About four months ago, in regards to the video where you talked about the congressional shooter in the US, you confidently asserted in the video that "mental instability" is the usual culprit in mass shootings that don't involve larger ideological pursuits, and that if the gunman had any type of mental illness, that you would automatically blame the shooting on whatever hypothetical mental disability he may have possessed.

In reference to this academic journal published by the NCBI: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4318286/), they have found that 3-5% of crimes in the US involve people with mental disabilities, that percentages of crimes that involve guns committed by the mentally disabled are at a lower rate than the average of crimes that don't involve criminals with mental disabilities, the vast majority of people with mental illness do not commit violent acts, that people with mental disabilities are more likely to be assaulted or shot by the police than to commit violent crimes themselves, and that being male and a binge drinker are predictive risk factors of serious violence.

Why do you seem to believe that mental illness is causing mass shootings, such as the Sandy Hook and Aurora movie theater shooting, to occur in the face of academic research that shows the contrary?

Comments (26)
No. 1-26
Armadillo
Armadillo

I agree that mental illness doesn't rob people of moral. However be careful not to rob shooters of their's either. RM did mention in her video that their actions likely don't make sense to them either. Rather, perhaps its one of many ingredients that lead to a mass shooter. Mental illness affects different people in different ways. Its not hard to imagine that someone could commit evil in part because of how their illness has shaped their life. That plus the violence issue the left tend to have anyway (which RM did mention in the video) may lead people to do horrible things. Its probably a combination of things.

As for RMs comment, I think she was just poiting out that they did have mental illnesses after you implied they didn't (whether you ment to or not). Like I mentioned, she did say that the left has a violence problem on its own, not just people who have mental illnesses.

Interesting video nonetheless though, thanks for sharing it!
(Although perhaps this conversation has gone on long enough, maybe I'll wait until your next response to RM. :p)

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@Armadillo
Hello, I don’t wish to drag this out any further than how it’s already been, but there are two things I want to point out. When Roaming responded to my initial comment above: "Why do you seem to believe that mental illness is causing mass shootings, such as the Sandy Hook and Aurora movie theater shooting, to occur in the face of academic research that shows the contrary?"

Roaming’s response was: “James Holmes and Adam Lanza both had documented mental health issues”, which means that she is blaming Holmes’ and Lanza’s decision to go on a mass shooting on their ‘mental health issues.’ If you watch her original video regarding the congressional shooter, she makes this point quite clear around the middle.

Also, I understand that you are not accusing all mentally ill people of being deranged and have only been pointing out correlations between mental illness and violence. But I just wanted to say that I found an interview on Louder With Crowder with Jordan Peterson where Dr. Peterson says that the argument that asserts that mental illness is the cause of mass shootings is “very weak.” I’m sure he needs no introduction as a psychologist and as someone who isn’t trying to push any political agendas.

If you wish to see the video, as I think it’s also worth watching since Jordan Peterson also talks about the concept of evil just as how you and ArthurM have been doing recently, I can link it down below; it starts around the 49:27 timestamp:

I’ll try to ask Jordan Peterson directly about my questions then relaying his response directly to Roaming herself if necessary. My goal is to try and show people that mental illness doesn’t deprive people of their sense of morality. As Steven Crowder put it, some people think that Bipolar Disorder means that you act like Daffy Duck, when really, it’s a disorder that makes people go through cycles of “mania” and “depressive” that switch frequently.

Armadillo
Armadillo

@ArthurM Ah, thats possible. Not sure I buy it though.
And sorry for bringing up SJW conspiracies lol, that might be too far.

Also I'd love to know how to STOP getting emails Maybe a way to get them from just certain people? If someone "@" you you get one. I'll try do it more for you :).

ArthurM
ArthurM

No, I'm saying maybe they are labelled as mentally ill because the medical professionals, and the criminal professionals, and also the media 'professionals' don't/aren't allowed to talk about evil, possibly.

ah I'm about done if the SJW weirdness is brought into it - those idiots could make 1+1=tangerine if they thought it'd suit them.

btw is there a way I can have this site send me an email whenever someone posts on a thread i have posted in? i only catch the replies that arent on Questions i asked by browsing.

