Talking About Mental Health After Mass Shootings is a Cop-Out

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From The Washington Post: Blaming mass shootings on “mental illness” is a distortion of the facts and a convenient way to dodge a necessary conversation on gun control.

“There is no evidence that the Las Vegas shooter was insane. (I prefer not to use his name and give him publicity, even posthumously.) He did not have a history of mental illness that we know of, nor had he been reported for behavior that would suggest any such condition. He was clearly an evil man, or at least a man who did something truly evil. But evil is not crazy. If we define the attempt to take an innocent human being’s life as madness, then every murderer is mad. If not, we should recognize that it is a meaningless term that adds little to our understanding of the problem.”

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “He was clearly an evil man, or at least a man who did something truly evil. But evil is not crazy. If we define the attempt to take an innocent human being’s life as madness, then every murderer is mad. If not, we should recognize that it is a meaningless term that adds little to our understanding of the problem.”

    Evil is crazy. Evil is madness at its most extreme.

    Problems of categorisation; you want to use certain words for some people that have lost touch with reality, but exclude others on the basis that they are no longer in the realm of good taste.

    Of course it is insane to go on a spree killing. It is also evil. The two sometimes have a dance together. Evil and madness have a dance that almost everyone would prefer did not happen.

    It happens.

    Wishing it away… why do some people get so emotionally involved in that?

  2. “There is no evidence that the Las Vegas shooter was insane.”

    O my Lord. Look at the all the dead and the injured writhing. Look at what he chose to do. Look at it openeyed.

    What do almost all spree killers do at the end of their insane operas?

    You know it. They kill themselves. The final scene is always a tragedy. It is always *their* personal tragedy.

    What do we call this in modern parlance? We call it narcissism. The narcissistic suicide.