February 4, 2013. Largo. (ONN) The story here isn’t that of a crazed teenager who killed two people because he smoked marijuana days before the incident. The real story is that media outlets and right wing political groups have covered up the truth in order to wrongly blame pot smokers for the horrible murder of two people, and protect the real perpetrator in the process – Big Pharma. The 18 year-old killer freely admits, he killed the people to get them to stop forcing him to take the psychiatric drugs that were killing him.
18 year-old Benjamin Bishop says he killed the 2 people who were forcing him to take psych meds against his will.
“Gun Laws didn’t stop Pothead Killer”
That was the headline of a January 29 Accuracy In Media article describing the details of this particular story. Unfortunately, if there’s one thing Accuracy In Media isn’t known for, it’s accuracy in media. The point of the agenda-driven report was supposed to be that gun control laws don’t work and don’t stop murderers from buying guns and killing people. But the conservative group also decided to change the actual cause of the murders from psychiatric drugs to marijuana. It never ceases to amaze this author just how far the tentacles of Big Pharma reach.
‘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,’ the AIM story begins, ‘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.’
As the actual evidence that past marijuana smoking turned 18 year-old Benjamin Bishop into a zombie pothead killer, Accuracy In Media gives us this one, single quote from the Tampa Bay Times article: ‘In a jailhouse interview, “He talked about how he liked to smoke pot.”’ AIM doesn’t stop there. Consider this sentence describing President Obama’s past marijuana use: ‘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.’
Now all AIM has to do is explain how one might inhale something ‘partially’ into the lungs. And let’s not forget about all the cigarette smokers in the world, who according to AIM, are also practicing “total absorption”, since apparently it’s just another term for “inhaling”.
By the end of their own article, AIM changes their entire argument. Instead of marijuana turning Bishop into a zombie pothead killer, the author suggests the murders were the result of ‘mental illness caused or exacerbated by pot smoking’. Perhaps showing their true motive, the conservative group writes, ‘In the US, 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 AIM write-up finishes by calling medical marijuana ‘modern day quackery’. For those who believe they may have a problem, marijuana abuse treatment is available.
The real story
A visit to the original report from the Tampa Bay Times presents a drastically different story. Amazingly enough, at the center of the two grizzly murders are psychiatric drugs, not marijuana. But that fact is conspicuously absent from the ironically-named Accuracy In Media article. The real story begins with the fact that on October 28, 2012, Benjamin Bishop shot and killed his mother and her boyfriend while they slept.
Why did he do it? According to Bishop, his mother and her boyfriend were forcing him to take the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. Like most pharmaceutical drugs, the list of side effects is a mile long and includes almost every physical, emotional and psychological negative reaction imaginable. Benjamin Bishop hated the drug. It gave him chest pains, back aches, and crazy dreams. He quit taking it because he swore it was killing him. When his mother and her boyfriend forced him to choose between taking the drug and being kicked out of their house, Bishop panicked and made up his own option – he killed them.
Looking back at Benjamin Bishop’s life from age 14 on, it’s obvious he had psychiatric problems. True, he was a long time pot smoker. As early as age 14 he was smoking pot. And even then, he was telling people how he had been attacked by a foreign-speaking ghost. That story itself raises suspicion because he says the ghost, “was speaking Japanese, or it could have been speaking in German.” One would think that even someone who’s not a second generation Japanese American, as Bishop is, could tell the difference between someone speaking Japanese or German.
By age 15, Bishop was cutting school more than he was attending and spending most of his time ‘puttering, stoned, around the house’. He recalls telling people about another psychedelic experience he had. While watching TV, he heard a cat meowing to his left. Seeing one of his cats sleeping to his right, he couldn’t imagine where the meowing was coming from. It freaked him out so much, he says, that he ran outside in a panic.
From age 15 to 17, medical professionals had diagnosed Benjamin Bishop with schizophrenia. In 2011, at age 17, Bishop was being forced to take the antipsychotic drug Risperdal. But he was having such horrible physical side effects, he stopped taking it. When his mother and her live-in boyfriend threatened to kick him out into the street if he didn’t go back on the drugs, he decided to buy a gun.
Break down in Gun Control laws
Getting back to AIM’s original point, the current gun control laws on the books did little or nothing to stop Benjamin Bishop from purchasing a shotgun and ammunition. Over the course of 2011, Bishop had numerous run-ins with the law over incidents at home where he became violent. In one episode, he pranced around the house smashing holes in the walls and proclaiming that he was Osama bin Laden. In another incident, he attempted to strangle his mother, an act he was convicted of battery for. In a third episode, he was caught with a knife at school.
Because of his conviction for carrying the knife, not because of his diagnosed mental illness, Bishop could not legally buy a gun in Florida where he lived. Since a judge had never declared him legally insane, he never made it onto any state lists of the mentally ill. But his arrest and conviction for the knife on school grounds put him in the same category as convicted felons.
On his first attempt to purchase the shotgun from his local Lock-N-Load, the store clerk refused to sell him the gun because of his criminal conviction. Bishop left, returning a short time later with a friend and fellow 18 year-old who purchased the shotgun for him. The act is called using a ‘straw buyer’ and is illegal under federal law. So far, the straw buyer that bought the gun for Bishop isn’t being charged in lieu of his cooperation with prosecutors and in exchange for his testimony.
Bishop immediately realized he had a new problem. He didn’t have any ammunition for his new shotgun. But he discovered that state and federal law only make it illegal for him to possess ammunition. There is no mandatory background check for people who are purchasing ammunition. Bishop simply went back to the store and bought the shells himself. He should have sought marijuana abuse treatment instead.
Summing up the final days before he murdered his mother and her boyfriend in the middle of the night, Benjamin Bishop recalls, “I was, like, in a rage. I was throwing doors down and stuff. I was cussing out my mom’s boyfriend. I was mad at my mom because she was forcing me on medication.” At 1:30 am, he crept into their bedroom and shot them six times with his new 12-gauge shotgun.
When asked during the Tampa Bay Times jailhouse interview about his thoughts on the current gun control debate and whether guns should be illegal, Bishop replied, “Honestly, I don’t think they should. Guns are pretty fun to shoot. I don’t know. Just don’t give it to somebody who’s going to end up killing a bunch of innocent 6-year-olds.”