Swearer: America Has a Mental Health Infrastructure Problem, Not a Gun Problem By Dan Zimmerman

We have a very real national crisis of disillusioned young men who are increasingly alienated from society, overly connected to the internet, and full of anger. They are too easily pulled into extremism and too often turn to violence as an outlet.

We have a local, state, and national mental health infrastructure that is, to put it nicely, failing and falling apart. While many public shooters do not necessarily have a diagnosable mental illness, they’re rarely the epitome of mental stability. But it turns out that addressing this complicated, decades-long problem and ensuring people get help before they’re in crisis is difficult. It’s far easier, and more profitable, to lobby against a specific type of scary-looking gun

We have too many states that make it difficult and expensive for peaceful citizens to exercise their unalienable right to self-defense, both in public and in their own homes. At the same time, government officials undermine the same police departments they ask us to wait on for assistance when confronted with imminent violent threats.

In Jacksonville, lives were saved by an armed campus security officer who approached and deterred the gunman before he could fire a single shot on university grounds. Meanwhile, Gun Control, Inc., rakes in money for mocking the idea of a “good guy with a gun” while failing to acknowledge the obvious: the faster a violent threat is confronted by armed resistance, the faster that threat ends and the fewer people die.

We deserve better than the current list of bumper-sticker solutions to the most surface-level and fringe aspects of violence.

Until we force ourselves to change the way we collectively approach mass public shootings, we will keep spinning in circles while people die.

— Amy Swearer in Stop the Bumper-Sticker ‘Solutions’ to Mass Shootings

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