Stop Blaming Mental Illness For Mass Shootings


“If you were to suddenly cure schizophrenia, bipolar, and depression overnight, violent crime in the US would fall by only 4 percent.”
~ Jeffrey Swanson, Duke University professor, a sociologist and psychiatric epidemiologist who studies the relationship between violence and mental illness.

What they found was that mentally ill people who didn’t have substance abuse issues, who weren’t maltreated as children, and who didn’t live in adverse environments have a lower risk of violence than the general population.

(According to a Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health the share of overall violence explained by serious mental illness — was between 3 percent and 5.3 percent, for a midpoint estimate of about 4 percent. That’s where the idea that if you wiped out serious mental illness overnight, violence would fall 4 percent comes from.)

Here’s the never ending pattern:

1) Mass Shooting

2) Advocates of gun control point out that taking guns off the streets and limiting who can buy them will save lives.

3) Opponents of gun control argue that there are no regulations that can stop a determined shooter and that what we really need is to address mental health.


“This is also a mental illness problem. These are people that are very, very seriously mentally ill.”
~ President Trump said, following the script, after shootings in Dayton and El Paso.

“Mental health is a large contributor to any type of violence or shooting violence.”
~ Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

The convenient cries of “mental health” after mass shootings are worse than hypocritical. They’re factually wrong and stigmatizing to millions of completely nonviolent Americans living with severe mental illness.

The share of America’s violence problem (excluding suicide) that is explainable by diseases like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder is tiny. Being male or having a substance abuse issue are both bigger risk factors.

At the very least if you’re going to scapegoat mental illness then increase its funding dramatically which the government is unwilling to do, as a matter of fact they do the opposite.

Hate and anger aren’t a mental illness!

Stop stigmatizing innocent nonviolent people.

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