School Shootings and Violence - The New York Times


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May 09,  · Articles on School shootings Displaying 1 - 20 of 43 articles Parents gather in a circle to pray at a recreation center where students were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a. Dec 14,  · School shooting, an event in which a student at an educational facility—namely, elementary, middle, junior, and high schools as well as colleges and universities—shoots and injures or kills at least one other student or faculty member at events are typically characterized by multiple deaths. Rampage school shootings are a type of school shooting where no single or specific. Aug 31,  · Public mass shootings account for a tiny fraction of the country’s gun deaths, but they are uniquely terrifying because they occur without warning in the most mundane places.

Mental Illness, Mass Shootings, and the Politics of American Firearms

Both authors conceptualized and designed the analysis and wrote and edited the article. Each of these statements is certainly true in particular instances.

In the United States, popular and political discourse frequently focuses on the causal impact of mental illness in the aftermath of mass shootings. For instance, the US media diagnosed shooter Adam Lanza with schizophrenia in the days following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December Similar themes permeated political responses to Newtown as well, articles on school shootings.

Such associations make sense on many levels. Crimes such as Newtown—where Lanza killed 20 children and 6 adults with a military-grade semiautomatic weapon—appear to fall outside the bounds of articles on school shootings who but an insane person would articles on school shootings such horrifying things? And, of course, scripts linking guns articles on school shootings mental illness arise articles on school shootings the aftermath of many US mass shootings in no small part because of the psychiatric histories of articles on school shootings assailants.

It is undeniable that persons who have shown violent tendencies should not have access to weapons that could be used to harm themselves or others. However, notions that mental illness caused any particular shooting, or that advance psychiatric attention might prevent these crimes, are more complicated than they often seem.

We accessed key literatures articles on school shootings fields including psychiatry, psychology, public health, and sociology that address connections between mental illness and gun violence. Search terms included keyword combinations of terms such as guns or firearms with terms such as mental illness or schizophrenia, with a time frame of through We also conducted manual online searches for specific authors, articles on school shootings, organizations, and news outlets that articles on school shootings relevant research articles on school shootings these topics.

Though not peer-reviewed, investigative journalism and online archives proved important secondary sources that often functioned outside regulations limiting firearms research.

From this review we critically addressed 4 central assumptions that frequently arise in the aftermath of mass shootings:, articles on school shootings. Evidence strongly suggests that mass shooters are often mentally ill and socially marginalized. Enhanced psychiatric attention may well prevent particular crimes. And, to be sure, mass shootings often shed light on the need for more investment in mental health support networks or improved state laws and procedures regarding gun access.

At the same time, the literatures we surveyed suggest that these seemingly self-evident assumptions about mass shootings are replete with problematic assumptions, particularly when read against current and historical literatures that address guns, violence, and mental illness more broadly.

On the aggregate level, the notion that mental illness causes articles on school shootings violence stereotypes a vast and diverse population of persons diagnosed with psychiatric conditions and oversimplifies links between violence and mental illness. Anxieties about insanity and gun violence are also imbued with oft-unspoken anxieties about race, politics, and the unequal distribution of violence in US society.

Again, it is understandable that US policymakers, journalists, and the general public look to psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, and related disciplines as sources of certainty in the face of the often-incomprehensible terror and loss that mass shootings inevitably produce, articles on school shootings.

This is especially the case in the current political moment, when relationships between shootings and mental illness often appear to be the only points upon which otherwise divergent voices in the contentious national gun debate agree. Our brief review ultimately suggests, however, that this framework—and its implicit promise of mental health solutions to ostensibly mental health problems—creates an untenable situation in which mental health practitioners increasingly become the persons most empowered to make decisions about gun ownership and most liable for failures to predict gun violence, articles on school shootings.

Meanwhile, public, legal, articles on school shootings, and medical discourses move ever-farther away 20 from talking broadly and productively about the social, structural, and, indeed, psychological implications of gun violence in the United States.

Yet surprisingly little population-level evidence supports the notion that individuals diagnosed with mental illness are more likely than anyone else to commit gun crimes. By most estimates, there were fewer than mass shootings reported in the United States—often defined as crimes in which four or more people are shot in an event, or related series of events—between and Links between mental illness and other types of violence are similarly contentious among researchers who study such trends, articles on school shootings.

Several studies 33—35 suggest that subgroups of persons with severe or untreated mental illness might be at increased risk for violence in periods surrounding psychotic episodes or psychiatric hospitalizations. Writing in the American Journal of PsychiatryKeers et al. Media reports often assume a binary distinction between mild and severe mental illness, articles on school shootings connect the latter form to unpredictability and lack of self-control.

