Mass Shooting and Mental Health: The Real Story

This excellent article on the controversy about mass shootings and the political realities for various solutions. It was the lead article in Access/Ability, a publication of Southern Tier Independence Center.–ed

by Ken Dibble

In the wake of the most recent mass shootings and the ongoing drama of people on the far right and the far left baiting each other over immigration, President Trump made statements that characterized mass shootings as a “mental health problem” and suggested that forced institutionalization might be one of the solutions. He’s actually right on the first point, but he’s dead wrong on the second.

Although Trump clearly does deliberately bait the left on the immigration issue in order to provoke hysterical reactions from progressives to entertain and encourage his far-right base, we don’t think he knows enough, or cares enough, about mental health to try to play these games with that issue. He was likely just repeating a common theme that he’s heard elsewhere.

However, lots of disability rights activists took him seriously and issued various statements in opposition. Just about all of these statements made three main points:

1. People with mental health disabilities are more likely to be victims of crimes than to commit them.

2. The percentage of people whose mental illnesses induce violent behavior toward others is vanishingly small.

3. Racial and religious hatred are not mental illnesses, they are just evil.

Some statements also made another point:

Read the rest of the article here.

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