Mental illness
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Following [mass shootings], the national conversation quickly shifts to discuss mental illness as the culprit. Policymakers discuss the need for more mental health services and programs that keep “dangerous people with mental illness” off the streets. But these talking points perpetuate a false narrative and play on the fears and anxiety of the public. The data tells a much different story. People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators, and severe mental illness can only be attributed to 3 to 5 percent of violent acts in communities.  

Mental health conditions are common around the globe, yet no other country comes close to the level of gun violence our country experiences. Americans kill each other with guns at 25 times the rate of other high-income countries. It is not because we have 25 times the proportion of people with mental illness.  

Scapegoating mental illness takes us further away from finding solutions to the gun violence crisis. While it’s true that our country is in the midst of a mental health crisis and a gun violence crisis, those are not the same issues. We must stop conflating these public health crises and instead use research and data to understand what is causing harm to our communities. 

Most gun deaths are not the result of mass violence but are the result of suicide. Gun suicides account for over half of all gun deaths in the U.S. each year, contributing to suicides becoming a leading cause of death in America. Suicide rates reached a record high in 2022, with about 49,500 suicide deaths — more than half (26,993) the result of firearms. This number represents the majority of all gun deaths.

Tragically, it is also a record high for gun-related suicides. Suicide doesn’t just affect the person who dies; it shatters families and devastates communities. Instead of perpetuating the stigma around mental illness, we must do all we can to protect those most vulnerable to gun suicide. The solutions to gun violence, like its causes, must be driven by facts, not perception and ideology.  …

Mental health is not the cause of gun violence in America, and we must stop viewing it as the root of this crisis. Together, if we shift our culture and amend our understanding of the relationship between mental health and guns, we can save lives. 

— Kris Brown and Daniel H. Gillison, Jr. in Act on the Facts About Mental Health and Gun Violence

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88 COMMENTS

  1. Of course, it’s perfectly sane to murder! Free speech is awesome but I’m not sure some should have it….

  2. If someone is intent on suicide, locking up or getting rid of firearms isn’t going to stop them. There would still be bridges, cars, knives, ropes, and innumerable other ways to off oneself.

    • Throughout the world, gun ownership rates and suicide rates do not correlate.

      That is, there are countries with high suicide rates and high gun ownership rates, and there are countries with low suicide rates and high gun ownership rates. There are countries with high suicide rates and low gun ownership rates, and there countries with low suicide rates and low gun ownership rates.

      The method used for suicide varies greatly, though there are trends by area of the world. As it happens, killing yourself (when you are actually trying) isn’t very hard.

      That gun control advocates keep talking about suicide for gun control just shows their dishonesty. Or, for some of them, their ignorance and gullibility.

  3. If having a clear disregard for the well being of your fellow humans to the point of murdering them isn’t mental illness then what is? Psychiatry and psychology have truly been captured if they don’t think mental illness lies at the root cause of this. Even in Europe where they actually do screen gun owners for psychiatric conditions they somehow realize mental illness is an issue.

    Hint: schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder anyone???

    • I remember when the latter was called psychopathy, generally more accurate in communicating the nature of the condition to those not involved in psychology.

    • “If having a clear disregard for the well being of your fellow humans to the point of murdering them isn’t mental illness then what is?”

      A whole lot of stuff! What freaking planet are you from, anyway? Are you planning on giving pigs that eat their young therapy?

      Violence is the norm on this planet, and war is constant among humans, whether country on country, religion on religion, sibling on sibling, or spouse on spouse.

      It is peace and love hippies that are the weirdos, ie, off in left field.

      I am not saying that is desirable, but calling criminals “sick” is ridiculous – and arguably how we got Portland, Chicago and SF…

        • some humans seem more prone to violence than others…are they all mentally ill?…or just less willing to accept social and legal restraints?

        • @ XZX Blanket statements such as yours are in fact ” writing off” and going by your past posts it is your go to for the topic du jour.

  4. kill each other with guns at 25 times the rate of other high-income countries

    Two qualifiers that kill their whole argument: narrowing the scope to “with guns” and “high-income” (libspeak for huwyte) countries.

    You can make a picture look like anything when you build the frame.

  5. So, if I understand these fools, they are saying that NORMAL PEOPLE shoot up schools and churches and other random “gun free zones”, because . . . it’s the gun? Normal people? Really?

    Well, I got news for Brown and Gillison – neither one of them is rational, nor sane. I hope to he11 that they don’t own guns!

    Normal people have owned guns for decades, just like myself, and have never even pointed a gun at another human being, let alone shoot at them, or shoot them. Normal people don’t leave the house in the morning, with a map of some nearby campus, determined to run up a body count at that campus.

    Mental illness is a major component of most mass shootings, no matter how you analyze the data.

    • “Normal people have owned guns for decades, just like myself, and have never even pointed a gun at another human being”

      True. But we were carefully *taught* that, it did not come natural. What comes natural is stealing horse and women from the folks on the other side of the river.