However, this distinction, too, is called into question by mental health research. To be sure, a number of the most common psychiatric articles on school shootings, including depressive, anxiety, and attention-deficit disorders, have no correlation with violence whatsoever. Nestor theorizes that serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia actually reduce the risk of violence over time, as the illnesses are in many cases marked by social isolation and withdrawal.

This is not to suggest that researchers know nothing about predictive factors for gun violence. However, credible studies suggest that a number of risk factors more strongly correlate with gun violence than mental illness alone. For instance, alcohol and drug use increase the risk of violent crime by as much as 7-fold, even among persons with no history of mental illness—a concerning statistic in the face of recent legislation that allows persons in certain US states to bring loaded handguns into bars and nightclubs.

A number of studies suggest that laws and policies that enable firearm access during emotionally charged moments also seem to correlate with gun violence more strongly than does mental illness alone. Contrary to the image of the marauding lone gunman, social relationships also predict gun violence. Articles on school shootings analyses by Papachristos articles on school shootings al. Again, certain persons with mental illness undoubtedly commit violent acts.

Reports argue that mental illness might even be underdiagnosed in people who commit random school shootings. Gun crime narratives that attribute causality to mental illness also invert the material realities of serious mental illness in the United States.

Legislation in a number of states now mandates that psychiatrists assess their patients for the potential to commit violent gun crime. Supporters of these types of laws argue that they provide important tools for law enforcement officials to identify potentially violent persons.

History suggests, however, that psychiatrists are inefficient gatekeepers in this regard. Data supporting the predictive value of psychiatric diagnosis in articles on school shootings of gun violence is thin at best, articles on school shootings. Psychiatric diagnosis is largely an observational tool, not an extrapolative one. Largely for this reason, research dating back to the s suggests that psychiatrists using clinical judgment are not much better than laypersons at predicting which individual patients will commit violent crimes and which will not.

The lack of prognostic specificity is in large part a matter of simple math. Psychiatric diagnosis is in and of itself not predictive of violence, and even the overwhelming majority of psychiatric patients who fit the profile of recent US mass shooters—gun-owning, angry, paranoid White men—do not commit crimes. In this sense, population-based literature on guns and mental illness suggests that legislatures risk drawing the wrong lessons from mass shootings if their responses focus on asking psychiatrists to predict future events.

Though rooted in valid concerns about public safety, legislation that expands mental-health criteria for revoking gun rights puts psychiatrists in potentially untenable positions, not because they are poor judges of character, but because the urgent political and social conditions psychiatrists are asked to diagnose are at times at odds with the capabilities of their diagnostic tools and prognostic technologies.

Complicating matters further, associations between violence and psychiatric diagnosis shift over time. For instance, schizophrenia—far and away the most common diagnosis linked by the US media to mass shooters 69 —was considered an illness of docility for much of the first half of the 20th century.

Serpasil advertisement. Only in the s and s did US society begin to link schizophrenia with violence and guns. Psychiatric journals suddenly described patients whose illness was marked by criminality and aggression, articles on school shootings. Descriptors emphasized the generally calm nature of such persons in ways that encouraged associations with poets or articles on school shootings housewives.

A somewhat similar story can be told about posttraumatic stress disorder PTSDanother illness frequently associated with gun violence. Evolutions such as these not only imbued the mentally ill with an imagined potential for violence, but also encouraged psychiatrists and the general public to define violent acts as symptomatic of mental illness, articles on school shootings.

Mass shootings in the United States are often framed as the work of loners—unstable, articles on school shootings, angry White men who never should have had access to firearms.

Lanza, Rodger, and other recent shooters undoubtedly led troubled solitary lives—lives marked by psychological symptoms, anomie, and despair.

Critics hold that this framing plays off of rhetoric about hegemonic White male individualism and privilege that ultimately reinforce wider arguments for gun rights.

In the s and s, by contrast, many of the men labeled as violent and mentally ill were also, it turned out, Black. Similar themes appeared in visual iconography. In 1 example, s- and s-era advertisements for the antipsychotic medication Haldol that appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry showed the troubling, distorted image of an angry Black man in an urban scene Figure 2.

The man shakes a threatening, inverted Black Power fist. Haldol advertisement. A number of historical documents suggest that racialized articles on school shootings gendered overtones also shaped s-era associations between schizophrenia and gun violence in the United States. He has previously been diagnosed as schizophrenic and has advocated and threatened violence. Malcolm X, Robert Articles on school shootings, and other leaders of Black political groups were far from schizophrenic.

But fears about their political sentiments, guns, and sanity mobilized substantial response. Recent history thus suggests articles on school shootings cultural politics underlie anxieties about whether guns and mental illness are understood to represent individual or communal etiologies.