Armadillo
Armadillo

So your saying that they are labeled mentally ill because we can't comprehend the idea of evil? Interesting, but I don't think that's quite true. SJWs think us conservatives are based on simply hate, and campaign on fighting "hate". So I think we do talk about such things. Plus a lot of shooters have a history of mental illness prior to attacking.

I think maybe we've got to the point that anything that is different then the "exclusively inclusive" narrative that's so prevalent is blamed on hate, be conservatives or shooters. I wounldn't be surprised if leftists deny mental illness as a factor to try to convince people that shooters are no different then conservatives.

ArthurM
ArthurM

it's a very tricky one this.

i think that there is a large difference between the uk where i am and the usa where these mass shootings are more common? and the different cultural and media views of mental illness and crime and guns.

i also think a large part of it is that people aren't allowed to talk about evil anymore, in both countries i think?, and definitely in the fields of psychiatry and crime, and so almost HAVE to put a medical label on these people.

also, psychiatry, which here at least is the medical/scientific profession, and psychology which is the social science/social worker profession, or the academic study of mind etc, are not hard solid black and white subjects. psychiatry is more so because they first need a medical doctors degree - psychologists don't. and from what i can tell, the situation in the usa is even more lax and open to error and so on? so we don't have much solid evidence to go on.

so yeah, another tricky subject that even us smart and attractive people won't be able to find a clean answer too lol. seems to be a pattern here.

Armadillo
Armadillo

Interesting, but I don't think mental illness always works in "episodes". It can be a totally different way of living. Its not always something that makes it hard to function. Often it can be something that's hard NOT to do. Plus the trend would seems like most shooters have mental illnesses, as show in that article I posted. Not saying people with mental illnesses are more likely to be mass killers, I'm saying that mass killers are more likely to have mental illnesses then the general population, which is what the study demonstrates.

ArthurM
ArthurM

if someone is 'ill' enough to kill lots of people, then they are functional enough not to be classed as 'ill'. perhaps. ? perhaps a theologist would be more useful in this than a psychiatrist. does evil exist etc

ArthurM
ArthurM

I don't think a seriously mentally ill person would be able to plan and carry out something like a mass murder. A psychotic or schizophrenic person couldn't 'stretch' the psychotic episode out long enough or be able to function long enough to do it. Sure some of the mass killers will have mental illnesses, 1/4 of the population do, but the idea of a 'psycho' on a rampage is mostly fiction.

Armadillo
Armadillo

All I'm saying is that its not unreasonable to say mental illness (among other traits) is a trend among mass shooters. Shes not cherry picking. She was pointing out that if he did have a mental illness it would be more similar to other mass shootings and therefore not a result of the current political climate.

While mentally ill people are unlikely to commit violence, mass shooters do seems to have a higher rate of mental illness then the general population. Those are two different things. The article I posted is important because it does suggest this, even if there is no proper diagnosis. I think at this point we've reached a stale mate :\

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@Armadillo
I realize that my last post was pretty lengthy, so I decided to address the article you posted in a separate comment.

The article that you cited is in reference to information gathered by the Central Florida Intelligence Exchange. I wish to point out that this organization is not a psychiatric research organization, and that they are only publishing crime information to draw correlations between criminals and potential factors about the criminal that may have caused such crimes. I would though, like to briefly point out that correlations do not equate to causation.

In some of the cases that were listed, the criminals had court ordered diagnoses of "paranoid schizophrenia." However, some of the other criminals were suspected to have had some sort of mental health issue, as doctors had to rely on family observations and guesses. In these cases, diagnoses aren't even given, and state that the shooter had "mental health issues" despite no diagnosis being made. Worse yet, is that in the case of Andrew Engeldinger, the research article erroneously labeled Andrew's case as being caused by a mental health problem just because his parents speculated that he had an diagnosed one. While there are blatant examples of shooters having mental health problems, some of the ones cited are speculative, and I hope you can agree that mere speculation without having a licensed professional perform a diagnosis is irrational.

But even if we were to assume that all 14 mass shootings were caused by mental health problems, this is still only 14 out of the 42,500,000 Americans who are considered to be mentally ill. If mental illness is the cause for some, if not all, of these mass shootings, don't you think that a lot more mass shootings would be occurring in the nation if approx. 42 million Americans are living with a diagnosed mental illness?

