Opinion: Mental illness an explanation, not an excuse for Colorado shootings – In America – CNN.com Blogs


Jack Levin, a university criminologist, writes on CNN’s In America blog that most Americans are made uneasy by mass killers who turn out to suffer from a mental illness. Levin offers a simple explanation — anyone may fall mentally ill.

He writes,

Part of the reason may be that the attribution of illness sounds like an excuse rather than an explanation.

The label “evil” distances the killer from “normal” people in the minds of most Americans, but illness does not. Millions of Americans suffer from depression; millions more have anxiety disorders, and they wouldn’t kill anyone.

Most individuals do not regard themselves as evil; they have a conscience, feel empathy for victims, and are remorseful when they do the wrong thing.

Instead, of being uneasy, Americans should destigmatize mental illness and work to assure that treatment is available for the mental ill before they become dangers to themselves and others.

Read more here: Opinion: Mental illness an explanation, not an excuse for Colorado shootings – In America – CNN.com Blogs.

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, FoxNews.com LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email MBenjamin9@optimum.net.
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2 Responses to Opinion: Mental illness an explanation, not an excuse for Colorado shootings – In America – CNN.com Blogs

  1. John Andrew Kay says:

    I don’t have the answers that men seek but I know that the Savior can cure it all. The Son of Sam is a good example. The effects of the internet and the video games and rapp “songs” that glorify killing and torture I believe are a direct cause and effect. I deal with this issue on the new job all of the time and we try to fashion remedies that help. However, while we look for ways to stop these violent acts we should not be glorifying them in movies, songs, TV, internet, etc. We have license to say “kill, hate, me not you” but the media cries “foul” when we say Jesus. 2 Timothy 3 has a long, non-exhaustive list of the things we are to expect in the end times. Now, it would appear, they are here. Bless you, my friend.

    Like

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