“The Great ‘Mental Illness’ Hoax: Rampage Killings and the Gun Culture”

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Over at CounterPunch, Carl Boggs takes on the knee-jerk mental illness response that pervades the airwaves after every mass shooting.  He writes: “What the mental-health fixation lacks is any semblance of historical or social context. Given the persistence of U.S. imperialism and militarism — and mounting fascination with combat and guns in a society transfigured by its warfare state — Washington remains a thriving center of global violence: repeated armed interventions abroad have found their domestic parallel in the world’s largest prison system, a deepening gun culture, home-bred terrorism, police atrocities, and a media culture filled with spectacles of warfare and bloodshed.”

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5 COMMENTS

  1. According to the FBI, in 2012, there were 8,855 total firearm-related homicides in the US, with 6,371 of those attributed to handguns.

    602 of those by law enforcement in 2012.

    The United States population on July 4, 2015 was: 321,216,397

    321,216,397 / 8,855 = 36275.1436477

    Using rough numbers off by three years it seems something like 1 in 36,275 people get killed by guns in a year .

    There is no “epidemic” of gun violence.

    Want to increase your odds by a really huge amount ? Stay out of gangs and the drug trade and don’t do things that make people want or need to kill you.

    And thanks all you patriots out their for protecting our bill of rights.

    • Iam glad to see Counterpunch being referenced on this website. Bruce Levine who posts on MIA also posts on Counterpunch. While Counterpunch articles on Mental Health issues do not always dovetail with the general views expressed here, I do find the site to be more open to a diversity of opinion on the subject than other prominent left-wing sources such as Democracy Now, which stay pretty close to the mainstream view by reporting the unverified statistics regarding the number of “mentally ill” in prison.
      ‘The current fashion of trying to root out “psychotics”‘through greater surveillance and intervention does run up against the hard numbers which point to the relative
      lack of mass shootings in other countries-it must be added that many gun-control
      advocates have a smilarly disparaging view of those labeled “mentally ill.” As for the medication themselves being at the root of the problem, isn’t there a similar problem of equating cause and effect with the spread of bio-psychiatry to the rest of the developed world?

  2. Also glad to see that someone is taking on this ‘witch hunt’. A few basic facts: violence is not a symptom of any illness under the sun, moon, and stars. Violent crime is not good excuse for additional hospitalization. Duh! Increased “surveillance and monitoring” is as likely to increase the incidence of violent crime as anything going. Increased “mental health” screening is not, and will not be, effective crime control. Psychiatric profiling is scapegoating. The police are killing innocent people every day of the week. The federal government is one of the more violent agencies around. The government is colluding with the same people who are working to destroy our environment. I think we can safely say with no degree of irony that, on the trumped up grounds of danger to oneself or others, the wrong people are being locked up. Now if we had elected officials who really cared about anything besides lining their own pockets, you might have a different situation. Dishonesty breeds dishonesty, and nothing could be more dishonest than attributing massive acts of violence to people carted off to the mental health system. We could resort to racial profiling, too, but then “black lives matter”, don’t they? Jews are not blamed so much for such things, are they? If only the lives of people with psychiatric diagnostic labels mattered, too. Then they couldn’t get away with this sort of nonsense.