The efforts by Leftists to downplay the role of mental illness in mass shootings are simply misleading. There is a clear relationship between mental illness and mass public shootings. However that observation does nothing to advance the gun control narrative.
According to two authors writing in the Los Angeles Times, at the broadest level, peer-reviewed research has shown that individuals with major mental disorders (those that substantially interfere with life activities) are more likely to commit violent acts, especially if they abuse drugs. When we focus more narrowly on mass public shootings — an extreme and, fortunately, rare form of violence — we see a relatively high rate of mental illness.
So indeed, the science back up what we have been saying for some time…thes shooters are psycho whack-jobs. Sorry Leftists, it’s the shooter, not the gun that needs to be banned.
These authors’ research indicates that at least 59% of the 185 public mass shootings that took place in the United States from 1900 through 2017 were carried out by people who had either been diagnosed with a mental disorder or demonstrated signs of serious mental illness prior to the attack.
Mother Jones found a similarly high rate of potential mental health problems among perpetrators of mass shootings — 61% — when the magazine examined 62 cases in 2012.
That’s right, one of the Left’s flagship publications agrees. It’s the shooter, not the gun.
Both rates are considerably higher than those found in the general population — more than three times higher than the rate of mental illness found among American adults, and about 15 times higher than the rate of serious mental illness found among American adults.
One of the primary reasons some are reluctant to establish the link between mass shootings and mental illness is a fear that it will lead to the stigmatization of such disorders. This concern is valid. The vast majority of people with mental disorders are not violent, after all. Plus it’s way easier, and politically satisfying to stigmatize guns.