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Should We Be Blaming Mental Illness for Gun Violence?

A+makeshift+memorial+on+Berkshire+Road+in+Sandy+Hook.+%0AUsed+w%2F+permission%3A+By+Bbjeter+-+Own+work%2C+CC+BY-SA+3.0%2C+https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fw%2Findex.php%3Fcurid%3D23668438
A makeshift memorial on Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. 
Used w/ permission: By Bbjeter - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23668438

A makeshift memorial on Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. Used w/ permission: By Bbjeter - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23668438

A makeshift memorial on Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. Used w/ permission: By Bbjeter - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=23668438

Caitlin Donnelly, Staff Writer

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Hadiya Pendleton, 15-year-old girl from Chicago, was killed by two shooters on January 29, 2013 while hanging out with friends at a park near President Obama’s Chicago residence. Shooters claim they were aiming for rival gang members.

11-year-old boy killed an 8-year-old neighbor girl with a shotgun because she wouldn’t let him play with her puppy. The gun was in his house and not locked up.

Two very different scenarios yet, two very same reactions- mental illness.

Lately, whenever a shooting comes up in the media, the general audience seems quick to point the finger at mental illness.

According to this mental health reporting site, there are a few things you should know about mental health before you jump to any conclusions: first, “People with severe mental illnesses, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder or psychosis, are 2 and half times more likely to be attacked, raped or mugged than the general population.” Basically, people with mental health illnesses are much more likely to be the victim rather then the attacker.

So why is the general public blaming mental illness for the crime?

The answer is simple: Americans love having their guns. The less guns laws the better.

But why is the question.

According to Fox News’ article regarding gun control, “Academic research aligns with current public opinion. If you have a gun in the home, that gun is far more likely to prevent murder than it is to be used in an accidental shooting or to kill a loved one.”

It seems that many Americans who oppose gun control want access to guns in order for personal safety.

So, by blaming mental illness on shootings, it takes away from the fact that guns may or may not be the problem.

To wrap this up: an interview with teen pop star Demi Lovato who is a huge supporter of mental health- in fact, she started her own campaign: Be Vocal: Speak Up For Mental Health. In this interview with MSNBC, Demi explains that people with mental illness are more likely to inflict pain on themselves, rather than hurt others. The interviewer also explains that Demi is flying down to the White House to show her support on the mental health reform.

So, what do you think?

Is it the mental illness, or are guns responsible for the recent shooting happening?

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Should We Be Blaming Mental Illness for Gun Violence?