A new Gallup poll taken after last week’s tragedy at the Wash­ington Navy Yard reveals that Amer­i­cans fault the mental health system for mass shoot­ings, even more than inad­e­quate gun laws. Appar­ently, according to Joe Public, guns don’t kill, psy­chotic people do. The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre echoed these sen­ti­ments on Sunday: “If we leave these homi­cidal maniacs on the street … they’re going to kill,” he said.

Notwith­standing a few high-​​profile defen­dants — such as James Holmes in Aurora, Colo., and Jared Loughner in Tucson, Ariz. — whose mental health issues are well-​​documented, no clear rela­tion­ship between psy­chi­atric diag­nosis and mass murder has been established.

Mass mur­derers gen­er­ally do not hear voices or sus­pect that they are being fol­lowed. More typ­i­cally, they are mis­er­able, but not to the point that they’d be hos­pi­tal­ized or lose their ability to pur­chase guns.

Read the article at USA Today →