The massacre in Las Vegas has rightly consumed an entire news cycle. But while the media, Democrats, and generic progressives go after gun control, mental illness is being completely sidelined once again.
There are several reasons for this, but two of the obvious — giving the media et al., the benefit of the doubt — are, one) we know the murderer had guns. A lot of them. At least a few illegally modified. And two) We have no information on the murderer’s mental state or mental history. But, honestly, whether he was diagnosed, or has a history of mental illness, doesn’t matter.
Mental illness can manifest later in life. It can also go undiagnosed for years, or even a lifetime.
You might be thinking, “but we don’t know if he was mentally ill or not.” I would put to you this question in that case. Name one person who has killed innocent people who was not mentally ill in some way.
Was the shooter on a massive drug or alcohol bender? We don’t know. But if so, he was on it for days. A hallmark of mental illness via substance abuse.
Was he a gambling addict hellbent on exacting revenge on a casino? We don’t know. But gambling addiction, like all addictions, is a type of mental illness.
Was he a psychopath, reportedly like his father, who felt no empathy toward those he would hurt? We don’t know. But psychopathy is also a well-documented mental illness.
In fact, one can be a psychopath and live a relatively normal and successful life for all intents and purposes.
For anyone continuing to say, “but we don’t know,” I would ask you again to answer the question: Who, of all the known murderers out there who have taken the lives of innocent people, weren’t mentally ill to a varying degree?
I’ve been an Investigation Discovery addict for years and I can’t name one.
I’m also not speaking out of ignorance. I’ve dealt with mental illness in my family and in myself. I’ve personally survived Anorexia, Bulimia, Depression to the point of three suicide attempts in my 20’s, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, alcohol abuse, and, at times, debilitating perfectionism. Most of which went undiagnosed for over a decade until I started to become non-functional. And yet I never wanted to kill anyone but myself.
In fact, most living with a mental illness aren’t homicidal or suicidal. But I would argue that every murderer who intentionally and methodically kills innocent people has some kind of mental illness in every single case.
While the media is focusing on the guns the Las Vegas murderer used, and how to get guns out of the hands of law-abiding Americans in an attempt to rid the country of murder, we ought to be discussing how someone like him was able to do what he did.
So, why don’t we? The answer is simple.
Mental health care is expensive. Gun control talk is cheap.
Make no mistake, taking away guns while at the same time ignoring the tragedy mental illness is on loved ones and society — whether it’s diagnosed or not — is folly. Acting like we will never experience such tragedy again if 2nd Amendment rights were voided is simple foolishness.
With freedom comes risks and responsibilities. The 2nd Amendment honors the right for individuals to defend themselves. Even a mentally ill person, until he’s alerted to authorities for certain behavior.
But, again, the mental state that caused the Las Vegas murderer to act is being overlooked in favor of the hot topic of gun control. As long as this continues, we all lose.