After the most recent shooting in Oregon, ignorant politicians attempt to leverage the media hype to deflect from the core issue at hand, which is gun control. John Oliver won’t take the manipulation any longer and lays the facts out on the table for all of us to marinate in. Politicians need to stop using mental illness as the scapegoat to avoid talking about gun control, and should use that time to address the disgraceful state of mental health care in America. Less than 5% of violent crimes in America were committed by individuals with mental illness. As my good friend G.I. Joe would say, “knowing is half the battle” my friends.
The aftermath of a mass shooting might actually be the worst time to talk about mental health. Because for the record, the vast majority of mentally ill people are nonviolent. And the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non-mentally ill people. In fact, mentally ill people are far likelier to be the victims of violence rather than the perpetrators. So the fact we tend to only discuss mental health in a mass shooting context is deeply misleading.