Mental Illness And Gun Violence Essay

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Mental Illness and Gun Violence The myth that most mentally ill people are violent has been endlessly perpetuated by popular media so much so that the tendency to automatically associate mental illness with violence has become indoctrinated into popular belief. Today, with the widespread debate about gun violence and the search for something to blame, some sources, like the National Rifle Association (NRA), have turned to point the finger at mental illness; yet, at the same time, most empirical sources render the claim that mental illness induces gun violence as insignificant or completely erroneous. Overall, gun violence A survey conducted in 2013 after the Newton school shooting found that 63% of people blamed mass shootings on the inadequate treatment and identification of mentally ill individuals, revealing the astonishing number of people who believe in the widely false myth and pushing the agenda of the NRA (NRA-ILA, 2015). Despite this, twenty-five years before this survey was ever conducted, the inaccuracies of this belief were already uncovered through simple empirical findings; in 1990, The National Institute of Mental Health Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) found that while people with profound mental illness are slightly more likely to commit violent crimes, the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are non-violent (Swanson, McGinty, Fazel, & Mays, 2014). Further extinguishing this claim is the finding that the crime is most often provoked…

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