Mass Violence Legislation Scapegoats People with Mental Illness

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The National Disability Rights Network joined over 20 national organizations including disability rights, civil rights, education, and privacy groups to express concerns about the Restoring, Enhancing, Strengthening, and Promoting Our Nation’s Safety Efforts (RESPONSE) Act, legislation introduced by Senator Cornyn.

In the letter sent to Senator Cornyn, the coalition applauds the recognition of the need for a federal effort to address mass violence, but expresses serious concern about focusing that effort on people with mental health disabilities. The organizations urge that mental health reform legislation be separated from legislation addressing mass violence, pointing out the clear evidence that mental health disabilities are not predictors of gun violence, and that only 4% of gun violence is committed by people with mental health disabilities.