BBC: Is there a link between mass shootings and mental illness?

According to studies cited in the BBC Future article, in the US, people with mental illness, while composing up to 18% of the population, account for just 3-5% of violence and less than 1% of gun-related homicides. Renee Binder, a professor at the University of California, is quoted as saying, “When one of these horrible mass shootings occurs, people say, ‘Anyone who would do such a thing must be mentally ill. But we need to be careful with our definitions because, while something is clearly wrong with them, it’s often not a serious mental illness.”

So what the article is saying is that definitionally, most people who commit mass shootings do not suffer from mental illness, or as Binder puts it, a serious mental illness. Serious-ly? Then perhaps now would be the time to change the definition of mental illness, or start working outside of that definitional framework entirely, as it is clearly no longer useful.

Unless what you want to tell me is that mentally not-ill humans in our modern world must needs on occasion kill lots of other humans, because that’s just what humans do, in which case I say maybe we need to do something about being human, that is, be less that.



New Yorker: Thresholds of Violence

What if this is correct? What if school shootings are riots in slow motion? How do you stop the riot?

The score at fractional-time

To give a final tally of mass shootings in the US would be more my style. (Post-)humans looking back on the present at our (super)human tolerance for killing each other. Instead, here is the score from 2.10.2017: 1516 from 1735. Not a bad conversion rate.

Response to Sandy Hook PSA

Are you the parent of, do you have friends who are, have you ever been–a teenager? Teenagers are bullied, they are angry, they have unhealthy interests. This is not to say that this is therefore normal and should not concern anyone. This is saying that teenagers everywhere feel, suffer, struggle. And they need more help than we currently give them.

Yet America has disproportionally high incidence of gun violence, and that includes school shootings. Why do you think that is? Of course it wouldn’t have anything to do with easy access to firearms. Of course it wouldn’t have anything to do with the heroisation of the military, with the number of war veterans, with a culture of firearm fetishism. And it certainly wouldn’t have anything to do with the normalisation of firearms in cinema and on TV.

No, instead of focussing and directing attention and effort toward the source of the problem, you want to now blame the fellow teenagers who are trying to make their own shitty way through their own shitty lives?