A lot of parties within our society definitely want to end gun violence in Boca Raton, FL. Different people are united in this front. However, the disparity seemingly lies in the “how” of things. There seems to be a clash of ideas when it comes to presenting solutions for ending gun violence in communities. One area that often shows up is the relationship between mental health and gun violence.
When a perpetrator decides to show their marksmanship by shooting unsuspecting victims in schools, churches, and buildings, many people tend to think that the perpetrator has a mental illness. They say that the individual is crazy and that their violence springs from the mental condition that they are suffering from.
Every time a shooting happens, the same topic comes up. When the shooter is not a religious supporter, mental illness becomes a scapegoat for many. A lot of people, even politicians ranging from lawmakers to President Trump himself, tells the public about the role of mental illness in the actions of the shooter. Even before a medical diagnosis has been provided, people tend to label perpetrators as crazy, lunatic, and nuts, among others.
On the Contrary
While there are shooters who, indeed, have mental illnesses, they only comprise a small number of the total perpetrators in various shootings. Most mental disorders do not directly lead to gun violence. These include anxiety, depression, stress, and even PTSD.
However, those who have access to firearms most likely have a tendency for aggressive behavior related to gun violence. This just goes to show that those who carry guns or who have access to guns are most likely to threaten others with a weapon when something arises. If a gun wasn’t present, the opportunity to use it on others would never come into play.
Mental illness is also used as a scapegoat by elected officials, because the United States doesn’t have any effective program for the mentally ill. In fact most commercially sold health insurance policies don’t cover treatment of mental illness, and the government never appropriates enough money to finance any form of community mental health facilities. So, mental health is used as a way to escape doing anything, because the officials know, there’s no program now, and they never will appropriate enough money or pass effective laws to deal with the problem. So, be careful whenever speaking to an elected official about mental health as part of the gun violence solution. When an elected official talks about it, ask them where the nearest local free mental health facility is located. If there is none, then ask when the official will appropriate the money to establish one, and when its doors will open.
In short, lawmakers should look into regulating gun access rather than zeroing in on individuals with mental illnesses. They should create laws that help put firm control on gun access, gun ownership, and gun carrying. A constitutional amendment in Florida should also be done to ensure that the law reflects what the real problem is and what the right solution should be.
STOP THE KILLING advocates for an end to gun violence in our communities. Join us in raising our voices so that the cries of the people will be heard by the legislative branch of the government along with different groups.