  6. So, wait a sec…. Most gun deaths are suicide. The author concedes that fact.

    But suicide has nothing to do with mental health? Is that the author’s point? Really? That’s quite the revelation!

      • LOL @ “Mental health equity!”

        “Equity” is the new dog whistle. What they’re saying is that equal OPPORTUNITY isn’t enough. They demand equal OUTCOMES (regardless of effort, investment, commitment, etc).

        PS… HA! First time a comment of mine is “awaiting moderation.”

        • The Left don’t want a level playing field. They all players the same height. Then they want to be the referees. Really, really big, powerful referees…

      • Mental health equity is the professional field for ignoring mental health issues.
        Like all the dudes who think theyre chicks and all the zombies on Kensington Ave.

        These are all choices. Brave and strong. Not illnesses.

      • “Mental health equity?”

        Leftists are crazy, and because misery loves company, they want us to be crazy also.

  7. After public outcry of concerns when the insane asylums were closed and the inmates released decades ago would lead to a surge in violent crime, the Leftists kept insisting that the mentally-ill were no more dangerous than anyone else in the community.

    What is it Leftist Scum ™, are the mentally-ill safe to be released on the streets?

  8. “Gun Violence” does not exist. It in itself is a made up phrase designed to provoke an emotional response based on fear.

    “Mental Illness” does exist but is conflated with motivated frustration. The Democrat left refuses to actually deal with any of this. So it festers and metastasizes.

    You cannot transform this country and turn it socialist without making everyone angry, frustrated, and crazy. But that’s the point though. Too many on the left are actively pushing for this and too many on the right are just sitting there letting it happen. The fix for this cannot happen until people start taking care of their responsibilities again.

    Biden is not fit for office and it’s his mental illness that has so many Americans hamstrung. He is bringing the nations of this planet into another world war. But too many people are obsessed with the whole ‘get Trump’ lunacy to even see the reality right in front of them. These people are even threatening the cohesive collective power of these united states through their hatred of it.

    Washington sets the mood for this country. It always has. Those with their hands on the levers of power suffer from mental illness (among other things).

  9. Mental illness DOES play a part in all the incidents, I mean you gotta be phuked up to wanna kill other people, but the real culprit is little to no upbringing and peer influence!

    • Missing father/broken home + gang influence. Adjust terms for cultural relevance for similar results.

  10. I guess it all depends on how one defines mental illness.
    Most mass shootings are done by Democrats.
    All Democrats are mentally ill.
    From that, one can conclude that roughly 95% of shootings are done by mentally ill people.

  11. 1. Suicide ideation driving to suicide or suicide attempt is mental illness, no matter if the method is a gun or hanging or drug OD or what ever. Period. Its already ‘settled science’ in the mental health community.

    2. All mass shooters are mentally ill, even if its not been actually diagnosed. Its already ‘settled science’ in the mental health community, and even the creators of the ‘safer communities act’ acknowledged, in their own words that its known that 100% of mass shooters are mentally ill. For example:

    In the Journal of Threat Assessment and Management, (Lankford, A., & Cowan, R. G. (2020)) ( https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Ftam0000151 )

    … Cowan writes of their research they “…closely analyzed public mass shooters who attacked in the United States from 1966 to 2019 and found that correlates of mental illness were approximately equally common among perpetrators, whether they had been coded as mentally ill or not.”

    Forensic psychiatrists James L. Knoll IV, MD, and George D. Annas, MD, MPH, of SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse New York, both leading authorities on the mental health aspects of mass shooters, summed it up for the issue for the mental health community various studies on various aspects in terms of mass shooters…. Although mass shooters may not meet DSM-5 criteria for a recognized disorder, “they do have an ill-defined trouble of the mind for which the mental health field has no immediate, quick-acting ‘treatment,’” – in other words, mass shooters do have mental illness driving them but not something clearly defined and for which the mental health community basically has no treatment.

    This idiot is pulling an old deception trick that was tried before in the last decade, hes basically regurgitating it: The trick is to only talk about those which are diagnosed in such a way to imply that its all mentally ill.

    Its trying to say, basically, its not the person or the mental illness but its the gun. Its trying to refocus back to the gun because as of late newer research is beginning to substantiate it further that mental illness is the main driving factor behind mass/school shootings and murders. This is an old anti-gun agenda trick made new again.

    The majority of killers have never been diagnosed. The majority of killers and violent people are mentally ill, period, and its that mental illness that drives them to commit the violence they commit.

    “Suicide rates reached a record high in 2022, with about 49,500 suicide deaths — more than half (26,993) the result of firearms.”

    although a bunch of those gun suicides were later further investigated and determined to have actually been accidents or murder staged to look like suicide – and not actually suicide, sadly these numbers are never removed from the stats. (on average, about 66% of suicides are later, sometimes many years later, re-investigated and found to have been accident or murder staged to look like suicide). Most suicides that appear in stats are ruled suicide based upon incomplete or inaccurate information or what is essentially a guess and not on actual evidence.

