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Do We Need Gun Control To Curb Mental Health Violence?


Transcript: These people gotta be bat **** crazy to want to walk in and end people's lives, right? I mean, they've got to be. Otherwise, what are they? Possessed? I don't know, we can't prove that either, so, huh.

Does mental health play a role in mass shootings? My team and I did a little bit of research. This is something I grabbed off of vox.com. I found this interesting because my team and I really came into this with a preconceived notion that, dude, these people have got to be bat **** crazy (I actually beeped myself there) to want to walk in and end people's lives.

Alright, here is what vox..com says. It says a tiny fraction of gun violence is committed by the mentally ill. I didn't know that.

Columbia's, Paul Appelbaum, and Duke's, Jeffrey Swanson, concluded that only three to five percent of violent acts are attributed to serious mental illness and most do not involve guns. Similarly, a study in Sweden found that only 5.2% of violent crimes were committed by people with serious mental illness.

Okay. I mean, wow.

This is a statistic by the PewSocialTrends.org: between 1993 and 2013, shootings had actually gone down by 49%. That's pretty interesting when looking at the media saying that guns are killing people and guns, guns, guns! Oh, my gosh! Everyone run for the hills! Guns are bad!

But here's an article, 'Myth vs. Fact: Violence and Mental Health', by Mr. Jeffrey Swanson, Duke University, June of 2015. He said that mass shootings are relatively rare events that account for only a tiny fraction of American gun deaths each year.

Yes, percentages are somewhat low. I mean, come on. These people are getting murdered - and children. I mean, come on!

A mass shooting is the product of a disordered mental process. Obviously. They got something going on where they think it's just okay. But we want to dig into it and this is such a huge complex issue.

Here's something something that the Dr. Jeffrey Swanson had said: people with serious mental illnesses are three to four times more likely to be violent than those who aren't. The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent and never will be. So his percentages are showing that they're pretty low which is surprising because, I mean, come on. And I've gone through the list of these, we'll just call them "murderers" because I don't even want to put their names on it. Let's glorify, let's turn these people into mass murdering gods? I don't think so! Call them murderers, call them disturbed, whatever you want, let's just leave it at that.

In one recent study, they found that adding more mental health records to a background check system can prevent some violence, but only a very small amount. That's part of the whole gun restraints, right? Okay, adding more mental health records might prevent some, but only a very small amount (it doesn't actually say what the small amount is - well, that's kind of disturbing).

There's something else he said, blocking people with serious mental illness from buying guns worked, but it didn't have a huge impact. This is a study he did in Connecticut. It was a natural experiment prior to 2007. They actually didn't report mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. They compared two groups for eight years. After the period where gun provisions were enforced, the differences went away, but they saw a 53% percent drop in their likeliness in committing a violent crime. So not necessarily guns, but violence, right? But, he did say after that there was a minimal change, so what's the minimal change? So, we're searching for that.

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