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

"When people say "they're caused by mental illness" they don't mean ANY mental illness. Its mostly because no sane person would such a thing, whether their illness is documented or not."

I certainly hope so, and wish to know what specific "mental illnesses" people are speculating that have caused some of these mass shootings. The DSM-V is a reference tool for symptoms of mental health problems. While some note that "irritability" is a trait in some diagnoses, I'm not aware of any listing that contains violent behavior, let alone mass murdering, as a characteristic of a diagnosis. "Sane" is a very vague term by medical standards and doesn't give a clear indication of what specific mental health issue someone might possess. It's also important to have a doctor personally consult with a patient and have them be screened for mental health problems. The DSM-V is a start, but a licensed counselor has experience working with people to know who really has the disorders described in the book.

"...shooters tend to have a higher mental illness rate when compared to the general population."

This is factually not true. Here is a copy and pasted excerpt from the research article that I previously listed:

"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. According to Appelbaum,25 less than 3% to 5% of US crimes involve people with mental illness, and the percentages of crimes that involve guns are lower than the national average for persons not diagnosed with mental illness. Databases that track gun homicides, such as the National Center for Health Statistics, similarly show that fewer than 5% of the 120 000 gun-related killings in the United States between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by people diagnosed with mental illness.26"

"Gun crime narratives that attribute causality to mental illness also invert the material realities of serious mental illness in the United States. Commentators such as Coulter blame “the mentally ill” for violence, and even psychiatric journals are more likely to publish articles about mentally ill aggression than about victimhood.5 But, in the real world, these persons are far more likely to be assaulted by others or shot by the police than to commit violent crime themselves. In this sense, persons with mental illness might well have more to fear from “us” than we do from “them.” And blaming persons with mental disorders for gun crime overlooks the threats posed to society by a much larger population—the sane."

Based on this article, they have stated that "the sane" are engaged in gun crime at higher rates than "the mentally ill."

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@Armadillo

Armadillo
Armadillo

This study suggests that 79% have mental illnesses. Its not unreasonable to say that shooters have a higher rate of mental illness then everyone else. So its probable that it has something to do with it. And yes, it does make sense to say that being a white man is also a factor.

Armadillo
Armadillo

When people say "they're caused by mental illness" they don't mean ANY mental illness. Its mostly because no sane person would such a thing, whether their illness is documented or not. RM was talking about how people thought it was a politically motivated shooting but it might not be the full story, considering shooters tend to have a higher mental illness rate when compared to the general population.

No one thinks you are a dangerous person by virtue of a mental illness. If legislation is proposed to restrict mentallly ill people in such a broad sense then deal with it then.

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@Armadillo
I wish to respond paragraph by paragraph to your most recent comment. No, people with mental illnesses do not committ mass shootings because of their mental illness. Do not assume that Adam Lanza, for example, killed elementary school children because of his autism and OCD; that’s disengenious to the people who have autism and OCD. In this regard, I encourage you to do personal research to see any type of causal relationship between mass shootings and autism/OCD rather than relying on your intuitions. And you’re right, Roaming Millenial did not say we should condemn all people with mental illness as being violent, and that she did state that if the congressional shooter had any type of mental illness, that all speculation about the cause of the shooting would be moot since this hypothetical mental illness should be presumed to be the cause. That’s what I’m arguing is fallacious.

Regarding your second paragraph, I’m sure you may be able to tell that this is a personal topic for me; I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder years ago. I would say that these have developed in my life and that they weren’t always present, which would mean that they are “mental illnesses” by your definition. Yet, I have received disability support services from my university and they treat those diagnoses as disabilities. Coupled with this fact and how you expressed uncertainty in your previous comment tells me that you are not done thorough research on this topic. I myself wouldn’t call myself a “professional” by any standards, but I have always heared mental illness and mental disabilities as being synonymous throughout my time being involved with my mental health issues. Also, no, OCD alone does not cause people to kill as an anxiety disorder. I sincerely ask you talk to a medical professional like Jordan Peterson (which I’m actually going to suggest in a separate thread to Roaming).

