Stop Making Mental Illness the Blame for Mass Shootings

the land of the free is by no means free

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Photo by Daniel van den Berg on Unsplash

While we once glorified the United States of America this land is by no means united, my friends.

The price we pay for our freedom is living with the possibility of domestic terrorism and white supremacy.

In the words of Childish Gambino, “This is America”.

With two back-to-back mass shootings in 24 hours over the weekend, the question everyone is asking is what is the blame?

If you ask President Trump, he will say mental illness and violent video games are the blame.

However if you ask an expert in medicine, psychology and mental health they will tell you mental illness is NOT the blame.

Arthur Evans, Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association called it “inaccurate and stigmatizing” to blame every mass shooting on a mental health problem.

One of the most common misconceptions is mass shootings are caused mainly by people who have mental illnesses.

However if we take a look at the facts and research we find it is quite the opposite.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1% of all yearly gun-related homicides.

“In contrast, deaths by suicide using firearms account for the majority of yearly gun-related deaths.”

White supremacy and mass shootings go deeper than mental illness.

It is a hate crime. It is old history still being played out today.
It is racism being fueled by a tyrant’s influence in this country.

It is easy access to firearms.

Research has shown that contrary to popular belief, majority of mental health symptoms are not related to gun violence.

Instead, access to firearms was the primary cause.

It’s not fair to the people who are suffering with mental health concerns to be stigmatized.

It is not fair to alienate them when in fact it is far more likely for them to be the victim of violence rather than commit acts of violence.

We see in many cases of research and studies that the major determinants of violence continue to be socio-demographic and socio-economic factors such as being young, male, and of lower socio-economic status.

I think it’s time we fact the writing on the wall and focus on the real issues at the core of mass shootings.

While mental health is something to be addressed it is by far not the MAIN blame for the gun violence.

Let’s focus on why racism still permeates in this country.

Let’s focus on addressing gun control laws.

Let’s focus on educating and creating awareness rather than fueling hate crimes and division.

We can do better, America. Much better.

Written by

Self-help & mental health writer. Can't do small talk. Mama. Yogi. Coffee lover. Nature explorer. Get my free meditation mini-course here: www.emilystroia.com

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