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Walmart Pulls Violent Video Game Displays, Still Selling Guns
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    Dr. Jonathan Metzl (Director of The Center for Medicine, Health and Society at Vanderbilt University) said there are many other factors that are strongly associated with shootings, including access to guns, a state’s gun laws, an attacker’s past history of violence, substance abuse, misogyny and racism, to name a few. The general claim that psychiatric disorders are tied to gun violence is “a gross oversimplification,” said Jeffrey Swanson, a psychiatrist and behavioral scientist at Duke University. He and other scientists have known this for nearly three decades. ... Swanson has explored the psychopathology of violent offenders since the late 1980s. His research, along with that of colleagues in the field, is the basis for our modern discourse on guns and mental health....In 1990, Swanson co-authored the first large epidemiologic study to measure the prevalence of minor or serious violent behavior among people with and without psychiatric disorders.They wanted to know if violent acts — from shoving to shooting — correlated with diagnosable mental conditions. Part of their focus centered on so-called “serious mental illness” — such as depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — which are often assumed to be connected with violence. The researchers assessed about 10,000 people across three major cities (Baltimore, St. Louis and Los Angeles). They found 15 percent of people without mental illness had committed violence in their lifetimes versus 33 percent of those with serious mental illnesses, as defined above. ...When you take these population sizes into account, according to Swanson’s research, persons without mental illness are three times more likely to commit violence in a given year than those with a mental health disorder.... “If we cured mental illness … tomorrow, which would be wonderful, our violence problem would go down by about 4 percent and the rest of it would still be with us,” Swanson said. These trends have been replicated over and over again since 1990 — in the U.S., Denmark, Finland and Australia.... Galietta said only a few symptoms of mental illness — such as anger, impulsivity, emotional feelings of isolation — increase a person’s risk for carrying out violence. PBS News Hour By — Nsikan Akpan August 7, 2019


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