Bryan Barks in USA Today

Are mass shootings a ‘mental illness problem’? Experts say the link is vastly overstated

This sort of rhetoric is all too familiar for Bryan Barks, 27, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 19 and now works at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.

“I remember sitting in my bedroom in college, reading about the latest mass shooting, hearing people blaming mental illness, and thinking, ‘They are talking about people like me! They are talking about people I know! I’m not violent. The people I know with mental illness aren’t violent,” she said.

 

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