Whenever there's a debate about guns in this country there's an immediate reaction from conservatives who collectively agree, "Guns aren't the problem! Mental health is the problem!"
Let's say for a second this is actually a fact (it can be both, right?). Then why is it those same people never want to do anything to fix the mental health problems as well? In fact, is it not the liberals in this country who want there to be stricter gun laws, AND more resources to solve a variety of mental health related issues?
You know the answer to that.
This brings me to my point about guns and mental health from a conservative perspective: they don't care about the well being of other people regardless of what the cause is. Just take a peek at how each state spends on the issue.
If you focus on guns for a second, it would seem a lot of these "gun rights" folks want protection for themselves, and from others (aka the government). The idea of defending yourself from the external threat is what's important to them because they believe there are threats. After all, they're causing them...but we'll get to that...
What is seemingly not important to them is the amount of death and injury caused by guns. The reason being: it's not hurting themselves, i.e, the individual.
The same goes for mental health. It's happening to someone else; someone in the abstract who isn't them. Now of course, when a particular individual is faced with a mental health issue, or gun death, then the tune changes. But up until that point it is a position of self, and the individual. Never the collective; never society at large.
So in truth, the gun issue, as well as the mental health issue, is handled the same way by those on the far right: It's ignored.
Which takes me to another point about mental health in general.
Harvard Researcher Ronald Kessler, PhD, did a study a few years ago and then remarked, "Depression is a luxury disorder."
The United States blows the competition away when it comes to depression. The least depressed countries are the poorest, who are more concerned with just surviving. Not ironically though, the most depressed country is also the wealthiest, and that's the "luxury" problem.
America is the epitome of a 'dog eat dog'/'survival of the fittest' society. And with that type of society comes many problems. Those problems are manifesting themselves through depression, and that depression often results in violence and suicide.
When you have a system of rewards that is essentially a zero-sum-game, where in the losers literally end up in the streets, it's a problem. When someone loses a job, or isn't making the cut at work, it can often lead to a tragic situation, like we saw in Virginia the other day. This is not to say the assailant didn't have serious mental issues, but it seems that only in America does this play out over and over through violence. American culture exacerbates mental health problems through the subjective experience.
Now ask yourself, which group of people in this country are in support of unbridled capitalism and competition every step of the way? Who supports the zero-sum model most?
The answer? The same people who want to make sure there are no gun laws and who don't want to fund public health initiatives.
So is it any surprise they're also the people most in favor of a system that causes us the problems in the first place?
Suck on that for a bit.