Finally, I do think men are more prone to violence due to them having higher testosterone on average, but for the record, we shouldn’t police or suspect all men of being violent criminals since we should treat all individuals as being unique and not judge a person because of a label. Ben Shapiro though has explicitly stated that mental illness is to blame for mass shootings; see his talk with Piers Morgan and Dave Rubin.

I agree, we shouldn’t condemn everyone with a mental illness, man, white person, black person, etc., as being a potential mass murderer. However, after doing some research and seeing people blame mental illness as being the cause of these mass shootings, I have to express concern for the potential policies that people might advocate for that unfairly discriminate against people with mental illness/disabilities. Jimmy Kimmel for one has expressed advocacy to take gun ownership rights away from people like me, claiming it’s “common sense”, and most members of US congress want gun ownership rights to be taken away from people who are labeled as “mentally ill.” I’m sorry, but in the face of academic research in the field of psychology, this is a scary proposition that won’t do any good and only strip protection away from the group of people who have been shown to be more vulnerable to violence.

Armadillo
Armadillo

Like I have said, often people with mental illnesses who commit mass shootings commit them because of their illness. It does not mean we should assume all people with mental illness are violent, she never said that. She said that if he did have one, it would likely be the cause.

A mental illness is something you develop, like OCD. A mental disability is something your born with, like dyslexia. (I think.) Plus OCD can totally cause someone to kill, its not a fun thing.

Being a white person is not significant because most people in America are white. Its not a difference between them and most other people. And, come on, people totally do think most men are violent. No one thinks mentally ill people are prone to violence. No one is suggesting that.

Think about it like this: If someone dies from a cold, it dosen't mean everyone who has a cold will die from it.

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@Armadillo
I want to make the assumption that the following shooters comitted their mass shootings because of any type of mental illnes they might have possessed. I am not saying they did do it because of a mental illness, but I’m making a postulate that they went on a mass murdering rampage because of a mental illness for arguments sake:

  • Virginia Tech
    • Columbine
  • Sandy Hook
  • Orlando
  • Aurora
  • The congressional shooter

These six people should not represent the millions of people who are considered to be mentally ill. All of these shooters are male, and men on average have higher testosterone, which causes people to be more aggressive. Despite how being male would correlate to people going on to commit mass murders, it is logically fallacious to condemn or suspect that all men are prone to committ mass murder.

However, for the record, “mental illness” is not correlated with mass shootings. It’s worth pointing out that the article was written to address the misconceptions between mental illness and mass shootings as evident by the article’s title. I will concur that specific disabilities like schizophrenia have been known to have a correlation with violent behavior, but as the article points out, disabilities such as attention deficit disorder, anxiety disorders, and depressive disorders have no correlation with violence whatsoever. My goal is to dispel misconceptions about people with mental illness and help people understand that these people should not be feared and not be associated with mass murderers, as it is logically fallacious to do so.

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

@RoamingMillenial
In regards to your first point, here is a verbatim quote of what you said in regards to the shooter’s hypothetical motive behind his attack:

“Second, if it does come out that Hodgkinson had a history with mental illness, then all of this speculation is kind of moot.”

I don’t mind you clarifying statements that you made, but it is clear in the video that you were willing to automatically blame whatever hypothetical mental illness the shooter may have possessed as the cause of the shooting.

On your second point, the fact still remains that some shooters like the Orlando shooter were deemed to be psychologically healthy when background checks were done. Also, I’ve never heard of a distinction between mental illness and mental disabilities; they’ve always been synonymous with the vernacular that I’m familiar with; please clarify.

Third, James Holmes and Adam Lanza had mental disability diagnoses that are considered to be completely different in the field of psychology. Adam Lanza had autism and OCD, two disorders not known to be correlated with violence. And James Holmes had schizophrenia, which has a very slight correlation with violence. I know you of all people know that correlations do not equal causation, and that cherry picking these two examples and using them as a rule of them is fallacious. But if you are using correlations of mental disabilities to use as an argument, then why not use the correlation of them being both male and causasian as an explanation for their actions? I’m sorry Roaming, but as a long time fan of your videos, I have to say that you are relying on cherry picking fallacies and ignoring academic research to make this claim that “mental illness” is behind these mass shootings. I know you haven’t advocated for any policies but just as an FYI, targeting those with “mental liness” won’t solve anything and will only harm the already vulnerable. Please read the article that I have posted above and perform introspection on your own beliefs. I don’t want mass shootings to occur like any other person, but blaming an entire subgroup of people won’t solve anything.