    But something else also that’s rarely thought about, ~30% of that 26,993 were terminally ill people who in their ideation fixation on their illness and suffering arrived at the conclusion that they would simply end it – none of these committed suicide simply because they had a knee jerk moment of crisis and there was a gun in the home like the anti-gun like to claim or were more likely to commit suicide because there was a gun in the home like the anti-gun like to claim. Their terminally ill disease with the pain and suffering drove them into ideation about ending their lives. And although the ideation is mental illness, its logical conclusion for them was they were going to die anyway and it was going to get worse before they died and place more strain on their families emotionally and financially. The end result would have been the same if they had gone through with a ‘legally prescribed medically assisted’ demise.

    • “mass shooters do have mental illness driving them but not something clearly defined”

      It’s called inviting evil into yourself and allowing it to run rampant (hardened heart). How could something be bad if it’s something we want? Shouldn’t we all be our “true” selves? Should society promote following and acting on your base emotions and desires? Or should society promote restraint and virtue? What could go wrong?

    • I don’t remember everything I learned in Statistics in college engineering classes, but I do recall that specific numbers culled out of a round total are highly suspect.
      Such as 26,993 (gun suicides) out of “about” 49,500.
      Sounds like about 96.8627 % made-up-$hi+ to me.

      • Exactly correct. Significant figures and such.

        Remember, 3/4 of all statistics are made up on the fly, ad hoc numbers at best.

    • “All mass shooters are mentally ill, even if its not been actually diagnosed. Its already ‘settled science’ in the mental health community,…”

      Follow the money. Think of all the people who will be paid in money and/or status to feed, house, study, contain, evaluate and generally.maintain the Parkland shooter.- likely for DECADES -:from the architect who designed the prison. to the undertaker who will eventually bury him.

      Executing him in timely fashion would be an economic catastrophe. So he is “crazy”…

      • Psychiatrists & surgeons represent the highest suicide rates among ‘among physicians’ (with female ‘physicians’ being more at risk overall) – about 28 – 40 per 100,000 which is almost double the general population.

    • annually, ~12.3 million people have serious suicide ideation.

      annually, ~3.5 million with suicide ideation actually plan their suicides, less than 0.7% plan to use a firearm.

      annually, ~2 million with suicide ideation attempt their suicide and are not successful, less than 0.3% use a firearm (no, firearms in suicide use are not always lethal). ~95% of these will try again at some future date if they survived the first attempt and are still physically able to do so. Some of that 97% will ‘establish residency’ in a state where ‘medically assisted suicide’ is legal and simply travel there when they arrive at that time of their desired departure.

      The CDC’s statistics for suicide do not include ‘assisted suicide’, nor does the CDC include the suicide-by-choice method of do-not-resuscitate of ~70,000 annually.

  12. “Scapegoating mental illness takes us further away from finding solutions to the gun violence crisis.”

    If the argument were: ‘lock-up the mentally ill so they can’t commit gun violence’ then THAT WOULD BE scapegoating. And here, I would agree. However, I do NOT see much of this. America is not going to lock-up the mentally ill.

    The problem is that mental illness IS at the heart of most gun violence. And it doesn’t matter that the mentally ill are more often victimized. If and to the extent that’s true, the mentally ill victims need help treating their mental illness to make them less vulnerable.

    The fact is that there IS a GREAT treatment for SUICIDAL IDEATION. Ketamine has been known for 20 years. But government and psychiatrists don’t want to promote it. They are too deeply invested in the war on drugs. Yet, ketamine is cheap, easy and about 60% effective. We could easily cut suicide by 1/3, maybe even 1/2 if this treatment were widely deployed. And that’s both gun suicides and suicides by other means.

    It would be trivial to prove in a large-scale clinical trial. Everything is in place to launch a clinical trial in hospital ERs. Give half of walk-in suicide ideation patients a course of ketamine and the other half a placibo and see the comparative outcomes. How many in each group show dramatic reductions in their suicidal ideation? The cost of such a trial would be trivial because everything is already in place. The ERs are already there. They are treating the patients anyway.

    There is NO GOOD REASON NOT to pursue ketamine aggressively in the fight to reduce suicide. The only reason it’s not being pursued is prejudice and taboo. We embrace prejudice and taboo more tightly than our lip service about suicide and other mental illnesses.

    The fact is, no one is interested in solving the problem. A great solution is well-established as effective, but no one will look into it. We in the gun rights community are equally guilty of ignoring this solution that could take a large fraction of the gun death statistics off-the-table.

    Observe that there will be no follow-up comments to this one. No one cares. No one is interested. Isn’t that ironic?

    • “The problem is that mental illness IS at the heart of most gun violence.”

