Cause of Mass Shootings Mental Health?

by blondie 150 Replies latest jw friends

  • blondie

    I have been sad to see so many groups and individuals say that the cause of these events are the mental status of the shooters. I have looked over the backgrounds of these shooters, and few had medically identified mental health issues. It is too easy to think that people shoot or kill other people because they are mentally ill.

    Actually, many or most people with real mental illnesses are most likely to be the victims of others.

    I have been a volunteer with the organization called NAMI (National Alliance of Mental lIllness) for 25 years now. They have some good information on this.

    NAMI Statement On Mass Shootings In Texas And Ohio

    NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is deeply saddened by the tragic events that occurred over the weekend in Texas and Ohio. These mass shootings are far too common and impact every corner of our nation. Every time we experience a tragedy like this, people with mental illness are drawn into the conversation. The truth is that the vast majority of violence is not perpetrated by people with mental illness. Statements to the contrary only serve to perpetuate stigma and distract from the real issues.

    NAMI sees gun violence as a national public health crisis that impacts everyone.

    “In the U.S., it is easier to get a gun than it is to get mental health care,” states Angela Kimball, acting CEO. “We need to flip the script. It should be easy—not hard—for people to get the mental health care they need.”

    Mental health conditions are common around the globe, yet no other country comes close to the number of mass shootings our country experiences. As a nation, we need to address this disturbing fact. We implore and advocate for commonsense approaches to ending gun violence. For example, we support gun violence prevention restraining orders or “Red Flag” laws that don’t target people with mental health conditions, but that allow for the removal of guns from any person who poses a real, evidence-based risk of violence to themselves or others.

    At the same time, we cannot forget that mass shootings result in profound trauma that increases the need for mental health care. One in five American adults experience a mental illness, but only 43% of them accessed care in the last year. There is a severe shortage of mental health professionals - more than 60 percent of all counties in the United States do not even have a single psychiatrist. People with mental health needs, including survivors, their friends and families, and first responders, are experiencing long waits for care, if they can get it at all. It’s time for Congress and the Administration to act and make access to mental health care a national priority for everyone.

    We all want an end to these horrific acts of violence. To achieve this, we need to find meaningful solutions to protect our communities from senseless violence and lasting trauma. We owe it to future generations to end this cycle for everyone, because the status quo is literally killing us.

  • LongHairGal


    I think some of the reason for the mass shootings in the country is because people feel disconnected and isolated (unloved, unwanted, unnoticed) - even in a crowd.

    In generations past there was the extended family and maybe into modern times there was a sense of community at least in smaller towns. Much of this is gone now especially with mobility and people relocating. People don’t stay in the same town their whole lives like many places on the globe. In short, our society is unnatural.

    To add insult to injury, economic instability and other quality of life issues makes it worse.

  • OnTheWayOut

    It is hard for many to think that anyone who would do such terrible things is not mentally disturbed in some way.
    So it's a short jump to go from "disturbed" to "ill."

    Most gang members and criminals would not be diagnosed as mentally ill. Well today, most gang members and criminals (and really just about anyone) have greater access to weapons that aid in mass killings. People in my own circle of family and friends have handguns for protection (which I am not against if they are willing to register, go through training and background checks, and fully recognize that beyond clear personal protection they will have to answer to potential stiff penalties for using that weapon). They start talking about getting bigger magazines (ammunition clips). So even those who have no intention of killing people get armed and ready to do just that. And often, while they stated they wanted a gun for protection, they whip it out and shoot when arguing over a parking space or yelling at their (well-known-to-them) neighbor over using their trash cans. So imagine someone just like that who snaps one day and it doesn't get resolved in one small incident, but festers for a few days. There's a mass shooter. Without easy access to guns, neighbors or strangers used to resort to fists or yelling and the guy who snaps used to write the newspaper.

    There is virtually no correlation between mental illness and mass killings. But there is a huge correlation between those killings and hatred itself. The United States not only has a huge gun mentality, it also has such a huge history of hatred. This ain't no melting pot. The separate groups don't blend very much. And even if they had a legal handgun, most haters in a different country would not have access to assault-style weapons with massive amounts of ammunition firing ability.

    Everyone snaps about something. EVERYONE!!!!! It's a mental thing-sure. But it's not an illness. It's life. Life is just loaded with stress over paying the bills and working and caring for the kids and managing intimate relationships or dealing with family and coworkers. And it should not lead to killing even one person. We should work on the hatred- for sure. But until then, we might consider working on the gun mentality. And we can certainly remove mass killing weapons. If the only thing that worked, yet still allowed people to have their guns, was to allow registered rifles with a long barrel and a single shot, I would be okay with that.

  • My Name is of No Consequence
    My Name is of No Consequence

    Ever since they started closing state mental hospitals, this has been happening.

  • OnTheWayOut

    "Ever since they started closing state mental hospitals, this has been happening."

    That's what we call a non sequitur- a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement. We could argue that so many particular changes happened at the same time that mass killings went up.

    But hey, I won't even make an argument against that. Because I want mental health facilities available to all. There is one area where there will be less killing if that were to happen- suicides.

  • peacefulpete

    Thanks Blondie for being willing to post about this topic. My wife is an Emergency Manager and she is privy to so much more info regarding attempted or threatened and planned shootings. It is really understated in the press just how common it is to make threats to do it and have the means to do it.

    You're experience in dealing with those with mental health issues is valuable in this discussion. Too often we only think of extremely disturbed people with delusions to be mentally ill whereas mental illness includes things as common as depression and anxiety disorders. Those with these more common mental illnesses could be just as much a danger to themselves or others given the right circumstances and have the weaponry. The red flag laws have value but only if the public gets involved (see something-say something) and the authorities are adequately funded.

    Currently a friend of the family is slipping into serious mental illness with delusions and violent temper. She has been taken in handcuffs to the hospital. She just gave birth and the authorities to their credit have not let her take it home but are looking for a foster family. However, she is free to buy a gun, in fact we suspect there are guns in the home. We have been asked if we could take the baby and obviously this has influenced our decision not to.

  • minimus

    You don’t like “mental illness “ as a reason to blame mass murderers. You can think anything you want. “Normal” people don’t shoot up venues. SOMETHING is definitely wrong with them if they decide to murder innocent people. I can understand why mental health organizations would prefer to not have these killers considered mentally ill and shift the responsibility to guns being the problem but I don’t buy it.

  • peacefulpete

    My post was a bit confusing as usual, my point was that it doesn't require a person to have serious mental illness, easily recognizable.

    Another issue is the ease with which a person can ideologically isolate themselves with the internet. A person can feed upon a steady stream of distorted hate filled propaganda if they desire to. Reality becomes warped and any opinion not fitting the world view is railed as fake news or a conspiracy.

  • minimus

    Pete, their minds are warped. Enough said. You are correct.

  • peacefulpete
    Minimus, ....the issue isn't guns, its guns (and assault guns in particular) in the general public, which inevitably involves people with unstable minds or evil intent.. Well trained professional need tools to do their job. I want the police and National guard to have the best and most efficient weapons that they justifiably need. However, I can buy chemicals not available to the public for good public safety reasons. Why do so many gun owners, (I own a hunting shotgun) miss this painfully obvious point. For the good of the public, assault guns belong in the same category as grenades and rocket launchers.

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