Well, here we are. Again.
Another mass shooting. Another time for us to talk about gun control and the NRA and innocence lost and the senselessness of it all. We also, like clockwork, talk about mental illness and how “crazy people” shouldn’t get guns because mental illness leads to violence.
Except it doesn’t.
I wrote the following after the Tucson shooting where Representative Gabby Giffords was so tragically wounded and so many others lost their lives. The words I used still apply. Here they are:
I always get a little nervous when political pundits and celebrity doctors start chiming in about the complexities of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and then subsequently offended both when mental illness is somehow considered an excuse for violent behavior and simultaneously paints those who are actually seriously sick as “nuts” or “whack jobs.”
Mental illness can strike any socio-economic group; it certainly doesn’t discriminate. A larger percentage of homeless individuals, however, struggle with it than do our middle class neighbors. People aren’t diagnosable as mentally ill because they are homeless, but they are often homeless …