By: Roberta Zenker, Staff Attorney, Disability Rights Montana
Last week our president proclaimed in the wake of two mass shootings that “mental illness and hatred pull the trigger, not the gun.” DJT 8/5/2019. However, doctors and psychological experts agree that no direct correlation exists between mental illness and mass shootings. “Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing. Research has shown that only a very small percentage of violent acts are committed by people who are diagnosed with, or in treatment for, mental illness.” Statement of American Psychological Association (APA)President Rosie Phillips Davis, PhD, August 4, 2019.
Despite routine claims from politicians and gun advocates to the contrary, studies show that people with diagnosed mental illnesses commit less than 5% of violent crimes. They are much more likely to be victims than to commit gun violence. The Dangers Of The Mental Health Narrative When It Comes To Gun Violence, Sarah Kim, Forbes, August 7, 2019.
Dr. Seth Trueger, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University, told Time that although rates of mental health conditions have risen in the U.S., other countries have seen similar trends in mental illnesses, but far […]