Soaring: A Journal of Undergraduate Research
As the cases of gun violence are continuously increasing in America, so are the number of assumptions that the incident was caused by a mental illness. Whenever there is a mass shooting, the media is quick to diagnose the shooter with a mental illness, without having the credentials to do so. Previous research has found that stories of mass shootings and incidents of gun violence increase negative attitudes towards people with a serious mental illness (SMI), and an increase in support for gun restrictions for this specific population. This paper uses past research on gun violence beliefs to help answer the question of whether mental illness causes gun violence. It evaluates what the media believes to be causes of gun violence and explores the factors that actually lead to gun violence. Despite what the media portrays, the causes of gun violence are multifactorial. It is not impossible that SMI may contribute, however, it is not a leading cause and there are other factors that more directly influence the prevalence of gun violence.
Dillon, Rachel T.
"Gun Violence: Is Mental Illness Really the Issue?,"
Soaring: A Journal of Undergraduate Research: Vol. 2023, Article 7.
Available at: https://fisherpub.sjf.edu/soaring/vol2023/iss1/7