This was originally published on Liberal America on February 3, 2017.
Our president, Donald Trump, and his GOP minions seem to be dead-set on undoing everything former President Barack Obama did. The House has overturned a regulation prohibiting people with serious mental illnesses from buying guns.
During many shootings, the Republicans will blame it on mental illness instead of our lack of gun control. They use it as an excuse to change the conversation. Yes, there are some people with mental illnesses who have committed shootings. Most people who commit suicide have some kind of mental illness.
The Hill reported:
“The House voted 235-180 to roll back a rule that required the Social Security Administration to report people who receive disability benefits and have a mental health condition to the FBI’s background check system. The database is used to determine eligibility for buying a firearm.”
As someone with a mental illness, I would never need or want a gun. I agree with this restriction. I don’t understand how Republicans could think this is a good idea. More guns are not going to solve the problem.
Michael Stone, a forensic psychiatrist at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, said:
“It would be ridiculous to hope that doing something about the mental-health system will stop these mass murders.”
He studies killers, and he found that only 2 out of 10 shootings are committed by people with serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. They can be helped with medical treatment. The rest of the killers either had personality issues, or were disgruntled and angry.
Liza Gold, a forensic psychiatrist at Georgetown University who wrote papers on gun violence and mental illness, said:
“The whole notion of mental illness and mass shootings is so poorly understood. To address the reality of it, it’s like dealing with people in a parallel dimension.”
Yes, we need better mental health care in this country, but connecting the mental illness with gun violence is wrong. It spreads the stigma surrounding people suffering from mental illnesses, which can make the pain that much greater.
Republicans are the ones that blame every shooting on mental illness. Overturning this law is just a ridiculous idea. We need real solutions to gun violence.
Click to set custom HTML