Firearms, Mental Health Disorders and

Gun violence is a leading public health problem in the United States, responsible for 33,636 deaths and 84,258 injuries in 2013, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following highly publicized mass shootings by individuals reported to have been mentally disturbed, the role of mental health disorders in gun violence has captured public attention and stimulated legislative debate. However, epidemiological evidence has shown that the large majority of people with serious mental health disorders, such as schizophrenia or major mood disorder, are not violent toward others; that interpersonal violence is more strongly associated with a range of other, more common risk factors such as substance use, childhood victimization, poverty, and exposure to violent social environments over the life course; and that suicide, ...

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