      I’m not so certain. Murder, by the easiest means available, has always been a human trait. It is referred to, and incidents illustrated so often in The Bible that I have to wonder if is isn’t actually a natural human tendency, and more common than modern civilized humans want to admit. It may well be that human beings, living together “peacefully” in large, diverse population centers, is counter to all of the latent animal nature beneath our veneer.

      • Mental illness is “a natural human tendency, and more common than modern civilized humans want to admit.” Written history is replete with descriptions of illnesses that we now identify as mental-illnesses. The costs to society are not confined to violence. The violence is the tip of the iceberg. Most of the costs are in human suffering that does not lead to either suicide or violence. And that manifests in economic productivity. And it proliferates through generations.

        Two things have changed over the centuries. The tools we have for killing have become much more effective, efficient. This plays itself out in warfare. And to a trivial degree, in mass public shootings. And America is not unique as John Lott Jr. has documented.

        I think there may be something to living in large diverse population centers. But we can’t do anything about this. Living densely has too many compelling economic advantages.

        What we can do something about is C-PTSD.

      • we started out as killer apes…in many respects we still are….religion has been a moderating influence but seems to be going by the wayside for many these days…..

    • Ketamine treatment for depression & PTSD is great. I know several people who use it effectively. NOW what is your solution for EVIL which is the cause of most murders.
      P.S. Let’s quit conflating suicide with murder by firearm.

      • I do NOT conflate suicide, murder, or accidents. They are very independent issues. I resent that the gun controllers conflate them under the banner of “gun violence.”

        “NOW what is your solution for EVIL which is the cause of most murders.”

        I don’t think that referencing “evil” sheds any light. It simply inflames the argument.

        Violence (with some exceptions such as military, police, self-defence) is – I think – largely a mental illness problem.

        One of my psychiatrist friends made a distinction. If I understand him correctly, he said that most violence is by people with personality disorders that are not necessarily mental illnesses. Perhaps he has a point that is technically correct. He is a psychiatrist, so I have to defer to him on the semantics of the terminology. In any case, I construe personality disorders as a form of mental illness.
        Mental illness comes in such diverse forms that it defies any simple solution. It’s foolish to think that there is a simple, broad-based solution.
        Nevertheless, I’m going to hazard one. I believe that there is an “epidemic” of C-PTSD in America, and probably lots of other countries; perhaps its endemic to the human condition. And when it gets bad enough, it leads to chronic crime and violence. C-PTSD is usually (not universally) a problem that comes from trauma in childhood. Its origins are from cradle to kindergarten. It’s notoriously difficult to treat; much like PTSD.
        (There is an important distinction to recognize. I do not believe that patients’ diagnoses are equally distributed across the enumerations in the DSM-V. That the number of schizophrenics is equal to the number with major depressive disorder. So, the solutions that are readily available don’t apply to the majority of the enumerated diagnoses in the DSM-V. However, the readily available solutions COULD apply to most individuals who suffer from mental illnesses. The solutions are very promising for the population of mental illness sufferers even if they are not promising for the majority of DSM-V enumerated diagnoses.)
        Nevertheless, C-PTSD IS treatable. The three most promising drugs to treat it are MDMA, ketamine, and psilocybin (mushrooms). And, I believe it takes enough really good psychotherapy to effectively treat it. That these three drugs are effective is confirmed to me by the legal dealer of MDMA. (Bit of a trick to find him because MDMA is illegal world-wide. But, those are the facts. His opinion is very authoritative. Furthermore, the effectiveness of MDMA has just been proven in two Phase III clinical trials.)
        Still, MDMA and psilocybin remain illegal. Ketamine is legal. It’s cheap ($250/kg). It’s relatively easy to administer. It’s extremely safe; we’ve known that for 50 years. It’s very effective for treating suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD/C-PTSD.

        We still have a needle-in-a-haystack problem. How do we identify a target patient population – say the South Side of Chicago as an example – and then identify the 1% – 3% of that population that would benefit from treatment using one of these three drugs plus intensive psychotherapy? By psychotherapists who are effective. (I believe a majority of psychotherapists are useless for anyone.)

        I have NO solution to this problem. And I think I understand this problem remarkably well!

        Nevertheless, if our society had a will – which it certainly does NOT have – society could start pilot projects to bring ketamine to these target “markets” along with some psychotherapy. And see what the results are. Simply alleviating depression and anxiety would make the patients more productive lowering the social costs of low productivity. The pay-off for the solution would undoubtedly come from savings and benefits entirely INDEPENDENT from gun-violence mitigation. If we could detect gun-violence mitigation as an incidental side-effect that would be great. However, I suspect that the numerical impact would be so small (because of the needle in haystack phenomena) that it would be a very long term result waiting to be observed. We gun owners need to be cognizant that the 2A isn’t the ONLY issue we ought to be concerned with. There are lots of other social issues that should be on our agendas.
        One thing that remains clear to me. Bringing ketamine to the gun-owning population could have a very prompt impact on gunshot suicides. The target market is clear. Old-fat-white-guys who are depressed. This is not a difficult market to identify. Ask these OFWGs: ‘Do you want to feel better? Do you want your suicidal ideation to be relieved?’ They should be willing “buyers” of the message. Try this in the top six gunshot suicide states. If gunshot suicides drop in these states then roll it out to the other 44 states. If it works elsewhere, make ketamine available to non-gun-owners.

