Politicians are blaming mental illness for the Dayton and El Paso shootings—but licensed psychologist Jeffery Huttman, PhD said that excuse was a myth.
“There’s no data to show that most individuals with mental illness have a propensity towards violence,” he stated. “It’s actually the opposite. The vast majority of those with a diagnosed mental illness never engage in gun violence.”
Mental illness is extremely common, with roughly one in five Americans experiencing it every ear. But experts estimate that less than 5% of shootings are committed by people with a diagnosable mental illness.
“We have the same rates essentially of mental illness in this country as all other countries,” Dr. Huttman explained. “And yet there is a preponderance of mass shooting in the United States.
Researchers at the National Institute of Justice have studied every mass shooter in the U.S. since 1996 and found four commonalities: childhood trauma or exposure to violence, having a crisis or grievance before the shooting, they studied the actions of other shooters, and they had access to firearms.
Since the two mass shootings that took place in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas lawmakers are calling for “red flag” laws, which allow authorities to confiscate people’s guns if they show warning signs.