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We Need to Stop Blanket-Blaming Mental Illness for Every Mass Shooting

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I woke up on Monday to Donald Trump saying the mass shooting in Texas yesterday is a mental health issue, not a gun control issue.

As someone with mental illness, this got my blood boiling because while mental illness may have played a role in the Texas shooting, it is not the only issue at hand here.

Guns are an issue.

Affordable treatment for mental illness is an issue.

Mass shootings in and of themselves are an issue.

Whatever happened in this guy’s life to lead him to commit such an atrocious act is an issue.

And there are so many other issues I don’t even know about! The fact that people use mental illness as a blanket to cover up the numerous other issues at hand here is not OK and it leads to all other causes being buried. As a country and as a community, we cannot honestly discuss or tackle this awful trend of mass shootings if we don’t strip all of the possible issues down to the studs and work our way back up (easier said than done, I know).

There are millions upon millions of people living with mental illness in the United States who are not shooting up churches or schools or concerts or anything else.

There are also millions of responsible gun owners who are not walking into public places and killing dozens of people.

So don’t blame it only on mental illness. That is just stunting any possible forward movement on what, quite frankly, should be a top priority discussion for both government and communities.

Stop blanket-blaming mental illness.

Start opening up discussion on every single issue we know of that could have been a factor in this tragedy, including gun control and health care.

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Screenshot via CNN YouTube channel

Originally published: November 10, 2017
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