‘Most Violence Is Not Caused by Mental Illness’ (From the Archive)

After a series of deadly mass shootings in the United States, the National Rifle Association and some Republican leaders and conservatives are pointing to mental illness.

This approach raises a question: How can the mental health system stop gun violence when mental illness is so rarely the cause of it?

We revisit a conversation from 2018 with a psychiatrist who is wrestling with that challenge.


  • Dr. Amy Barnhorst, the vice chairwoman of community psychiatry at the University of California, Davis.

A memorial honoring those killed in a mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas.
Christopher Lee for The New York Times
  • Many Republicans opposed to more gun control have called instead for investing in mental health programs, increasing funding for law enforcement and bolstering security at schools. Many Democrats say they are missing the point.

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The Daily is made by Lisa Tobin, Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Larissa Anderson, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Dave Shaw, Sydney Harper, Robert Jimison, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Kaitlin Roberts, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Anita Badejo, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Chelsea Daniel, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky and John Ketchum.

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