        But nobody cares. Gun-controllers don’t care because they don’t care about the gun owners who suicide. Moreover, they need these suicides to justify the campaign for gun-control. Gun rights advocates don’t care because they don’t see how gunshot suicides hurt the cause of gun rights. Since they don’t see any connection between the politics of gun control and gunshot suicides, the latter is a NON-issue for them.

        Ketamine would be the easy part to implement. We could see what results come from ketamine without psychotherapy. They could be remarkable.

        The psychotherapy part would be difficult to crack. But not impossible.
        This will sound incredulous. Nevertheless, it’s true. I get great, extremely effective psychotherapy for $35/hr. My C-PTSD has improved immeasurably over the last year. I solved this problem by myself and for a few of my friends, so the problem IS solvable. It just can’t happen at scale in America.

        You, Mule, for one, seem to be interested. I’m happy to discuss this with you if you are interested. You can email me at [email protected]

        • the south side of Chicago has a cultural problem…not a mental health one…do these young people even consider the consequences of their acts?…or is it just part of their everyday existence?…normal behavior for them…

        • @ frank speak. It’s both. A culture can be fraught with mental illness. There is nothing mutually exclusive about mental illness and culture.

          A culture that manages to avoid creating C-PTSD in its infants and young children is going to manifest a lot less mental illness. Conversely, a culture that promotes a lot of C-PTSD in its children is going to manifest a lot of metal illness.
          Look at suicide rates by country. Japan and South Korea have high rates of suicide. They are prosperous countries so it’s not poverty that is producing this suicide. It’s probably the culture.
          There are countries in the Caribbean with very low suicide rates. These are not prosperous countries. It’s probably the culture.

  13. “Americans kill each other with guns at 25 times the rate of other high-income countries…”

    Well, perhaps we need to discover whether the overall “killing rate” (as opposed to murder) is all that much higher, when considering all causes, than that of other countries, regardless of income. Far and away, when considering all forms of non-natural death, a person’s own government is more likely to cause the death of its own citizens than some cretin with a firearm. Historically, all of the great genocides have been accomplished with the tacet, or even advocated approval of the majority of the citizenry, and such is still going on with great success around the world today. We must realize that a similar situation exists in the US right now, as the majority of inner-city, primarily Black murder victims, are the result of metro government prosecutors allowing known thugs to roam free on the general public without locking them up or bringing them to justice. The majority of “the blood” is therefor on the hands of the government.

    To hell with the income level of the nation or its victims. It matters little to the dead victim whether he/she/it was killed by a gangsta in a drug war, psychotropic depression drug-addled “patient” in a GFZ, jilted ex-lover like the old Harvey Milk incident, or any other situation merely because a firearm was used to snuff their existence. While the bed-wetting rabbit people blame a “proliferation of American firearms” for the elevated murder rate in many US metro areas, the real killers actually do a fantastic job with bats, clubs, bricks, vehicles, even mere hands and feet.

    The majority of victims in the US, excluding suicides, are the direct result of the inaction of the governing authorities, and not because they haven’t done enough to either ban firearms or follow through with un-Constitutional ERPOs or other civilian disarmament schemes. Refusing to lock up, or even hold people with long histories of known violence and crime contributes more to rising American crime and murder rates than all other causes.

    • All your points are very well taken. I do not dispute any of them.

      But what is the theme for us here as members of the TTAG community?

      We are interested in gun-rights. Gun-control is our enemy. The American statistics on suicides (mainly) and gun violence (secondarily) are the driving force behind gun-control. And we the PotG DO NOT CARE about these statistics. We are so fixated on the principle of the 2A that nothing involving the politics attracts our attention.

      We do not even care that our fellow gun-owners are committing suicide by guns, creating the gun death statistics that the gun-controllers use effectively to clamor for gun-control.

      If we had an instant cure for gunshot suicides we would ignore it. I don’t think there is an instant cure for gunshot suicides. But there is a cheap and easy way to cut the figure to 1/3, maybe even 1/2. And to cut all suicides to 1/3 or 1/2. But we do not care.

      • “The American statistics on suicides (mainly) and gun violence (secondarily) are the driving force behind gun-control.”

        I disagree with this statement. The desire to disarm the general public is no different now than throughout all history: keep the rulers, be they benevolent, tyrannical, or anything in-between, safe from the unwashed and to elevate and preserve the elite above the rest.