In the s and s, widespread concerns about Black social and political violence fomented calls for widespread reforms in gun ownership. However, in the present day, the actions of lone White male shooters lead to calls to expand gun rights, focus on individual brains, or limit gun rights just for the severely mentally ill.

Indeed it would seem political suicide for a legislator or articles on school shootings 99 to hint at restricting the gun rights for White Americans, private citizens, or men, even though these groups are frequently linked to high-profile mass shootings.

Meanwhile, members of political groups such as the Tea Party who advocate broadening gun rights to guard against government tyranny—indeed the same claims made by Black Panther leaders in the s—take seats in the US Congress rather than being subjected to psychiatric surveillance.

This contention generally assumes that, because none of the recent mass shooters in Tucson, Aurora, articles on school shootings, Newtown, or Isla Vista used weapons purchased through unregulated private sale or gun shows, gun control in itself would be ineffective at stopping gun crime, and that gun purchase restrictions or background checks are in any case rendered moot when shooters have mental illness. No one wants another tragedy like Newtown—on this point all sides of the gun debate agree.

Moreover, it is widely acknowledged by persons on all sides of articles on school shootings debate that there is no guarantee that the types of restrictions voted down by the US Senate in Aprilbased largely on background checks, would prevent the next mass crime. Moreover, the focus on individual crimes or the psychologies of individual shooters obfuscates attention to community-level everyday violence and the widespread symptoms produced by living in an environment engulfed by fear of guns and shootings.

Given this terrain, it is increasingly the case that, when violence-prevention experts talk about ebbing gun crime linked to mental illness, they do not mean that mental health practitioners will avert the next random act of violence such as Newtown, though of course stopping mass crime remains a vital goal.

Our brief review suggests that connections between mental illness and gun violence are less causal and more complex than current US public opinion and articles on school shootings action allow. A growing body of data reveals that US gun crime happens when guns and people come together in particular, destructive ways. To repeat, questioning the associations between guns and mental illness in no way detracts from the dire need to stem gun crime. Yet as the fractious US debate about gun rights plays out—to uncertain endpoint—it seems incumbent to find common ground beyond assumptions about whether particular assailants meet criteria for specific illnesses, or whether mental health experts can predict violence before it occurs.

At the same time, our review suggests that focusing legislative policy and popular discourse so centrally on mental illness is rife with potential problems if, as seems increasingly the case, those policies are not embedded in larger societal strategies and structural-level interventions.

Current literature also suggests that agendas that hold mental health workers accountable for identifying dangerous assailants puts these workers in potentially untenable positions because the legal duties they are asked to perform misalign with the predictive value of their expertise, articles on school shootings.

Mental health workers are in these instances asked to provide clinical diagnoses to social articles on school shootings economic problems. Put another way, perhaps psychiatric expertise might be put to better use by enhancing US discourse about the complex anxieties, social and economic formations, and blind assumptions that make people fear each other in the first place.

Psychiatry could help society interrogate what guns mean to everyday people, and why people feel they need guns or reject guns out of hand. By addressing gun discord as symptomatic of deeper concerns, psychiatry could, ideally, promote more meaningful public conversations on the impact of guns on civic life.

And it could join with public health researchers, community activists, law enforcement officers, or business leaders to identify and address the underlying structural and infrastructural issues that foster real or imagined notions of mortal fear. Beneath seemingly straightforward questions of whether particular assailants meet criteria for particular mental illnesses lay ever-changing categories of race, gender, violence, and, indeed, of diagnosis itself.

Finally, forging opinion and legislation so centrally on the psychopathologies of individual assailants makes it harder for the United States to address how mass shootings reflect group psychologies in addition to individual ones. Yet this expansion has gone hand in hand with a narrowing of the rhetoric through which US culture talks about the role of guns and shootings.

Meanwhile, a host of other narratives, such as displaced male anxiety about demographic change, the mass psychology of needing so many guns in the first place, or the symptoms created by being surrounded by them, remain unspoken. Mass shootings represent national awakenings and moments when seeming political or social adversaries might come together to find common ground, articles on school shootings, whether guns are allowed, articles on school shootings, regulated, or banned.


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articles on school shootings


Dec 14,  · School shooting, an event in which a student at an educational facility—namely, elementary, middle, junior, and high schools as well as colleges and universities—shoots and injures or kills at least one other student or faculty member at events are typically characterized by multiple deaths. Rampage school shootings are a type of school shooting where no single or specific. Apr 09,  · Ironically, exploitation of school shootings for the advocacy of irrelevant gun controls may have obscured the genuine merits of various gun control measures for reducing ‘ordinary’ gun violence. Thus, mass school shootings provided the worst possible basis for supporting gun control.” “Tragedy at Virginia Tech: Trauma and Its Aftermath”. US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics.