Last night, a poorly researched piece by Steve Kroft appeared on the television news program, 60 Minutes. I say “poorly researched” because it took me all of five minutes to find problems in what some of those interviewed on the program said. While truthy, it wasn’t exactly the whole truth.
The core problem this program displayed is making a post hoc logical fallacy of connecting two seemingly-related things and suggesting a causal relationship exists. Because some of the people who commit mass killings have mental health issues, this is a sign of “a failed mental health system that’s prohibited from intervening until a judge determines that someone presents an “imminent danger to themself or others.”” The two may have little to do with each other (and in fact, according to real research, don’t).
No, the sign your mental health system has failed is when you’re locking up tens of thousands of people with serious mental illness in prison for petty crimes, rather than simply treating them in less restrictive settings.
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