Psychiatrist says mass shootings not about gun control

Psychiatrist says mass shootings not about gun control
(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

I’ve often said that it’s never a good day when I have to write about a mass shooting anywhere in the country. Part of the reason I can say I’ve said it often is that I’ve had enough of them to write about in just the last couple of years.


Invariably, this sparks debates over gun control, regardless of where it happens. In a gun control state, the question is always whether there’s enough of it or whether the fault lies with pro-gun states.

In pro-gun states, the fault is always because they didn’t have some bit of gun control, regardless of whether it has anything to do with the shooting.

In fact, concern over mass shootings has prompted some to say that the Constitution shouldn’t matter because certain weapons are so dangerous.

Only, there’s another side worth discussing.

Reflecting on the hearing, gun rights advocate Rhonda Ezell said the issue isn’t about the gun. She said policymakers are soft on crime.

“‘Well, we don’t think incarceration is the answer,’ but yet you run to gun control that does nothing to stop the violence and it only affects law-abiding Americans and we’re not the ones that’s out here committing the crime,” Ezell said.

Psychiatrist Carole Lieberman said it’s not the gun that’s causing problems.

“A lot of people who are committing crimes, especially crimes where there is more than one person killed or injured, it does have to do with mental illness,” Lieberman said.

In St. Louis, KSDK TV reported private text messages from Mayor Tishaura Jones that said, “Chicago has strict gun laws … but that doesn’t deter gun violence.” She said: “it’s about investing in the people.”

Now, Jones has tried to walk back that sentiment, as we noted on Monday.

But the big thing I want people to note is Lieberman’s comments. She’s a psychiatrist. That means she’s a mental health professional.


She should know a thing or two about mental health issues.

After a mass shooting, people want to be quick to argue it’s not because of mental illness, and I get the sentiment. We don’t need to demonize someone with mild depression or anxiety or PTSD as a potential mass killer.

However, we’re not doing anyone favors by ignoring reality simply because we’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings.

Sane, rational people don’t kill a pile of folks just for funsies. Sane, rational people don’t think murder is a hell of a way to get their own Wikipedia entry.

You’re damn right there’s some kind of mental illness involved, and Lieberman is right to point that out.

The truth is that gun control isn’t the answer. All that does is disarm law-abiding citizens, making it harder for them to exercise their Second Amendment rights, while really not doing anything to prevent mass shootings in general.

Plus, even if you eliminate the guns, you can’t eliminate the sickness itself, as we saw in China.

But hey, why actually try to solve mass shootings when you can use them for political justification to do something you wanted to do anyway, right?

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