishop: Rage drove him to kill, gun laws were no obstacle,” describes how the killer “used a 12-gauge shotgun—a weapon he obtained in spite of a criminal record and history of mental illness—to kill his mother and her boyfriend as they lay in bed.” In a jailhouse interview, “He talked about how he liked to smoke pot.”

His mother, Imari Shibata, was a nurse, and her boyfriend, Kelly Allen, was a popular swim coach.

Bishop was reportedly on probation for a 2011 domestic battery incident in which he hit his mother and tried to strangle her. But he easily evaded the gun laws when he decided to kill her and her boyfriend by having a friend purchase the shotgun. The use of a “straw buyer” in a case like this is already illegal and can be prosecuted under federal law because the gun was used in a crime. Bishop bought the ammunition himself.

He fired eight rounds of gun shot in the killings, called 911 and admitted what he had done.

President Obama, a former pot smoker himself, proposes new “gun control” measures while ignoring the harm caused by marijuana. He recently told ABC News that he won’t authorize federal prosecution of marijuana offenders in Colorado and Washington, where the drug was legalized.

Obama was a member of what his biographer David Maraniss called the “Choom Gang,” a group of heavy marijuana users who practiced “total absorption” of the drug by inhaling the smoke fully into the lungs.

Although it’s long been known that marijuana adversely affects memory, intelligence, and learning, the connection of the drug to mental illness, violence and murder is not widely reported by the media. However, John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two guards at the Pentagon in March 2010, was a psychotic pothead who actually had a “medical marijuana” card in California.

In other cases, admitted pot lover 16-year-old Jeff Weise murdered nine people and injured five others in Red Lake, Minnesota, in 2005, and Charles “Andy” Williams was a regular marijuana user who smoked the drug just before killing two schoolmates and wounding 13 others in a San Diego suburban school on March 5, 2001.

The story of Benjamin Bishop may be shocking to some, but to those familiar with the evidence of marijuana’s link to mental illness, it is not that surprising. “In 10th grade,” the paper said. “Bishop stopped regularly attending school and started puttering, stoned, around the house. He says his mom hated the way marijuana made him shrink from family and friends.” He was diagnosed with schizophrenia but wouldn’t take his medication and resented his mother telling him to do so. He got caught taking a knife to school.

“Strange things had begun happening to him, experiences he struggled to understand,” the paper reported.

“When I was in 9th grade I was attacked by a ghost. Well, I thought I was…There was something, like, pounding on my back when I had just woken up,” he told the paper. “It was screaming, and it had two voices, and it was speaking in Japanese. Or it could have been speaking in German.”

In July 2011, the paper said, his mother called the sheriff’s office “to report that her son was wandering the family’s home in Oldsmar, smashing holes through walls with a hammer and saying he was Osama Bin Laden.”

In regard to the murders, he told the paper, “I regret it. Because I might get first-degree murder. Also I regret it because it was just a bad situation altogether and I shouldn’t have done it. Because of, uh, what happened to them. And me.”

These are signs, of course, of mental illness caused or exacerbated by pot smoking.

As we recently reported, a prominent Democrat, Patrick Kennedy, has shocked his liberal friends by talking openly about how marijuana destroys the brain and expedites psychosis. He opposes the liberal effort to legalize the drug. Left-wing British journalist Patrick Cockburn wrote a series of blockbuster articles in the British media on how his own son went insane smoking marijuana.

In the U.S., in addition to Colorado and Washington legalizing the drug, 18 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws legalizing so-called “medical marijuana.”

The Tampa Bay Times article by Peter Jamison about the Bishop case is unusual in that the marijuana link to the crimes was not censored. Other articles about the case ignore the facts about Bishop being a pothead. In its original article about the crimes, the Tampa paper didn’t even mention the possible role of marijuana in the murders.

But the killer’s subsequent willingness to talk in expressive terms about his use of the drug is another indication of its potent effects and addictive qualities.

Timothy R. Jennings, M.D., a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and President-Elect of the Tennessee Psychiatric Association, says the increasing use of marijuana, including for alleged “medical” purposes, is a danger and a fraud that endangers the public health.

He writes, “Medical marijuana for the treatment of psychiatric problems is no better than prescribing cigarette smoke to treat lung disease.”

While he says it should be available in extreme circumstances for patients who are terminally ill and suffering from severe intractable pain and/or nausea with no other possible way to experience relief, “the use of marijuana to treat psychiatric illness is not only contrary to sound brain science, clinical research and common sense, it smacks of modern day quackery.”

For reasons having to do with his own sordid personal history of using and abusing the drug, it’s doubtful that President Obama will make a crackdown on marijuana part of his political agenda against “gun violence.” Such an approach would anger his political base.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org.


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Comments

  1. I don’t know if this article is serious or a lampoon. If this article is serious then it is ridiculous, Psychotic Potheads? Cliff Kincaid seems to have watched the propaganda film “Reefer Madness” one two many times. Funny you never see articles titled “Gun Laws didn’t stop alcoholic killer”.

