NPR has this to say about the ability to predict the likelihood of violence by the mentally ill.
Researchers say that one issue with mental health laws like New York's is that they compel mental health professionals to report thousands of people who aren't at all likely to shot someone.
Barry Rosenfeld is psychology professor at Fordham University in The Bronx: "With these laws we are destined to cast a very large net that will probably restrict a lot of people's behavior unnecessarily, and may be we will prevent and incident or two, I hope." . . .
"an accurate assessment of the likelihood of future violence is virtually impossible."
"The biggest risk for gun violence is possession of a gun," says Hoge. "And there's no evidence that the mentally ill possess guns or commit gun violence at any greater rate than the normal population."
So you would think that the conclusion of the piece would be that we shouldn't be taking away people's guns unless it is somewhat clear that someone will engage in violence, right? No, NPR concludes that the safe way to stop these attacks is to take away guns. The problem is that taking away people's guns seems unlikely to solve the problem even if the violent people could be identified. The reason? These killers often are planning their attacks months or even more than a year in advance and it is very hard to stop someone who is willing to plan that far in advance from getting a gun. So should we just lock up people who we think are might be violent? Apparently, not according to NPR, but gun control is still considered a good option.
Labels: Crime, GunControl, mental illness