Armadillo
Armadillo

After looking at that article, it dosen't seem to prove mental illness is unrelated. It dosen't distinguish between mass shootings and other violent crimes. Shooting a bunch of strangers is different then shooting someone you know. It dosen't suggest being a man and drinking is predictive of mass shootings specifically. Basically it argues that rarely mental illnesses cause mass shootings, but that dosen't mean that when they do happen that mental illness is not a factor. Like I said we should look at how many mass shooters will mental illnesses do it as a result of their illness.

RoamingMillennial
RoamingMillennial

Editor

"if the gunman had any type of mental illness, that you would automatically blame the shooting on whatever hypothetical mental disability he may have possessed."
That's not what I said.

"they have found that 3-5% of crimes in the US involve people with mental disabilities, that percentages of crimes that involve guns committed by the mentally disabled are at a lower rate than the average of crimes that don't involve criminals with mental disabilities"
I was speaking very specifically about mass shootings in my video, not any/all gun crimes. I also mentioned mental illness in the video, not mental disabilities. Those are different things.

"Why do you seem to believe that mental illness is causing mass shootings, such as the Sandy Hook and Aurora movie theater shooting, to occur in the face of academic research that shows the contrary?"
James Holmes and Adam Lanza both had documented mental health issues.

Armadillo
Armadillo

Of course! We all want the best for society after all :)

And I don't doubt hatred is involved, it the rationale behind it i'm curious about.

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

Thank you for offering to read the article. One thing I think we can agree on is that no one should unreasonably have their constitutional rights taken away. For the record, I don’t want all men or alcohol drinkers to have their second amendment rights limited and I do think that a felon who was found guilty of murder should have their right to bear arms taken away due to violent individuals are often regularly violent.

I understand your question about how what kind of sane person would go on a mass shooting. It is logically unreasonable to think that a mass shooting would be something worth doing. But that’s the thing, I have listened to some of the testimonies of shooters like Dylan Roof, the congressional, Virginia Tech, Orlando, Columbine, etc., and all of them expressed a deep hatred as being their motive. It’s not a problem of mental illness, like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, but a resentment of society and a special kind of rage that makes the shooter feel that mass murder is justified.

Armadillo
Armadillo

I guess my main point was that believing mass shootings are caused by mental illness is not the same as believing mental illlness causes mass shootings. there are a lot of mental illnesses, so saying one caused a shooting dosen't mean she thinks all people with them are likely to commit them.
I'll take a closer look at that article though.

And your right, we should look at all possibilities as to why. Although we should also look at how many shooting by people with mental illness are caused by those illness. Thats the main thing I think.

And what sane person would commit mass shootings? From a certian prespective mass shooting is an illness in and of itself.

Thomas_Smith
Thomas_Smith

No, mental illness is not the reason behind any mass shooting that has occurred in the US. Not only has there been a lack of explanation as to how, for example, Adam Lanza’s OCD caused him to want to go on a shooting spree, but in the case of the Orlando shooter, he passed a psychological examination and was considered to psychologically be “above average.”

Please read the article in the above post as it covers a lot of scientific research on the topic of the link between mental illness and mass shootings.

Edit: Also, since studies have shown that being male and binge drinking are better predictors of serious violence, due to the higher testosterone that men produce and that alcohol consumption lowers inhibitions and makes drinkers more impulsive, then we should be talking about these two factors first before even thinking about how mental disabilities play a role in these shootings.

Armadillo
Armadillo

She likely believes it because its true. While most crimes are not mass shootings, and while most mentally ill people don't commit crime, often mass shootings are commited by mentally ill people.

Mental illness is a broad term and not every one causes people to commit violent crime. RM herself claims to have been diagnosed with anxiety.



Konoruck
Konoruck
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