        I also do not agree with many of your comments pertaining to “mental illness”. Labeling certain human behavior and pigeonholing humans into categories is rather new over the past 125 years of some 5000+ years of human history. We now desperately try to explain away things that have taken place since Cain cracked Abel with a rock. In the past, humans just didn’t have time to sit around and speculate- they had to act for their own well being and survival or become victims. Things were already tough enough then.

        Similar categories are now prevalent in American public education, where nearly every student today is classified as a member of some special needs population. The primary reason? Chasing the government money that is thrown at the special programs. (Remember the attempt to hold the Feds ransom over Ebonics back 30 years ago? MONEY!).

        One would think, having spent zillions on special Ed programs, we’d have the greatest public education system in the world. Instead, the opposite is the reality. In all seriousness, and with all due respect, Americans need to get back on the reality train and stop making blanket excuses for people who (often) willingly and knowingly behave in a counterculture and uncivilized manner. I believe the psychological term for the current trend is “enabling”.

        • “The desire to disarm the general public . . . : keep the rulers, . . . , safe from the unwashed and to elevate and preserve the elite above the rest.”

          I agree. That’s the main motivation. Now, do you see the gun controllers making this statement to the public to justify their proposed gun control? I haven’t seen this given as the justification.
          Instead, I see the gun controllers quoting statistics on gunshot deaths. I see them wading in the blood of mass shootings.

          There is not a lot we can do about the gun controllers using dramatic cases such as school shootings. Blood sells newspapers and makes public policy.

          Can we do something about the statistics? In the case of suicides, I believe we could do so. And that would help to take some of the wind out of the gun controllers’ sails. This would be a politically astute tactic. And it would save a lot of lives. Not only gun-owners’ lives, but also lives of non-gun-owners who suicide by other means.

          We could do something to save lives and reduce the aggregate gunshot death statistics. But we PotG are not interested in saving lives. Not even the lives of our fellow gun owners. We would rather talk about the true motivations of the gun controllers. OK, I got that.

          I agree that violence is an aspect of human existence since Cain and Able. We can have more or less violence. The book “The Better Angles of Our Nature” argues that violence has actually declined.
          Actually, I’m not so much interested in trying to deal with the problem of violence. I’m more interested in dealing with the problem of mental illness. The cost of human suffering and loss of productivity simply from depression is on a scale vastly larger than the cost wrought by violence.
          We can do something about mental illness. And if we did something effective about mental illness we could reduce gunshot deaths.
          If we treated suicidal ideation and cut the number in half we would save lives lost to suicide. If we treated C-PTSD I think we could reduce a lot of violence. The case is clear and strong for suicide. It’s more speculative for inter-personal violence.
          In any case, no one in America is really interested in trying to treat mental illness effectively. We think mental illness is intractable. But this is – I’m convinced – a mistake. A lot of mental illness is treatable effectively and economically.

  14. As usual, absolute tripe.

    According to Pewresearch.org article “what the data says about gun deaths in the US”, in 2021 48,830 people died in some fashion related to guns. During the same year, 103 people died in mass shootings. Thus, mass shootings were .002% of all gun deaths.

    But the authors of this article say 3-5% of violence with guns can be attributed to mental illness. It is no stretch at all to believe all mass shootings that aren’t gang/crime related could EASILY fall into that 3-5% when the sum of all mass shootings victims is that incredibly low number of the total. Especially if somehow, magically, suicide isn’t a mental illness as they have qualified. Otherwise mental illness would be seen as responsible for 60% of all deaths using guns.

    • I believe that all mass shootings in the U.S. that are not gang/alcohol related (and those are the majority of all mass shootings) are either the result of terrorism or mental illness.

      • I agree. And terrorism is probably in large part mental illness as well.

        The great difficulty here is that mass shootings – and therefore mass shooters – are needles in a haystack.

        The haystack of mentally ill people is enormous. Look at the statistics for people with major depressive disorder or suicidal ideation. Almost none of these people will become mass-shooters. So finding these few among all the mentally ill is an impossible task.

        Conversely, finding those with suicidal ideation should be fairly straightforward. Post a billboard: “Do you feel like ending your life? Call 1-800-123-4567 and ask about a solution that might make you feel better in 2 hours, 2 days or 2 weeks.”

  15. Gun banners view all gun owners as mentally ill by default. To them owning a gun or wanting to own a gun is in of itself mental illness and by extension should be legally banned from owning guns.

    And you know they would love to pass legislation making that law. Which EVERY court except the 5th circuit would uphold

    • …..and gun owners need to understand just how they view us…it’s really an unbridgeable gap…you can’t reason with these people and their irrational drive to feel “safe”….

  16. “People with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators, and severe mental illness can only be attributed to 3 to 5 percent of violent acts in communities.”

