On Mental Illness and Mass Shootings

So many thoughts about guns and mental illness.

1) There is no correlation between mass shootings and mental illness. Let me repeat: there is NO CORRELATION between mass shooting and mental illness. Are there some mass shooters who are mentally ill? Certainly. And that is because the population of violent (and evil) people is huge and naturally some portion of them will be mentally ill. However, the rate of mass shooters who are mentally ill is no higher than the rate of mass shooters in the general population. Stop throwing us under the bus. Stop deflecting from the real issues: the factually correct correlation is between mass shooting and the availability of guns (and also: history of domestic violence; and also white men).

2) Mental illness is a real problem. I am delighted that politicians want to provide us with additional resources and support. LOL! That never happens. Politicians insisting that treating mental illness will reduce mass shootings *never* results in actual material support–it results in increased stigma. And if it continues, I fear that the actual consequence of the false correlation will be that people with mental illness will start being arrested and/or criminalized for “the safety of the general population”, but really just for being ill.

3) There is an actual correlation between being mentally ill and being the *victim* of violence. Just like any other group that is underprivileged and/or less likely to be believed, mentally ill people are disproportionally the targets and victims of violence and abuse. Pretty much just because the perpetrators are that much more likely to get away with it.

4) There is a real correlation between mental illness and *self-harm*. We may not be particularly violent to others, but we are more violent to ourselves. We could use some real help here. Please help us!

5) For public safety I do think it should be really hard for someone who is mentally ill to acquire guns. And since we are no more likely to cause public violence, it should be *EXACTLY AS DIFFICULT* for the general public to acquire guns. Please regulate us–and do it by regulating everybody!!