How Many Mass Murderers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb?

Maybe you’ve heard a few lightbulb jokes. Maybe you’ve even told a few as well. Maybe you’ve even made up a lightbulb joke? Most lightbulb jokes are fun, with little use beyond humour. Sometimes, a lightbulb joke illustrates an obvious truth, in a funny way.How many men does it take to change a lightbulb? “I’ll get to it right away, honey.”

Quite a few contain excuses, with phrases like “in the dark”. How many Ukrainians does it take to change a lightbulb? None. You don’t need a lightbulb if you glow in the dark.

How many billionaires does it take to change a lightbulb in the house, the car, the airplane?  None. A billionaire can buy a new house, a new car, a new plane.

Some require a bit more understanding, or inside knowledge to get the joke.

How many cowboys does it take to change a lightbulb? Sorry, he’s gone outside to see a man about a horse.

Some, however, contain more than a grain of truth.

How many therapists does it take to change a lightbulb? Just one, but the lightbulb must really want to change.

And the brings us to the point. What use is a lightbulb joke, if it doesn’t illuminate anything?

How many mass murderers does it take to change a lightbulb?

But the question is simply wrong. We don’t want to change a lightbulb, we want to change a ridiculously horrible situation. We don’t want a mass murderer to change a lightbulb, we want the mass murderer to change. But according to researchers, 50 percent of mass murderers commit suicide.  Dead people can’t change.  Once a mass murder is committed, changing the murderer doesn’t fix the situation.

How many mass murderers does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. The society has to change.

Yes, our society wants to solve mass murders, to change the mass murder light bulb,
but no, our society doesn’t want to change.

There are lots of individuals who have ideas. Lots of people who want to change someone else. Some believe we should ban guns. Some believe we should ban violent video games and movies.  Some believe the police or the FBI should be more diligent, while others believe the police and FBI cannot be trusted. Some believe we should ban patent medicines for depression.  Some believe we should ban Kinder Eggs, but that’s been done and it didn’t help.

We live in a society where the power of the individual, and the freedom of the individual trumps (no pun intended) the needs of the society. We also live in a society that makes nonsense laws, that avoid few or no deaths, and enforces these diligently, while refusing to make simple changes to save lots of deaths.

Has the “land of the free, and the home of the brave” has become the “land of the fear and the home of the grave“?

Mass murders are easily viewed as individual acts. They are also acts of the society, affecting many members of the society.

Can individuals change society? Sometimes, but the society must want to change. How can individuals make the society want to change? How will we know when the society wants to change?  When it begins to take actions that can cure.

Our society currently enables mass murderers. And it doesn’t want to change. Instead, it wants to blame, suggesting that individuals need to change.  Mass murder is not a problem of an individual, is not an illness of an individual, although it might be an illness caused by an illness of an individual.

How many mass murderers does it take to change a light bulb? Mass murders is not a light bulb problem. Mass murder is not something that can be fixed buy an individual, or a small group of people. It requires a societal change.

How many societies does it take to change a mass murderer?  It is not possible to change a mass murderer. The society must want to change.

But, at present, society chooses to be in the dark, even as many individual seek the light.

Mass murder is an illness, but it is not an illness of individuals, it is an illness of the larger community. Mass murder is not caused by a virus, or a bacteria, it is caused by unhealthiness.

When an individual has an illness caused by unhealthiness, like hypertension, or obesity, or even scurvy, or smoker’s cough, no medicine can cure. The illness can only be cured by personal change.  Many smokers know the cause of their illness, and even want to change, but somehow, they cannot change.

When a society has an illness caused by unhealthiness, like mass murder, the society needs to change. How do you change a society?

Each mass murder is a sign, a symptoms of the illness.  Each individual person shot an injury caused by the illness.  Yes, we need to treat the signs and symptoms. We need to treat the injuries – and this requires more than “thoughts and prayers”. Unfortunately, we’ve got lots of experience treating injuries caused by mass murderers. Too much experience with thoughts and prayers as well. Yes, they are necessary. We can do better.

We have no experience finding a cure.  We have no experience addressing the cause.

We have pitifully little experience attempting to find the causes of mass murders. Is a mass murder a simple, elementary illness, with a single cause – like scurvy? Or is it a compound illness, with many parallel causes leading to the same disease? There are lots of theories. How can we know for sure?  How can we find the cause?  Is there a root cause? Or a long chain of causes?  If we break the chain, will we cure the illness?

Like any illness, we can only find the cause by curing it. When we cure mass murders, we will know the cause.  The cure is the cause.  The cause identifies the cure.

But our society is not trying to cure mass murders.  There are lots of ideas, but little action – and the illness is getting worse, not better. What we are doing today is simply not working.

Our society knows there is an illness. We are not in denial about the illness, only about the cause.

Cause And Effect

In theory, cause and effect is a philosophical quagmire.  It is so difficult to determine cause and effect that it is generally left to the courts, not to scientists. Courts find blame, not cause – and are often forced to change their mind on appeal.

But when an illness is active, cause and effect becomes trivial.

  1. Decide on a cause.
  2. Address the cause.
  3. If the illness is cured – that was the cause.  If it was not the cause, we don’t care.
  4. if the illness was not cured, either the cause was wrong, or we didn’t succeed in addressing the cause.

