Doctor: Studies say mental illness is not to blame for the recent mass shootings

Is mental health to blame for the recent mass shootings? Studies say no.
Is mental health to blame for the recent mass shootings? Studies say no.(KMVT)
Published: Aug. 9, 2019 at 5:56 PM MDT
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The gun control debate is heating up around the nation, following two mass shootings last weekend.

President Donald Trump addressed the nation on Monday saying mental illness is to blame.

"Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,” he said.

Scott Rasmussen, from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Behavioral Health Division, said multiple studies show this isn't true.

"Some of the research suggests that 20 percent or less of the mass shootings are completed by somebody that has a diagnosed mental illness. Which again, means that 80 percent are completed, or carried out by somebody who has not been diagnosed with a mental illness,” Rasmussen said.

By blaming mental illness, it further enhances the stigma already surrounding mental health diseases, he said. The recent mass shootings have been for different reasons.

"A lot of the more recent mass shootings have been in the name of some organization or some cause,” Rasmussen said.

Lt. John Wilson, with the Twin Falls Police Department, said his department tries to do everything they can for students that may consider hurting themselves or others.

Wilson says they have police officers in all the middle schools and high schools.

"They have that opportunity to develop relationships with staff members, with other employees, with other students, and maybe can see events unfolding, and take some intervention prior to it becoming dangerous,” Wilson said.

Both Wilson and Rasmussen agree that this issue won't be solved alone.

“Everybody in our community has to understand that these issues are real and being proactive when they think that there is a problem,” Wilson said.

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