Connecting mental illness and mass shooting misses the point, experts say

In the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, where a gunman killed 17 students and staff, the Trump administration and many Republicans have said that the best way to end the seemingly constant stream of mass shootings is by combating mental illness.

And while some think it a reasonable idea, mental health and mass shooting experts aren’t so sure.

Dr. James Alan Fox, a criminologist with Northeastern University and author of “Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder,” said it’s dangerous to assume that the mentally ill tend to commit these shootings.
“There’s not really a correlation,” said Fox, who maintains a database on mass shootings. “We like to think that these people are different from the rest of us. We want a simple explanation and if we just say they’re mentally ill, case closed. Because of how fearful dangerous and deadly their actions are, we really want to distance ourselves from it and relegate it to illness.”  more
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