The above questions have defined the debate surrounding the relationship between mass murders and mental illnesses. The number of mentally ill people in America is increasing, and so are their attacks. Each year about 32,000 people are killed with guns—about 19,000 by their own hands—and another 74,000 suffer nonfatal gunshot injuries. They are acting on the hateful lies and misinformation influencers broadcast about a particular race, religion, sex, political party, and nationality.
The result will be many more deaths in the USA. This tragedy could be prevented by treating those with this sickness. Instead, many influencers have chosen to incite this group by supporting the lies.
In El Paso – Patrick Crusius was radicalized by online hate groups while being diagnosed with severe mental disabilities. He murdered 23 people.
In Uvalde – Salvador Ramos consistently displayed extreme depression and hatred of women. He killed 21 people.
In Parkland – Nicholas Cruz had a hatred personality and was diagnosed with mental illness. It resulted in 17 people dead.
In Buffalo – Payton Gendron was hospitalized for a mental health evaluation for murder suicide threats in 2021, now 10 innocent people are dead.
In San Francisco – David DePape breaks into the Speaker’s home with a hammer, zip ties and a plastic bag yelling “WHERE IS NANCY.” Her husband Paul is recovering from head trauma from a hammer.
The number of mentally ill people in America are increasing, and so are their attacks. They are acting on the hateful lies and miss-information broadcasted by influencers about a particular race, religion, sex, political party, and nationality. The end result will be many more deaths in the USA. This tragedy could be prevented by treating those with this sickness. Instead, many influencers have chosen to incite this group by supporting the lies.
As I stated in my book“Confronting the Threat – A guide to reducing domestic and gun violence,” we are at the beginning stage of a deadly epidemic in America.
We are starting to see the results of millions of untreated mentally ill Americans and 400 million guns.
Treating people with mental health disorders has been an issue for decades. President Jimmy Carter understood this issue when he established a Commission to study the Mental Health in the United States. Their findings led to the formulation of a National mental health care plan called the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980. This plan would have given National support to help those struggling with mental illness. Despite this need, the plan wasn’t funded by the next administration and was eliminated.
This was the beginning of the decline of mental illness treatment as identified by Dr. David Dawson. The government started downsizing mental hospitals and shifting money earmarked for mental health to other priorities. Therefore, the mentally ill were treated at regular hospitals. But due to skyrocketing costs and the lack of insurance and mental health professionals in hospitals, the mentally ill didn’t receive proper care.
What did occur in the 80’s was a significant increase in gun manufacturing and dealers in the USA. Those numbers tripled since 2000 which also recorded the highest year for gun sales. Year 2021 was the 2nd highest. We became an open market to foreign and more powerful firearms.
During the same timeframe, the number of untreated mentally Ill adolescents and children were on the rise. Currently, 1 in 5 Americans are struggling with mental health issues on a daily basis. Half of that group are battling mental illness without treatment. Additionally, 10% of our youth suffer from major depression and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24. If that’s not alarming, 20% of high school students reported serious thoughts of suicide and 9% have attempted to take their lives. – UCLA Health Mar 2022.
The Violence Project has also identified a critical need for a National Healthcare plan for the mentally ill. Their research discovered that over 80% of mass shooters had a history of mental health concerns at some point in their lives, and they displayed a significant change in behavior BEFORE the crime. Such behavior includes exaggerated emotional responses, an increased interest in violence and signs of hopelessness.
The Violence Project appears to have some answers. Their research has identified many underlying reasons to explain what motivated the shooter to carry out mass shootings. The most common reason (30%) is a form of psychosis where the active shooter is not able to identify what is real and what isn’t. Therefore, lies, fake news, conspiracy theories, and miss-information broadcasted by certain groups in any media source makes it difficult for many people to determine what is real and what isn’t. However, when elected officials, politicians, entertainers, or others in position of authority or admiration specifically or implied ANY SUPPORT of these lies, it significantly increases the risk of violence. Their verbal and written lies, whether specified or implied, has the potential to empower many mentally ill people to use of physical violence. Many feel compelled to act on the lies because these sources are either TELLING them or IMPLYING to attack and kill.
Employment troubles are next at 23% followed by non-domestic conflicts with friends, co-workers, and family at 20%.
One is that mental health care is expensive. Many people who need treatment can’t afford it. Even if they have insurance, their plans may not cover the full cost of care.
Another reason is that there’s a shortage of mental health providers. In some parts of the country, there’s only one psychiatrist for every 30,000 people. This shortage is expected to get worse in the coming years as more baby boomers retire and fewer medical students choose to specialize in psychiatry.
The lack of access to mental health care has real-world consequences. People with mental illness are more likely to be unemployed, homeless, and incarcerated. They’re also at a higher risk for substance abuse and suicide.
A 2017 survey found that 61 percent of Americans believe that mental health services in the United States need to be improved.
This is a significant increase from previous years. In 2015, only 50 percent of people said that mental health care needed improvement.
There are a number of steps that can be taken to improve mental health care in the United States.
As our population grows, so does the tragic number of untreated mentally ill Americans. But a segment of this population has become deadly when mixed with right ingredients of firearms and lies. We must correct this by prioritizing mental health care and implementing common sense gun control. Additionally, we must hold any influencers criminally and financially accountable when they push lies and miss-information.
Ignoring the calamity is unacceptable. By taking these steps, we can make sure that anyone suffering from mental illness can get the professional treatment instead of being politically mistreated.