Did the shutdown drive mentally ill people over the edge?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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Politics aside, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks in Washington.

On September 25, a man with “the delusional belief that he was being controlled or influenced by extremely low frequency electromagnetic waves” went on a killing spree at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC.

One week later, on Thursday, October 3 (three days after the government shutdown began) a woman was shot and killed after she attempted to ram through a White House barricade.

Five days later, on October 8, a man would set himself on fire on the National Mall.

Fast forward to last night, when shortly before the House voted to reopen the government and raise the debt ceiling, a House stenographer appeared to lose it. “It is deception here,” the woman reportedly yelled. “This is not, one nation under God. It never was. Had it been, it would not have been… It would not have been, the Constitution would not have been written by Free Masons. They go against God. You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve two masters. Praise be to God, Lord Jesus Christ.”

It’s hard to prove that these things are connected, but the number of incidents feels unusual. And aside from this taking place in Washington, DC, the common thread seems to be mental illness. Is this just a coincidence?

During a recent episode of “The Adam and Dr. Drew Show” podcast, Dr. Drew Pinsky said  “[T]his dysfunction — this lack of leadership — is affecting people.”

“I think the reason mentally ill people are driving their cars into the White House and getting shot and stuff is because they’re freaked out,” he continued. “It’s like having parents fighting, and of course, the most sensitive among us act out.”

This may sound paternalistic, but it also sounds like a plausible explanation.