Mass shootings within the United States have become all too common: El Paso, Dayton, Parkland, Tree Of Life, Las Vegas, Borderline Bar, Sandy Hook, Charleston.
These are just some of many communities that have been rocked by gun violence. When something of this nature happens, we as a society look to blame mental health for the sole reason somebody shot up a Walmart, a school, a bar or club, a church.
But, maybe the problem isn't mental health or maybe it isn't the one thing that predicts a mass shooting. I know plenty of people who struggle with their mental health, but none who would even consider shooting up a building full of people.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness put out a statement on the most recent shootings in Ohio and Texas and said that the majority of violence is not perpetrated by people who have a mental illness.
When we put our focus on mental health and gun violence we ignore that most gun violence is committed by those in crisis, those who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, or those who have a history of perpetrating domestic violence.
A study was done by Everytown Research found familiar patterns. One of those patterns was a history of domestic violence. The majority of mass shootings were related to domestic or family violence.
My biggest question in all of this is how are there still states out there that do not prohibit domestic abusers from owning firearms. There are only 16 states who require abusers to turn in their guns.
States who have laws that require anyone who was convicted of a violent offense were associated with a 23% drop in the intimate partner homicide rate and a 21% drop in intimate partner firearm homicide rate.
This could be vital in eventually ending mass shootings since a link has been established between domestic/family violence and mass shootings.
At the end of the day, I am sure some mental illnesses play a part in mass shootings, but so does a history of domestic violence, and hate and ignorance and intolerance.
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