In addition to gun control measures, the horrific shooting massacare in Connecticut last Friday is expected to shine light on how we address the mentally ill in our society, and where reform is needed. As of now authorities are desperately trying to confirm more anecdotal information about Adam Lanza’s mental state and what may have motivated him to gun down twenty children in their first grade classes at a Newtown elementary school less than a week ago.
The Hill reports that major mental health advocacy groups have been lobbying on Capitol Hill and have been meeting with legislators and their staff since the shooting to formulate an agenda for strengthening community-based services for the mentally ill, early diagnosis and treatment of ill children, and efforts to erase the stigma that surrounds the illness.
Still, in the Newtown case, is pointing to mental illness not enough to answer what caused this crime and how to prevent crimes like it in the future? The majority of people with psychiatric disorders to not commit violent crimes, and putting too much blame on Lanza's mental illness could raise already unfair stigma against the mentally ill.
On 'Real News' Thursday the panel discussed what role mental illness may have blamed in Adam Lanza's actions, the history of government involvement in care for the mentally ill, and what reform on mental health issues this terrible shooting could influence. Watch a clip below with Professor Christopher Ferguson, author of "Violent Crime:"