Mental health screenings have become the knee-jerk reaction to many pro-gun advocates such as political experts or presidential candidates. One would agree that “dangerous” mentally ill individuals like Colorado gunman James Holmes and Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, who was incompetent to stand trial due to paranoid schizophrenia, should not be able to legally purchase firearms (Horwitz). So, while mental health screenings for gun ownership sound like a good idea, it is not the solution that America needs to the reduce gun violence. In the context of gun violence and mass shootings, the mentally ill have become easy scapegoats. Instead of offering the necessary solutions or proposing a plan decent enough to deal with this issue, policymakers are focusing on keeping guns away from the mentally ill (Rapoport). Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) put out a report, which reported that as of the year 2014, twelve states had still reported fewer than 100 mental health records to the national background check system. Additionally, after the Santa Barbara shootings, the House of Representatives approved 19.5 million in extra funds to help add more mental health records to the background checks system (Beckett). With these bi-partisan moves, are mental health illness screenings going to make much difference? Or the better question is have they made any progress since the actual database was put forward?
The result of the legislation shows that gun control, or more specifically, screenings to make sure a person isn’t at risk of injuring someone else, has worked with the mentally ill. A national study of Connecticut’s mental-health screenings after 2007 (or added gun provisions,) s...
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...xperts Fear Proposed N.Y. Gun Law Might Hinder Therapy." USA Today. Gannett, 15 Jan. 2013. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Horwitz, Josh. "Aurora 's Hard Truth: Mental Health Screening for Gun Buyers Is Nearly Non-Existent." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 1 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Oct. 2015.
"Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (HBO)." YouTube. YouTube, 4 Oct. 2015. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Lois, Beckett. "Myth vs. Fact: Violence and Mental Health." Top Stories RSS. 10 June 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Lois, Beckett. "What We Actually Know About the Connections Between Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and Gun Violence." Pacific Standard. 10 June 2014. Web. 10 Oct. 2015.
Metzl, Jonathan M., and Kenneth T. Macleish. "Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms." Am J Public Health American Journal of Public Health 105.2 (2015): 240-49. Print.
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