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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech: Is there a link between noodle consumption and mass murder at school?

The murder of 32 people and the wounding of dozens more by Virginia Tech senior Cho Seung Huiat, at Virginia Tech this week may have been the worst, but it was only one of about 20 mass shootings that happen each year in the US. The fashion, it seems be it from boredom, being unfairly fired or cruely snubbed by one's peers - is to retailiate with all guns blazing.

Place a modern weapon like a Glock hand gun in the hands of even a monkey and you have a natural born killer.

Since the 1966 Texas Tower killings when Charles Whitman, a student at the University of Texas, climbed a 27-storey tower and killed 15 people, wounding 31 others, there has been a disturbing rise in the the frequency of school mass killings and they have become increasingly bloodthirsty. What is going on here and what on Earth has this to do with noodles?

One of the disturbing facts about these college mass killings (please correct me if I am wrong) is that every single one of these crazed killers was on one or more mood-altering prescription medications and, in some cases, various illicit drugs as well. Refer to this website for more information about this topic.

We know that some prescription anti-depressants cause more - not less - suicide and more violent behaviour in young people - not less. Refer a troubled young man to a psychiatrist and you can be assured 99/100 that he will exit the consultation with a prescription for a mood-altering drug like Prozac or Ritalin. And possibly some counselling that he may never attend.

These drugs do nothing at all to address the multitude of underlying factors, beginning before birth, that may be contributing to poor concentration, muddled thinking, depression and violent outbursts. A factor not to be overlooked is a young man's nutrition. Take some time to view this compelling video here.

As an aside: Another factor that can not be ignored in the United States nowadays is institutionalised fear-mongering and the social isolation of those who do not quite fit in with the majority (Do prescription drugs cure this problem?). This situation must be especially difficult for minority races and for ex-patriats living within the USA. Gosh! In some security-sensitive institutions, non-US citizens are required carry distinctive ID tags that make them to stand out from others.

Whenever I talk to groups of young people about health and fitness, I always take along a supply of a teen's staple food - instant noodles. Almost without exception, instant noodles make up a significant part of a young man's diet - more so if he is a student. I get the young audience to do a nutritient analysis of the contents of the instant noodle pack. Of course, the conclusion we always come to is that there are no real nutrients worth mentioning and they are packed with flavourings and other chemicals that are of dubious safety.

The brain requires a range of essential fats, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to function properly. A fat-free diet, such as instant noodles and skinless chicken is capable of triggering a full-blown psychotic episode. Additional factors such as stress, excessive caffeine and sleep deprivation can cause an explosive cocktail when combined with a fat-free diet. Add mood altering prescription drugs and the ready access to automatic weaponry and we have the recipe for mass killings.

"...The law-abiding citizen is entitled to own a rifle, pistol, or shotgun. The right, put simply, shall not be infringed..." Charlton Heston

Out of this latest set of killings is the call for even more freedom to carry guns, since the killings happened within a gun-free campus. If the kids and teachers were armed, the killer would have been shot before he killed too many is the argument. Sure, this might possibly reduce mass killings; but I don't buy that argument for a moment. What it would mean is more killings overall - just think of a typical road rage incident if the drivers were armed to the teeth! Guns kill - We just pull the triggers.

Here in New Zealand we have more than our fair share of murderous nutters. The difference is they are most unlikely to run amok with an automatic weapon with thousands of rounds of lethal dum-dum bullets. The weapons most likely to be used are knives or single shot rifles, thus limiting the carnage.

If Americans want to retain their God-given constitutional right to bear arms, perhaps they should do so in the spirit of the technology when that right was first written into their constitution Centuries ago. Those who demand to retain the right to bear arms should be restricted to good old fashioned muskets that are difficult to load and prone to misfiring - and difficult to conceal.

Noodle King and inventor of the instant noodle, Momofuku Ando, died recently at the good age of 96 years. I have no doubt that he would have had fresh and nutritious foods lavishingly topping his daily meal of noodles.