Dear Future President,
I want you to stop blaming the mentally ill for gun violence and start talking about the real sources of gun violence such as poverty and access to weapons. After mass shootings like Sandy Hook, media and politicians blame gun violence like these on mentally ill people, when the real problem that causes gun violence is other issues. You need to help people solve mental health problems separate from the issue of mentally ill people are getting access to guns.
In 1968, a law was passed that made it illegal for mentally ill people to have access to guns. What wasn’t covered in the laws was that someone could purchase a gun through a private seller without restrictions. These laws are only in 18 states so someone can go to another state and get a gun even if they have a mental problem. Some politicians want to make it illegal for a mentally ill person to buy gun in any state by a private seller. They are saying that it will reduce gun violence. That is their opinion but it’s not proven.
Most mentally ill people are harmless and mental illness is not the leading cause for gun violence. Some will harm others but it is only 2 to 4 percent of the gun violence. The mentally ill are less likely to commit violence with a gun than non-mentally ill. Many psychiatric conditions such as ADD, anxiety, and depression have no connection to violence. People with severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and psychosis are 11 times more likely to be victims of violence. People with mental illness are more likely to commit suicide. Suicide makes up more than half of gun violence. This means mentally ill people cannot be blamed for gun violence that harmed other people.
The causes of gun violence are poverty, access to education, and underserved communities. This is what politicians should be trying to solve. By blaming gun violence on the mentally ill, politicians and the media are making both problems worse by not talking about the real problem and mentally ill are not getting treatment.
In conclusion, Future President, be careful not to blame mentally ill for gun violence. You have the power to make neighborhoods better and providing treatment for the mentally ill.