Of course gun violence can be 'blamed' on mental illness or maybe even a host of other influences as well. Mental illness has been determined to be a factor in many cases by the courts and I suspect is has been a fact in many other violent acts (with all sorts of weapons) to varying degrees. As human being's, our actions are directly related to our thoughts... and unless you can say that killing people in a violent way is a completely RATIONAL and sane thing to do, one has to conclude that it's not.
Anyone who shoots someone with a lethal weapon is obviously ill. To think otherwise would just confirm your own illness or neglect to realize the severity of their actions. While some of the shooters may be going through a tough time, or in the heat of passion, they are still accountable for their actions. Whether the illness is temporary or able to be remedied is another issue entirely.
Most gun violence is caused by some form of mental illness, wether it be legal insanity or not. Mental illness can include depression, paranoia, anger issues, disconnection from reality and consequences etc. There are exceptions however such as gun violence in poverty areas, where they are raised in a culture of normalcy towards gun violence.
In some cases, as a general rule though no. Mentally ill people are statistically less likely to become violent and statistically more likely to be victims of violence. Only some cases of violence can be blamed on mental illness. A great deal of cases are better blamed on the person who chose to become violent. Kneejerk characterization of violent incidents as being attributed to mental illness without even hearing a single fact other than that someone had been violent is not good but happens often. This constructs a narrative that leads people to think of themselves as helpless over maladaptive behaviors. In some cases it's not a nut, it's just a criminal. Similarly in some cases it's not an alcoholic, it's a problem drinker. In some cases it's not a gambling addict, it's just someone who needs to take responsibility and stop going to casinos. Characterizing every problem anyone ever has as a 'mental illness' can only lead people to deny responsibility for their actions and to fall prey to a victim mentality. Some people love this. It gives them an out and allows them to be all "poor me". But it seriously isn't fair for people who really are mentally ill that the concept gets so abused. Most people who murder are just scumbags who know fully well what they are doing. They are not mentally ill.
People that have been involved in shootings have been people who have been severely mentally ill who haven't received the right amount of attention they needed. There is a need for treatment. There needs to be an improvement in mental health services. Don't wait for someone to become violent to give them help. There needs to also be an awareness of mental disorders, they are people just like you and me and they matter, because they matter they deserve the right treatment for mental illness just like a physical illness.
To start with common information that suicides and self-harm is a global problem, to the fact that every 12.95 minutes somebody commits suicide. But compared to how often someone with mental illness goes out and commits a violent crime is far less. To put this comparison more visually: The Vietnam Memorial holds 58,000 names, over a 10-year period of time, of U.S. military deaths. To hold all people that have been killed with a gun is the past ten years, you would need a memorial 5 times bigger than the Vietnam Memorial. That is around 300,000 names, but if you were to eliminate all names that were caused by mental illness, you would remove around 100,000 people. Yet only 5% would be from homicide. 95% would be from suicide. But the changes the government to help suicide is nothing that compared to the changes that have been made for that 5%. After mass shootings or other violent crimes, the world looks to metal illness as the cause. Because everyone needs an easy cause and effect so they can fix it.
There is mental illness around the globe in every country. There is not continuous mass shootings in every country. We only hear about gun violence when there's a mass shooting. We do not hear about the continuance gun violence shootings that occur every day in American cities. It is not the mentally ill doing drive bys, inner city violence etc. Blame everything but the guns.
Oftentimes, evil is just evil. Not everything can be treated by chemicals. Violence is a choice. To say that everything bad that anyone can do is due to an "illness" is to absolve them of any personal moral responsibility, and to not get to the root of the problem: the darkness of the soul. Every human being has baggage. It's up to every one to transcend that baggage, or succumb to it. Everyone has experienced anger and hatred and felt those emotions in themselves. And everyone is equally responsible for keeping them in check.
Let's be real people, there has been so many cases were mental illness was not a factor...The Boston Marathon, George Zimmerman, etc. Everyone knows that prosecutors always go for mental issues 1st. I not saying that it isn't a factor in some cases, but not all. This excuse has been used so much, that it is hurting the actual people who suffer from this.