    So, square that with the fact that lawful gun owners (especially those who have concealed carry permits) are among the most law abiding people on the planet. You end up with mental illness and criminality. Not all criminals are mentally ill (although the proportion is debatable) and not all mental illness results in criminality, but you can’t say that gun ownership results in criminality.

  17. Watching the NYC-centered news last night showing a fellow get stabbed to death by a local loony. When you use the streets as your psych ward this is what you get.

    • But, but, the victim told the killer to “Chill, man, chill!” in a Firm Voice.

      The good news is that Bragg is not pursuing charges against the deceased.

    • You can’t be calling people ‘psychotic’. Thats demeaning and bad for their emotional self being. Tisk…Tisk…Tisk./

  18. Violent acts perpetrated with firearms/weapons has absolutely nothing to do with mental illness, unless you count the people who are trying to connect the two together in a cause and effect scenario. The violent acts that are perpetrated by criminals with firearms have everything to do with the Evil, that comes with a lack of morals and ethics. Nothing more…nothing less. Period!!! The dangers coming from allowing the mental illness defense to be used, only allows that same diagnosis to be used as a weapon for depriving someone of their 2nd Amendment Rights. Which are already under attack by Liberal/Progressive democrats and many in the medical community. Along with that danger comes the associated danger of ‘Who’ gets to decide if you are mentally ill. which will likely be decided by some one who already has a political objective behind their decision making process.

    • I am not sure I disagree, but what about the guy that thought the meter reader was an 8′ tall alien emitting a deadly blue light?

    • “failed’ one psych test…asked to be retested…second examiner said the first one was “nuts”…and I passed easily….[true story]

  19. As one First Responder said ” I have saved many people who tried to commit suicide by drowning themselves, hanging themselves, overdosing deliberately on prescription drugs, took poison etc etc but I have yet to save even a single person who blew his brains out.

    A Stanford Study found that Firearms make suicide 35 times more likely to occur because it’s so quick, easy and deadly.

    https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2020/06/handgun-ownership-associated-with-much-higher-suicide-risk.html

    NPR last summer did an interview with some Psychiatrists who all stated that mass shooters often are not mentally ill and often do this so they can be killed by the police or they do it because of out of control anger over personal problems they cannot solve and need help with.

    Unfortunately the U.S. is not a civilized society and over 150,000 people die each year because many cannot even afford preventive health care. Most cannot afford mental health care either. And it is the gangster criminal Republicans that have prevented the U.S. from adopting Universal Health Care that every Industrialized Nation on earth has had for decades and not one of them has ever reversed course and went back to health care based on blind greed and profit.

    • Thank you, dacian, for helping to sell another million guns. Without you and miner we may have lost this fight to arm America.

        • I have, by quirk of fate, saved 2 from suicide. It’s highly over-rated. If you are not getting paid to do that, or blood kin, let them go, is my cold-hearted advice.

    • As someone with family in a country with “universal” health coverage, I am firmly, FROM EXPERIENCE, against having that here. The actual results of “universal” coverage are less care for everyone (except the politically powerful, of course).

      Obamacare was a large step in that direction, and the end result was a HUGE increase in total US spending on healthcare, while at the same time, a significant reduction in how much *actual health care* people got. It’s a great example of exactly why I’m against “universal” health care.

      It sounds good, but the actual results are horrible. Whether or not there is more profit for the people who actually provide the healthcare is irrelevant to me.

      • We suspiciously get a lot of patients coming here from those utopian universal healthcare countries for treatment. Must be a reason but I just can’t put my finger on it since everything is so great where they come from.

      • Wrong Deoxy

        In reality Obamacare made healthcare more affordable to the majority of Americans.

        OBamacare did away with pre-existing conditions that were a rip off by the criminal insurance companies.

        Obamacare did away with insurance caps which bankrupted people who had health insurance.

        Obamacare let children living at home stay on their parents health care coverage for a longer period of time.

    • What the study actually said:

      “Men who owned handguns were eight times more likely than men who didn’t to die of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Women who owned handguns were more than 35 times more likely than women who didn’t to kill themselves with a gun.”

      Takes some serious contortions to get “makes suicide 35 times more likely” from that.

    • “NPR last summer did an interview with some Psychiatrists who all stated that mass shooters often are not mentally ill and often do this so they can be killed by the police or they do it because of out of control anger over personal problems they cannot solve and need help with.”

      You moron, they are telling you it was mental illness at the same time saying its not mental illness because idiots like you who lack actual logic and context thinking skills would believe it ’cause ‘some Psychiatrists’ said because you are confirmation biased. You don’t see the very glaring contradiction in what you wrote, so here it is for you:

      “often do this so they can be killed by the police” – is a form of suicide ideation which is a mental illness.

