Do you think there would be less gun violence in the United States if mental health was taken more seriously? Why or why not?

Do you think there would be less gun violence in the United States if mental health was taken more seriously? Why or why not?

What do you think?

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  1. Other countries have citizens with mental health problems that are not being fixed either. I live in Canada, we don’t care if you’re mentally ill. But it’s harder to get guns.

  2. Not all gun violence is related to things like school shootings and people with mental health problems are more likely to shoot themselves than another person. The most common motives for homocide tend to be revenge, love-related or money-related. Technically, yes there would be a little less gun violence but you aren’t tackling the most common motives/causes.

  3. Fixing a broken education system would also go a long way. When everyone has opportunities to succeed and live a decent life, there is far less incentive to turn to crime.

  4. This is tricky, obviously, for several reasons.

    1. Mental Health has a few…things people don’t want to talk about–namely, at what point do you *force* people to get help? And by force I mean force. THere’s a lot of people out there who *should* have mental health help, but until they go to the doctor they’re undiagnosed and then can do wahtever they want. Until we decide, as a society, at what point we want to force people to get help, we can’t really go any further.
    2. It’s also a little hypocritical. If someone walks into a building and shoots people, a lot of people will say “mental health would have solved this problem.” If they do the same thing but say “I don’t like black people” afterwards, it’s a hate crime that shouldn’t be used as an excuse…and yet they’re functionally the same thing. Just because someone is a racist doesn’t mean they also don’t need mental help, but right now advocates are so scared they’re not willing to call this out.
    3. The stats can be massaged by both sides, but the cold, hard fact is that most gun violence is either gang-related or otherwise accidental/familial/etc, which mental health won’t really help. Strip those out and you have levels of violence roughly in line with other nations (which I understand is like saying “if it weren’t for all the water, the Pacific would be dry”, but you get my point.)

    In the end, I think it will help on the margins, but that’s really not the core of the problem.

  5. Mental health is a part of the issue, yes. But a larger part is the way guns are portrayed in our entertainment.

    I’m not going after video games or any specific media.

    But my point is, guns are shown as a way for people to “get justice” against others who do something wrong. In the hands of cops, NCIS/FBI/CIA agents they’re used to take out the “bad guy.”

    They’re also shown in the hands of someone who’s suffered a loss at the hands of the “bad guys” as a way to get revenge (as mentioned in another comment) or to correct some form of social injustice.

    We’re also accustomed to hearing about guns being “The Great Protectors” that will defend our lives, our families, our homes, our rights, etc.

    SO, with all these ideas being pressed into our heads all the time, people have the belief that if something goes wrong in their lives, be it insult, injury, loss, or whatever, then a gun is an option for getting whatever justice or revenge they think they deserve.

  6. We might see a drop in the number of mass shootings but we would still have more gun violence than any other country, simply because guns are so easy to obtain here.

  7. no, gun violence isnt that high, as stated below its less than 40,000 a year and trips accidental deaths are about the same amount. mental health wont effect the gang and drug violence.

  8. I think there would be a much larger benefit to society if mental health were taken seriously (and resources weren’t prohibitively/intimidatingly expensive) than just a reduction in gun related suicides and interpersonal violence.

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