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Mental health and gun violence

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

When a person uses a gun in Texas against several individuals, people may assume they have a mental illness, causing them to act irresponsibly. However, statistics indicate that these types of violent crimes are only associated with a few individuals with a mental health condition.

Increasing gun violence problems

Since 2018, gun violence has been rapidly increasing in the United States as can be seen by the number of mass shootings listed below:

  • 336 in 2018
  • 415 in 2019
  • 610 in 2020
  • 690 in 2021
  • 640 in 2022

A mass shooting is defined as a shooter who involves four or more individuals, excluding the shooter, in one location at about the same time.

Mental health and gun violence

Statistics show that only about four percent of violent acts towards others could be attributed to someone having a mental health condition. There’s also no evidence that a mental health condition will cause a person to perform a crime with a gun. However, despite the statistics, many still believe that violent gun-related crimes are due to mental health issues.

Factors that may increase the likelihood of gun violence

The actual cause of a person using a gun in a violent act against others can often be attributed to the following factors:

  • Increased availability of weapons
  • Alcohol or substance abuse
  • Media influence
  • Being young and male
  • History of violence
  • Family problems

Warning signs

Often, individuals who want to shoot others and commit gun-related crime will provide warning signs of their intention, which can include the following:

  • Making direct threats
  • Talking about plans to harm others
  • Becoming more isolated
  • Bragging about their access to guns or ones they’ve acquired
  • Becoming more irritable and angry
  • Giving away personal belongings

To stop violent crimes associated with gun use from occurring, it may help to provide more focus on the warning signs. This action may make more people realize the real reasons why they occur.