We only understand the cause after an action cures the illness.  If we cure the illness by addressing the wrong cause – a cure is a cure.  But as long as we avoid action, the likelihood of a cure drops lower and lower.


Are guns the cause? Is gun control, or lack of gun control the cause? Is gun control the solution? Gun controls, today, are like a religion.  There are people who believe, and people who fear the devil.  And there are gun salesmen, a lot of gun sales companies, that stand to lose a lot of money if this cure is attempted.  Gun promoters can even see, or present guns as the solution to everything, even to murder. Seriously?

We will only know after we begin to take the medicine.  This medicine has worked for many other countries.  We can start in small doses, to find the right measure, or take a big leap, like Australia did, and eliminate mass murders by guns in a single stroke.  But society would need to change.

Our society fears the medicine. The medicine tastes bitter.  The medicine appears to have risks. Every medicine tastes bitter.  Every medicine has risks. If we want to cure, we need to taste the medicine. If it cures, that was the cause.

It’s not difficult to take a bit of medicine, and see if it cures some cases. The number of mass murders is currently high enough that a bit of medicine might have a significant impact. Can a spoon full of sugar can help the medicine go down?  What would a spoon full of sugar be in this case?

What if we removed guns totally, or totally removed access to guns for depressed young males and the mass murder rate dropped by 50%?  Then that action cured 50% of the illness.  There is another cause.


Are SSRIs the cause? There is considerable evidence that mass murders experience severe symptoms of mania and depression, and that SSRIs and other antidepressant medications can exacerbate these symptoms when the medication is varied or stopped. Can stopping or limiting the use of SSRIs cure the illness?

We will only know after we take the medicine.  But, like gun control, this medicine is problematical. There are lots of salesmen, lots of big companies that stand to lose a lot of money if this cure is attempted.  There are lots of people who believe that SSRIs are the solution to depression – even though they do not cure it. They might even suggest that more SSRIs are needed, to ensure the patients don’t go off their medication and become mass murderers, just as gun salesmen recommend more guns to stop mass murders.

What if we removed SSRIs totally, or totally removed access to SSRIs for depressed young males and the mass murder rate dropped by 50%?  Then that action cured 50% of the illness.  There is another cause.  Perhaps more.  Each cause requires an action.

Are there Any Other Causes?

Are there any other potential causes of the mass murder illness in the USA?  The situation is actually a bit strange.

If you ask the gun lobby about the cause, the cause is NOT GUNS. But the gun lobby does not suggest a cause, does not recommend any action that might lead to a cure. One common suggestion, MORE GUNS, is simply pouring gasoline on a fire. If the gun lobby is serious about stopping mass murders, they need to suggest an action that can cure.  But they’re too busy protecting their turf.  They don’t want to change.  Society doesn’t want to change.

But we know that every mass murder has a gun, and ammunition. It’s a basic requirement. You might be a mass murderer without one – but you won’t be very successful.

If we ask the drug lobby (yes, the drug lobby exists, although not as visible as the NRI) about the cause, the cause is NOT SSRIs, not drugs (medicines).  But the drug lobby does not propose any cause that leads to a curative action. They’re not interested in solving the problem. They’re too busy protecting their turf. Does every mass murderer have a depression drug problem? Nobody’s keeping track (officially), and this is simply nonsense.  Why do the rights of a mass murderer to medical privacy trump society’s right to understand, to attempt to find a cause, to attempt to find a cure?

Who Is Studying the Problem?

Who is studying this illness?

Is it harder to eliminate SSRS, or guns? Or are there other alternatives.    We’ve heard from the gun lobby again and again.  We’ve heard from the gun opponents again and again.  We’ve heard from the SSRI opponents again and again (but not a peep from the drug suppliers).

What do the scientists say?  What do the researchers say?

There are no researchers, only marketers, only lobbyists, only propaganda, and mass murders.

It’s easy to generate thousands of ideas and share them with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, but we will only know what works – after we take action as a society, not as individuals.

We can only scientifically study ideas when we have a group of independent researchers who are analyzing the problem.  Today, we have groups of lobbyists and marketers, focusing on or against specific issues, avoiding the overall problem – like a group of smokers apologizing for their cough.

Health the Cause

Mass murders are a sign of an unhealthy society.  Lots of mass murders – indicate a severe illness of the society.  The cure is to make the society healthier.

The cure is to find the cause. The cure is the cause.  The cause is key to cure.

The cure is to health the society. Health is a verb.

Health is the best preventative. Health is the best cure. The only true cure.”The Healthicine Creed.

But we don’t study health.  We can’t measure healthiness.  And today, we can’t cure any illness caused by a lack of healthiness.  We treat the signs and symptoms with medicines that numb our senses, and with thoughts and prayers – placebos, designed to make us feel better, without any real change.

to  your health, tracy
Founder: Healthicine

disclosure: I am a Canadian, of Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, German, Irish, American descent. We have way fewer mass murders in Canada than in the USA. On the dimension of mass murders – our Canadian society is healthier than the society in the USA.  I want there to be less, not more – for both countries.


About Tracy Kolenchuk

Founder of Author of two books about healthicine; Healthicine: The Arts and Sciences of Health and Healthiness Healthicine: Introduction to Healthicine
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