As though a new law would prevent violence, state legislatures across the country are “doing something” about gun violence. The only problem is their focus has been on mental illness, when most murders have little connection with mental illness, and most deaths by guns are not committed by someone with a mental illness.
But it sure makes a legislature feel good about themselves, doesn’t it? “Hey, look, we’re doing something. We’re going to keep guns out of the hands of those crazies.”
Such laws won’t even make a dent in the annual murder rate in the U.S. And at the same time legislators are “doing something,” they are reinforcing the discrimination against those with a mental illness label. Because most of the laws are focused on the labels of mental illness — not actual violent or criminal behavior.