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Actually, Mentally Ill People are More Likely to Be Victims of Violence

“As soon as a mass shooting hits the news, speculation about mental illness starts. Everyone assumes that the shooter must have been “crazy,” because “no sane person would do something like this.” Such tactics are distancing, allowing people to imagine that the capacity for the kind of evil that would lead someone to march into a school and mow down innocent children only lies in mentally ill people, and they’re also hugely stigmatizing. Because along with the attitude that mental illness lies at the root of gun crime is the idea that gun crime could be solved by locking mentally ill people away or, in the case of more compassionate suggestions, providing better mental health services. These ideas presume that it is possible to predict dangerousness on the basis of mental health status.”

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