The myth of mental illness and gun violence

Listen 49:01
Flowers and a Virgin Mary painting adorn makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Andres Leighton/AP Photo)

Flowers and a Virgin Mary painting adorn makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, Sunday, August 4, 2019. (Andres Leighton/AP Photo)

As the number of mass shootings continue to climb all over the country, the link between mental illness and gun violence has become a popular talking point among policy officials. In the wake of the two deadly shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, Trump called for the return of mental institutions saying, “We will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets.” But despite this rhetoric, research shows that there is no basis for this link. So why does this narrative persist? Today we’ll talk with Vox reporter GERMAN LOPEZ, JOHN ROZEL from the University of Pittsburgh, DOMINIC SISTI from the University of Pennsylvania, and BEN WAXMAN, former Communications Director for Larry Krasner.

 

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