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Moral illness versus mental illness

Post-mass murder via single shooter gunman—this is not a place any of us wanted to be at so soon after Las Vegas and Orlando. Or ever again. Politicians are skillfully stepping over the gun debate and pointing fingers at “mental illness” as the culprit.

Much good could come from this red herring argument. If Lisa Murkowski wants to seek an increase in federal funding to support mental health care in Alaska, then maybe people will no longer have to wait 4-6 months for an appointment at Fairbanks Community Mental Health Center.

It is doubtful, however, that improving mental healthcare funding will decrease increasing acts of violence in our nation suggestive that the real problem facing America is “moral illness.”

Morals are defined as a person’s standards of behavior/beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable to do.

We are living in a time where many lines are being crossed and not just in mass shootings. Cyber bulling. Revenge porn. Angry memes. Embarrassing gifs. There are a lot of people choosing to do things that violate the Golden Rule. How is it that so many people are accepting unbecoming and violent conduct in themselves and in others?

The article linked below debunks mental illness as a causative factor, and suggests that as a correlational factor it is not that significant. In fact, it points to one of the largest correlates of these shootings—social isolation. For people who live emotionally secluded lives, it’s probably a lot easier to cross lines because they have no way of knowing how off their moral compasses really are.

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