Published: The Washington Times, Sept. 20, 2013
The national news media should report more facts whenever they cover stories having to do with mass shooters being mentally ill (“Aaron Alexis‘ history renews debate between mental issues, gun crimes,” Web, Sept. 18).
This includes, of course, this week’s Navy Yard shooting. If I were to rely solely on the coverage I have seen over the past few years, I would assume every mentally ill person is a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any moment. Actually, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 57.7 million Americans have suffered from a mental illness in the past 12 months. That is 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older. Furthermore, a person with a severe mental illness is four times more likely to be a victim of a crime than to commit a crime.
Come on, news media, quit adding to the stigma that makes mental illness scarier, and report all the facts.