As I write this, the New York Times is asking readers to respond to the question “What should be done to prevent mass shootings?”
I submitted the following response:
“We need tough gun control laws, such as were adopted in Australia after a mass shooting there in 1996. Linking gun violence with mental health conditions, the way that Rep. Tim Murphy is doing with his Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (H.R. 2646), is the wrong approach because, as Vanderbilt University researchers (among many other researchers) point out, “Mental illness is the wrong scapegoat after mass shootings.” H.R. 2646, if passed, would “do more harm than good,” to quote a recent Hutchinson (Kansas) News editorial. Nineteen enlightened House Democrats have explained this in a letter to the Chair and the Ranking Member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. I hope they listen. For more information, see http://realmhchange.org/statements-on-h-r-2646/.”
The more responses the New York Times receives from people who understand that the answer is gun control — not misguided legislation that would only harm those it purports to help — the more they will take notice. Please write!
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.