|Mental Illness and Guns and Mass Shootings
||[Feb. 16th, 2018|10:42 am]
OK, yeah, let's talk about mental illness for a moment.|
A few days ago, I posted a rather snarky comment to my Facebook page about how "I'll agree to let you blame all the school shootings on mental health issues if you agree to fully fund mental health care in this country."
A friend of mine, rightfully, called me out on this, for a couple of reasons. The most important is that it unfairly stigmatizes mental illness, which is stigmatized more than enough in this country as it is.
As she pointed out in her comment to my post, the mentally ill are far more likely to be victims of violence in this country than perpetrators of it. (Far, far, FAR more likely.)
I do get frustrated that, for the most the part, the same people who bring up mental health whenever there is a mass shooting, and only when there's a mass shooting, are the same people who consistently support candidates who consistently try to stigmatize and defund treatment for it.
We do need to fund mental health care in this country. We also need to fund physical health care in this country, and the two are not unrelated. Neither, however, is related to gun violence. The recent shooter wasn't mentally ill. He was a white supremacist who had a history of violence and was radicalized by a right-wing terrorist cell which trained him and has trained several other murderers over the last year or so. The exact kind of hate group who, by the way, our president has ordered the FBI to stop investigating.
So, yeah, let's have a conversation about mental illness, and the stigmatization and funding thereof.
And let's have that conversation about mass shootings, of which there are far too many.
And let's have that conversation about domestic terrorists and why our president and the top members of the republican party are encouraging them rather than stomping them out.
But these three conversations, although they may have some of the same roots, are not the same conversation, so let's not pretend they are, or use one of these issues to shut down conversation about the others, please.
THAT was the point of my original snarky comments.