Patterico's Pontifications

12/14/2012

Mass Shooter Was Autistic: How Relevant Was This?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:27 pm

The Atlantic Wire:

According to the Associated Press, Ryan described his younger brother to authorities as “somewhat autistic” and said he suffered from a personality disorder.

Ann Bauer, from 2009, writing about her autistic son:

I went into his room, took some clothes from the closet, handed them to him. And hinting at what he was about to do only with a small sigh, as if to say, “I’ve had enough,” my son picked me up and threw me across the room.

I had three broken ribs and a bit of damage to my liver that made my doctor fret. Still, who among us hasn’t wanted to toss our mother across the room when she’s nattering on and making cheerful sounds in the morning? I dismissed it as an aberration until a couple weeks later when Andrew decked his elderly tutor, knocking her onto a concrete sidewalk and breaking her hand. He went on to attack several staff members at the group home, grope the mentally handicapped young women who attended his transition program, and finally to accost his 14-year-old sister right in front of my eyes.

. . . .

Secretly, as if committing a sacrilege, I searched online using keywords such as “autism” and “violence” and “murder.” What I found was confusing. There were roughly a dozen recent articles about heinous acts committed by people with autism and Asperger’s syndrome, but each was followed by editorials and letters written by autism advocates vigorously denying a link. There were a few studies from the ’80s and ’90s, but the results — when they showed a higher rate of violent crime among people with autism — appeared to have been quieted or dismissed.

The whole article is worth reading. And the incidence of violence by those with autism is worth discussing. Not to demonize those with autism, but to confront facts and be aware.

UPDATE: I want to make something very clear. I have no desire to demonize autistic children. I know people with very sweet-natured children who are autistic or Asperger’s. The link in the article was sent to me by someone with a severely autistic child who had personally experienced or witnessed violent tendencies of the sort described in the article. I had never heard of this possible connection before and thought it worth raising.

I have not read the studies mentioned in the article, but I am concerned about the author’s representation that some studies indicate a relationship between autism and violence — yet the results of those studies have been minimized. IF this is the case, and I’m not saying it is, it should concern everyone — but especially the parents of autistic children.

I understand how people with autistic children could have a negative emotional reaction to the post and the linked article. It is not my intent to upset such people. Again, I am not trying to demonize anyone. I am raising a possible connection that interested me because I had not heard about it before yesterday.

Friday Open Thread – CT School Shooting

Filed under: General — JD @ 2:13 pm

[Guest post by JD]

Horrific shooting in Newtown, CT today. Over 20 people murdered in an elementary school. Don’t watch MSNBC, unless you are prepared for gun grabbing blame the gun rhetoric.

Breaking news is wildly inaccurate in the first 24-48 hours, generally.

– JD

How a Fringe Leftist Thinks: My Flawed Perception Is More Important Than the Facts

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

And if somehow the facts are at odds with my flawed perception? YOU MUST BE DISTORTING THE FACTS!!!!1!! Because I know what I think and I’m not letting some little thing like the evidence get in the way.

This is going to sound like a post about a Twitter battle, but there is a larger point. Stick with me for a second.

Yesterday I told you Marcy Wheeler had accused me of saying Steven Crowder should not have reported his assault to the cops. She had maybe 40-50 tweets to that effect. Here are a couple:

There were dozens of “why do you beat your wife” questions like that. Of course, I had never said that or anything remotely like it. But that didn’t stop Marcy Wheeler from saying I had. Again and again and again.

And, of course, there was the obligatory threat to go to my supervisors, to report this made-up thing that I never said:

I repeatedly denied having said this, and demanded proof. Which I knew did not exist because I never said it. When another Twitter user popped in and asked about this, Wheeler accused me of having DELETED THE TWEETS in which I supposedly made this comment:

I wrote a post about her fabricated accusation, and this morning on Twitter I called her on it again. She issued a sort of half-assed non-apology apology in which she said she can’t find the tweets, so if she was wrong she apologizes . . . but it’s still her memory that I said that, and she can’t change her memory.

Now understand clearly what has happened here. Let’s give Wheeler the benefit of the doubt that she wasn’t just making things up deliberately, and then backpedaling when called on it. Just for the sake of argument. What happened was:

  • Due to her viewing everything through a partisan lens, she had a misperception about the facts of what actually happened.
  • Based on that misperception, she made an accusation about a conservative, and tried to hurt him in his employment based on this accusation.
  • Then she was presented with evidence that the hard evidence did not back up her misperception.
  • Rather than reconsider her misperception, she decided that somebody must have been messing with the evidence.

Do you see how all this applies to Steven Crowder?

Wheeler decided, right off the bat, that Crowder was lying. This is because she just KNEW the place was crawling with cops and that he made no effort to report the crime.

When a video emerged showing Crowder brutally smashing a peaceful union member in the fist with his face, Wheeler immediately declared it heavily edited. Never mind that not one cop is seen on the video. Never mind that Crowder can be heard saying “where the fuck are the cops?” Never mind that Crowder has said in an interview since then that he could not report the incident right away because he was surrounded by more union thugs.

The evidence was at odds with Wheeler’s perceptions — so Crowder must have messed with the evidence.

AH! BUT HE DID! THEY SAY. WELL, NOT SO MUCH: Wheeler has, of course, been emboldened by video footage showing the attacker on the ground just before the assault. The NYT has helped given a partisan spin to this fact by claiming he was “knocked” on the ground — something you certainly can’t see on the video. For all we know, the guy took a swing at Crowder, missed, and ended up on the ground — then got back up and did it again.

Is there any evidence to support this? Sure. Crowder yells that he has just been assaulted before the guy gets back up and punches Crowder.

Now, it could emerge that, contrary to everything I know about the guy, Crowder went and popped this guy in the face first. I doubt it, but if it’s proved I’ll accept it.

But for fringe leftists, the actual facts must always be discounted. What matters is perceptions. This proves the point I have always made, that you can’t convince somebody who doesn’t want to be convinced. And if the facts contradict the fringe leftist’s beliefs, why, you must have distorted the facts. Crowder must have deleted the footage where he punched the guy first. I must have deleted those tweets.

Wheeler owes me an apology — not a B.S. “I’m sorry if I was wrong but I still don’t think I was wrong” non-apology, but a real one.

I think, when all this is said and done, she’ll owe Crowder one as well.

Over/under on whether we’re going to get one?


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