That’s right, research that was done in Texas.

Courtesy of UTMB Health:

Counter to a lot of public opinion, having a mental illness does not necessarily make a person more likely to commit gun violence. According to a new study, a better indicator of gun violence was access to firearms.

A study by researchers at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston looked into the association between gun violence and mental health in a group of 663 young adults in Texas. Their results were published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

“Counter to public beliefs, the majority of mental health symptoms examined were not related to gun violence,” said Dr. Yu Lu, a postdoctoral research fellow at UTMB and the lead author of the study.

What researchers found instead was that individuals who had gun access were approximately 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun. Individuals with high hostility were about 3.5 times more likely to threaten someone.

“These findings have important implications for gun control policy efforts,” Lu said.

“Much of the limited research on gun violence and mental illness has focused on violence among individuals with severe mental illnesses or rates of mental illness among individuals arrested for violent crimes,” Lu said. “What we found is that the link between mental illness and gun violence is not there.”

The researchers found that individuals who had access to guns, compared to those with no such access, were over 18 times more likely to have threatened someone with a gun, even after controlling for a number of demographic and mental health variables. Meanwhile, most mental health symptoms were unrelated to gun violence.

“Taking all this information together, limiting access to guns, regardless of any other mental health status, demographics or prior mental health treatments, is the key to reducing gun violence,” Temple said.

 I was essentially screaming this from the rooftops the minute I heard the Republicans start making the case that the way to deter gun violence was to put more money into mental health. which by the way, they have still not done. 

I work in the mental health community and the truth is that almost everybody has some diagnosable issue with their mental health, though often it is not impactful enough to require treatment. 

It is the simplest equation imaginable to recognize that gun violence can only occur if a gun is present. 

So to reduce gun violence, we simply must reduce the number of guns, that is really all there is to it. 

Having said that if Congress wants to increase spending on mental health I am all for it. 

But do not expect it to have ANY impact on the number of gun fatalities in this country.