It’s Time To Stop Blaming Mental Illness For Mass Shootings


This morning I got up bright early and got my daughter ready for school. After I dropped her off I gave her a kiss and told her I will see you later. She replies, “I love you mom hope to see you too.” After I replied, “Of course you will,” she says,

“Mom I am scared to go to school, I don’t want to die.”

Those words my daughter said to me this morning broke me. As a parent to hear your own child is afraid for her life is the worst feeling, to know our children are not safe at a place of education, it’s frustrating. Children should not be afraid to go to school.

Then I started to think about past shootings that have occurred and noticed a familiar pattern plays out after every mass shooting in the US.

We blame mental illness for mass shootings. And it needs to STOP.

While many people indeed suffer from mental health problems, not every person who does is violent, and certainly, not all shooters have mental illnesses. I am fucking sick and tired of the media and people, in general, blaming it on a mental illness.

I have a mental illness myself. I suffer from clinical depression, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that makes me feel crazy and fucked up at times, and I can’t help it. I take medication, it helps some. But even at my darkest moments, I would ever in my life intentionally kill innocent people. NEVER.

I have a mental illness, but I am not violent.

Mental illness isn’t a major cause of gun murder or mass shootings. Let’s say that a medical discovery suddenly cures mental illnesses overnight, the violent crime in the US would fall by only 4 percent, according to an estimate from Duke University professor Jeffrey Swanson, a sociologist and psychiatric epidemiologist who studies the relationship between violence and mental illness.

“People with mental illness are people, and the vast majority aren’t any more of a risk than anyone else,” Swanson says.

The day after Stephen Paddock took to a hotel room in Las Vegas with 23 firearms and murdered 59 people this past October, President Donald Trump told reporters that Paddock was “sick” and “demented.”

Another mass shooting happened on February 14th, 2018 in Parkland Florida, where 17 innocent people were killed and AGAIN!!! The President of the United States is quick to say, he was mentally disturbed.

Conversely, there are thousands of people, and especially young men, who might set off warning bells. They act strangely, they’re obsessed with weapons, they engage in various anti-social behaviors, but who will never take a gun to school and open fire.

Second, even if one could more effectively sort the people who are just kind of weird from the people who might be more likely to perpetrate a shooting, what would the government do about it? Put differently, even if people “report such instances to authorities, again and again,” the authorities cannot arrest someone who has not committed a crime, simply because he makes people uncomfortable. Pre-crime is not prosecutable.

Trump said in comments Wednesday morning that in the aftermath of the shooting, he intends to focus on mental health.

I have a question for Mr. Trump.

What have you done to protect our children? What have you done to make sure schools are safe?

Absolutely NOTHING

Because in your words is just “a mental health issue.”

But the convenient cries of “mental health” after mass shootings are worse than hypocritical. They’re factually wrong and stigmatizing to millions of completely nonviolent Americans living with severe mental illness.

If you take time to dig into the research, you’ll find that mental illness doesn’t play the role in mass shootings and other gun violence that many, especially our politicians, seem to think it does.

Ultimately every person chooses that they want to do, there are tons of successful individuals that had a rough past and struggle tremendously and they turned all the struggle into becoming a better person. Some of the best individuals that walked on earth had a tough life.

We need to stop justifying people’s actions. We all struggle. We all have pain.

Generally speaking, people with mental illness are far more likely to be victims of firearm violence than commit it. In reality, people with mental illness are actually considered a vulnerable population. As a result, they are more likely to experience an act of violence against them.

Yet, while most mass shooters in the past 35 years have not been found to have a serious mental illness, nearly all of them do have one thing in common:

Most of them were white men.

We need to look at the variety of factors associated with committing serious violence, such as a history of binge drinking, childhood abuse, living in a neighborhood with a high rate of violent crime, and experiencing stressful life events.

After mass shootings, mental illness is always the scapegoat.

Mass murder isn’t blamed on the mentally ill because they’re responsible; it’s blamed on them because we view them as disposable and because we’ve made it a rhetorical and moral cinch to tie them to these catastrophes.

Not everyone with a mental illness is violent. This vulnerable population needs our protection from the stigma that works to bring it down. While the mental health system is plagued with issues from shortages in providers to funding cuts, lack of mental health treatment should not be the central focus of blame for perpetrators of mass violence.

It’s time to take a more realistic look at the various factors driving these tragedies and shift our focus to real solutions.

Shooters aren’t “crazy”—they’re the inevitable result of how we’ve been living, and the injustices we’ve allowed to fester.

Mental Illness is NOT the issue

Guns DO NOT kill people

We need to face cold truth that we live in a world of cruel, fucked up individuals.

Angry, evil people with guns kill people. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

A writer writing love, life and her cancer journey.💚

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