Doctors: hate and guns cause mass shootings, not mental health problems

Two major organizations of mental health professionals today denounced politicians linking emotional health conditions with the many mass shootings across America.

The American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association say while some shooters have had mental health issues, hate and access to high-powered guns have actually driven the carnage.

The psychiatrists' group says "gun violence is a public health crisis, and we must reduce the injuries and deaths that come from it."

But it says that has to come from evidence-based soluitions.

The American Psychiatric Association notes that "the overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent and far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators."

And it says anyone linking mental health with the epidemic of mass shootings is doing more harm than good.

The American Psychological Association salutes investigators for looking at the El Paso shooting as a hate crime.

"Racism has been shown to have negative cognitive and behavioral effects on both children and adults and to increase anxiety, depression, self-defeating thoughts and avoidance behaviors," the group says.

"It is clearer than ever that we are facing a public health crisis of gun violence fueled by racism, bigotry and hatred. The combination of easy access to assault weapons and hateful rhetoric is toxic," the APA said in a statement.

Don't blame the mentally ill or it will "further stigmatize and interfere with people accessing needed treatment."

"The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them,"says the psychologists' group.

The American Psychiatric Association says the divisive talk may also embolden others to become violent.
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