Gun Control and Mental Health by Lexi

February 19, 2018

 

Gun Control and Mental Health

After the events of the Florida Shooting, I wanted to do some research into how mental health and shootings such as these are correlated. Even the president commented on how those with mental health issues were to blame. According to statistics, there have been 18 school shootings so far this year, that’s about one each day. These shootings have become a part of society, and yet they still happen. Is mental health all that’s behind this? Or is it he lack of gun control?

It is seen that “2.9% of persons with serious mental illness alone committed violent acts in a year, compared with 0.8% of people with no mental disorders or substance abuse—a statistically significant relative risk, despite a low absolute risk of violence in people with serious mental illness. Those with co-occurring substance use disorder and serious mental illness had a higher rate of violence, 10.0%, but this still meant that a clinician would be wrong nine times of 10 with a blanket prediction that someone will commit a violent act merely because they have a combination of, for example, depression and alcohol use disorder”. So it seems that mental health does increase the chances of violent acts, but how easy is it for someone with mental health disorders to get a gun? In the state of Florida, one can get a gun in 15 minutes, as long as you are of legal age. If one can get a gun with no background checks, then how can someone who is mentally disabled be held accountable for being allowed to get guns?

The shooter in Florida is a 19-year-old man. That’s one year older than a senior in high school. There was clear evidence that the shooter was in poor mental health before the shooting, and yet, it seems like there was no help given to him. However, in Japan, where gun ownership by citizens is illegal, there are no (or very little) shootings. Why has the US not changed its policy? Is it the heavy slew of Republicans that refuse to act, or is it the Government? How can people help? What can we do as a society to get help, other than posting on facebook or social media about it?

https://www.youthvoices.live/gun-control-and-mental-health/