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Is there a misguided focus on mental health in the current gun control debate?

  • The public has an exaggerated sense of danger of the mentally ill.

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) agrees that mental illness (bipolar and schizophrenia) is not a good predictor of gun violence. And even the National Institutes of Health says "Mental disorders are neither necessary nor sufficient causes of violence."
    http://www.Ncbi.Nlm.Nih.Gov/pmc/articles/PMC1525086/
    Research should be conducted to identify better predictors of gun violence and laws should be crafted to reflect these predictors. By taking away guns from persons diagnosed with bipolar or schizophrenia, we are making them less likely to seek help, when most of them are less dangerous than the general population.

    Posted by: luvx
  • No, mental health is important

    I think that both gun control and mental health are valid discussions in the current gun debate. People with mental health issues should not be able to obtain guns. Furthermore, there is no extended treatment plan for the mentally ill who also show violent tendencies aside from placing into social services.

  • Mental health is the issue not guns.

    Find me one mass shooting where mental health did not play a role! We spend too much time in this country focusing on the wrong parts of the problem because the real issues are to touchy to really discuss because someone or group might get offended. Instead, we focus on the things that can't defend themselves like inanimate objects such as guns. How about educating the public to the dangers of the mentally unstable person who maybe sitting right next to you? Talk about putting people in danger! How many times are we going to let this happen before someone in power has the guts to have the hard conversations.

  • Mental health is important.

    I don't think that any focus being placed on mental health as it pertains to gun control can be misplaced. Being able to attend to the mental needs of a person while associating their rights is dramatically important. I think that honestly the onus should be on mental health absolutely.

  • No, it's not misguided.

    Of course, certain people might be equating the least sign of mental instability as reason not to own a gun, but that mental instability could apply to many of us in terms of depression and such. However, it still would be good to try to isolate those whose mental condition has veered toward violence toward self or others.

  • No, it is a relevant topic.

    No, there is not an undue focus on mental health in today's gun control debate, because mental health is the cause of a good number of gun violence incidents. That guns will end up in the hands of the mentally ill is an important consideration in the gun control debate. It needs to be a topic of discussion along with Second Amendment principles.

  • Mental Health Services can Deter Gun Violence

    There have been many media-covered incidents of public shootings within the last several years. The amount of these incidences has not increased, but the way that the media covers them certainly has. There is not currently a misguided focus on mental health. Those who are mentally ill engage in violent and reckless behaviors at times. Access to mental health services can deter these violent behaviors.

  • Mental Health Focus Not Misguided

    The recent focus upon mental health in the gun control debate isn't misguided. Without a doubt, our healthcare system is highly lacking when it comes to mental health care. Therefore, we need to shift focus from gun control to helping people with mental disabilities. We won't see results in this issue if we fail to address mental health shortcomings.

  • Definitely not misguided

    Most shooters have some sort of severe menal illness. It's not necessarily that they can't control their actions, but they might think that whatever they're doing isn't wrong. My mom worked with mentally ill people, and she said that some of them justify whatever they do in their heads. The problem is how easy it is for a mentally ill person to get a powerful gun. Not only do we need to make it more difficult to get such guns (background checks, for example), we need to improve our mental health programs to get these people the aid they need.

  • Mental health is the fundamental issue.

    Mental health must be addressed. Even if guns were completely banned, a determined mentally ill person could still find access to them via a black market or find some other method to commit mass murder such as arson or explosives. If we truly wish to prevent future incidents, we must focus on identifying and treating those with mental illness before they hurt themselves and others.

  • Mental Health Should Be Brought Up

    When speaking on gun control, mental health should most definitely be brought up in the debate. I personally think that those who do not have good mental health should not be allowed to be in possession of a gun. This is mostly due to the potential danger they could cause themselves and others.

  • No There Isn't

    Mental health is a really important factor in gun control. I think it should definitely be a consideration when deciding whether or not should be able to bear arms. There are many factors to consider in gun control and there is no reason that mental health should be excluded, especially in light of recent tragedies.


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