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The Roundtable: What Do We Really Know About Mental Health and Mass Shootings?

In the debate over gun violence, mental illness has become a common talking point. But the relationship is little understood.

The recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, have once again brought gun control to the fore of the public conversation. The discussion has remained highly partisan for decades, with the left and right at an apparent stalemate. A panel of experts joined Roundtable to share their analysis of mass shootings and what policy interventions could impact the United States’ gun violence epidemic. In this segment, they discuss the relationship between mental health issues and mass shootings. 

Matt Savoy notes that America's quarter-trillion dollar spending on mental health treatment has done little to address the causes of mental illness.

"The money that we spend is on treatment. It's not on actually studying what causes it," he says. "Less than one-percent of the entire mental health budget in the United States goes to actual research into what causes these events or what triggers these things in people's heads." 

Sharon Kyle argues that the U.S. has yet to take seriously mental health issues and their relationship to violence in general.

"It's not just simply education. It's not just simply banning guns. It's not just simply looking at people who have emotional or psychological problems. We need to have a holistic approach and a serious campaign," she says.

"This country certainly hasn't demonstrated a will to take this on in the way that lung cancer or reducing drunk driving was taken on. Our violent culture is much more deeply woven into the fibers of what it means to be America."

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Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Conner Moore, Host, Politically Homeless Podcast

Sharon Kyle, Publisher, LA Progressive

Matt Savoy, Co-Founder, Free Thought Project