By Dr. Robert B. Young
More attention is being paid to the role of mental illness in mass shootings the last several years, reasonably so since nearly all the perpetrators seem to have experienced significant reality distortion. Yet mental illness actually plays very little part in the incidence of “gun violence.” That phrase should mean “violence using guns,” but has come to imply, as its anti-gun originators intend, that guns are somehow the cause of the violence. Addressing this question as if the problem is mental illness vs. the availability of guns sets up a false choice. Some, like my fellow physician, Dr. Kimberly Yonkers, in a recent Washington Post opinion piece keep mistaking that one tree for the forest. But far more factors underlie violence, gun-related and otherwise. The problem is not mental illness … and it isn’t guns, either . . .