    Blaming marijuana for the actions of this killer is misguided at best, it is the equivalent of blaming movies, music, and video games for violent actions. Marijuana does not make you hallucinate, fight ghosts who speak foreign languages or KILL people. That is from his mental disorder(s) and/or other drugs he was on. If Cliff Kincaid is correct in that “pot” does cause people to become psychotic killers, then there will be an explosion of murder crimes in Washington and Colorado State. I won’t be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

    When are Republicans going to stop acting like Democrats, Prohibition didn’t work against alcohol so why do so many Republicans think prohibition against marijuana will? It hasn’t and never will. It is nothing more than an attempt at using the Federal Government for the social engineering of all 50 States. I have no problems with people speaking out against the use of marijuana or any other drugs but do it factually without the propaganda please. Just because we don’t want somebody to do something is not a justification to criminalize it. If so, then Mayor Bloomberg of New York and Michelle Obama are justified in their endeavors of banning “unhealthy” foods that “might” harm you.

    “There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one “makes” them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of lawbreakers — and then you cash in on the guilt.” Ayn Rand

    • Randle,

      Cliff Kincaid reports facts. Some of them fly in the face of the propaganda war for legalizing drugs. Bummer.

      Do you want heroin advertised on TV during Saturday morning cartoons? If not, then you are probably for government regulation and how libertarian is that?

      Thank God prohibition has worked thus far for dirty bombs.

      Peace, love and gentle flowers,
      Arlen
      PS: People who merely possess personal marijuana should not to go jail over it.

      • What you call facts, I call misleading the readers with propaganda. Does pot turn people into psychotic killers? I have never seen or heard of one instance of this other than here and in the movie “Reefer Madness”. I find it absurd that you would defend such under the guise of “facts”.

        A person takes the position against State’s rights by demanding Federal intervention in matters that don’t concern it. The Federal government was never supposed to interfere with the personal affairs of men to begin with, that was left up to the States. Trying to legislate morality is no different then what the Democrats are trying to legislate. Yes, morality and virtue needs to be taught and reinforced but morality is an individual choice and therefore cannot be legislated, especially by the Federal gov. If you could directly point to marijuana as the leading factor to crime then I would advocate against it’s legality at the State level. I have never seen any evidence to support that theory.

        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.” –C.S. Lewis

        Now lets address your other snarky fallacies.

        How did we go from discussing legalizing marijuana and whether it causes people to become psychotic pothead killers to dirty bombs and commercials about heroin during children’s cartoons? It seems you are trying to marginalize my argument by making the “subtle” allegations that I am a libertarian and flower child in which you have not a clue. Who or what I am has no bearing on the discussion at hand and is exactly why the authors of the Federalist Papers and Anti-Federalist Papers wrote under pen names. Since you didn’t respond with anything of substance, I am left with the impression that you really don’t have anything and therefore must create ad hominem arguments to defend this article. Cognitive bias?

        “PS: People who merely possess personal marijuana should not to go jail over it.”

        I have to ask, why would you allow people to have this substance which transforms them into psychotic killers when you in “fact” believe that it does?

        Peace out,

        Randle

        Ps; I don’t have a problem with regulations if they don’t violate the law and adhere to reason and logic.

  2. C.K.
    This article should be about the non-enforcement of the original laws on the books, after-all Benjamin Bishop strangled his mother and received probation?

    “He was diagnosed with schizophrenia but wouldn’t take his medication and resented his mother telling him to do so.”
    He had a history of mental illness and yet this isn’t factored in to your assumption that it is/ was a marijuana induced reaction.

    By ignoring the underlying problem and shunting the debate unto an erroneous assumption that marijuana usage was the main culprit, you add to the national debate about more “gun control.”
    Clearly a violation of a natural right of self defense, placing the burden onto law abiding gun owners and C.C.L.

    Florida does have private sale laws clearly understood and posted- a model for the Nation. That they were not observed is another matter-as is the underlying mental state of these patently disturbed individuals.

    re: Patrick Kennedy and Patrick Cockburn. You are using big government Progressives to bolster your assumptions concerning marijuana users- that is a new twist for one of my favorite sites.

    “In regard to the murders, he told the paper, “I regret it. Because I might get first-degree murder. Also I regret it because it was just a bad situation altogether and I shouldn’t have done it. Because of, uh, what happened to them. And me.”

    This man never acknowledged he ever did wrong in that statement. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with young adults of today. Why is that? I contend it is the culture and the public education system encouraging such, keeping them non-thinking
    immature adults easily manipulated.

    Where in all this diatribe is the blame rightfully placed? With the parents who should have been aware and the legal system that doesn’t enforce the law and mental health issues?

    Timothy R. Jennings, M.D.:

    “…says the increasing use of marijuana, including for alleged “medical” purposes, is a danger and a fraud that endangers the public health.”

    “While he says it should be available in extreme circumstances for patients who are terminally ill and suffering from severe intractable pain and/or nausea with no other possible way to experience relief, “the use of marijuana to treat psychiatric illness is not only contrary to sound brain science, clinical research and common sense, it smacks of modern day quackery.”

    Psychiatry leaves much to be desired, wherein Psychology tends to be more effective.

    You equate marijuana usage (though there is ample evidence to the contrary) with psychosis, etc.; they are willing to extend the drug to terminally ill patients “with nothing to lose” and MAY through the usage of this herb, go on a “killing spree” for the simple fact that they are going to die anyway and “heck! why not take others with you”?

    Do you understand the fallacies and contradictions in your article, C.K.?

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