      “out of control anger over personal problems they cannot solve” – is a mental illness called ‘intermittent explosive disorder’

      • Boys that shoot up schools are very frequently on psychotic drugs, that school demanded the boys does take, because the school systems don’t have programs suited for boys. The vast percentage of teachers are female and run a classroom aimed at the needs and preferences of girls. Boys don’t sit still unless they have sufficient physical activity, and school have cut most of that out. By the time they reach high school, have been completely alienated, and their mental state has been altered by the drugs. You know what happens.

  20. “NPR last summer did an interview with some Psychiatrists who all stated that mass shooters often are not mentally ill and often do this so they can be killed by the police or they do it because of out of control anger over personal problems they cannot solve and need help with.”

    So, to summarize, they are killing other people with the intent of getting the police to kill them… and there’s no mental illness involved with that? *Sure, buddy.*

    “A Stanford Study found that Firearms make suicide 35 times more likely to occur because it’s so quick, easy and deadly.”

    And yet, there are countries with low suicide rates with high gun ownership, and there are countries with low gun ownership and high suicide rates. Japan, for instance, comes to mind, there the preferred method is “falling from a high place”.

    Also, 45%+ of US households have guns in them. If that made suicide 3500% more likely, it would be VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY obvious.

    Killing one’s self in a very effective and immediate way is not hard. What you’re comparing to is largely “people wanting attention so they ‘attempt suicide’ in some very-easy-to-prevent way”.

    Heck, even ODing on OTC drugs can be very effective and hard to stop… IF that is the intention (as opposed to just getting attention). Had a friend’s roommate do it some years ago: check in to a hotel, take a **LOT** of whichever one you like, go to bed. No one will find you before late morning at the earliest, and you WILL be dead long before then.

  21. It seems that the writer needs to take his/her/its complaint to the US MSM..

    They are the one mentioning “MENTAL ILLNESS” every time there is a “MASS SHOOTING”!!!

    They also say this when terrorist carry out terrorist attacks! Especially a suicide attackers!!!

    Yet when US soldiers charged into German bunkers in Europe and blew themselves up, they are called “HEROES”!!

    To the other side these suicide attackers are “HEROES”!!!

  22. First, we need to be accurate. There is no such thing as gun violence, period. A gun is an inanimate object, incapable of independent action. In the decades of gun ownership, a gun has never escaped my control and went on a shooting spree. Guns are incapable of doing that. To be accurate, people engage in violence using a gun. Blaming guns will never solve the problem because human beings are the responsible entity in the violence. We don’t call out Car Violence, yet cars “kill” roughly 55,000 per year.

    There are several reasons why people use guns to kill people. Very little of it has to do with guns. First to blame is the lack of a moral base in the country. Ignorance is a close second. Most of what people know about guns comes from movie and TV, all very inaccurate. When I was growing up in the 1940s and 50s, we all had access to guns. In fact, my Illinois based public HS required every male to take the Gun Safety class followed by the basic Pistol and Marksmanship training on the school’s rifle and pistol ranges. The school brought in NRA Range Safety Officers and Instructors to run the classes. All volunteers. Rifle and pistol teams competed just like football and basketball teams in the athletic conference. We had no shooting or gun incidents.

    Politicians have a large responsibility, especially DAs. There was a case in the last three months when one of our more challenged illegal aliens murdered a person. He was released on no bail in less than 24 hours. He murdered a second person before he had been freed 24 hours.

    A lot of our gun crime is that stupid, aided and abetted by the political system. Now the left has only one solution, limit the law-abiding gun owners rights, make it difficult to own a gun, use it lawfully and lock the gun up under the penalty of imprisonment where it becomes useless for self-defense.

    There are between 1.5M and 3M self-defense uses of guns each year. The vast majority of them don’t involve firing the firearm or injure anyone. The last two years have seen a massive increase of new gun owners, and about one half of them have been women. There is a reason for this, people are concerned for their safety and the safety of their family.

    Don’t look at that as dangerous, I have helped a couple of women become familiar with shooting and becoming comfortable with a pistol. They have joined throngs of people taking the classes to qualify for a concealed carry permit. Safest place to be in public is in the vicinity of a concealed permit holder that is carrying concealed.

  23. This article said that more than half of gun deaths are suicides, and mental health is not the issue…
    I believe most mental health professionals would call suicide a mental health issue.
    And, I believe there are three causes to our issues with violence; drugs, gangs (which might be their own form of a mental health issue with their complete lack of concern for the sanctity of life), and the aforementioned mental health problems. (Don’t forget the strong correlation between mass shootings and SSRI pharmaceuticals.)
    In any case, just as a parking lot full of cars has never killed anyone, neither have the millions of guns in cases and holsters in this country, until someone decides to use one. I guess now we have to decide if that decision was the act of a sane man, or not. Guns (and cars, and knives, and blunt objects…) don’t kill. People kill.

  24. Guns are incapable of committing violence, which is why extreme left-wingers call it gun violence so they can blame the gun not the person firing the gun. Then they could not call for more restrictions on individual rights.

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