Thursday, March 28, 2013

New Information in the Newtown Shooting Case: My Interview on 9 News

I spoke with Gary Shapiro this morning about new information coming out regarding the Sandy Hook shooting from December of 2012. In documents that were released in recent days, there was information about the weapons and ammunition in the shooter's possession, along with the fact that he fired 154 shots and killed 20 people in the span of about five minutes.

Here is the video:

Thanks for watching-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Mindset Of A Predator: My Interview On The Chelsea Krost Show

Chelsea Krost, host of the Chelsea Krost Radio Show (and soon-to-be host of her own television talk show), had a fascinating program last night. She interviewed a couple who train women in ways to escape a predator if attacked. She also interviewed an amazing musician who plays hip hop violin.

In between these two guests, she interviewed me. I discussed the mindset of a predator, and we talked about the danger of being accosted by people we know, which happens much more often than attacks by total strangers. My interview begins around the 30-minute mark in her program, although if you have time, I would recommend listening to the whole broadcast. You will learn some amazing things about self-defense, and you will hear some great, innovative music.

Here is the link:

Chelsea Krost Radio Show, March 13, 2013: Stop, Rock, and Roll

Thanks for reading/listening-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Aurora Theater Shooting: My Interview on CNN

Here is video of Ted Rowlands from CNN interviewing me about the possibility of state evaluators using "truth serum" in their evaluation of the Aurora Theater Shooting suspect if he pleads Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity.

Colorado State Laws allow for the use of "narcoanalytic" drugs to attempt to get a defendant to tell the truth. I don't ever remember state evaluators using these types of drugs, and I can't imagine they would use them in the Aurora theater shooting case. The information gathered under such drugs is about as reliable as a conversation between two fraternity brothers after an evening of keg stands. Nevertheless, part of the advisement every person hears who is considering an insanity plea hears is that he/she may be forced to undergo a narcoanalytic interview.

Here is the video:

 Thanks for reading/watching-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fact-Checking the Gun Control Debate: Excellent Story by Colorado Public Radio Reporter Megan Verlee

Depending on your pre-held views on guns, you will find data
to support the sentiment behind either one of these signs

Colorado Public Radio reporter Megan Verlee has a fascinating story airing today, where she fact-checks commonly cited statistics on both sides of the gun control debate. What she discovers is that several key pieces of information that both gun control advocates and gun rights advocates use to bolster their claims are either misleading or outright false.

Here is a link to the story on CPR's website: Truth-Squadding The Gun Debate

This is an important story for anyone who holds highly passionate views on either side of the gun divide. And, it highlights a commonly used psychological strategy in such debates: we tend to inflate information that supports our position, and we ignore or downplay contradictory data.

This story was a wake-up call for me, and a reminder that I need to thoroughly reflect on the issues involved with the gun control debate. It is not always fair for me, or anyone else, to assume I am right and then find the 'data' that supports my position.

Thanks for reading, and please listen to the CPR story! Megan Verlee is an excellent reporter, and she has done a great job with a difficult topic

 --Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Colorado's Worst Gun Rights Advocate

Franklin Sain's Mugshot
On Monday, March 4, 2013, Denver prosecutors charged Franklin Sain with harassment with ethnic intimidation and attempting to influence a public servant in response to a series of hateful emails and voicemails he directed toward Colorado State Representative Rhonda Fields. Ms. Fields represents Aurora, Colorado, the site of the theater shooting last August.

Mr. Sain, who lives in Colorado Springs, sent Ms. Fields a number of emails and voicemails to complain about her support of gun control measures in the wake of last summer's shooting and the Newtown shooting from December of 2012.

In the emails and voicemails, Mr. Sain used racial and sexual slurs against the representative, and he expressed the wish that she would get shot in the head just like Gabrielle Giffords.

Mr. Sain, a 42 year-old chief operating officer of a technology company, may have unwittingly achieved the exact opposite of his intended goal: namely, his actions make a strong argument for gun control. There are many American citizens who are too dangerous to own a gun, and Mr. Sain may be one of them.

In previous posts, I have reviewed research on murder. Common characteristics of murderers are as follows (note: none of these characteristics show up on a background check):

1. They are White
2. They are middle aged
3. They have anger problems
4. They act impulsively
5. They are looking for revenge
6. They have access to a gun

These six points seem to describe Mr. Sain reasonably well. I have never met Mr. Sain, and there is certainly a question about whether he has an anger problem, acts impulsively, or is vengeful. But, his current behavior toward Representative Fields isn't doing him any favors.

And, he isn't helping out the gun rights cause, either. If gun control advocates are worried about public safety, and the most vocal gun rights voice in the discussion is the one advocating shooting people he disagrees with in the head, that conversation is not going to end well.

Every person in the United States is entitled to due process and a fair trial. We are all considered innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But, no one is denying that Mr. Sain sent hateful emails and left horrible voicemails. No one is denying he wished someone would die by gunshot to the head. For the sake of all Coloradoans (and especially those Coloradoans who disagree with gun rights advocates), I hope the fallout from this incident serves as a wake-up call. After all, it is entirely possible to control our emotions and have a rational discussion about gun rights issues without needing to resort to blind anger and death threats.

Thanks for reading-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Another Attempt At My Video Blog Post

It appears that people are not able to watch the video that I embedded in my last post. For some reason, it works fine on my computer, but everyone else is treated to only the first second of the video.

Here is a link to youtube, where it might work better. Please let me know if you still have problems watching it.

Thanks-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.

Video Blog Post #2: What Is The Difference Between Sanity and Competence?

In my latest video blog post, I talk about the difference between Sanity and Competence To Proceed. Here is the video. Enjoy!

Thanks for watching-- Max Wachtel, Ph.D.


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