The YouTube Shooter Defied Identity Stereotypes. Can We Talk About Mental Illness Now?

We’re wasting a lot of time and energy pointing to something that’s not to blame for murders. Whether it be the gun, the gender, or the NRA, we spend an inordinate amount of time we could be using more wisely to get down to the real cause of many a murder, and that’s mental illness.


Everyone from celebrities to the random Twitter user immediately broke out into finger pointing the moment the shooting was announced. So many predictions from the gender, to the skin color, to their political affiliation were blamed.

All of them were mistaken when it turned out that the shooter was an anti-capitalist, Hitler quoting Iranian woman who was also a militant PETA activist that made the most cringe-worthy music videos.

Gun grabbers will point out that the firearm is the connection that links them all, and that this is the culprit for all the pain and suffering. That’s like saying the chisel is responsible for the sculptor’s statue, or that the rain cloud is responsible for getting you wet. The sculptor had an artistic drive, and the cloud only released water due to a build-up of precipitation.

The gun was the tool used to commit the murder, but in the absence of guns, a person intent on killing someone will reach for the next available tool. It might be a knife, or a hammer, or a screwdriver. No matter how you swing it, a killer who wants to kill will find a way to kill.

This was recently proven as London, a place where even the police don’t carry firearms, surpassed New York in murders due to a string of knife attacks.

So guns do not connect the murders after all. But there are baseline behaviors that cause these violent tendencies.


There are societal pressures that definitely cause murders, such as the kind seen as a result of gang violence and drug deals. Then there are those that typically come with mass shootings, mental illness.

The sad thing is, we still haven’t probed deeper into what kind of mental illnesses trigger murder, but they’re there waiting for us to discover. We waste so much time blaming things that have little to do with the murder out of fear and agenda-driven misreporting that the public knows very little about the warning signs. And as we stew in our own ignorance, we also shun the most effective means of stopping these murders out of blind fear.

How many lives have been lost because the rules prevented someone from coming to the rescue with a firearm? How many kids would be at home with their parents now if we had paid attention to the bold and loud warning signs that gun-free zones do not stop guns and haven’t for decades?

We are wasting time, and we’re wasting lives in order to avoid arriving at an inevitable conclusion. Guns are not the problem here. The problem is somewhere in the mind, and we need to probe deeper into these problems and bring them into the light.


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