TwitterFacebook

Gun Control: Don’t Fall for the ‘Mental Health’ Diversion

Mental illness is not a significant factor in gun crime
US News • Views: 28,940

Take a look around the right wing blogs and news sites, and watch Fox News, and you may notice that there are suddenly a lot of conservatives arguing that the real problem that leads to gun violence is mental illness — and that the solution is “better mental health care.”

While it’s true that the US does need better mental health care, your first clue that this is a dishonest diversionary tactic instead of a real argument is that the right wingers parroting it are the very same people normally vehemently opposed to any and all government involvement in health care.

There’s a reason why so many right wingers are using the “mental health” excuse - to distract attention away from the real problem: there are more than 290 MILLION guns in America, almost one for every single man, woman, and child. The right is so in love with gun culture that they’ll even make dishonest arguments that contradict their own values, to pull attention away from this issue.

There is no real evidence that mentally ill people are more likely to commit gun crimes. Columbia University psychiatrist Paul Appelbaum has found that less than 3-5% of American crimes are perpetrated by mentally ill people, and for crimes involving guns the percentages are even lower.

In fact, the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of crime than perpetrators: Focus on Mental Illness in Gun Debate Is Misleading.

Research by John Brekke and Cathy Prindle at the University of Southern California shows that individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to be assaulted by others than to commit violent crimes themselves, Metzl said.

By blaming people who have mental disorders for violent crime, the threats posed to society by a much larger population - the sane - are overlooked.”The focus on so-called mentally ill crime obfuscates awareness of a far more important set of risk predictors of gun violence: substance abuse and past history of violence,” said Metzl, a professor of psychiatry and sociology. “By blaming people who have mental disorders for violent crime, the threats posed to society by a much larger population - the sane - are overlooked.”

One possible explanation for the tendency to blame mental illness for violent crimes is the fact that the debate around gun control has become so politicized that bringing up mental illness is one of the few ways to even talk about the issue, Metzl said.

To reiterate, better mental health care is an important and worthy cause. But for the right, it has also become a way to confuse and obfuscate the issues in order to hang on to their precious, precious guns.

Also see:
The 21st Floor: Shooting down stigma

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Last updated: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
Clear Ideological Divide on Investing in Gold
Gallup offers five points about Americans' views on long-term investment, from real estate to gold.

55 minutes ago
Views: 48 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
FLORIDA: Sex Trafficking Bill Clears House on Unanimous Vote
A bill aimed at responding to sex trafficking, with a laundry list of services and safety precautions to protect victims, passed the Florida House of Representatives on Tuesday with a unanimous 119-0 vote. The bill, if passed by the ...

1 hour, 53 minutes ago
Views: 45 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
cycroft
Russ Campbell’s Blog
Speak­ing at a town hall in Nanaimo, B.C. on April 13, the Green Party leader called the PMO "a $10-mil­lion-a-year par­ti­san op­er­a­tion filled with ruth­less, cut­throat psy­chopaths." Eliz­a­beth May, MP for Saanich-Gulf Is­lands, later claimed she made the com­ments ...

2 hours, 49 minutes ago
Views: 29 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Tea Party Candidate Curt Clawson Wins Republican Primary to Replace Former Rep. Trey Radel
Curt Clawson, a businessman who was little known months ago in Southwest Florida, won a contentious GOP primary Tuesday to fill the U.S. House seat left open by the scandalous downfall of Trey Radel. Clawson pitched himself as an ...

19 hours, 17 minutes ago
Views: 176 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 7 • Rating: 0
MichaelJ
2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP - Finals Day!
More: 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach - ASP The women's final is in the water now and the men's quarterfinals begin after a champion is crowned. Bells beach is delivering the goods today with clean conditions for the ...

19 hours, 51 minutes ago
Views: 68 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
Political Atheist
NYT Story-American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest
After-tax middle-class incomes in Canada -- substantially behind in 2000 -- now appear to be higher than in the United States. The poor in much of Europe earn more than poor Americans. The income data were compiled by LIS, ...

1 day ago
Views: 142 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
palmerskiss
Debate Discrimination - Houston Chronicle
We're glad to see Mayor Annise Parker finally stand up and propose a human rights commission that will provide local due process for victims of public discrimination. Parker told the Chronicle editorial board that she plans to release a ...

3 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 226 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Idle Drifter
Calgary stabbings: How knife crime in Canada can cause ‘moral panic’
What Calgary police chief Rick Hanson called the "worst mass murder" in the city's history didn't end at the barrel of a gun. Instead, the 22-year-old suspect identified on Tuesday as Matthew de Grood is accused of entering the kitchen ...

6 days, 13 hours ago
Views: 374 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
aagcobb
New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate: New York Electoral College: State Joins National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Instead of pushing for a Constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified in 38 states, advocates ask individual state legislatures to pass an agreement: that ...

6 days, 19 hours ago
Views: 364 • Comments: 8
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
iossarian
Drug Companies Want Your Money
Two thematically-related stories on the BBC at the moment: UK drug company Glaxo 'paid bribes to Polish doctors' UK drug company GlaxoSmithKline is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors, BBC Panorama has discovered. Tamiflu: Millions wasted ...

1 week ago
Views: 360 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 8 • Rating: 0
 Frank says:

The whole Universe is a large joke. Everything in the Universe is just subdivisions of this joke. So why take anything too seriously?