John Oliver: why do we only talk about mental health after mass-shootings?

[Read the post]

Because it’s the rights go-to diversionary tactic?

It might be an effective point if anyone believed for a second they care at all about people suffering ill mental health.


Or that mentally ill people were more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.


Perhaps they consider the talking point an avenue to a solution because they ultimately envisage shooting all the mentally ill people?

…I just read that back to myself.


Freud and Jung were right.

1 Like

Perhaps it’s because, as a nation, we are INSANE IN THE MEMBRANE.




For the geo-locked outsiders…



Because it’s an excuse and people are generally by and large ignorant enough to see it as this scary thing and less ‘oh that person should have gotten help’ and more 'lock ‘em up away from society.’

On a society wide basis we, and by that I mean Americans, seem to not want to look at all the ways we are screwed up in the head. Pet theory is these have no source of blame, or real neat tidy solution. Just ‘take this pill.’

It’s a thing to discriminate against moreso than reach out and help.


They are transparently disingenuous. As evidence by their utter obstructionism when anyone makes a random hand-wavy gesture in the direction of healthcare reform.


Because talking about the racist and misogynist ideologies that motivate these killers would show America in a rather bad light? I mean these guys (and they’re always guys) don’t come to these conclusions in a vacuum. Mental healthcare is abysmal in the US and should be talked about, but it’s sane people who normalize these murderous politics and are suddenly shocked when somebody “insane” enacts it.


As a special bonus, we as a nation can save a tiny fraction of our budget by cutting off services to the mentally ill. That way, they become homeless, and we can point to them as an example of how we’re too broke to offer services to the mentally ill.


Okay, try not to be kneejerk and attack me for even suggesting the following, or question my motives for suggesting the following, and just actually THINK about this for a second: it really IS people who are doing these school and/or movie theatre shootings, not the guns. And it really IS indicative of a certain very flawed mindset that is the cause of all of it. It takes a very specific kind of messed-up person to want to kill total strangers, adults and children, en masse, to revenge personal sleights/indignities/stresses, and to thereby attempt to regain a sense of superiority (or even, sadly, something as basic and necessary as a sense of self-worth.) And it’s the person that’s at fault, not the existence of the guns they did it with. Attempting to get rid of guns in the face of this very very American trend of enthusiastically and methodically killing total strangers is like trying to cure the symptom instead of the disease. Yes, I know that’s a tired old homily/platitude/whatever, but it’s true. There is a symptom and there is a disease and the disease needs to be addressed. And it really IS a kind of disease, a contagious & oft-fatal flaw in thinking, a sad, sick, misguided and pathetic last-ditch effort on the part of these shooters to scream out with their dying breath “I meant nothing to anyone so I’ve made everyone mean nothing to me.” Yes, literally, if there were no guns, these misguided confused souls wouldn’t be able to shoot people with guns in schools and movie theaters. But it’s stupid to even want to attempt it: they might not shoot them, but they’d still try to kill them. Rage, and the desire for revenge, can make one very resourceful. Think Andew Kehoe. Not just for the method (dynamite) but for The Rage. The Rage has been American way before Columbine, but it’s only been since the 80s/90s that The Rage has been so…de rigueur for certain mindsets (male adolescents, “Falling Down”-type Angry White guys, the mentally ill.) I looked at the comical John Oliver “Shoe Bomb vs Gun Legislation” meme and got from it “One debatably stupid thing existing (having to remove shoes before boarding a plane) doesn’t logically make another debatably stupid thing (not enough gun legislation for some people’s taste) more stupid.” I know I’m going to be dog-piled onto for making the boring observation, but sometimes even boring observations are correct: we should address the cause, not the symptom: we should be addressing why some people choose to kill others in increasingly spectacular, methodical and sickening ways. Socrates said that evil, or wrongdoing, is the result of ignorance. These shooters are spectacularly, sadly, tragically ignorant. They’re so ignorant they don’t even know they’re ignorant. That’s what needs to be fixed. Political hay doesn’t need to be made of these tragedies, Lib or Con, Dem or Rep. The cause of these specific sick mass shooting incidents (feelings of impotence, rage, worthlessness, confusion) needs to be addressed, not the symptom (the mass shootings themselves), and they need to be addressed soon. I joked in a previous post that I won’t be going anywhere near a movie theater when"Suicide Squad" comes out. I’m not joking anymore. I predict one or more “Suicide Squad” inspired shootings. America’s love of violence and self-centeredness are chickens that have come home to roost :frowning:

1 Like

Wow! Way to completely miss the point!

Also, paragraphs!



IS people who look and act like these legally sane people who have family support systems likely to blow away mass numbers of people?

Statistically, no.

It’s not as though every other country has no crazy-eyed withdrawn young men (hakikomori?) or aren’t saturated with Hollywood violence or videogames.

Maybe we should try something that works: legally define “a well-regulated militia”, fund a social safety net that doesn’t rely entirely on family support, and become taxacious pricks who fee and tax and license the guns away.




Just… No. I understand your position and where you are coming from, but we can change both aspects at the same time.

Violence is decreased when access to weaponsos decreased.
Violence is decreased when a society takes care of its own.

Gun buybacks would cost a billion dollars and save thousands of lives.
Comprehensive mental health reforms will cost tens of billions and save thousands of lives.

Why not both?


Being from a (big time) gun state, this is it.

You don’t get closer to a workable solution, for now, than this.

I hate that, because I’m part of the problem, as I’m sure many here would say. But multiple fronts is the only way, because the advanced way will never be widely accepted first thing.

1 Like

The “mental health” discussion is a total cop out red herring for the right, and anyone who falls for it should be ashamed. They claim that anyone who commits a mass shooting has mental health problems because “no sane person™” would do such a thing. It is a self defining dodge of the real issue and pins the blame on the wrong issue (mental health), while avoiding the two real issues: easy access to certain types of guns, and societal conditions that make gun violence more likely.

As John Oliver points out, people with mental health issues are only a very small fraction of the people committing homicides by guns, and are actually more likely to be a victim them a perpetrator of gun violence. People with mental health issues are more likely to kill themselves thenthan someone else.

Many of the people committing mass shootings wouldn’t be caught by a better mental health care system because that isn’t their issue per se, rather they are disenfranchised isolated people who have been ostracized in some way by society and feel hopeless. It is societal conditions combined with easy access to guns.

The same people who are AGAINST public health care and hence mental health care, are the same people AGAINST gun control, are the same people creating the economic and social disparity and hopelessness and societal conditions that drives this sort of behavior.

if you look and gun homicides they are statistically much higher in areas with poverty or other similar conditions that create a situation that makes this more likely, they do not occur in areas with higher mental health issues. gun violence is not a mental health issue.

The USA doesn’t have statistically more mental health issues then other countries. Many other countries have plenty of people with mental health issues without the high gun homicide rates.
Do we need better mental health care? absolutely!!!
Is mental health tied to our gun violence problem? not really…
is gun violence tied to larger social issues like poverty and wealth disparity? absolutely!!!
is gun violence tied to easier access to certain types of guns? absolutely!!!

The two things driving the ridiculously high gun level of gun violence in America is America’s ridiculously high amount of hand guns and assault guns with the incredibly low bar to owning one, and societal conditions such as wealth disparity.

Fortunately, every other country that has faced similar issues has effectively dealt with the issue by doing the obvious, not a single country has failed when they have directly addressed the problem. Unfortunately this is something we are unwilling to even consider as a nation because we’ve been told by the gun lobby that it is a solution that Americans will never consider, which is a lie we are buying, I think most americans would be willing to consider a drastic reduction in the number of guns, better gun regulations, and better social safety nets…