Wow! The country I love is blaming my demographic for pushing gun laws. I'm an epileptic with no history of violence whatsoever. I've never desired to go out and shoot innocent people. I believe in the right to bear arms and discovered today that my condition is being used as a weapon against myself, and other Americans. WRONGFULLY labeling the mentally handicapped as dangerous and using that lie to pass unconstitutional laws are no different than the following; Asian's shouldn't drive because of their slanted eyes and high accident statistics; Blacks shouldn't be allowed near guns or white women because the women will get raped at gunpoint; Jews are at fault for our economic crisis because they hoard all the money and have big noses; women shouldn't be allowed employment because they get pregnant and are a burden on employers. All the above stereotypes DO NOT speak for the majority of any category mentioned. It is WRONG to use a demographic as a weapon. The mentally handicapped make up for a very small percentage of our population. We are just the easy demographic to attack in this day and age. We are "the n*****s" of the 21st century. People, I implore you to not attack us mentally ill as you pass us in the streets. What truly leads to violence is hate. Please don't breed hate. Don't let hate rule over your actions. treat others they way you would like to be treated. Please don't harbor ill will towards those of us with mental handicaps. Life as a stroke victim, mentally retarded person, epileptic, and more are hard enough without the judgement and ridicule received from those privileged to have a healthy brain.
The government shouldn't be taking guns away from all people that suffer from mental illness just because one of them decided to go around and shoot 29 people. By making gun laws against the mentally ill, you are making a person LESS likely to seek help for their mental issues because of all this stigma they'll encounter! Not all murders and massacres are done by the mentally ill. Just because someone commits a murder doesn't mean they're automatically mentally ill!
Gun violence is very broad, and not all of it is indicative of mental illness. Those involved in organized crime/gang violence are often not found to be mentally ill, yet they murder people. Other issues are at play when discussing something as broad as “Gun Violence”.
There are many reasons why people murder and mental health is just one. There are a large number of those that are receiving mental health treatment for illness in our nation. Many of these individuals do well to get through their days and accomplish daily tasks without help in organization. There are also those that are highly functioning. They hold down jobs of varying levels and some that are able to function at a professional level. There is compelling evidences that Abraham Lincoln, Isaac Newton, Beethoven and many others that have enriched our lives were suffering from bi-polar disorder. The vast majority of mentally ill people are not dangerous. Categorizing the mentally ill into one group is short sighted, counterproductive, and frankly a cop-out. Do you lump all white collar individuals into a group of possible tax invaders and embezzlers? If a certain type of crime is committed disproportionately by one racial/ethnic group do you blame the entire group? Or, do you look deeper and consider other underlying issues?
Some of our leaders and interest groups that directly guide policy are seeking to create a list of the mentally ill. This will only increase the stigma associated with mental illness and drive people AWAY from seeking assistance from their doctor or counselor. Everyone wants these crimes to end, but lumping everyone into one group and watching them is a poor exchange for an honest discourse on violence and our society.
If you start to blame a group of people instead of an individual you are discriminating against them. The few are not the many. By blaming the mentally ill as a whole for violence, you are treating them as criminals with out them even committing a crime. Felons can not have guns for they have proven that they are violent.
If violence is committed by the mentally ill, then police and military personal should all be labeled mentally ill for they kill people at times. Pointing fingers at a group of people is the easy and quick way out of a problem whether or not it is right or wrong.
When governments start pointing fingers at a group of people. Well we have seen it already. It was called Nazi Germany and the group that got the blame game were the Jewish people.
The mental ill the way things are going are going will become the new pink when is comes to escape goating for violence.
I believe SOME gun violence can be blamed on mental illness. Mass shootings of random strangers at malls and movie theaters are usually committed by people who appear to have some type of mental illness. But those incidents account for a very small percentage of gun violence in the United States.
It is only when a person is violent against strangers that we think the person must be mentally ill. But we obviously have far more cases of gun violence in situations where the person is angry or wanting to inflict revenge on someone they know and a gun is just available. People kill each other for all sorts of reasons that could be considered rational, also. We are just not being honest with ourselves if we think we can blame gun violence solely on mental illness.