[It’s] because we approach them as part of broader problems, not as a distinct and self-perpetuating plague.
The problem with almost every narrative that mass shootings are “actually an X problem” is that X is usually so broad it’s like saying the real problem with asteroid impacts is that the Earth is so big.
Take mental health: It’s easy to say “mass shootings are really a mental health problem” because, well, you’d have to be crazy to commit one, right?
No, not really. James Knoll: “the literature does not reflect a strong link with serious mental illness.”
Some, like the Virginia Tech shooter, had serious diagnosed or diagnosable mental illness like psychopathy or major depression. But the large majority don’t. And the vast majority of people with strong mental illness aren’t violent.
“This is really about America’s love of guns” or “It’s just the most visible edge of our gun violence problem”: Again, important partial truths. But it doesn’t go that far in explaining mass shootings, which have moved opposite to gun ownership and overall gun homicide trends. …
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