Essay on Mental Illness And Gun Violence

951 Words Apr 27th, 2016 4 Pages
Some blamed mentally ill individuals for gun deaths such as Anne Coulter who says, “Guns don’t kill people - the mentally ill do” (Metzl and MacLeish, 240). This negative portrayal is also played out on media reports. An example is the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by Adam Lanza, believed to have a history of schizophrenia (Metzl and MacLeish, 240). They, in addition to other groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA), establish a causal relationship between being mentally ill and committing gun violence. The NRA has greater influence than public opinion on firearm policies, and called for the creation of a national database of individuals with mental illness (Swanson et al., 366). This one-sided view of the relationship with mental illness and gun violence was not convincing for us as we developed our research question. Our research interests are to provide a different story for gun violence and to address the issue of gun deaths. The CDC reported an estimated 33,599 gun deaths in 2014 alone (Grinberg, 2016). This proposal is intended to provide policymakers findings for policies to reduce these death rates. Background information on legislation bills, along with the states’ actions on mental illness and gun control, will frame the discussion for our research objectives.
Background
Prior to the deinstitutionalization of mental health care services in 1956, care occurred either in a locked institution or the patient’s home (Behbehani et al., 155). The…

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