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Opinion: Mass Shootings Are A Mental Health Issue, Not A Gun Regulations Issue

A persuasive opinion on the underlying cause.

By Jodi BerkleyPublished 7 months ago 3 min read

The rise in mass shootings is a complex issue, and there is much debate as to the cause. However, it is clear that many of the perpetrators of these heinous crimes have a history of mental illness. In fact, studies have shown that individuals with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Nevertheless, the media and some politicians have pointed to gun control as the solution to the problem of mass shootings. This essay argues that the increase in mass shootings is a result of mental health issues in society and not a lack of gun regulation.

Firstly, it is important to acknowledge that mass shootings are a form of violence. Violence is a multifaceted problem that can have many causes, including poverty, social injustice, and a lack of education. However, mental illness has also been identified as a major factor in violent behavior. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that “individuals with mental illnesses are no more likely than anyone else to commit violent crimes, but those with mental illness who abuse drugs or alcohol are at increased risk for violence.”

This suggests that the issue is not necessarily with mental illness itself, but rather the lack of resources and support available to those who suffer from it. Many people with mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, which can lead to a deterioration of their condition and, in some cases, violent behavior. Therefore, addressing the issue of mental health in society is crucial in preventing mass shootings.

Secondly, it is worth noting that gun regulation alone is not enough to prevent mass shootings. While it is true that countries with stricter gun laws tend to have lower rates of gun violence, it is also true that many mass shootings have been carried out using legal weapons. In fact, the vast majority of guns used in mass shootings in the United States were obtained legally.

This suggests that gun regulation alone cannot solve the problem of mass shootings. Instead, it is important to address the root causes of the issue, such as mental illness, and to provide resources and support to those who need it. This might involve improving access to mental health services, increasing funding for research into the causes of mental illness, and implementing policies that promote social justice and equality.

Thirdly, it is important to consider the potential negative consequences of focusing solely on gun regulation. The debate over gun control has become highly politicized, with many individuals and interest groups on both sides of the issue. As a result, it is difficult to find common ground, and efforts to implement meaningful change are often stymied by political gridlock.

Furthermore, the focus on gun control can distract from the underlying issue of mental health. By framing mass shootings as a problem of gun violence, rather than a problem of mental health, the public discourse can overlook the importance of addressing the root causes of the issue. This can lead to a situation in which those who suffer from mental illness are stigmatized and discriminated against, rather than supported and helped.

In conclusion, the rise in mass shootings is a complex issue that cannot be solved by gun regulation alone. While stricter gun laws may be part of the solution, it is crucial to address the root causes of the issue, such as mental illness, in order to prevent future tragedies. By providing resources and support to those who suffer from mental illness, and by working to promote social justice and equality, we can create a society in which mass shootings are much less likely to occur. It is time to move beyond the polarized debate over gun control and focus on the real issue at hand: the mental health of our society.


About the Creator

Jodi Berkley

A writer from the heart.

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