Oct 022015
 
Mass shootings

Mass shootings affect everyone in society. Photo by David-Castillo Dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

Mass shootings. It’s not a gun control problem as much as it is a mental health problem. There are many responsible individuals owning guns who do not go out and shoot innocent people. Likewise, there are many individuals with a mental health diagnosis who do not go out and shoot innocent people.

What’s the connection?

A breaking point. Yes, a mental breaking point where a person’s mind cannot tolerate anymore, fueled with anger (or another negative emotion) who wants revenge of some sort. This breaking point can surface in days, weeks, months and even years.

Now, hand that person who cannot tolerate anymore a gun.

Boom.

The Mind of Mass Shootings

Like most, if not all people, I have had a couple breaking points. It’s that point where I have no idea what my next step is going to be and my whole world feels like it has shattered. Did I want to go out and shoot people, much less hurt someone? No. (Disclaimer: If a person harms my family, I may become mentally unstable and retract my claim resorting to the ‘eye for an eye’ belief).

All mass shootings are senseless, and all mass shooters have a thinking process that is skewed. Yes, their thinking is irrational, delusional or distorted which places them in the category of having a mental health issue. To premeditate the killing of innocent people in masses justifies a mental health diagnosis. Some people believe they are evil, but other than performing an exorcism, society has to identify the root cause(s) to ameliorate the problem. As a side note; in our recent history, society labeled people with mental health issues as having an evil spirit.

Mentally unstable people should not be allowed to purchase a gun (more gun control). Family and friends should not allow access of guns to known mentally unstable people. I would not give my car keys to my pre-teen child. It’s being called socially responsible.  Yes, maybe being pro-active in safety is more important than being afraid I might hurt my child’s feelings?

Therefore, it’s not just a gun control problem, nor just a mental health problem. It is a collective problem and we all need to get involved to put an end to the mass shootings.