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Statistically, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the mentally ill are no more violent than the mentally well. The only exception to that rule is substance abusers who are actively using. However, the mentally well, who are using substances are just as predisposed to violence when using substances.
70+ years ago, there was a gun in just about every home, and there were just as many people who were mentally ill, but much fewer who ever sought treatment. Yet, prior to 1970, there were only 3 spree shootings on the books. Imagine all those crazy people with guns, who never thought to use them to kill innocent people. That's because despite suffering from sadness or an obsession or anxiety, murder never occurred to them, because those disorders do not rob those citizens of their faculties, or of a conscience. They clearly knew that such a deed was wrong and, beside that, would land them in jail (and in most cases, hell).
I understand how convenient it is for the so-called "normal" people to place the blame for gun violence on the mentally ill, particularly spree shootings, because it is difficult to imagine how anyone in their "right mind" could just snap like that and commit such an atrocity. But, there are periods of "temporary insanity" when people do just that - they "snap." It could be from a devastating break-up, which was the case with off-duty Sherriff Tyler Peterson, 20, who shot 7 teens in 2007 at a homecoming party. It could be from a life-altering, demoralizing job loss, as with the 19 cases of work place violence in the "Mother Jones data of mass shootings (1982-2012). One of the shootings was a pre-planned and coordinated terror attack on an army base.
Neither rage nor hatred is a mental illness. They are emotions that just about every person has experienced at some point in their lives, whether mentally well or ill. Mental illness does not presuppose that a person automatically takes it to the next level. The mentally ill have the same capacity to control their tempers as do the mentally well. They also have the same small minority of people who have a more difficult time controlling their temper as the mentally well. That doesn't mean that, because of their illness, they cannot differentiate between right and wrong. There is only a very small fraction of the mentally ill in that category, and that portion is mostly living in locked institutions.
SUMMARY: The enhanced background checks on the mentally ill will do nothing except infringe on the civil rights of the mentally ill, and those who have faced mental illness at some point in their lives (maybe from a trauma, or loss of a loved one). It has already further stigmatized the tens of millions of Americans who have found themselves in this category at some point through no choice of their own. Now every pundit on TV, along with the president of the US is calling them "dangerous people". Nothing could be further from the truth.
The only thing that is being accomplished today is that people who find themselves in need of psychiatric assistance will not seek help. Who, in their right mind, would?