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If Mental Illness Is the Problem, America Is Mentally Ill

2015 was a year of exceptionally overt police violence against black folk and tragic mass shootings. A common response to these events has been that they are the result of “sick” individuals. Many conservatives have suggested that the shooters were mentally ill: that the problem was a proliferation of bad people, not a proliferation of guns. When, however, the murderers happen to be people “of color,” the narrative often changes to one of terrorism and extremism (though the NRA position remains consistently pro-gun, evendefending the rights of the San Bernadino terrorists to acquire their weaponry).

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